Sunday, December 4, 2011

Walking out of Econ 10

Said Harvardian students of Mankiw:
"Shall we occupy seats here? No thank you!
We simply despise
Inequality's rise,
Among whose enablers we rank you."

The professor replied in an entry:
"You need learning that's more supplement'ry
Before jousting the rich
With your knowledge base, which,
Like my lectures, is quite element'ry."

One of the recent highlights of the Occupy movement was the walkout last month of some of the Harvard freshmen in Professor Greg Mankiw's Economics 10 introductory class. The students asserted that "the biased nature of Ec10 contributes to and symbolizes the increasing economic inequality in America." Though the story has faded from the front pages, the Professor is continually asked about it, and gave his thoughts in a New York Times op-ed piece on Sunday. While acknowledging that claims of inherent conservative bias in the economics field are not new, Prof. Mankiw prefers to cite Keynes' view that
The theory of economics does not furnish a body of settled conclusions immediately applicable to policy. It is a method rather than a doctrine, an apparatus of the mind, a technique for thinking, which helps the possessor to draw correct conclusions.

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