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Helping the Poor and Needy

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The idea of helping one another seems to be a common similarity in many people’s lives. Andrew Carnegie’s “Gospel of Wealth” and Karl Marx’s “Communist Manifesto”, both have very different stances on the topic of the rich and poor yet similarities can still be found among the two. In both articles, the idea of helping the needy is a heated topic among both writers. While Carnegie believed that the rich should assist the lower class in bringing improvement in their socioeconomic state, Marx believed that there should be no upper class and all should be equals. Carnegie makes the more compelling argument in his “Gospel of Wealth” on the problem of rich and poor because Marx’s classless society was flawed and was shown to be flawed in later even of history.

Directly giving someone who needs money is not always the best option. He believes that the rich should do their part in helping the poor and bring them up in society using the access money. Carnegie acknowledges this in his “Gospel of Wealth” by stating that wealth should be put into public needs rather than directly into the hands of those who need it. By doing this the poor can be brought up by using the utilities of the public. He argues that “ there are but three modes in which surplus wealth can be disposed of’’(). Carnegie does not fully agree with two out of the three modes, but he does agree that the rich should do their part to help the needy while they are still alive. His first point would be to give away before the individual passes away. He says to do this before death because the money could be used by others in ways that the individual did not intend if done after death. He follows this with his second point which would be to allow the family to inherit the money. He says that there is a fault in this in which this would just spoil the family and would not make them work for their money. This just leads to irresponsible use of money in future generations. What he feels is the best solution to this problem would be to distribute the money into things that would benefit the community as a whole.

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If someone wants to improve their life, then they must work for their earnings rather than it being spoon-fed to them. Carnegie believes that everyone should offer to help each other within their community but only to help those who work for it. Carnegie argues, “ In bestowing charity, the main consideration should be to help those who will help themselves: to provide the part of those means by which those who desire to improve may do so”(). This quote further explains his point to say that only those who are willing to take action to help themselves will personally help their own well-being. If the person has no personal drive to dig themselves out of the whole they are already in then what is the point in trying to help someone who helps someone helpless. People who are already accustomed to their lifestyle and feel uncomfortable reaching out will never improve upon what they are already behind on.

The idea of distributing wealth can be used to its fullest potential when it is used to help build a person rather than it being a handout. He believes that it works best this way because it helps spark new ideas and in the long run will help those who worked for it.   

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