The Gospel of Wealth

Topics: Wealth, Distribution of wealth, Capital accumulation Pages: 2 (652 words) Published: December 4, 2012
The Gospel of Wealth

Andrew Carnegie, author of “The Gospel of Wealth”, was a philanthropist who argued that “Individualism, Private Property, the Law of Accumulation of Wealth, and the Law of Competition;”(Carnegie,p.24) was only beneficial and experienced to a small percentage of society’s wealth. Carnegie argued in his excerpt that, “there are but three modes in which surplus wealth could be disposed of.” These modes include leaving all the accumulated wealth of that person to the family, leaving all their wealth at death to be donated for specific public uses, and spending their wealth throughout their life for the common good of society. Carnegie believed that if wealth was not administered appropriately, then society would continue to suffer due to the fact that the rich would get richer and the poor would continue to experience poverty; which is still evident today.

The first two modes expressed by Carnegie were in a sense frowned upon. Individuals who leave all their accumulated to their immediate family are depriving their children of the education of how to earn a livelihood. In addition, the family members who have the privilege of a large inheritance will become content and will have far less ambition in regard to making something of themselves. Carnegie advocated that leaving a fortune behind might as well be “a curse” for the son who worshiped the “almighty dollar.”(Carnegie,p.25) In society today, this seems to be a reoccurring theme that is worshiped by those who have benefited from the surplus wealth of their father. The second mode expressed the action of leaving and individuals wealth for public uses upon death. This mode of disposal was opposed in the eyes of Carnegie. He felt that those people who accumulated wealth throughout their existence and chose not to share the wealth for the better good of society “cannot be held in grateful remembrance, for there is no grace in their gift.”(Carnegie,p.25) Basically, individuals who were...
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