Milton Friedman – The Dark Side

Rummaging around my RSS feeds I came across an article by William Grieder in The Nation that presents a less hagiographic obituary of Milton Friedman than those in the mainstream press. The article, “Friedman’s Cruel Legacy“, portrays some consequences when all other human values are subordinated to economic value or, more traditionally, greed. Here is a paragraph from the article.

His most profound damage, however, was as a moral philosopher. He championed an ethic of unrelenting, unapologetic self-interest that effectively pushed aside human sympathy. In fact, humans’ responsibility to one another has been delegitimized–portrayed as an obstacle to the hardheaded analysis that maximizes returns. Friedman explained: “So the question is, do corporate executives, provided they stay within the law, have responsibilities in their business activities other than to make as much money for their stockholders as possible? And my answer to that is, no, they do not.”

Click here for the complete article. See my earlier post on Friedman for links to two movements that evidence that other values are rising to temper the influence of economic value in our culture and in the economy.


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