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Gospel of Wealth: Debate

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Gospel of Wealth Debate

Julian Yearwood

Was Andrew Carnegie's “Gospel of Wealth “ a useful response to great disparities in wealth created by the rise of industry and economic growth in the United States during the Gilded Age?

Introduction:

Andrew Carnegie was a Scottish Immigrant, who came to the US at age 13. He went from being a factory worker to working his way up the ladder at the telegraph company. He founded the Pittsburg Carnegie Steel Company, which he sold to JP Morgan in 1901 for $480 million. During his lifetime, he donated $330 million for various projects, such as libraries, museums, the Carnegie Institute for Technology, and the Carnegie Institute.

In 1889 he wrote The Gospel of Wealth, which was his answer to the economic inequalities of the late 19th century.

Carnegie believed that the inequality of wealth in society showed that the rich were superior, and worked hard to achieve their wealth. On the other hand, poor people chose not to work hard. And therefore were poor. This was the condition of a free society, where people were free to work hard to gain wealth, or free to starve.

Wealth was in the hands of the few, but it was a responsibility of the rich to make society a better place. The Gospel of Wealth explains that rich people had an obligation to help poor people. According to Carnegie, people were consumers that had helped to create this great wealth, so it was only right to share it with others.

What to do with your health?
Do NOT give it to your family (except daughters and wives, who need taking care of). It will make sons lazy and burden them with it.

Do NOT give it directly to poor people. They have no clue what to do with it and squander it away on useless things.

“People on their own could not be trusted to make the best use of given money, but give them a noble institution or needed family and they would use it to good ends.”

Carnegie's responses shows his dedication to spreading the wealth. First, he did not just talk about the importance to starting public projects, but he actually gave $330 million of his own money. He also criticizes people who keep money within their own family, so that is another way to redistribute wealth.

This is a valid position because he created a legacy that continues to provide assistance to people throughout the world. People who do not have money for books can always have access to knowledge from the libraries he has created.

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