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Wed Sep 16, 2020, 06:56 PM

The 'free market' manifesto that broke America and led to Trumpism

On Sept. 13, 1970, the New York Times published the "essay heard round the world." In his manifesto, economist Milton Friedman argued that corporations have one - and only one - obligation: maximizing profits for shareholders.

Five decades after the "Friedman Doctrine" emerged, the American middle class is in tatters. Long before the coronavirus, millions of Americans were poor, sick and angry; perfect prey for Donald Trump's resentful demagoguery and racial scapegoating.

Friedman's philosophy - "arguably the most consequential economic idea of the latter half of the 20th century" - changed America forever. Its singular focus on profits became gospel for generations of business school graduates, CEOs and politicians alike.

Little did they know that their fealty to Friedman's ideas would crush the American Dream.

According to Friedman, any business seeking "desirable 'social' ends" - such as "providing employment, eliminating discrimination, avoiding pollution" or even using higher quality ingredients in food - "undermines the basis of a free society."

In other words, beyond complying with the law, Friedman believed that corporations have no moral or ethical responsibility to their workers or to society as a whole.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/the-free-market-manifesto-that-broke-america-and-led-to-trumpism/ar-BB196Z5S?li=BBnb7Kz

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Reply The 'free market' manifesto that broke America and led to Trumpism (Original post)
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Sep 16 OP
hedda_foil Sep 16 #1
Upthevibe Sep 16 #2
Nitram Sep 16 #3
chriscan64 Sep 17 #4

Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Wed Sep 16, 2020, 07:46 PM

1. Gee, ya think??

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Wed Sep 16, 2020, 08:25 PM

2. Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin

Thank you for posting. This article accurately explains what has happened.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Wed Sep 16, 2020, 10:11 PM

3. The manifesto didn't "break America." The conservatives that weaponized it did.

Free speech doesn't destroy America. The actions of those who listen to it and take destructive steps to implement their interpretation of it do.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Thu Sep 17, 2020, 10:36 AM

4. Unlimited freedom and civilization are incompatible.

Your front yard ends where your neighbor's begins. If he tells you to keep your garden gnomes on your side of the property line, he is not "taking away" your freedom, just reminding you of freedom you never had. Corporations can only make $X without poisoning the air /water or other deleterious effects on society at large. Their prime directive is to always make more, whether it is greater than $X or not. It is incumbent upon society to enforce limits that protect itself and the individuals of which it is comprised via the mechanisms of government. These limits in the form of regulation are portrayed as "taking away freedom", but they are only reminders that corporations where never entitled to $X + $1.

We would not need laws against murder if nobody ever committed the act. As we all have seen, corporations would burn the world both figuratively and literally to get that extra dollar. The essence of civilization is based on the fact that "we're all in this together" trumps "every man for himself". Desirable social ends do not undermine the basis of a free society, they are its basis.

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