Milton Friedman on Socialism vs. Capitalism

July 30, 2011

Good stuff:

One response to Milton Friedman on Socialism vs. Capitalism

  1. I really like Milton Friedman’s take on capitalism although I fear he is often misunderstood by most people in the mainstream media.

    For example, he is often credited with being the “profits before people” advocate for corporations after his famous paper on the “stakeholder vs shareholder” conflict.

    One tiny point he makes in that paper (and often ommitted from academics) is that he says companies should seek to maximize profits so long as the actions are legal and “within the ethical customs of society” (or something close to that).

    Anyway, there are many “ethical customs” in our society that Friedman would certainly approve of being done by today’s corporations even if they didn’t maximize profits…for example, let’s say Wal-Mart decided to switch to expensive LED lighting in all of their stores. The cost of these bulbs would more than likely negatively affect corporate profits, by taking reasonable steps to reduce our impact on the environmental is an “ethical custom” of society.

    Got off on a tanget there…sorry about that, thanks for sharing that link, it is very timely and I haven’t seen it before!