Milton stating that a corporation is an artificial being

 

Milton Friedman firmly believes that
the only social responsibility of a business is to increase profits. Friedman
expresses through his article that businesses are mere artificial units where
“there are no values, no “social” responsibilities in any sense other than the
shared values and responsibilities of individuals” (Friedman, 1970). On the
other hand Homer Dixon’s book “The Upside of Down” is comparably different from
Friedman’s article as the first chapter of the book mainly shines light upon
the possibility of a sudden breakdown in vital, social and technological
systems and he explains the precautions that should be implemented to resolve
these unexpected issues. Dixon in his book emphasizes the importance of nature
and explains that nature should not be ignored and he believes that most
corporate leaders and social scientists don’t take nature much into
consideration. Contrary to Dixon’s views, Friedman expresses that if corporate
leaders start to invest corporate income in social issues, it would make them
serve the society rather than serving the corporation. Homer Dixon also
proposes government involvement and interference in general affairs while on
the other hand Milton Friedman rejected the idea of a government that controls
prices and wages and that government involvement would damage the market
system. The articles compared to each other are reasonably different since one
focuses on the social responsibility of businesses and the other one focuses on
the idea of a social breakdown.

I disagree with Friedman’s views and
don’t believe that a business’s only social responsibility is to increase
profits. Friedman supports his stance by stating that a corporation is an
artificial being and that a business as a whole cannot be said to have
responsibilities. I believe that corporations are many times powerful than an
individual since a corporation is composed of many individuals working together
for a common purpose. Corporation action and functions have major impacts on
both society and nature. I believe businesses have much more to do than just
making profit and a solution could be the allocation of business profits
towards social issues.

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Friedman claims that an individual’s
personal income should be spent on important causes rather than using
corporation’s profits as it would risk the income of the stakeholder’s, which
is beyond one person’s authority. Friedman in his claim fails to identify that
since one individual cannot effect the environment and the society as much as a
business would, hence it is not one person’s responsibility to donate towards
social causes but businesses should thrive toward donating for social issues to
have an effect. A corporations social responsibility should be giving back to
the society since it took much from the society. Corporations use resources;
both tangible and intangible to gain profits while in cities and environments
the resources can be used and preserved to improve the quality of life. Dixon
believes that manipulation of resources by large corporations increases the
chances of sudden and unexpected breakdowns. The resources used by corporations
are irreplaceable and it is wrong of corporations to exploit these resources
without giving back to the environment and society.

Friedman contends that if an elected
leader spends on social purposes he turns into a public employee since he is
imposing taxes and reducing income for the stakeholders. In my opinion an
executive spending profits on social causes would rather be an act of giving
back to the society to make an effect on behalf of the corporation that would
make both the corporation and the executive to be humane. Reasonably, only
large and wealthy corporations should spend money on philanthropy since the can
easily cope with any loss, while on the other hand smaller companies would
suffer in the same position.

Corporations which earn substantial profits
by harming the environment and taking wrong advantage of it should be obliged
to contribute a portion of their income for a social cause. Funds collected
from the corporations should be dedicated towards social causes which helps to
reduce the corporation’s negative effect on the society and environment. I
believe that a central government should have the control to regulate
corporations which have a damaging impact on the society to take part and
contribute towards social causes which help to improve the environment. In the
light of the articles I believe that my suggestion is morally and economically
valid since it’s unacceptable that businesses continually damage the
environment while compromising the rights of others connected to the society to
improve profit margins. In my opinion the first objective of a business should
be to make profit but along that equally the second objective should be to constantly
give back to the society and nature. On a whole I mostly disagree with Friedman’s
view that the social responsibility of a business is to solely increase profit,
since I believe that this would eventually result in the consumption of almost
all resources.