Social Responsibilities of Business an Article by Friedman

792 WordsFeb 20, 20183 Pages
In Friedman’s article, The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase Its Profit, he gives two arguments for what, if any, social responsibilities a business has and why they have it. In his arguments, he presents a businessman in charge of running the business on behalf of the owner. The first point he raises in dictating what responsibilities the businessman should fulfill involves defining the businessman’s purpose. He was hired as an agent of the shareholders, the owners of the business, etc. to make the business profitable. Barring some eleemosynary functions, as Friedman states, such as hospitals and schools, the general purpose of a business is to make money, therefore, the responsibilities of an agent of the business would be to increase said profits. To do otherwise would be to fulfill a purpose other than the one he was hired for and betray the owners. Friedman’s second argument follows a similar idea, but with another reason why the businessman’s ideas of social responsibility aren’t to be fulfilled through the business. If the agent of a business would spend money to further his supposed social responsibilities, he is using something that is not his to spend as he sees fit. Any money earned by increasing the price to consumers, decreasing the wages of the workers, or withheld from the stockholders belongs to the business and has been taken from these parties to be used in ways that they could have used it on their own. If the agent uses the money in
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