I suspect those of you who are teaching U.S. History use the current economy as an illustration in class. Most people are busy drawing parallels to the Great Depression, but if you want to dig deeper, I've provided links below to some interesting articles that you can use to draw parallels to various events in the 19th century, rather than restrict yourself to the 20th.
And while I'm sure you can find issues to debate in each article (I did); they give the students a sense of the value of studying history - and how economic understanding can offer another view.
Have a good weekend.
Does This Happen Often? by John Steele Gordon
Panics and Politics also by John Steele Gordon
A Short Banking History of the United States also by John Steele Gordon
The Real Great Depression by Scott Reynolds Nelson