The Gospel of Wealth, by Andrew Carnegie

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In the “Gospel of wealth”, Andrew Carnegie argues that it is the duty of the wealthy entrepreneur who has amassed a great fortune during their lifetime, to give back to those less fortunate. Greed and selfishness may force some readers to see these arguments as preposterous; however, greed is a key ingredient in successful competition. It forces competitors to perform at a higher level than their peers in hopes of obtaining more money and individual wealth. A capitalist society that allows this wealth to accumulate in the hands of the few might be beneficial to the human race because it could promote competition between companies; it might ensure health care for everyone no matter their social standing, and parks and recreation could be built for the enjoyment of society.

Carnegie states, “Under the law of competition, the employer of thousands is forced into the strictest economies, among which the rates paid to labor figure prominently, and often there is friction between employer and the employed, between capital and labor, between rich and poor” (393). It is this competitive nature which allows the hardest working individuals to rise above their peers, create personal wealth and continue to accumulate wealth. Competition is a beneficial to capitalism. A company can produce an item and sell the

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item at a price, set forth by the company, to make a profit. Greed may have the profit margin set high, so the return on the item is substantial to the company. If another company can make a similar item and sell it for less, while still making a profit, society and the company benefit. It forces the company with the higher profit margin to either find a more cost effective way to produce the item, or cut their pr...

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... or being a manager of the assembly line. The aspiring could rise, and lasting good takes place.

A wealthy person, with the desire to do well with their fortune, could benefit society in a number of ways. Carnegie has verbally laid a blueprint for the wealthy to build from. His message is simple: Work hard and you will have results; educate yourself, live a meaningful life, and bestow upon others the magnificent jewels life has to offer. He stresses the importance of doing charity during one’s lifetime, and states “…the man who dies leaving behind him millions of available wealth, which was his to administer during life, will pass away ‘unwept, unhonored, and unsung’…” (401). He is saying a wealthy person, with millions at their disposal, should spend their money on the betterment of society, during their lifetime, because it will benefit us all as a race.
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