What Has Government Done to Our Money? A Seminar for Highschoolers

S1 — with G.P. Manish and Mark Thornton

Dates: November 9, 2012 - November 9, 2012
Status: Closed

(This event has already occurred, but for a week after, you can still enroll for access to the recordings once they are released.)

A seminar for high-school students hosted at the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama. On-site attendance is free and open to homeschooled, public, or private high-school students and their chaperones or teachers (see the event page at mises.org).

For those unable to attend the seminar on-site, online attendance is available through the Mises Academy for a small fee.

This seminar will run from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm Central Time on November 9.


In this seminar, students will explore the fascinating phenomenon of money.  What is money?  How did it come about?  What is its function?  Should the government be involved with it, or should it be left to the market?  Mises Institute scholars will answer all these questions, using clear explanations and helpful examples.  They will also discuss the modern history of money in American and Europe.  Topics covered will also include commodity money (gold, silver, etc), paper money, banking, inflation, central banking, “Gresham’s Law”, the gold standard, the history of the Federal Reserve, and more.

The economic crisis we are in is due largely to unsound money, which in turn is due to an unsound understanding of money among the public.  But thankfully, money and monetary policy has become one of the hottest topics among public-minded young people.  This means there is hope for the future.  Students who attend this seminar, either in person or online, will be off to a great start in their monetary studies.  It can set them on the path toward becoming an advocate of sound money, as well as becoming informed enough to make future financial decisions that wisely take into account the government’s monetary meddling.


Dr. Mark Thornton, Auburn University and the Mises Institute
Dr. GP Manish, Troy University
Daniel J. Sanchez, Editor, Mises.org & Director of Mises Institute Online Learning
Matthew McCaffrey, University of Angers
Schedule (Central Time)
9:00 a.m.  GP Manish “Where Did Money Come From?”
9:30 a.m.  Daniel Sanchez “When Money Dies”
10:15 a.m. Matthew McCaffrey “Money and Socialism”
10:45 a.m. Mark Thornton “How Money Caused the Housing Bubble and Other Troubles”
11:15 a.m. Q&A Faculty Panel
11:45 a.m.  Adjourn
Suggested Readings
What Has Government Done to Our Money?
The Housing Bubble in 4 Easy Steps (be sure to take the roller coaster ride at the end!)
Housing: Too Good to Be True

G.P. Manish

G.P. Manish is an Assistant Professor of Economics in the Sorrell College of Business and a member of the Manuel H. Johnson Center of Political Economy at Troy University. I recently received my Ph.D. from Suffolk University, Boston. His areas of interest are development economics, economics of planning and transition, economic history and the history of economic thought. His dissertation analyzes economic development in India under central planning and after the market reforms.

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Mark Thornton

Mark Thornton is an American economist of the Austrian School.[1] Thornton has been described by the Advocates for Self-Government as “one of America’s experts on the economics of illegal drugs.”[2] Thornton has written extensively on that topic, as well as on the economics of the American Civil War, economic bubbles, and public finance. He successfully predicted the housing bubble, the top in home builder stocks, the bust in housing and the world economic crisis.

Thornton received his B.S. from St. Bonaventure University (1982), and his Ph.D. from Auburn University (1989). Thornton taught economics at Auburn University for a number of years, additionally serving as founding faculty advisor for the Auburn University Libertarians. He also served on the faculty of Columbus State University, and is now a senior fellow and resident faculty member at the Ludwig von Mises Institute.[3] He is currently the Book Review Editor for the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics.[4]

Prohibition studies

Libertarian organizations including the Independent Institute,[5] the Cato Institute,[6] and the Mises Institute have published Thornton’s writings on drug prohibition and prohibition in general. Thornton contributed a chapter[7] to Jefferson Fish‘s book How to Legalize Drugs. He has also been interviewed on the topic of prohibition by members of the mainstream press. His research and publications are the basis of the Iron Law of Prohibition which states that the enforcement of prohibition increases the potency and danger of consuming illegal drugs. [8] Thornton’s first book, The Economics of Prohibition, was praised by Murray Rothbard, who declared:

Thornton’s book… arrives to fill an enormous gap, and it does so splendidly…. The drug prohibition question is… the hottest political topic today, and for the foreseeable future…. This is an excellent work making an important contribution to scholarship as well as to the public policy debate.

Economic bubbles

Thornton has also written on economic bubbles, including the United States housing bubble, which he first described in February 2004.[9][10][11] He suggested that the “housing bubble might be coming to an end” in August 2005.[12] His work on market bubbles has been cited by journalists[13][14] and other writers.[15][16] Economist Joseph Salerno noted that “Mark Thornton of the Mises Institute was one of the first to jump on this—to start writing about the housing bubble.”[17] Similarly, economist Thomas DiLorenzo has written that “[i]t was Austrian economists like Mark Thornton . . . who were warning of a housing bubble years before it burst.”[1] He also called the top in the housing market. He developed and published his Skyscraper and Business Cycle model in 2005.[13] His Skyscraper Index Model successfully sent a signal of the Late-2000s financial crisis at the beginning of August 2007. [14][15]

Political activities

Thornton has also been active in the political arena, making his first bid for office in 1984, when he ran for the U.S. Congress. He became the first Libertarian Party office-holder in Alabama when he was elected Constable in 1988. He was the Libertarian Party Candidate for the U.S. Senate in 1996 (also endorsed by the Reform Party) coming in third of four candidates. Thornton also served in various capacities with the Libertarian Party of Alabama including Vice Chairman and Chairman. In 1997 he became the Assistant Superintendent of Banking and a economic analyst for Alabama Governor, Fob James.[2]

Thornton has been featured as a guest on a variety of radio and internet programs and his editorials and interviews have appeared in leading newspapers and magazines.


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