Thursday, March 26, 2015

Gross national product measures everything, except that which makes life worthwhile

In March 1968, Robert F. Kennedy spoke about a governing elite who had lost touch with ordinary people and judged the state of the nation by gross national product.

"Gross national product counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage,” he said. “It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for the people who break them.”

“Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play,” he continued. “It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country. It measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.”