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Subj: Re: Milton Friedman: Economist
Posted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 at 10:07:41 pm EDT (Viewed 612 times)
Reply Subj: Milton Friedman: Economist
Posted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 at 07:28:00 pm EDT (Viewed 732 times)

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Go to and you'll find the following paragraph:

In 1970 Milton Friedman wrote that "there is one and only one social responsibility of business--to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud." That's the orthodox view among free market economists: that the only social responsibility a law-abiding business has is to maximize profits for the shareholders.

Do you agree or disagree with Milton Friedman and the orthodoxy view among free market economists?

Other possible stakeholders of any business: its workers, its customers, its suppliers, its community, and its nation.


Friedman's quote is directly in line with Adam Smith's "invisible hand" idea. Each individual acts in the their own self-interest and by doing so promotes the interest of society even though they may not intend to do so. Friedman is saying that is true for companies too. By acting in their own self-interest to maximize profit, they are acting in the best interest of society. Thus companies have no more or less responsibility to society than that.

To answer your question, yes, I basically agree with it. Life is seldom perfect and markets are no exception, but the free market's track record of improving living standards, reducing poverty, and preventing a dismal existence is unmatched. "We the people" have yet to think of anything better.



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