In 1970, Milton Friedman wrote the following in his famous essay:
There is one and only one social responsibility of business–to use it 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.
Like many, I am left completely uninspired by this statement. I would never want to devote my life – I’ll say that again – my LIFE to an organization with such a meaningless purpose.
Of course, my being uninspired is a selfish proposition. There are more noble arguments to criticize Friedman’s position, better expressed by the following business experts:
- Why Milton Friedman was wrong, by Fortune
- The Origin Of ‘The World’s Dumbest Idea’: Milton Friedman, by Forbes
- How to win the argument with Milton Friedman, by Harvard
- Off the hook with Milton Friedman, by Seth Godin
Right now, it’s 6 AM where I live. I will soon head to work, parting with my wife and three children for twelve hours or so. And I am grateful to work for an organization that doesn’t seek to increase profits as its sole purpose.