A Gospel of Wealth
(With Apologies to Andrew Carnegie)
IN THE LATE 1880S, the great philanthropist Andrew Carnegie made the case that wealthy capitalists had a responsibility to play a broader cultural and social role in life. In short, they were duty bound to improve the world with their wealth. But in his well-publicized essay “Wealth,” Carnegie warned that there was peril in handing out large sums of money to people or organizations that were ill equipped to make the best use of those gifts. The industrialist argued that wealthy entrepreneurs must assume the responsibility of distributing their fortunes in a way that increased the odds that the money would be put to good and effective use.
I’ve given much thought to Carnegie’s philanthropic ...