The Gospel of Wealth

I came across an interesting article titled the Gospel of Wealth, few days ago thanks to Twitter. It was originally titled “Wealth” and published in the North American Review in June 1889 by Andrew Carnegie, a Scottish-American industrialist and philanthropist. It was Carnegie that led the expansion of the American steel industry in the late 19th century, becoming one of the richest Americans in history as a result. 

In his article, Carnegie who believed in giving wealth away during one’s lifetime, argued that every man of wealth has two main duties.  First, to set an example of modest, unostentatious living, shunning display or extravagance; providing moderately for the legitimate wants of those dependent upon him. Second, to consider all surplus revenues as trust funds which he must administer so as to produce the most beneficial results for the community. “The man of wealth is an agent and trustee for his poorer brethren, bringing their service his superior wisdom, experience and ability to administer, doing for them better than they would or could do for themselves” he wrote. 

Carnegie also believed that carrying out the duties above could help us overcome the problem of income inequality and at the same time bring “Peace on earth, among men good will.” 

“The man who dies thus rich dies disgraced.” Andrew Carnegie