Andrew Carnegie - Gospel of Wealth Essay

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Andrew Carnegie’s “The Gospel of Wealth” explains how Individualism, Private Property, the Law of Accumulation of Wealth, and the Law of Competition award the majority of a society’s wealth in the hands of few. Carnegie states these individuals may expend their excess wealth in three modes. The first is leaving all accumulated wealth to the family of the individual. The second mode is leaving all of an individual’s wealth at death for public uses. The third is the individual spending their wealth throughout their life for the common good. The first and second mode of bestowing wealth is looked down upon by Carnegie. Within his explanation it is possible to conclude that Carnegie is in favor of inheritance taxes. He states, “Of all forms of taxation this seems wisest.” The first mode is only acceptable if a fair amount of income is provided to the family. However, leaving all the wealth may do more harm than good for the society. The second mode illustrates the man who gives after death, should not be remembered as someone doing good for society. In Carnegie’s eyes, these men are hoping they could take their fortune with them upon death. “By taxing estates heavily at death the State marks its condemnation of the selfish millionaire’s unworthy life.” Since there are only a few very wealthy individuals, Carnegie believes these individuals should spend their excess wealth in ways to improve the society. Not in monetary handouts, but in a manner in which to have a lasting advantage. Also Carnegie believes that taxation will provide an example to those wealthy men who have not done their duty. Also the inheritance taxation will provide more money for society to do what is right; to help improve the society as a whole. Overall I agree with Carnegie. Yet, I only believe the super wealthy should be subject to higher inheritance taxes than normal. The millionaire of 1889 could

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