Andrew Carnegie And The Gospel Of Wealth

957 Words Sep 28th, 2014 4 Pages
Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) is a prime example of the phrase, from rags to riches. During his early and teenage years, Carnegie went through poverty. After coming up with crafty investments and going through various jobs, he rose to great prosperity. Because he has experienced poverty and knows that it is a well-known problem, “Carnegie sought to use philanthropy to provide opportunities for individuals to help themselves.” Unlike Carnegie, William Graham Sumner (1840-1910), an influential professor at Yale University, believed that those who were rich deserve to be rich and those who were poor deserved to be poor. He was in favor of economic inequality and believed that helping those who are less fortunate would bring down the society. This paper examines the differences between Andrew Carnegie and William Graham Sumner’s point of view on the issue of rich and poor and whether the two classes should coexist or remain unequal. In Carnegie’s “The Gospel of Wealth”, he believes that when it comes to giving aid, the key principle should be to help the individuals willing to help themselves. During this document, he made the statement “…for in almsgiving more injury is probably done by rewarding vice than by relieving virtue”. To Carnegie, just giving money and items to those who were supposedly in need, was not helpful. It was not helpful because many individuals who gave to those in need, do not really know the true conditions of the “needy”. This leads to those…
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