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Should Companies Put Profits Before Social Responsibility?

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Published January 19, 2021

The belief that corporations should prioritize social responsibility over profits is misguided for two reasons. First, it falsely assumes that prioritizing profits means treating employees poorly. Second, companies that don’t make money risk not being able to pay their employees. Ultimately, the best defense for workers is for there to be a healthy and competitive market.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What is the best way to protect workers?
  2. What compels corporations to be socially responsible?

Additional Resources:

  • Read “Cheated by Collectivism,” by George Shultz, Michael Boskin, John Cogan, and John Taylor via Hoover Digest. Available here.
  • Read “Some Thoughts on the Business Roundtable’s Statement of Corporate Purpose,” by George Shultz, Michael Boskin, John Cogan, and John Taylor via RealClearMarkets. Available here.
  • Read “Social Responsibility of Business,” by Milton Friedman via the New York Times. Available here.