The Article by Milton Friedman Titled the Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Profits and the Speech Given by Bill Gates at the World Economic Forum 2008 Both Address the Nagging Topic of Social Responsibility of Corporations

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The article by Milton Friedman titled the social responsibility of business is to increase profits and the speech given by bill gates at the world economic forum 2008 both address the nagging topic of social responsibility of corporations. Both articles offer tremendous insight on this issue. Friedman points out the contradiction of the notion of social responsibility and the aim of making profit while gates introduces Recognition as a new variable in this equation. The purpose of this essay is to compare and contrast both articles.I am going to discuss Friedman's article first. Friedman raises the issue of social responsibility as a contradiction to the sole purpose of a corporation which is make profit. Firstly he points out a corporation is an artificial entity which should also have artificial responsibility in essence it is not a person and only persons can be held socially responsible. Who then do we hold responsible? Perhaps the corporate executive but here another issue arises he has direct responsibility to his employers and not the society and has to conduct business according to their desires this is his primary duty. Friedman argues that the corporation spending money towards a chosen cause is in a way imposing taxes and also deciding how the taxes shall be spent. How does one choose which cause to cater to? He argues that the imposition of taxes and expenditure of tax proceeds are governmental functions. The whole purpose of the corporation of serving the interest of its stockholders is defeated when these taxes are imposed and the proceeds spent for social purpose.However Friedman then points out that though the practice of social responsibility may contradict with the corporations purpose to make money it is justifiable in the long run on other grounds which are often not a reason for the action in the first place. benefits may include such as making it easier to attract desirable employees, it may reduce wage bill or lessen losses from pilferage...
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