Where Ideologies Clash: Galbraith vs. Carnegie

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Where Ideologies Clash: Galbraith vs. Carnegie Wayne Eternicka Nicolet Area Technical College Where Ideologies Clash: Galbraith vs. Carnegie All men are created equal – that is, unless you subscribe to Andrew Carnegies ideas put forth in the 1889 essay “The Gospel of Wealth.” Carnegie (2010) wrote that some people are “unworthy” while others are “the highest type of man, the best and most valuable of all that humanity has yet accomplished” (p. 395). Carnegie’s (2010) belief in social Darwinism and “survival of the fittest” (p. 393) seemed to convince him that because he had achieved wealth, he was the most fit or qualified to determine the best distribution for it. However, Carnegie’s ideas on wealth distribution do not address many…show more content…
50), they do little to satisfy problematic areas of society. Astutely, Galbraith (2010) addressed these problematic areas and surmised we need to “invest more than proportionately in the children of the poor community” (p. 413). To do this, in addition to public institutions and parks, Galbraith (2010) recognized the need for efficient mass transportation in poor communities, quality health care services, ample housing with housing standards, and adequate law enforcement (p. 413). If we look at these ever-present needs and realize the U.S. is an affluent enough society to meet them, we realize Carnegie may not have been as fit a person at distributing wealth as his public persona would indicate. Carnegie’s essay is now probably included in collegiate literature because he was a wealthy man; Galbraith’s essay is now probably included in collegiate literature because it stands on strong, morally-compassionate ideas. Galbraith would likely have chosen to redistribute wealth in a compassionate way that attempted to remove the environmental factor that causes certain “islands” of the population to remain poor and unproductive, paying special attention to the opportunities of the children in that area. Even further, he [Galbraith] ( 2010) proposed solutions for those who have no means to contribute to the productivity of society: the sick, the handicapped, the mentally ill (p. 413). All this

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