Friedman stated that the only cases in recorded history in which the masses have escaped from gruelling poverty “are where they have had capitalism and largely free trade.”
It is a truism often stated by economists and politicians and widely accepted as true by the public. The question is: did the masses escape from gruelling poverty because of capitalism or in spite of it?
Reading Terence Corcoran’s ‘Milton Friedman is right, profit is a company’s only purpose’ in the National Post raises several questions for a creatively maladjusted polymath. The first being the 1970 economy versus the 2019 economy.
The question is which economy?
The one we want to exist or the economy that actually exists? There is a widening gulf between the two as the economy created by the fundamental economic changes that have taken place over recent years diverges from the economy that was created post WWII
National Post January 18, 2019
Milton Friedman is right, profit is a company’s only purpose
Terence Corcoran takes on the Nobel economist’s growing league of critics, arguing companies that focus on making shareholders money are just what society needs
In his inimitable way, and with a Canadian union twist, Jerry Dias is on a mini-crusade to overturn the foundations of modern corporate capitalism. As the president of Unifor ratchets up his actions against General Motors Co. over its plan to close the automaker’s Oshawa, Ont., assembly plant, he is deploying some of the ideas from the burgeoning movement to replace profit maximization with a greater focus on employees, communities, social issues, national impacts and global concerns.
The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits
The New York Times Magazine
September 13, 1970
When I hear businessmen speak eloquently about the “social responsibilities of business in a free-enterprise system,” I am reminded of the wonderful line about the Frenchman who
discovered at the age of 70 that he had been speaking prose all his life. The businessmen believe that they are defending free enterprise when they declaim that business is not concerned “merely” with profit but also with promoting desirable “social” ends; that business has a “social conscience” and takes seriously its responsibilities for providing employment, eliminating discrimination, avoiding pollution and whatever else may be the catchwords of the contemporary crop of reformers. In fact they are–or would be if they or anyone else took them seriously–preaching pure and unadulterated socialism. Businessmen who talk this way
are unwitting puppets of the intellectual forces that have been undermining the basis of a free society these past decades.