“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.”
— Milton Friedman
Various reader responses:
Agreed; once a business posts some whiny “do good” and “social responsibility” statement, I’ll read it as some sort of “Please love me -and now IMMEDIATELY buy my products and services” platform. If the business has to do that to generate sales, their work may not be all that great.
I especially don’t like when a business brags about giving part of their take to charity. I would prefer they lower their prices and let me decide what to do with my money.
Any (Non crony) business “gives back” by its very existence.
When business starts to move towards “social justice” and begins to work with the State, we soon have “fascism”.
Friedman nailed it. A business does not owe you anything — other than the absence of fraud.
No business — just like no other person — exists for your sake. It exists for its own sake. Part of its “own sake”, as a business, is to please you enough for you to willingly provide the money requested in exchange for goods or services. THAT’S IT. And that’s everything.
The minute a business starts to say, “Well, I should give up my interests for the sake of another person” is the minute it stops being a business and starts being a charity.
There is nothing inherently wrong with being a charity. But no government has a right to compel a business to be a charity instead of a business, if it prefers to be a business.
Similarly, no already established and profit-rich business has a right to use the force of government to compel smaller, newer or less profitable businesses to be charities.
Facebook, Amazon, Google, Nike come to mind — all highly profitable “woke” companies who use money and influence to support the spread of government ownership of private companies, where government compels those companies to act and spend as the government wants it.
Facebook, Amazon, Nike and Google can afford government pressure for business to become charities, and don’t mind it since their companies are, like most big companies today, run by self-consciously “altruistic” Commiefascists; but this still gives them no right to impose this sick and unprofitable ideology on the rest of us.
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