Nobel Prize winner and free enterprise capitalist Milton Friedman, of the Chicago School of Economics, once 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."
Given Friedman’s claim, in order to fulfill its “social responsibility” it would seem that business is required to pursue a number of goals:
- Labor cost is often large for business, so labor should be paid as little as possible.
- Labor’s power should be curtailed by weakening unions such as by “the right to work” laws. Business may need the help of government to achieve this social responsibility.
- Coal companies properly pursued their social responsibility by resisting the union movement, often with the help of the State. Coal companies, also, should avoid paying for health costs of miners in every way possible.
- Tobacco Companies should advertise the joys of smoking while failing to admit that smoking is addictive and cancer causing.
- Big Pharma should advertise that certain pain medications, such as opioids, are very helpful and not addictive.
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Friedman also suggested that business should “obey the laws.” But who establishes such laws? In order to fulfill their “social responsibility,” it would appear that business should seek to control the establishment of laws that concern their profits.
Wayne G. Johnson, Raince