The True Costs of War

July 8-11: St. Louis, MO - St. Louis University

War is undoubtedly destructive to human lives and there are various moral and political arguments that revolve around justifications for and against war. Though wars are inherently destructive, there are many who claim there are economic benefits to war. “World War II ended the Depression,” we are told in high school and college history and economics courses. However, is it true that prosperity can come from destruction? And what else is destroyed in war in addition to lives and property? Is there a connection between war, growing government, and shrinking liberties?


July 8

3:30 pm – 4:00 pm: Welcome and Introductions
4:00 pm – 5:15 pm: Introduction to Economic Thinking (Tom Duncan)
5:30 pm – 6:45 pm: Dinner 
7:00 pm – 8:15 pm: The Overlooked Costs of the Permanent War Economy (Tom Duncan)
July 9
7:00 am – 8:30 am: Breakfast 
8:30 am – 9:45 am: How War Leads to Big Government (Robert Higgs)
10:00 am – 11:15 am: Lincoln's Leviathan (Brad Birzer) 
11:30 am – 12:45 pm: The Longest, Most Expensive, and Deadliest War (Greg Randolph) 
12:45 pm – 2:00 pm: Lunch 
2:00 pm – 3:15 pm: Wilson’s War on Civil Liberties (Brad Birzer)  
3:30 pm – 4:45 pm: Did WWII End the Depression? (Robert Higgs) 
5:00 pm – 6:30 pm: Dinner 
6:30 pm – 7:45 pm: “The Soviet Story” (Movie)
July 10
7:00 am – 8:30 am: Breakfast 
8:30 am – 9:45 am: The Cold War (Robert Higgs)
10:00 am – 11:15 am: Liberty Lost Since 9/11 (Brad Birzer)
11:30 am – 12:45 pm: Activity (Trading Game)
12:45 pm – 2:00 pm: Lunch 
2:00 pm – 3:15 pm: The Fatal Conceit of Foreign Intervention (Tom Duncan)
3:30 pm – 4:45 pm: When Goods Cross Borders, Armies Don’t  (Greg Randolph)
5:00 pm – 6:30 pm: Dinner  
6:30 pm – 7:45 pm: Faculty Q&A
8:00 pm – 10:00 pm: Social- The Shack
July 11
7:00 am – 8:30 am: Breakfast 
7:00 am – 11:30 am: Students Depart
Applications are now closed.

Participant Testimonials

"At FEE, I was first exposed to ideas that would inspire the rest of my time in university, and eventually my career." - Zachary Caceres

"[I really enjoyed this] opportunity to learn about not only what is happening in America, but throughout the world. FEE's goal is to 'inspire, educate, and connect' and I'm proud to say it has achieved all that and more with me." - Jeanette H.

"This seminar has provided me with the knowledge necessary to educate my peers and support an educated, non-biased argument for free market economics." - Santana W.

Read what other students had to say about our summer seminars.


* indicates required