As I sat in class today trying to focus on the "business judgment rule," I was jerked out of near reverie when a photograph of Milton Friedman appeared on the powerpoint. I was immediately surprised and suspicious. After all, Keynes and Krugman are the most frequent guests in the classes I've taken both in law school and grad school. "What cautionary tale will unfold at the next click of the button?" I thought. And then this quote appeared:
"There is one and only one social responsibility of business- to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deceit or fraud."
The professor was pointing out the key dispute in a case involving Henry Ford and the Dodge brothers, but he did take a moment to warn the class of "those far out libertarians who only read the quote to the part about increasing profits, forgetting about the rules of the game." I couldn't be bothered to raise an objection to the mis-characterization, but seeing Friedman on the screen for just a second was the thrill of my day at law school.