29 August 2005


In 1967, Robert F. Kennedy, in the course of a campaign speech, said the following about measuring value:

"Our gross national product, now, is over eight hundred billion dollars a year, but that GNP - if we should judge America by that - counts air pollution and cigarette advertising and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for those who break them. It counts the destruction of our redwoods and the loss of our natural wonder to chaotic sprawl. It counts napalm and the cost of a nuclear warhead, and armored cars for police who fight riots in our streets. It counts Whitman's rifle and speck's knife and the television programs, which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children."

"Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, nor the quality of their education, or the joy of their play - it does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages or the intelligence of our public debate. 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. And it tells us everything about America except why we are proud to be Americans."

1 comment:

Nicole said...

Interesting post on Kennedy's view of GNP.
Hola, Larry & Karen. Sounds like the anticipation is buliding--soon you will be off to Ukraine, home of my maternal ancestors (Kiev). Anyway, re: the GNP post, I invite you to read a related post on my blog on GNH (Gross National Happiness). I posted it on June 29th. And, of course, feel free to read my blog, if you like.