Dr. Mark Thornton is an American economist who adheres to the principles of the Austrian school. He is widely considered to be one of the foremost experts on Prohibition economics, and has written extensively on that topic, as well as on the economics of the American Civil War, and public finance. His writings have been consistently pro-tobacco.
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. In addition to further political candidacies, Thornton also served in various capacities with the Libertarian Party of Alabama. In 1996 he became an economic advisor to the Alabama Governor of the time, Fob James.
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 at the Ludwig von Mises Institute. He is currently the Book Review Editor for the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics.
When Mr. Thornton and Robert Ekelund were both professors at Auburn University, they, along with many others, served as peer review for a controversial study Science, Economics, and Environmental Policy: A Critical Examination, which was released by the Alexis de Tocqueville Institute and funded by the Tobacco Institute.
Tobacco industry documents
- 1986 letter to U.S. General Services Administration protesting proposed smoking ban in all GSA buildings, July 9, 1986, on Auburn University letterhead, signed by Mark Thornton and 6 others.
- 1993 Punitive taxes on cigarettes are both ineffective, unfair. Pro-tobacco editorial by Mark Thornton and Robert Ekelund, from the Atlanta Constitution, May 19, 1993.
- Tobacco Taxes Hit Alabamians Disproportionately April 11, 1994 pro-tobacco editorial by Mark Thornton and Robert Ekelund.
- Prohibition, the Ultimate Tax, 55 page report by Mark Thornton, publication status unknown, found in files of Joshua Slavitt of Philip Morris.
- Economics of Prohibition
- Tariffs, Blockades, and Inflation: The Economics of the Civil War (with Robert Ekelund, Jr)
Robert Ekelund and Mark Thornton, Auburn University
Other Related SourceWatch Resources
- Alexis de Tocqueville Institution
- S. Fred Singer
- The Epa and the Science of Environmental Tobacco Smoke.
- Ludwig von Mises Institute bio
- Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics
- Advocates for Self-Government — biography of Mark Thornton
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