Thursday, November 03, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Rolls Up (or out of) Into Greg Mankiw's Class at Harvard

The author of your textbook (for my current Macro students) is dealing with Occupy Wall Street.  See his reasonable reaction here.  Interestingly, a former student comes to the classes' defense here.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Torie Fuller

Anonymous said...

Torie Fuller

This shows that they need to have stayed in the class. Microeconomics is the basis for most other if not all the other economic classes so they would need it to do anything in economics. They would benefit from the class even if they disagree with what is being discussed since they will know more about it so that they can argue against it.

Danielle Verdin said...

The students are trying to be more “active” in there state, but in order to do this accurately they have to understand what is going on and be able to identify what they actually believe. But with them missing their class they don’t realized that they are getting the tools that they can possibly use to help them with the defense. In the letter to the teacher they didn’t really explain the reasons of why they are doing

Andrew Schadegg said...

Unfortunately for the students who might have thought it was a good idea to leave class and join the protesters it wasn't. They may be smart enough to be enrolled at Harvard but not smart enough to make a proper ethical decision. For one, they are only freshman, nobody is listening to them or thinking that they have started a new revolution by skipping Econ. 101. They are more of the laughing stock I'm sure. For two, Econ. 10 is the base of their education not only in business terms but in life as well. Who better to learn it from than one of the most scholarly sources of Ec. than Prof. Mankiw himself who has written the books that students study across the US. In the letter written from the student sticking up for Prof. Mankiw, he mentioned that the first half of the semester covered Micro, and the second half was Macro, if they would have stayed in class longer enough to learn that their protesting was only effecting their own futures.

Keith Kaczocha said...

I think that these students have jumped the gun by leaving and having this walk out. If they had stayed they might learn something and realize that it's not worth the actions they have taken. To many people are so eager to jump on these ban wagons to support a cause without doing any thinking on their actions or finding out more information. These freshman have a long way to go in their college careers and I am sure their views and opinions will change.

Calvin Harley said...

The students should have stayed in class and listened to all the information presented to them, BEFORE making a decision on what they should do next.
Listening to this information will better enable them to respond appropriately the next time an event like this takes place.

Erick Holzhausen said...

I think the student's actions are a little over the top also. Obviously, most students attending Harvard are very intelligent people, but Mankiw is more knowledgeable on the subject. I don't know if they are forgetting his intelligence on the subject of economics. He is a professor at one of the most prestigious institutions in the world. I respect their motivation for "sticking it to the man", but they have a lot to learn. College professors everywhere tend to lean to one side more than the other but that is how almost everyone is on any subject in our world. I'm sure we have all taken classes with professors we do not exactly agree with or with ones who are extremely bias, but this is not a reason to walk out of a class. We have to learn to deal with other people's opinions on matters and find better ways to approach these situations. The class could have come together and asked him to give more examples or to further back up his points on certain topics instead of walking out.

Mary Beth Renz said...

These Harvard students’ most certainly went over the top with this. I liked what the student said in defense of the class. There isn’t much bias and the foundation of their economics knowledge is obviously not there yet. I agree with Keith who said people are so eager to jump on the ban wagons to support a cause without first finding our for themselves more, which would have been to stay in the class, take all the economics and then make their decision because it was a very premature act. If they would have realized their protests were premature and they would have stayed in the class and realized the first part was micro and the second was macro, they probably would have had different opinions by then.

amy feng said...

Grass root movements rarely succeed—especially within the walls of a good collegiate institution, and where the movement is sparked by freshman. Torie is right in where Professor Mankiw’s Eco 10 class sets the foundation for the future learning in other economic courses. I feel like these students were irrational in their actions and did not evaluate the pros and the cons thoroughly before walking out of Professor Mankiw’s class. Before walking out, I feel the students had a better variety of alternatives that they should have taken into consideration.

Shirley Paris said...

First off, i think the students are dumb for leaving the class. If you are in college and are paying for that class why would you just get up and leave it without a good reason. They did not give a direct reason for leaving the class, which is rude and inconsiderant. They are just starting out if they do not agree with the topics being taught they need to just suck it up or find another major other than Business. I do not think that politics should be a big thing in any class unless it is government or poltical science and even then your political views should not matter in class. If they are that important to you get over yourself you are not at college to agrue politics you are there to learn.

Anonymous said...

I think the lesson in this is that sometimes it does stink to have to listen to other opinions and etc. that you don't agree with. But that's life, and if you can't even try and hear what the opposite is saying, what makes you think they will listen to you? And also, we pay big bucks for college tuition! Why would you skip class of course you are not going to agree with everything your professor says. You have to be understanding, not be close-minded.
-Kristin King

Lauri Hess said...

When you were discussing this in class - my first reaction was is that these students feel like they are entitled. WOW! It is showing respect, listening and learning what another person has to offer. They need to understand the big picture!

Timothy Swonger said...

I think these students should have stuck it out longer and done more research outside of school to really have a case against Mankiw. As a freshman, I would want to hear and pay attention to what every side had to say even if I didn't agree with the information so that I could form my own, more reliable opinions. And perhaps after I had learned enough to have a strong position on the subject, I could then refute what Mankiw or some other top economist was teaching.

Vickie Snell said...

I think that my politcal science professor has her on agenda in mind and I do not agree with everthing that is dicussed in the class,but I am not about to walk out of a class that I am paying for. So what did they gain from walking out? Absolutely nothing.

Nikki said...

I think these students were acting like a$$e$! I think they wanted to make a public statement and get recognized. Let me just throw and idea out there, Mankiw hacked off a student because the student got a grade s/he didn't think s/he deserved, so now s/he feels compelled to make Mankiw look bad?! I have no doubts that you become a Harvard professor only by being very knowledgeable about the subject. Classes are 16 weeks. You simply can NOT cram every philosophy or theory into the first 16 weeks. I guess they fail to realize you have to start somewhere. You don't learn everything about accounting in the Accounting I either! I say good riddance to them!

Una Kim said...

On the John Stewart show, I watched them interview some random people in occupy and some of them didn't even know why they were there or what they were representing. I think a debate in his classroom would have been a better show...It's important to see how people are thinking and reacting to words and actions. Its always good to hear both sides and Mankiw's class would be the best debate show ever. Then they could get all the knowledge and wisdom they need by communication before putting it into action.

Kelsey Chandler said...

I think that these students were over reacting. They probably heard bad things about mankiws way of teaching that wasn't necessarily true and failed to research it themselves. They should have stayed in class and learned something new.

Faith Evans said...

I agree with everything said here; maybe these students just thought this would really make them look educated and as if they were making a statement, but seriously just sit down and listen to your professor teach. Just reminds me of the protestors that were marching up and down the strip in Vegas when I was there for Fall Break chanting on their megaphone; very much a buzz kill.

Eng Hong Sin said...

The students should use another more appropriate way to express their feeling instead of walking out of class. It is a disrespect to the professor. The students should analyze what they learn in the class and the knowledge they learn outside the class. Through analysis, they can improve themselves. This is the way of learning. Professors can never help us forever. They can only enlighten us whenever we need their help.

Bre Hart said...

The students tried to prove a point by walking out, but I think it proved the opposite point. Education is the problem with the system, and these students walking out proved that. They will never get the education that class was to provide. So, they themselves will grow into the uneducated, bias leaders of tomorrows big companies. Side note, Harvard is really expensive. How much money did they throw away by not going to the class they're paying for? Or did they walk out of their math class too?

Eng Hong Sin said...

the students never showed respect to the professor. Personally i think that their way to protest is not proper. Instead, they should express their ideas by either sending professor email or one-to-one talking to professor.

Chris Yang said...

I think the students acted very childish in dealing with the situation. Like everyone said, economics is bias, so you shouldn't judge right away and storm out of a classroom cause you disagree. That is like a crying kid running out of a store because their mommy wouldn't buy them a toy. They could of handled it maturely and at least stayed in the class one day and maybe do learn something while they are there.

Andrew S. said...

Students tend to think with emotions and spur of the moment decisions, they don't always take time to be rational first. Our job as students is to listen to those older and more educated.

Ryan Schick said...

You are going to question the man who wrote your book? Ha... Its funny how smart people can be dumb. That class is the basis for economics and business in general. And they only stayed for one part which was the Micro side, maybe next they will stay for the macro portion.