The Gospel of Wealth
Carnegie was a very successful person in the business. He used to sell steel and iron that was used in making railways. The businessman was always wondering how people administer the wealth they have acquired. This is because there is a wide gap between the rich and the poor. Earlier on, there were no differences in the mode of feeding, dressing or even in the places they used to live in. Civilization has brought up the differences such that the millionaires live in palaces while the labourers are in cottages (Carnegie, 1).
This paper aims at looking at the way Carnegie has looked at the issue of wealth and the responsibilities of the people who are very rich. The paper will continue to look at whether he believes on it or is just a way of justifying his wealth.
Responsibility for the wealthy
The duty played by a wealthy man is to lead by example, have better living conditions, and have extravagance.
“..the duty of the man of wealth: First to set an example of modest, unostentatious living, Shunning display or extravagance…”(Carnegie, p2)
The rich man should provide basic needs to the poor who rely on him. He should also be able to put into consideration the surplus revenues which are on his reach as trust funds. He should be in a position to do this as it is his responsibility so as to yield the very best results that will benefit the community. The rich man is the only trustee and agent of the poor people in the community. He should, therefore, work hard to ensure that he is able to share his knowledge, experience, wisdom in the way he administers his wealth so that they (the poor) can be enlightened and be in a position to create wealth for themselves. The rich man has the responsibility of offering himself to the poor and do better things to them than they can even be able to do for themselves.
Carnegie believes in the above responsibilities of the rich. This is because he advocates for the rich man educating the poor and showing them how to create wealth through art. He believes that one day there will be a reconciliation for the rich and poor. This will happen when the rich will be ready to share what they have with the poor so that the poor can be in a position to utilize the same and be able to reap great benefits. These benefits will be of great value to them than when they are given small amounts of money for many years.
“…the masses reap the principal benefits, are more valuable to them than if scattered among them through the course of many years in trifling amounts…” (Carnegie, p2).
The writer believes in this because his main agenda is the way wealth can be administered. He then gives three modes of disposing of wealth but is only left with the last one which he elaborates further. This is administering wealth by the possessors during their days of living (Carnegie, p2). This shows clearly that the writer is for the opinion of people being guided on the way to use wealth to make more wealth
The writer has been successful in talking of wealth and the way it can be disposed of. He has provided three ways which are leaving wealth to the descendant family, be bequeathed to be used by the public or even administering of the wealth by the possessors during their days of life. The writer has continued to give the responsibilities of the rich and said that they should act as the role models, be able to assist the poor and be in a position to administer their wealth in the right way among others. It is therefore evident that the writer advocates for the role of wealthy people and not just because he wants to justify his wealth but because he cares for the poor and would want them to be assisted to become wealthy also so that there can be harmony between the rich and poor.
Andrew Carnegie. (1889) “Wealth” North American Review, 148, no. 391: 653, 657-62we
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