The gospel of wealth during the guilded age

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On the right, Callahan points to Art Pope, the chairman of a privately held discount-store chain called Variety Wholesalers. Many of them still exist today. A well-known writer of philosophic books admitted the other day that he had given a quarter of a dollar to a man who approached him as he was coming to visit the house of his friend. Having accepted these, it follows that there must be great scope for the exercise of special ability in the merchant and in the manufacturer who has to conduct affairs upon a great scale. When it became obvious that Carnegie could not give away his entire fortune within his lifetime, he established the Carnegie Foundation to continue his program of giving. One is that the government, by encouraging giving to private philanthropies, is fostering participation in civic affairs. For every billion dollars spent on advocacy tricked out as philanthropy, several hundred million dollars in uncaptured taxes are lost to the federal treasury. He cites, in particular, local-education foundations, or lefs. There are but three modes in which surplus wealth can be disposed of. Carnegie disapproved of charitable giving that maintained the poor in their impoverished state, and urged a movement toward the creation of a new mode of giving that would create opportunities for the beneficiaries of the gift to better themselves. Of such as these the public verdict will then be: "The man who dies thus rich dies disgraced.

We might as well urge the destruction of the highest existing type of man because he failed to reach our ideal as favor the destruction of Individualism, Private Property, the Law of Accumulation of Wealth, and the Law of Competition; for these are the highest results of human experience, the soil in which society so far has produced the best fruit.

This change, however, is not to be deplored, but welcomed as highly beneficial.

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The best uses to which surplus wealth can be put have already been indicated. Of such as these the public verdict will then be: "The man who dies thus rich dies disgraced.

It is well to remember that it requires the exercise of not less ability than that which acquired the wealth to use it so as to be really beneficial to the community. Assertions[ edit ] The Gospel of Wealth asserts that hard work and perseverance lead to wealth.

Due to their radicalism, the Carnegies moved to Antebellum America in He held onto his Scottish roots throughout most of his life - he retained close ties with his relative that stayed in Scotland; many of his early business associates were americanized Scots; his English school friends had Scottish ties; he returned home to Scotland almost every summer.

We assemble thousands of operatives in the factory, in the mine, and in the counting-house, of whom the employer can know little or nothing, and to whom the employer is little better than a myth.

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At one point, he wrote that he wished to attend Oxford University, but that never happened. Beyond providing for the wife and daughters moderate sources of income, and very moderate allowances indeed, if any, for the sons, men may well hesitate, for it is no longer questionable that great sums bequeathed oftener work more for the injury than for the good of the recipients. Thus far, accepting conditions as they exist, the situation can be surveyed and pronounced good. Due to their radicalism, the Carnegies moved to Antebellum America in The price we pay for this salutary change is, no doubt, great. The virtues of loyalty, hard work, faith, thrift and clean living were trumpeted. Carnegie Steel brought in Pinkerton agents to guard the plant, and in the resulting melee at least sixteen people were killed. The community will surely judge and its judgments will not often be wrong. Knowledge of the results of legacies bequeathed is not calculated to inspire the brightest hopes of much posthumous good being accomplished. There are instances of millionaires' sons unspoiled by wealth, who, being rich, still perform great services in the community. Men who continue hoarding great sums all their lives, the proper use of which for - public ends would work good to the community, should be made to feel that the community, in the form of the state, cannot thus be deprived of its proper share. There are but three modes in which surplus wealth can be disposed of. This day already dawns. How could a person ruthlessly exploit his employees and, at the same time, claim to be a benefactor of the toiling masses?

In just the next twenty years, affluent baby boomers are expected to contribute almost seven trillion dollars to philanthropy. It is criminal to waste our energies in endeavoring to uproot, when all we can profitably or possibly accomplish is to bend the universal tree of humanity a little in the direction most favorable to the production of good fruit under existing circumstances.

We live, it is often said, in a new Gilded Age—an era of extravagant wealth and almost as extravagant displays of generosity. When these apprentices rose to be masters, there was little or no change in their mode of life, and they, in turn, educated in the same routine succeeding apprentices.

Let the advocate of violent or radical change ponder well this thought.

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