Sunday, November 06, 2011

No Republicans allowed on campus

A number of Harvard students, apparently members of the 99% movement, have called for a boycott of the introductory economics class. Their grievance is that the class is taught by a Greg Mankiw, a former Bush and now Romney adviser. Apparently, even the small number of Republican academics is too large. Let's not mince words: This walkout is a ideological attack on academic freedom. This protestors are sending a message to college administrators: no Republicans/conservatives should be allowed to teach college classes.

While I am not a Harvard student--you have to do better than a 3.0 in high school--I have taken economics classes that used Mankiw's textbook and feel qualified to comment.  Mankiw's personal political beliefs are irrelevant; the only question is whether they have distorted the economics lessons in the book. I see  no evidence of  his personal biases in the textbook. It's absurd to argue Mankiw can't teach his class because of his Republican politics; should we disqualify every professor who has taken a political stance from teaching a class?

The protesters won't be satisfied until Harvard and every other university has a sign on campus: No Republicans allowed!

The Harvard crimson has a good op-ed on this controversy.

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