Monday, August 25, 2008

Obama Calls For A Paradigm Shift In Economics

From an article by Tim Leonhardt in the New York Times Magazine:

After I returned to my seat, the press aide walked back to tell me that Obama had more to say.

“Two things,” he said .... “One, just because I think it really captures where I was going with the whole issue of balancing market sensibilities with moral sentiment. One of my favorite quotes is — you know that famous Robert F. Kennedy quote about the measure of our G.D.P.?”

I didn’t, I said.

“Well, I’ll send it to you, because it’s one of the most beautiful of his speeches,” Obama said.

In it, Kennedy argues that a country’s health can’t be measured simply by its economic output. That output, he said, “counts special locks for our doors and the jails for those who break them” but not “the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play.”

The second point Obama wanted to make was about sustainability. The current concerns about the state of the planet, he said, required something of a paradigm shift for economics. If we don’t make serious changes soon, probably in the next 10 or 15 years, we may find that it’s too late.


The Kennedy quote is available at:


Blogger Jason said...


That is certainly encouraging.

I was a little put off by the "free cars for everyone!" feel of his convention speech...

But yeah, wow!, it's nice hearing this from a politician.

11:25 AM  

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