When Smith says, he has “never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good” and calls it an “affectation [indeed] not very common among merchants” (159), he may be referring to businesspeople who do good so much that they run their businesses to the ground. An example is a baker giving away too much free bread that he becomes bankrupt. Merchants do not want to go bankrupt because they do not want to trade for the public good more than they want to make profits. In addition, Smith does not necessarily say that companies should ignore the greater good in making profits. He emphasizes the importance of trading in making profits, but he does not promote unethical or illegal practices because if the public know about it or if the government catches them, then they will have bad publicity or the government might close their business.
My definition of social responsibility is responsibility for shareholders, employees, consumers, communities where businesses operate, and the environment. This does not fit into Friedman’s definition to some extent. My social responsibility definition agrees with Friedman that social responsibility promotes the goal of increasing profits. Staying within the rules of the game can also be aligned with being responsible for employees, consumers, communities where businesses operate, and the environment because laws also protect them in varying degrees. However, how about in communities or countries where fairness and environmental laws are weak or lacking? My definition of social responsibility is proactive in doing what is right for all stakeholders with or without these laws. I believe that businesses have a social responsibility to their fellow man because I agree with Kant that people have duties to do what can be universalized and doing my definition of social responsibility is something that can be