Thursday, June 4, 2015

Good vs Evil

      The steel industry exploded in the early 1900s. During this times the United States produced the largest amount of the world's steel and oil. John D Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie are two of America's richest people who arose from this industrial innovation period. They are still admired today for their work, but in the 1900s should they be considered robber barons or captains of industry?
     Both robber barons and captains of industry were popping up more and more during this time. Captains of industry are leaders who believe in competiton and are liked by others. On the contrary robber barons were not liked by others and rather than natural competition they wanted to destroy their rivals. By these definitions I would classify John D Rockefeller as a robber baron and Andrew Carnegie as a captain of industry.
  John D Rockefeller was a leader in the oil industry, who was said to be "mad for oil." He used his position as a major personnel in oil production to bring in a lot of wealth. One of his main goals was to make money. He said, "Someday I will be the richest man in the world." With his money he did not compete with other oil businesses, he rather bought out the companies that were not doing well. In addition to this he bribed politicians and used horizontal integration. Horizontal integration is the practice of meeting with other companies' directors to make sure their prices stay high. Because Rockefeller followed these tactics and was not liked by others, he should be classified as a robber baron.
     Andrew Carnegie was very different than Rockefeller. Although, they both were top businessmen in their class Carnegie is a captain of industry. Carnegie excelled in the steel business and became very wealthy. He believed in the "gospel of wealth," the idea that every rich man was made rich by god and he has the duty to use his wealth for the good of the people. Carnegie most definitely used his wealth for the good of others. He founded Carnegie Mellon University and spent excess money on public needs such as education and libraries. In addition to this Andrew Carnegie was a believer in rewarding his workers and recognizing their talent. Carnegie proved to be a "people person" and should be classified as a captain of industry.

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