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In the nineteenth century, when I hear the word Captain of Industry the name Andrew Carnegie comes to mind. Rather than being a Robber Baron, I believe Carnegie deserves the title Captain of Industry for many reasons. One reason would be that he came from being a poor young boy in Scotland, to being one of the richest men in America years after he and his family immigrated to the United States of America. The next reason would be that he provided many of his workers high earnings of money as well as how he funded certain public places. The third reason for his title of a Captain of Industry is that he surrounded himself around the right people and worked very hard with his jobs, using very wise tactics to get his work done.
Growing up as a young boy in Scotland, Carnegie's family was not very wealthy. They immigrated to America where Carnegie went from working as a bobbin boy, making $1.20 per hour, to making millions of dollars later in his life. Carnegie did not become wealthy by unethical means, as a Robber Baron would. Instead he worked very hard and wise to get to where he was during that time. Andrew Carnegie came from "rags to riches" in his lifetime and it paid off.
As I said before, Carnegie provided many workers with high earnings of money. All of Carnegie's young men working for his company were given without charge
ownership participations. This was enough to make them millionaires in their own right. He also gave back by funding over 2,500 libraries throughout America. Carnegie managed to give away 90 percent of his wealth before he died. He was able to make sure that the people around him were happy financially so that they could all work happily and achieve success together.
The third reason for the title of Captain of Industry is that he surrounded himself around the right people and using very wise tactics in growing as a worker. As a young worker, he did his best as a citizen to become close with Thomas A. Scott. The two would begin many stock investments which were paying dividends of more than $5,000 a year. He then united companies with George Pullman by making a joint proposition calling their company "The Pullman Palace Car Company.
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Even as we might admire his achievements and success, many questions arise. First, who paid the price for Carnegie's success? You could make an argument that we the people paid the price for Carnegie's success because of the prices rising as time goes on. However, we as people no matter what upbringing are capable of working hard to earn enough money to live in today's society. Another group of people that may pay the
price for his success are the Steel Companies today. They are expected to improve their products each year.
The next question that arises asks if wealth and dominance for the U.S. would have been created without paying such a high price. I believe that the answer is no, the wealth and dominance for the U.S. wouldn't have been created without paying such a high price. Our products in the United States of America are what have advanced us ahead of other countries and to advance products the best possible way; we must use high prices to pay the most skilled workers for the jobs as well as for the correct tools for usage. The prices for success in industries are the necessary steps to be the most wealthy and dominant.
The final question that arises asks if the government could or should have done something to alleviate the suffering of the laborers and the poor, as opposed to merely falling back upon the justifications offered by "laissez-faire" and "Social Darwinism". I do not believe that there is much that the government could have done to alleviate the suffering of the laborers and the poor other than lending more money to poor areas. In my opinion, all people are equal. I believe that every human being has the opportunity to succeed in their lives and if you really look at most of the successful people in the history of America, they were born into wealth. Carnegie, among many others, went from "rags to riches" to become successful in their lives with hard work and determination to succeed.
Andrew Carnegie was truly a Captain of Industry. He showed us all that anyone can make it in this country. It takes a lot of determination and desire. He may not have
given away all of his money to the poor people, however, he gave a good amount of it away to the hard workers in his time. Carnegie also was very wise while doing business, making the right decisions and surrounding himself with talented people. In his book, "The Gospel of Wealth", Carnegie stated that the rich should use their wealth to enrich society. Throughout his life, Carnegie defined the term "Captain of Industry", and we as people should follow his example of hard work and determination for success.