Forty-two years ago, in March 1968, Bobby Kennedy explained to Americans why they were wrong to judge progress through the prism of the US's gross domestic product, which made them slaves to consumption and the accumulation of material things.
Exactly the same arguments apply equally well today in Papua New Guinea where we are constantly been told to judge the quality of our lives and our development progress through the prism of 'economic growth'. But economic growth does not reflect either what is really important or the daily reality of life in PNG for ordinary people.
Bobby Kennedy died because his views threatened America's powerful elite and the spirit of revolution which existed in the US in 1968 was eventually extinguished. But in PNG we still have the opportunity to change course if only we are brave enough to seize the moment .
"Too much and too long, we seem to have surrendered community excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things. Our gross national product ... 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 in 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, 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; 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. And it tells us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans."
Bobby Kennedy, 1968
Wow! What a great concise way of letting the people know what is
Wow! What a great concise way of letting the people know what is really important and how economists can only take things so far. They have their role but they shouldn't be seen as the Gods with the answers. As Kennedy brillently displays the can't measure the things that matter. I'll be reposting this. Good job - AGAIN - Act Now!
Nice quote. Just a minor thing: I believe by Labor Day 1968
Nice quote. Just a minor thing: I believe by Labor Day 1968 (September 2, 1968) Robert Kennedy was already dead (shot June 5, died June 6). The quote is from this speech in March 1968 I believe: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Research/Ready-Reference/RFK-Speeches/Remarks-...
Keep up your great work! kind regards
Greed is the root of all evil and slavery is a fruit of that
Greed is the root of all evil and slavery is a fruit of that evil. Greed is defined here as ‘the abnormal desire to acquire and hoard unneeded objects to the detriment of innocent persons, places or things’. No one has ever needed metal, paper, wood, plastic, glass, stone, etc., etc. The only two things every living on this planet ever needed were food and shelter.