Bipartisan Agreement

David Leonhardt writes about Barack Obama’s view of the economy:

“Two things,” he said, as we were standing outside the first-class bathroom. “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.?” […]

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.”

John McCain, somewhat on the defensive over thinking that people pulling down seven figure incomes are middle class, said something similar adding in a riff about poor billionaires:


“I define rich in other ways besides income,” he said. “Some people are wealthy and rich in their lives and their children and their ability to educate them. Others are poor if they’re billionaires.”

And, indeed, the Beatles famously took a similar view:

On the other hand, Noam Scheiber has an article in The New Republic that makes it clear that in McCain’s case love bought him money and many other assets that were integral to his political rise.