In the “Gospel of wealth”, Andrew Carnegie argues that it is the duty of the wealthy entrepreneur who has amassed a great fortune during their lifetime, to give back to those less fortunate. Greed and selfishness may force some readers to see these arguments as preposterous; however, greed is a key ingredient in successful competition. It forces competitors to perform at a higher level than their peers in hopes of obtaining more money and individual wealth. A capitalist society that allows this wealth to accumulate in the hands of the few might be beneficial to the human race because it could promote competition between companies; it might ensure health care for everyone no matter their social standing, and parks and recreation could be built for the enjoyment of society.
Carnegie states, “Under the law of competition, the employer of thousands is forced into the strictest economies, among which the rates paid to labor figure prominently, and often there is friction between employer and the employed, between capital and labor, between rich and poor” (393). It is this competitive nature which allows the hardest working individuals to rise above their peers, create personal wealth and continue to accumulate wealth. Competition is a beneficial to capitalism. A company can produce an item and sell the
item at a price, set forth by the company, to make a profit. Greed may have the profit margin set high, so the return on the item is substantial to the company. If another company can make a similar item and sell it for less, while still making a profit, society and the company benefit. It forces the company with the higher profit margin to either find a more cost effective way to produce the item, or cut their profit margin. In turn, society benefits because the value of the items produced by these companies may continue to be reduced in price, becoming more affordable for the consumer. The company might benefit because it will be able to reinvest the profit and continue making affordable items, possibly forcing their competition out of business. When Carnegie speaks about individualism, private property, the law of accumulation of wealth, and the law of competition, he says “for these are the highest results of human experience, the soil in which society has so far produced the best fruit” (395).
Social classes have different standards of living. By properly administering wealth, Carnegie becomes the trustee of his poorer brethren’s funds. He believes the wealthy man, with his superior knowledge and experience in financial matters, is better suited to administer these funds. Carnegie says he would be “doing for them better than they would or could for themselves” (399). A wealthy person could buy a few acres of land, build a hospital, and create a hundred jobs in the hospital while creating affordable or free health care. The wealthy do not have to worry about how much it would cost if they were diagnosed with...