Hazlitt on Profits
The indignation shown by many people today at the mention of the very word profits indicates how little understanding there is of the vital function that profits play in our economy. ...
The function of profits ... is to put constant and unremitting pressure on the head of every competitive business to introduce further economies and efficiencies, no matter to what stage these may already have been brought. In good times he does this to increase his profits further, in normal times he does it to keep ahead of his competitors, in bad times he may have to do it to survive at all. For profits may not only go to zero, they may quickly turn into losses; and a man will put forth greater efforts to save himself from ruin than he will merely to improve his position.
Contrary to a popular impression, profits are achieved not by raising prices, but by introducing economies and efficiencies that cut costs of production.