It happens very often when I speak about corporate responsibility. Someone will ask me about Milton Friedman's famous quote: "There is one and only one social responsibility of business -- to increase its profits." In fact they are misquoting and simplifying just one part of Mr. Friedman's statement.
Today, there is so much public infrastructure in disarray, such a crying need to move the nation to a sustainable energy path, and so great a need for the jobs that could be created by large-scale public investments that more stimulus spending should be a no-brainer. But this alternative is not even being seriously debated. Rather Democratic paths to deficit reduction are jousting with Republican paths. So here is Ben Bernanke -- a Republican, first appointed by George W. Bush, a huge admirer of Milton Friedman -- saying what no other Republican and too few Democrats are willing to say: The problem is not the deficit, but the risk that Congress will overreact to the deficit.