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Home > Business, Community, Education, News/Opinion > Profit is not the ONLY purpose for a company from Off the hook with Milton Friedman via Seth Godin’s Blog

Profit is not the ONLY purpose for a company from Off the hook with Milton Friedman via Seth Godin’s Blog

I’ve said much the same thing that Seth is saying here (see below) in past columns (Economic downturns makes career planning even more important
October 3rd, 2008) and I wanted to reinforce those words with his analysis here. Profit gained by extorting, abusing and defrauding others is anathema to our society and — I believe — not required for a decent (sometimes astronomical) profit. Still people will cut corners, lie, cheat and steal while all the while proclaiming “It’s not my fault! I did nothing wrong! It is all the company’s fault!”

Profit is not the ONLY purpose for a company from Off the hook with Milton Friedman via Seth Godin's Blog

Companies, by their very nature, cannot have consciences. They can’t distinguish between right and wrong. Only the employees of a company have that power, but they abdicate it in some false sense of righteousness that they were only “doing their job!” 

Avoid those whose only motive us profit. You will not be above their abuse. You’re only seen as another mark to be conned — another sheep to be fleeced.

Seth godin

Nearly fifty years ago, Milton Friedman published a polemic, an article that altered the way many people think about corporations and their role in society. Countless writers have explained why it’s poorly reasoned, dangerous and wrong. (Including business school deans, Harvard Business Review and Fortune).

The simple message of the simple article was: “there is one and only one social responsibility of business – to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits…”

Friedman does add a parenthetical, “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,” but it’s clear that his emphasis is on the first part.

Read Off the hook with Milton Friedman via Seth Godin’s Blog

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