Robert F. Kennedy on gross domestic production:
“We will find neither national purpose nor personal satisfaction in a mere continuation of economic progress, in an endless amassing of worldly goods. We cannot measure national spirit by the Dow Jones Average, nor national achievement by the Gross National Product. For the Gross National Product includes air pollution, and ambulances to clear our highways from carnage. It counts special locks for our doors and jails for the people who break them. The Gross National Product includes the destruction of the redwoods and the death of Lake Superior. It grows with the production of napalm and missles and nuclear warheads…. It includes… the broadcasting of television programs which glorify violence to sell goods to our children.
“And if the Gross National Product 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, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials… the Gross National Product 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….”
Question: Is this the best metric we seek to improve?
Editor note 5th March 2010: This post have been linked by SingaporeDaily.net. But rather unfortunately under the label “Singaporeans are fed up with Progress!”. While I respect the rights of whoever who want to link to my posts, this post does not indicate that I am fed up with progress. Progress is good and we seek progress in many ways of our life. Be it career, relationship, personal development, social and community involvement, the quality of political engagement, the grace of our people, general goodwill to name a few.
ThinkingNectar talks about the interest of Chin Yong, a PHP/Python/Web developer residing in Singapore. Life, society, and codes should entails most of what goes between the ears of this coffee drinker.
What makes you think?