Thursday, May 6, 2021

Andrew Carnegie and the Gospel of Wealth

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Dana Cook


History 04

"Business Practices to Think About"

Help with essay on Andrew Carnegie and the Gospel of Wealth

Paper #1

Word Total 44

After watching the film, "Andrew Carnegie and the Gospel of Wealth," I realized the variety of work ethics this film portrayed. Although many practices seemed obviously harsh and rude, other practices seemed so thoughtful that you often caught yourself wondering if the actor was really as bad as he seemed or if he had a morally correct motive for his actions in the film.

At the beginning of the film we find out that two of the characters, Henry Clay Frick, and Andrew Carnegie have a law suit against one another. The film goes on to reveal just a little background about each character. We find that Charles Schwab tends to lie in order to get his way in life as well as in the working field. Andrew Carnegie, probably the most important character is a man of 61 who desires to destroy his competitor, J.P. Morgan's business. All of these people react in this film in ways that displays both positive and negative practices of work ethics.

Andrew Carnegie, as mentioned earlier, is a 61 year old man who is ready to make the biggest gamble of his life. He likes monopoly and desires to build a big, extravagant company that will take over the smaller ones, shutting these smaller businesses down. This is when you really begin to think about whether this is good or bad. Well, naturally, this is good for Carnegie who already has so much money that he gives it away to others. However, perhaps Carnegie wasn't thinking about the little man who relies solely on his small business just to get by from day to day and provide food for his wife and kids. This is one negative practice of values and work ethics.

Another negative practice is displayed when one of the characters reveals his belief that "the majority of money belongs to only a certain group of people." This is a very heartless statement. Everyone deserves money, especially enough to provide the necessities for a family as well as enough to survive through any emergency that may take place. I totally disagreed with this statement. It definitely came from a man who never had to worry about how he was going to feed his family or feed himself. Perhaps it would mean more if he were allowed to live this way for a short while in order to change his opinion.

Because of Carnegie's philosophy that "the man that dies rich dies disgraced," he gave his money away. Well, is this good or bad? It can seem both in sort of a sense. If he gives the money to the right people who don't have anything then perhaps we could view this as being a positive act of work ethics. However, what about his workers who didn't seem to have so much? Why not just raise their salary and give them the money he could give away. Carnegie often was caught throughout the film, exploiting his workers. With this being a negative practice, he could have possibly given them more money just to put up with him and his attitude.

However, because of Carnegie's belief about giving his money away, a positive practice did come out of this. This action made steel cheaper, therefore, allowing more building to be built as well as more skyscrapers making the business world grow as well making the cities grow in number of people and trade. This idea benefits a variety of areas within cities and home within that that city. Steel was used to make various items in the working world. Therefore, with the price of it being so cheap, many items were made and sold for cheaper than they were before making them more affordable.

Charles Schwab was Carnegie's business partner, much like a messenger or secretary. Schwab, as mentioned earlier, lies to get his way. So, at one point in the film, he invites J.P. Morgan to a dinner and does so without asking the permission of Carnegie first. He acts in this fashion because he strongly desires for Morgan to buy out Carnegie rather than Carnegie buy out J.P. Morgan's business. Schwab also met with Morgan in order to plan the steel industry, once again without Carnegie's permission. Schwab spoke against everything Carnegie stood for making his role in the film to seem much like that of a back-stabbing worker in the labor field. He was not only a liar to Carnegie but also to Morgan. Schwab also lied to Morgan about Carnegie breaking ground for his new business in order to get Morgan nervous so that he would quickly buy Carnegie out. This was, once again, a prime example of bad work ethics.

At the end of the film, Morgan buys out Carnegie's business costing him $1.5 million. This seems to be the end but it isn't. Carnegie really ripped Morgan off since he only paid $500,000 for the business himself. He charged Morgan three times the amount that it originally was and Morgan would have paid more if it had been asked. However, Morgan definitely gets repaid afterwards when he starts the first $1 billion industry. Therefore, he benefits from Carnegie's selfish ways.

Overall, this film displays both questionable positive and negative practices of values, beliefs and work ethics. I strongly think that the negative actions in this film outweigh the good, making it somewhat scary to have to deal with the business and advertisement industry. In this film, the idea that the actors are worrying only about themselves makes them seem very self-centered. I feel that sometimes, worrying and thinking about others rather than yourself, will benefit you more in the long run.

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