Robert F. Kennedy on the Gross National Product.
“The Gross National Product includes air pollution and advertising for cigarettes, and ambulance to clear our highways of carnage.
It counts special locks for our doors, and jails for the people who break them. GNP includes the destruction of the redwoods and the death of Lake Superior.
It grows with the production of napalm and missiles and nuclear warheads… And if GNP includes all this, there is much that it does not comprehend.
It does not allow for the health of our families, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play. It is indifferent to the decency of our factories and the safety of our streets alike.
It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, or the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials…
GNP 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 can tell us everything about America – except whether we are proud to be Americans.”
– Robert F. Kennedy