What would Andrew Carnegie do about the poor in the country?

1 Answer

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Andrew Carnegie believed in the "Gospel of Wealth," which would inform his ideas regarding what to do about the poor.  He would have argued that the government should not give them charity.  He would also have said that private groups should not simply give them money to help them.

Instead, Carnegie would have rich people like himself act paternalistically to help the poor.  He argues that rich people should spend some amount of the last years of their lives in using their accumulated wealth to help the poor.  They should manage the money rather than giving it to the poor because they are the best people, the ones who know most about how to live and how to prosper.  As Carnegie said, the rich man should use his money in such a way that he would be

the mere agent and trustee for his poorer brethren, bringing to their service his superior wisdom, experience and ability to administer, doing for them better than they would or could do for themselves.