The Contrasting Views of Milton Friedman and Ralph Nader on Corporate Social Responsibility

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Corporation is a legal entity made of natural persons or other legal entities that holds legal identity within the society. Corporate social responsibility is the duty of a corporation to create wealth in ways that avoid harms to, protect, or enhance societal assets. The idea of Social Responsibility interrelates the obvious interrelationship between business corporations, government and American society, is based on the fundamental idea that the corporations have duties that go beyond carrying out their basic economic functions in a lawful manner because the overall performance of a firm is to maximize the social benefit.

Though economists could agree on the existence of corporate responsibility, they differ in the fundamental definition of these responsibilities. Conservative economists, such as Milton Friedman, claim that business is most responsible when it makes profit efficiently, not when it misapplies its energy on social projects, where as in contrast, consumer activists, such as Ralph Nader, spell out responsibilities that include corporate contribution to the enhancement to the social well being.

In this paper, I will be discussing the fundamental idea behind the views of Milton Friedman and Ralph Nader towards Corporate Social Responsibility and analyzing the rationale behind the differences, quiet contrasting to each other, on the general principles that guide corporate responsibility towards the society.

Milton Friedman - The Anti-Corporate Social Responsibility

Milton Friedman was a conservative economist and an intellectual who made major contributions to the field of economics for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics for his achievements in the field of consumption analysis.
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