On Dec. 6, 2019, Mt. Hebron hosted Economics professors Dr. Antony Davies and James R. Harrigan to speak on behalf of the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE). They lead a seminar titled “Government and Economics” with five sessions for Mt. Hebron economics students.
After Mt. Hebron’s Adam Smith Economy team won the National Econ Championship last year, the two professors reached out to Mr. Vann Prime, Mt. Hebron’s economy teacher, and offered to lead an economic seminar. “The purpose was actually to draw together thinking on economics, government, and political philosophy,” said Prime.
During the seminar, the professors presented powerpoint presentations, lectures and simulation games for the students, all surrounding the common theme of economics. Junior Kaegen Stottlemyer, an economics student at Mt. Hebron, said the professors “covered everything from the cons of central planning, socialism, and the upside of free-market to the cost of college and the increase in average income in a lifetime depending on what major you pick.”
Professor Harrigan is the managing director of the Center for Philosophy of Freedom at the University of Arizona. He is also the F.A. Hayek Distinguished Fellow for the FEE. Harrigan has written numerous articles and co-hosts podcasts regarding economic philosophy.
Dr. Davies is the Milton Friedman Distinguished Fellow at the FEE and an associate professor of economics at Duquesne University. He has co-written numerous books and op-eds and posts Youtube videos on economics, government, and policy, which has generated millions of views.
One of the activities the students completed was a free market simulation where students traded cards using different tactics in an attempt to receive the most happiness points.
“We did this activity to demonstrate that the free market economy ends up being better for the participants as a whole than a command economy,” said senior Lorelei Loraine.
The two students who received the most happiness points during the activity were Stottlemyer and senior Momo Shaffir.
“I had a score of 52,” said Stottlemyer. “Momo and I were the only two students who thought to trade for multiple cards in a trade.”
During fourth period while most of the students ate lunch and went back to their classes, the professors held a spontaneous meeting with a select group of the economic students.
“We had a couple of dozen kids stay for the two-hour period and have this wide-ranging discussion with two really great minds,” said Prime.
Loraine, one of the 2019 National Economic Challenge Winners, said, “I liked the way that Harrigan connected the study of economics and its importance of it to history.” She also liked the way that Davies set up the card activity.
At the end of the seminar, the speakers addressed the economics of college.
“One thing that I thought was helpful for people who are trying to choose a major was there are three things you should consider: the first is what you love, the second is what you’re good at, and then the third is what will make you money,” said Loraine.