Milton Friedman’s Vision Has Failed. Let’s Bury It and Move On.

Commentary by Mike Kubzansky, CEO of Omidyar Network, in Barron’s

Fifty years ago this week, economist Milton Friedman wrote that, “There is one and only one social responsibility of business—to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profit.” That year, 1970, gave birth to a host of new ideas and products. IBM rolled out the $4.7 million System 370 Mainframe with a whopping 3MB of memory and was gearing up to introduce floppy disks to the masses. Ford had just started production on its notorious Pinto.

A lot has changed since 1970. Computers now have 8,000 times more storage. Floppy disks are now only useful as coasters. The Pinto literally went up in flames. But despite our many advances, some antiquated ideas continue to prevail. This includes Friedman’s economic philosophy, which we now know is as outdated and dangerous as the Pinto. So, on this, the 50th anniversary of its publication, the time has come to bury Friedman’s ideas once and for all.

Read the full op-ed here.