Someone on one of my homeschooling email lists asked about what to use in teaching economics to youth in scholar phase in terms of classics and biographies.
If I were teaching a homeschooling class on economics, I would start my students off by showing the above video. It introduces the two schools of thought on economics: Keynesian versus Austrian economics.
I would ask them which school of thought promotes freedom.
The above video shows a classic autobiography for economics, it’s the autobiography of a pencil, called “I, Pencil” by Leonard Reed. I would show this on the first day of class as well to open students’ minds to the miracle of the free market.
Then I would show this video below by Tom Woods. Maybe just the first ten minutes or so, to get the students thinking about the idea that the government wants people to think that there’s some group of people out there in government who always know what’s best for them. If they are thoroughy engaged, then I would show the whole thing up to about 40 minutes where he ends the first speech that is for the general population. I like the conclusion of his first speech: that there are two ways to make money, either by creating it by serving your fellowman voluntarily, or by stealing. Then he says that government involvement in economics is legalized stealing. I would show the video below to explain the concept of legalized stealing or plunder in the form of government. I love that it associates legalized plunderers, i.e. the government, with the Mafia.
The above video by Tom Woods is a great current argument delivered this summer for free market economics.
Then I would ask the students to read three books and have discussions:
Then we would read The Law by Frederic Bastiat. Here’s a fun video to introduce Bastiat’s brilliance that will appeal to youth:
Here is a video to introduce one of his concepts, “the broken window fallacy.”
After showing those two videos to inspire them, we would read, The Law and discuss it.
Then we would read:
I would also show some Thomas Sowell videos from YouTube.
For advanced students who are hungry for more, I recommend Murray Rothbard’s treatise. My son read this last year for his studies at George Wythe University. You can listen to the book on YouTube here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-0WmrufRps
For even more, I would recommend these seminars for high school students found here as videos http://mises.org/media/categories/202/Beginners-Guide. My son attended a free high school seminar on Austrian economics sponsored by the Foundation for Economic Education last summer at the University of Utah. He loved it! They do them every summer so watch this calendar to get summer’s 2013 dates http://www.fee.org/seminars/