The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits

Septer 13, 1970  Milton Friedman writes in The New York Times Magazine the influential article The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits. In this article, Friedman explains the traditional orthodox approach in economics to the firm’s social responsability. This view has been debated ever since.

We cannot ignore that business has a wide influence and impact on our society and environment, the pure profits view somehow limits our analysis. Recents are the cases of Nike’s exploitation of workers in economically struggling countries, BP ecological stance and the backslash caused by oil spillages and Wal-Mart problems with its reputation. It is clear that a corporation must care about the society and the environment in which it operates. Of course, this does not contraddict Friedman’ s great article. The corporation has to protect its reputation and make sure to take all the measures to increase its profits.  This includes being socially responsible and improve the environment if the management believes it will increase the company profits.

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