Titans of Industry or Crony Capitalists?: A Weekend Conference for College Students

November 18-20, 2022
Duquesne Club, Pittsburgh, PA

Titans of Industry or Crony Capitalists?

Economics permeates our daily lives as Americans, whether or not we are aware of it. Everyday, Americans participate in the marketplace without questioning the structure that they have inherited. Recently, however, that structure has been challenged by Left and Right alike, and the inheritance has been questioned as being “corrupt“ and “oppressive.“

Is that the case? With Pittsburgh as a historically important city of Industry in American History—pumping out names like Andrew Carnegie and Henry Clay Frick—join us as we ask the following questions: Who are the Crony Capitalists of America’s past and present, and are they suppressing open competition in a free market? Are the many state privileges garnered by Crony Capitalists a threat to a flourishing and free American economy? Who are the Titans of Industry or “Robber barons” of America’s past and present? Does their industrial success “trickle down” over to the American people at large, or does it simply pad their own wallets? Join some of today’s most brilliant minds in Pittsburgh this November 18-20th to discuss and debate which approach to economics best serves the American interest.


Registration has closed for this conference.

Featured Speakers

Gregory M. Collins

Gregory M. Collins is a Lecturer in the Program on Ethics, Politics, and Economics at Yale University. He is the author of Commerce and Manners in Edmund Burke’s Political Economy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020), and has published articles on Burke, Adam Smith, Leo Strauss, and Frederick Douglass. He was the 2020 recipient of the Acton Institute’s Novak Award.

Brian Domitrovic

Brian Domitrovic is the Richard S. Strong Scholar at the Laffer Center in Nashville. He is the author or editor of six books, including Taxes Have Consequences (with Arthur Laffer and Jeanne Sinquefield), The Emergence of Arthur Laffer (2021), JFK and the Reagan Revolution (with Lawrence Kudlow, 2016), and Econoclasts (2009). He has been professor of history at Sam Houston State University in Texas and the Visiting Scholar in Conservative Thought at the University of Colorado Boulder. He holds a Ph.D. in history from Harvard. 

Burt Folsom

Burt Folsom retired as a professor of history at Hillsdale College, Michigan. He’s written several books, including The Myth of the Robber Barons, New Deal or Raw Deal: How FDR’s Economic Legacy Has Damaged America, and FDR Goes to War: How Expanded Executive Power, Spiraling National Debt, and Restricted Civil Liberties Shaped Wartime America. Folsom is a former associate of the Free Enterprise Institute and the Mackinac  Center for Public Policy, both free market think tanks, and a frequent guest of the libertarian organization Foundation for Economic Education.

David Goldman

David P. Goldman is an economist, music critic, and author, best known for his series of online essays in the Asia Times under the pseudonym “Spengler,” and he is a principal of Asia Times Holdings. Previously he directed research groups at Credit Suisse and Bank of America. His recent book You Will Be Assimilated: China’s Plan to Sino-form the World was published in 2020 by Bombardier Books.