The Irresponsibility of Corporate Social Responsibility

“Business Roundtable Redefines the Purpose of a Corporation to Promote ‘An Economy That Serves All Americans’ ” was the headline of a statement put out recently by this “association of chief executive officers of America’s leading companies.”   The statement went on to say:

Since 1978, Business Roundtable has periodically issued Principles of Corporate Governance. Each version of the document issued since 1997 has endorsed principles of shareholder primacy – that corporations exist principally to serve shareholders. With today’s announcement, the new Statement supersedes previous statements and outlines a modern standard for corporate responsibility.

Putting aside the fact that neither in logic, nor in law, nor in morals does an individual CEO, let alone the lobbying arm for CEOs, have the ability to “redefine the purpose of a corporation,” it does prompt the question of what the purpose and responsibilities of a corporation actually are, and who decides this.

Read more from my article on Mises Wire.

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