The Gospel of Wealth, also known as Wealth, was an essay written in 1889 by Andrew Carnegie. He was born in 1835 and was a legendary philanthropist, immensely successful industrialist and businessman. He was the founder of Carnegie Steel Company and is considered second richest man in history. After selling his company to J.P Morgan, Carnegie devoted his life to charity work and made a mark in that area as well.
Summary and Concept of Gospel of Wealth
In The Gospel of Wealth, Carnegie stressed on the importance of recirculation of money in the society and that giving away money to charitable organization is not enough because it’s correct use cannot be guaranteed. He suggested that the rich should be trusted to make sure that their money reaches the community in a way that could really improve the living conditions of the needy and that the money could be regenerated in the society. He was of the opinion that accumulation of wealth was not unconstructive and the government should not try to hamper it.
Carnegie believed that the rich should come forward and take the responsibility of philanthropy. He was against the idea of delivering gigantic amounts of a rich man’s money to his heirs, rather he encouraged the law in which the State takes away a significant amount of money from a dead man in the form of taxes and uses it on the betterment of the society. He admired the British who taxed the dead millionaires.
By taxing estates heavily at death the State marks its condemnation of the selfish millionaire’s unworthy life. It is desirable that nations should go much further in this direction.
Carnegie practiced what he preached and spent the last part of his life giving away his enormous fortune for establishing libraries, schools, universities in America. He funded more than 2,800 libraries also known as Carnegie Libraries. Carnegie established Carnegie Foundation so that his efforts could be continued even after his death. Carnegie wrote:
The man who dies rich dies disgraced.