Nearly 70 Harvard student protesters walked out of Economics 10 on Wednesday afternoon, expressing dissatisfaction with what they perceive to be an overly conservative bias in the course.
The walkout was meant to be a show of support for the "Occupy" movement’s principal criticism that conservative economic policies have increased income inequality in the United States.
"Today, we are walking out of your class, Economics 10, in order to express our discontent with the bias inherent in this introductory economics course. We are deeply concerned about the way that this bias affects students, the University, and our greater society," read a statement issued by the organizers.
Economics 10—more commonly referred to as "Ec 10" — is taught by professor N. Gregory Mankiw, and has the highest enrollment of any course at the College, boasting over 700 enrollees.
After walking out, the group gathered in the hallway outside of the theater, standing in a circle and speaking out about the event.
"Harvard graduates have been complicit [and] have aided many of the worst injustices of recent years. Today we fight that history," said Rachel J. Sandalow-Ash ’15, one of the students who organized the walkout. "Harvard students will not do that anymore. We will use our education for good, and not for personal gain at the expense of millions."
Gabriel H. Bayard ’15, another organizer of the walk out, said that he believes the course is emblematic of the economic policies that have led the financial crisis.
"Ec 10 is a symbol of the larger economic ideology that created the 2008 collapse. Professor Mankiw worked in the Bush administration, and he clearly has a conservative ideology," Bayard said. "His conservative views are the kind that created the collapse of 2008. This easy money focus on enriching the wealthiest Americans—he really operates with that ideology."
Sandalow-Ash ’15 said that the course too heavily asserts conservative economic claims as fact.
"It’s a class that’s very indoctrinating, and does not encourage diversity of views. Economic questions are not always clear-cut. Multiple views should be presented in this course," Sandalow-Ash said.
According to those who walked out, part of the discontent with Economics 10 stems from what they say is the limited number of opportunities to express skepticism toward the material taught in the course.
"I’ve definitely written question marks in my textbook, but we never really get to question [what he says] in section,” said Alexandra E. Foote ’15, who is currently enrolled in the course. "I don’t know very much about economics, and it’s not really fair that I’m getting a skewed perspective."
She said, "I DON'T KNOW MUCH ABOUT ECONOMICS....BUT I WANT TO QUESTION HIM."!!!
And you have to love that other über-idiot who reasoned that because Mankiw once worked for George Bush....that therefore not only is Mankiw *conservative*, that somehow that group of people (whoever they are) is responsible for *Wall Street*, *income inequality*, the *death of baby seals*, the cancelling of Party of Five, and every other travesty in America.
Now please don't misunderstand. Don't think for a moment that I'm defending Greg Mankiw here. It's a tough call for me - whom do I loathe more....the invertebrate econo-aliterate professor or the dumbest children at Harvard???
It's safe to say that I hate EVERY SINGLE THING about Harvard: the students, the graduates, the staff, the weather, the *aura*, and the tragic fact that millions of don't-know-any-better families and kids aspire to be there.
One of Mankiw's real crimes, and something his antagonistic students would be better off directing their anger at, is the obscene $216(!) price of his vapid textbook.
Realize that with 700 freshman taking this class each fall....that's $140,000 worth of revenue going straight to the professor from just this one class!
Then you have the fact that he *pays off* (er, encourages) professors all over this stable-climate planet to assign his textbook to their students.
I've tangled with this buffoon before - even directly.
In fact I was the one, the reason he removed all comments from his *blog*!
See my master link here - CaptiousNut dismantling Greg Mankiw - and scroll down through my prior posts. (You might have to hit *older posts* at the bottom of the page to enjoy them all.)
And for my previous post on Occupy Wall Street - click here.