Can A More Fair And Equitable Free Market Help Companies That Do Good?

By Martin Whittaker

In 1970, Milton Friedman famously declared, "The social responsibility of business is to increase profits," and anything else was "pure and unadulterated socialism." According to this doctrine, business activity that cannot be attached to a material financial outcome is treated with suspicion and, ideally, discarded. Employee well-being, customer loyalty, fair hiring practices, community prosperity, and environmental vitality are important only if they drive profits.