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Martín Melendro Torres
Attends Lafayette College
Lives in Colombia
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Martín Melendro Torres

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Martín Melendro Torres

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222 Allen Street, Trenton, NJ 08618, USA
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Martín Melendro Torres

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Wednesday November 2, 2011

Dear Professor Mankiw—

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.

As Harvard undergraduates, we enrolled in Economics 10 hoping to gain a broad and introductory foundation of economic theory that would assist us in our various intellectual pursuits and diverse disciplines, which range from Economics, to Government, to Environmental Sciences and Public Policy, and beyond. Instead, we found a course that espouses a specific—and limited—view of economics that we believe perpetuates problematic and inefficient systems of economic inequality in our society today.

A legitimate academic study of economics must include a critical discussion of both the benefits and flaws of different economic simplifying models. As your class does not include primary sources and rarely features articles from academic journals, we have very little access to alternative approaches to economics. There is no justification for presenting Adam Smith’s economic theories as more fundamental or basic than, for example, Keynesian theory.

Care in presenting an unbiased perspective on economics is particularly important for an introductory course of 700 students that nominally provides a sound foundation for further study in economics. Many Harvard students do not have the ability to opt out of Economics 10. This class is required for Economics and Environmental Science and Public Policy concentrators, while Social Studies concentrators must take an introductory economics course—and the only other eligible class, Professor Steven Margolin’s class Critical Perspectives on Economics, is only offered every other year (and not this year). Many other students simply desire an analytic understanding of economics as part of a quality liberal arts education. Furthermore, Economics 10 makes it difficult for subsequent economics courses to teach effectively as it offers only one heavily skewed perspective rather than a solid grounding on which other courses can expand. Students should not be expected to avoid this class—or the whole discipline of economics—as a method of expressing discontent.

Harvard graduates play major roles in the financial institutions and in shaping public policy around the world. If Harvard fails to equip its students with a broad and critical understanding of economics, their actions are likely to harm the global financial system. The last five years of economic turmoil have been proof enough of this.

We are walking out today to join a Boston-wide march protesting the corporatization of higher education as part of the global Occupy movement. Since the biased nature of Economics 10 contributes to and symbolizes the increasing economic inequality in America, we are walking out of your class today both to protest your inadequate discussion of basic economic theory and to lend our support to a movement that is changing American discourse on economic injustice. Professor Mankiw, we ask that you take our concerns and our walk-out seriously.

Sincerely,

Concerned students of Economics 10
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Es en serio? Como van a criticar un modelo que ni conocen!
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Martín Melendro Torres

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Martín Melendro Torres

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Let's us all unite
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Martín Melendro Torres

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If you are in NYC this week please stop by 23 Wall Street and check out http://www.nocommentartshow.com/ featured in the New York Times Blog.

See the flag made of burnt money? That was Erik Hendrickson and I :)


Artists Occupy Wall Street for a 24-Hour Show
cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com
An art show, inspired by Occupy Wall Street, opens in an empty building once used by J.P. Morgan.
Like · · Share · 18 minutes ago near Trenton, NJ
An art show, inspired by Occupy Wall Street, opens in an empty building once used by J.P. Morgan.
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Martín Melendro Torres

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"The person whose life is spent in performing a few simple operations, of which the effects are always the same, or very nearly the same, has no occasion to exert his/her understanding, and generally becomes AS STUPID AND IGNORANT AS IT IS POSSIBLE FOR A HUMAN CREATURE TO BE.

-Adam Smith
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Specialization is for insects.
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Martín Melendro Torres

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Para esto es el TLC?
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Martín Melendro Torres

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Despite the loss with Steve Job's death, the world shouldn't be spending so much time on him. This is the ultimate call to action from the peak of innovation to spend nothing less but all our time in bringing intelligent change as fast as possible.

On another note, if you still don't know about #occupywallstreet, this video might help you understand what we are all about. Who's coming with me and Daniel Garrick to Liberty Plaza this weekend?
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Have him in circles
161 people
Flavio Suarez's profile photo
Stefano Valle's profile photo
Luna Yuan's profile photo
will rockafellow's profile photo
Ryan Flaherty's profile photo
Thomas Jay Benjamin's profile photo
Jason Cohen's profile photo
Farai Gombedza's profile photo
Jeff Duck's profile photo
Education
  • Lafayette College
    present
  • Jacobs University Bremen
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  • Study, present
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Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Colombia
Previously
Colombia - Germany