When term “unwitting puppets” refers to the idea
When analyzing the social responsibilities of business, we can conclude that customers (buyers), suppliers and the environment come before the organization itself. In this scenario, the environment is arguably the most significant one from the two and this is because our environment has been in question for several years regarding its well-being. With the help of IPCC’s fifth assessment report we see that the research conducted was evidently significant regarding the synthesis report. This report is a combination of three working group reports that highlight road maps of challenges towards climate change hoping for immediate action. Milton Friedman had a totally different approach to this issue and claims that businesses only have one responsibility and that is to “increase its profits” rather than worrying about other issues like the environment. Friedman refers to businessman as “unwitting puppets” when they heavily focus on the responsibility of providing employment and pollution etc. rather than increasing profits. The term “unwitting puppets” refers to the idea of businessmen being unaware of their claims without supporting evidence. Friedman believes that social responsibilities and business should not come into play in the same sentence but rather be more focused upon individual proprietors or cooperate executives. Although profit maximization is in fact a major factor in business, the environment has the upper hand in terms of society as a whole. Reducing costs and increasing production consumption are two factors of production that increase profits but in order to accomplish this, businesses tend to work around certain responsibilities to aid themselves in managing these aspects. Usually resulting in poor performance in terms of environmental responsibility, this has led to global warming and many different effects within cold locations. As mentioned in the video by IPCC, we see that ice glaciers and ice sheets around the world are diminishing in mass and also see that permafrost is in fact thawing rapidly resulting in rising sea levels. Furthermore, IPCC mentions in their Fifth Assessment Report that CO2 congestion within our atmosphere has resulted in a 40% increase in the past several years. When we look at the carbon dioxide levels in the past 800,000 years we can conclude that the numbers we see today are at a record high and businesses have indeed played an enormous role in these numbers. Policies are one way the IPCC believes can and will help the economy’s economic footprint with the help of efficiently using products and materials. Friedman’s claim in my opinion is valid in several ways but also can at times be misleading when touching upon the fact that businesses only responsibility, and managers who run them, is to make as much profit as possible. He also mentions that not everything ‘slides’ in a business and that “businesses should adhere to generally accepted social standards and expectations”. This points out the fact that moral standards come into play heavily when looking at a cooperation and how it operates. Violating these expectations or standards risks the loss of profit which brings Friedman’s final statement and how he believes “businesses should legally and prudently pursue profit- not that businesses should pursue it with reckless abandon”. This comes down to my conclusion and how this relates to the utilitarian ethical theory and the fact that short term benefits will have effects on you and society in the long run so weighing in all outcomes is ideal. Redirecting businesses so that their economic footprint would be less will not only help our globe but also their profits. Preserving the environment is one step every business should take for a better tomorrow.