Carnegie starts out his article stating, “The problem of our age is the proper administration of wealth, so that the ties of brotherhood may still bind together the rich and poor in harmonious relationship.” (Carnegie, 1) He begins by explaining how the people of our society enjoy wealth to a much greater level. He quotes, “What were the luxuries have become the necessaries of life.” (Carnegie, 2) He proves this by taking the laborer to the landlord and proving the landlord of our day has more than a King of the times before. The society we live in today has much more opportunity and competition and Carnegie feels that if you have money, it is under your control to use it to help out the less fortunate and not to use it for just your own good.
Carnegie believes there is three ways in which people can use their money after they pass. The first one is passing money on through generations of the family. This he feels is “…misguided affection,” (Carnegie, 24) and that this will only hurt the children of the rich and also be bad for the state. The second way is through public purposes. Carnegie thinks this is just a way for the rich to be remembered and to create, “…monuments of his folly”(Carnegie, 25). Through public purposes is seen as a last resort since money cannot be taken with them in the after life. The third and way is to be administered. He believes that taxes should be taken from a dead man to help our society as a whole. Carnegie sees money as a charitable act as suspicious because you do not know exactly where the money is going.
He uses an example of a beggar and describes how the money was used improperly, proving this is not enough. Carnegie believes in the virtues of Laissez Affairs and individualism, which the government should not be in control of where someone’s money goes. It is the rich peoples responsibility to improve our society as a whole. He also says that we should follow Christ’s spirits and, “…doing for them better than they would or could do for themselves” (Carnegie, 27). Overall, our times biggest obstacles is charity and we should, “…help those who will help themselves” (Carnegie 28), and will be rewarded in heaven for doing so. Overall Carnegies does not believe in dying rich, as he quotes, ‘The man who dies rich dies disgraced’ (Carnegie, 29).