Weekly have any social responsibility and their actions should

Weekly Writing
Assignment 3 – What is the social responsibility of business?

Milton Friedman
argued that the only social responsibility of business was to increase profits.
In his article he states that “A corporation is an artificial person and in
this sense, may have artificial responsibilities, but “business” as a whole
cannot be said to have responsibilities” (Friedman, 1970). The business’ social
responsibility is to ensure that there is a profit by using the resources it
has and staying within its means and not violating any laws and regulations
(Friedman,
1970). Friedman claims that businesses do not have any social responsibility
and their actions should be within the rules and regulations of society because
he believes that it is the government’s responsibility to cater to social
issues and not big corporations. If a business interferes in social responsibilities,
they are partaking in tasks similar to a tax collector or tax distributor. This
then exploits the concept of free market. Friedman states that, although
corporate managers or people working in the organization have certain responsibilities
for which they are paid for, it is their decision to choose what they want to
spend their earnings on and the organization should not have a say on that. However,
the social responsibility that corporations are pursuing are to have executives
use the company’s money, not other stockholders, customers and/or employees, to
increase profits. Friedman claims that once you are selected by leading
executives to stand for the shareholders of the company it is your duty to
report directly to them and you must know about the money they invested,
implemented taxes, and how the proceeds were spent. “Social responsibilities,” are
an admissible way for corporations to seem as though they are doing a favor although
it is all in their own self-interest. To conclude his article Friedman inserts
a quote from his book stating that “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.”

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I can contrast Friedman’s
evidence and claims against what I have viewed in the IPCC Fifth Assessment
Report summary videos because they do have social responsibility. The
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has a social responsibility of
providing the world with a clear scientific recap of the current state of
knowledge on climate change. Their propositions help people and businesses who
need to create a plan of action to reduce further escalation of climate change.
This solidifies Friedman’s claims of social responsibility being the government’s
obligations.

I do not believe
that Friedman’s claims the only social responsibility of business was to
increase profits are valid. However I do believe that increasing profits is
largely important in the business field but I also believe that a lot of
businesses carry more social responsibility than that alone. These days
majority of profitable businesses are more focused on their societal and environmental
affect because those factors shape the growth of the business and create
customer/consumer satisfaction. Business’s social responsibilities are what is
keeping the economy running. Large corporations cannot keep up a countries
economy. They need the government to set standards. So overall I do not think Friedman’s
claims are valid because of how prominent societal and environmental responsibility
has become in the business world.