The Words of RFK

I recently began reading Obamanomics: How Bottom-Up Economic Prosperity Will Replace Trickle-Down Economics (which is excellent) by John Talbott, one of those lone voices in the wilderness predicting the housing, and in turn, banking induced Darwinism for the sake of pure ideology unraveling which quotes heavily from Robert Kennedy delivered to the Commonwealth Club of Cali on Jan 4, ’68:

“Truly we have a great gross national product, almost $800 billion, but can that be the criterion by which we judge this country? Is it enough? For the gross national product counts air pollution and cigarette advertising and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. It counts special locks for our doors and jails for the people
who break them.

It counts Whitman’s rifle and Speck’s knife and television programs, which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children. And the gross national product…does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education, 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, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials.

It measures neither wit nor courage, neither wisdom nor learning, neither compassion nor duty to our country. It measures everything…except that which makes life worthwhile, and it can tell us everything about America, except why we are proud to be Americans.”

Talbott sums it nicely later [paraphrasing] by stating ‘the free market can not step outside itself to see the quality of life it is producing.” It’s time we step outside of our faith in pure numbers when the numbers don’t really measure anything at all but how they can be manipulated. How many jobs, and brainpower, and gdp goes into searching for tax loopholes and market manipulation daily which results in not wealth creation but wealth reallocation, which is only a naughty word if its downwards.

RFK, proving that while people are immortal, great ideas are immortal.


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