Harvard Students Channel ‘Occupy’ Movement, Protest Economics Class

Rob Bluey /

Protests that began on Wall Street and spread to cities across America have now reached the pristine halls of Harvard. That’s right, the country’s oldest university is experiencing walkouts by students sympathizing with the “Occupy” movement.

The source of their frustration: Students don’t like the content presented in an introductory course in economics. The professor, Greg Mankiw, is one of the world’s best-known economists and served as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Bush.

Never mind those credentials, however. According to some students, Mankiw is indoctrinating America’s vulnerable and unsuspecting youth with a “strongly conservative neoliberal ideology.”

One student complained to the Harvard Crimson that Mankiw presented views that countered liberal orthodoxy on the minimum wage.

“I think a more diverse viewpoint needs to be raised,” Rachel Sandalow-Ash told the paper. “The problem is that in an introductory course, what the professor says is generally taken as fact,” she said.

Not everyone was buying it, however. Mankiw reports that only 5 percent to 10 percent of students walked out. Other students, not enrolled in the class, sat in for the lecture as part of a counter-protest.

Ironically, Mankiw was discussing “the distribution of income, including the growing gap between the top 1 percent and the bottom 99 percent,” he wrote on his blog. “I am sorry the protesters will miss it.”