Joseph Salerno’s recent post on The Libertarian Case for Corporate Social Responsibility reminded me of a similar argument about a free market based ethic for business by Richard W. Wilcke in the Independent Review (2004).
While I served as dean of business at Metro State, we invited Richard in for a presentation of his thoughts on an anti-crony capitalism/anti-mercantilism business ethic. The lecture was well attended and well received by students with lots of good questions. Not so much so by business faculty.
For those interested here is the abstract and a link.
Economist Milton Friedman drew the wrath of anti-market business ethicists for his controversial 1970 essay “The Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits.” Business leaders seeking an ethical standard consistent with the free market should look elsewhere, however, because Friedman’s essay seems to exculpate a practice antithetical to the free market—corporate lobbying for special government favors.