Gospel of Wealth: Andrew Carnegie

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7 February 2013

Gospel of Wealth
Andrew Carnegie has a very unique perspective pertaining to the wealth in America and its distribution. Not only is he concerned about how much money is put to good use, but when; such as if the person donating the money is in life or after death. The “Gospel of Wealth” brings perspective of the nation’s money recirculation and the worth of a man by his generosity while living.

Carnegie lists three ways how extra money (that is left behind) should be handled in America. First, Carnegie points out passing down wealth through heredity. He finds the act of leaving a fortune to the children is meaningless and not worthwhile. Carnegie does not agree with a wealthy man leaving his children helpless, but then again, shouldn’t such a man have taught them how to survive? If this was not the case, then Carnegie agrees by all means that the child should not be left in such poverty. The second mode consists the money donated and put to good use after a wealthy man has passed away. He states “Men who leave vast sums in this way may fairly be thought men who would not have left it at all had they been able to take it with them”. Carnegie makes a huge point at though wealthy, these men should have been philanthropists in life, rather than in death. The memory of them has been tainted by only doing something beneficial beyond life. In a huge way, men that only spread their wealth in death would take the money with them to the afterlife if possible. Third, the most ideal for Carnegie, using capital in life to spread and make the world a better place. He believes this way is “[…] the only mode of using great fortunes; but in this we have the true antidote for the temporary unequal distribution of wealth […]”. Carnegie’s belief of redistribution of wealth to help balance out the poor is what makes him an amazing philanthropist. He could have become one in death, but instead chose to lecture, and demonstrate, philanthropy...
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