Both the Gospel of Wealth and the Social Gospel were reactionary pieces written to guide people the moral issues of the day. Heavy industrialization in the United States created a new economic reality in which “the poor enjoy[ed] what the rich could not before afford” by decreasing the labor and money needed to produce material goods (Carnegie). However, it also created problems for the poor in the form of pollution, moral deterioration, and lack of interest in work (Rauschenbusch). Despi...
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...e likely for people to behave morally throughout the entirety of their lives.
Carnegie and Rauschenbusch both derived their economic moral code from Christianity, and ended up with different results. However, both of them were still committed to benefitting society because their economic behavior was deeply rooted in personal beliefs, not just economic gain. Similarly, Roepke understood that in order for an economy to function well within society, it had to be grounded in morality. It will always be the case that economic behavior will need to be balanced by other social forces. When there is nothing to hold the economic order in check, it has the potential to get out of hand and cause great harm, as seen in economic crises and business scandals. Therefore, religious beliefs still hold an important place in guiding and correcting the ever-changing economic system.
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