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On what GNP means. by Robert F. Kenendy

 


AuthorRobert F. Kenendy  (1925-1968) U.S. attorney general & adviser
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SourceRobert F. Kennedy Address, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, March 18, 1968 
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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.

Robert F. Kenendy  (1925-1968) U.S. attorney general & adviser

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Quotations from Robert F. Kenendy:

 Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.

Robert F. Kenendy , (1925-1968) U.S. attorney general & adviser



 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.

Robert F. Kenendy , (1925-1968) U.S. attorney general & adviser
Robert F. Kennedy Address, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, March 18, 1968 




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Sunday 26 March 2017
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