This Forbes Article Took Our Breath Away

from The Daily Bell

The Origin Of ‘The World’s Dumbest Idea’: Milton Friedman … No popular idea ever has a single origin. But the idea that the sole purpose of a firm is to make money for its shareholders got going in a major way with an article by Milton Friedman in the New York Times on September 13, 1970. As the leader of the Chicago school of economics, and the winner of Nobel Prize in Economics in 1976, Friedman has been described by The Economist as “the most influential economist of the second half of the 20th century…possibly of all of it”. The impact of the NYT article contributed to George Will calling him “the most consequential public intellectual of the 20th century.” Friedman’s article was ferocious. Any business executives who pursued a goal other than making money were, he said, “unwitting puppets of the intellectual forces that have been undermining the basis of a free society these past decades.” – Forbes

Dominant Social Theme: The modern corporation is a Big Deal.

Free-Market Analysis: Milton Friedman is seen as the dominant free-market thinker of his age. And yet during his lifetime he created withholding for the graduated income tax, called for a “steady state” central bank and now, it turns out, was behind the myth that corporations should care only about one thing: profits.

It’s like he purposefully set out to blow up arguments for the efficacy of the private sector. His curatives seldom seem to take into account the essentially coercive nature of modern capitalism.

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