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March 13, 2008
Carnegie on Wealth
Do you know who Andrew Carnegie is? As far as Forbes is concerned he is the second richest man in the history of the world second only to John D. Rockefeller. Just to give you an idea of what being that high on that list means Bill Gates ranks 20th on the list and Warren Buffet ranks 41st. That ranking is based on their highest ever net worth. So needless to say Andrew had quite a bit of spare change in his pocket.
His view on wealth though is what I have always admired. Carnegie was known for being a big philanthropist, and it was said that he wouldn't give a begger a dime, but he would build him a library. He felt that his purpose of being rich was to use the money to make society better as a whole. By the time he died he had given away most of his wealth and was worth only $30 million which was quite a bit less then at his peak he was worth $298 billion.
Of all the times I went to a function, rally, meeting, etc. I rarely if ever heard about this kind of thought process when it came to wealth. I can however remember just about every single speaker talking about the home they owned the cars that they bought "just for fun", the shopping spree that was just for passing the time, etc. But yet since they have some folks in their downline making some money, many making money off of tools sales just like them they are lauded as great men and women who are making a better world for others.
No one seems to see the wake of destruction that is left behind also. The divorces over the business, the ruined family relationships, the financial despair, etc, etc, etc. Most of it sadly because the downline listened to some unbelievably stupid upline "advice". My favorite was always "you can't get fire from your fireplace until you put some wood in there" of course that translates as "you can't go Diamond unless you buy some CDs, books, and function tickets".
Sadly to often many people in this business are simply obsessed with the material items that wealth can bring. Don't even try to deny it because it is all over the place in this business. Go to one function and they have multiple films of Diamonds on lavish vacations, shopping for jewelry, driving their fast cars, etc. From stage there are a million stories about their material items. There is nothing wrong with having nice things, but there is something very wrong with making those things the focus of your life.
So since many current IBOs like to come here and tell me that I am not qualified to have an opinion since I did not go Diamond or make as much money as the leaders of the business I will leave with a quote from the second richest man in history, who out earned all IBOs combined many times over:
Man does not live by bread alone. I have known millionaires starving for lack of the nutriment which alone can sustain all that is human in man, and I know workmen, and many so-called poor men, who revel in luxuries beyond the power of those millionaires to reach. It is the mind that makes the body rich. There is no class so pitiably wretched as that which possesses money and nothing else. Money can only be the useful drudge of things immeasurably higher than itself. Exalted beyond this, as it sometimes is, it remains Caliban still and still plays the beast. My aspirations take a higher flight. Mine be it to have contributed to the enlightenment and the joys of the mind, to the things of the spirit, to all that tends to bring into the lives of the toilers of Pittsburgh sweetness and light. I hold this the noblest possible use of wealth. (emphasis mine)
One thing my upline used to teach about prospecting. It was to find a need by talking to a prospect, and then explaining how Amway/quixtar had the potential to fill that need.
It's probably true that many IBOs are not making the kind of income they would like, so they are told that quixtar can fill that gap.
I believe this to be true because I have seen so many instances where IBOs are talking about how great it is that their uplines make $4000 or $5000 a month from quixtar and they are "retired".
On my blog, I did a hypothetical breakdown of platinum income and after taxes, etc, it's not much to live on.
Man does not live by bread alone. I have known millionaires starving for lack of the nutriment which alone can sustain all that is human in man, and I know workmen, and many so-called poor men, who revel in luxuries beyond the power of those millionaires to reach. It is the mind that makes the body rich. There is no class so pitiably wretched as that which possesses money and nothing else. Money can only be the useful drudge of things immeasurably higher than itself. Exalted beyond this, as it sometimes is, it remains Caliban still and still plays the beast. My aspirations take a higher flight. Mine be it to have contributed to the enlightenment and the joys of the mind, to the things of the spirit, to all that tends to bring into the lives of the toilers of Pittsburgh sweetness and light. I hold this the noblest possible use of wealth.
This is the true wealth of the rich and wise man. Thank you 'Truth' for posting this and making my day that much better...
I may be wrong, but I don't think Carnagie was worth $298 billion as the aritcle states. He lived in the 19th century which means if you adjusted for inflation, he was wealthier than Gates or Buffet.
Interestingly, A/Q touts the book "Think And Grow Rich" by Napolean Hill. Carnagie was Hill's mentor and very much instrumental in helping him write the book.
I also saw a PBS special on Carnagie a few years ago that painted a much more complex picture of the man. He was very much the philanthropist but he could be pretty ruthless at times when it came to the aquisition of his fortune. Like everybody, he had both his good and his bad traits.
Actually according to Forbes which ranked the richest people in history their wealth was based off of what it would be in 2005. So his number was 298 billion with 2005 numbers. Gates and Buffet don't even come close to that.
I can't imagine anyone being the second richest man in history and not having been somewhat ruthless to get there. Also the time that he lived in was a time where the government was very hands-off in business. It was a pool of ruthless business owners most of them wanting to control their industry.
Quixtar panders to the dreamer's visions of wealth and the accoutriments that goes with it. Whether this approaches on of the seven deadly sins is debatable. Greed and lust are not pretty. Where is the fine line between these and ambition, which is considered a good thing.
Andrew Carneigie may have have been one of the richest men ever to live. Who hasn't at least seen one of his many libraries. He made his money as a steel baron in an era when labor unions didn't exist with low pay for long hard hot back breaking work. Undoubtedly, much of Mr. C's wealth was made off the toil of many a man who died an early death from time spent in one of the early smoke belching mills near Pittsburgh.
He may be lauded for his philanthropy, but can a library in each city bring back the wasted lives spent in wretched working conditions or the early graves many of his employees faced.
His story makes me wonder about he Devos and Van Andel "Dons" that have benefited from the money extracted from the IBO Customers in search of their elusive dreams? Might they feel like they should give back something for the life shattering problems their pernicious business cult have fostered. The continual PR babble that comes from Alticor makes me believe they have entrenched themselves into defending their seedy business until all their cattle come home.
I don't believe the founders intended for their business to fall into the hands of greedy tool kingpins. Amway may not have started out bad, but evolved that way. Too bad.
Really good article and perspective.
We just launched OpTree as a blog for the MLM world - we updated 4-5x a day and your perspective is great. If you would be interested in doing any corss links, we would love to discuss furhter.
Till then, great articles!
I have a question. Did any of you happen to attend the Sunday service of the weekend conferences? And, did your team that you were affiliated with even have a Sunday service? Don't create an opinion on a large group of people based on your experiences with one small portion of that group, i.e, your team. I'm sorry if you had bad experiences with your team but maybe just maybe, not all are the same. I know some teams have a Sunday church service, and talk more about the good they do with their money, like creating Christian Ministries to help young troubled women in need, or Christian camps to help troubled youth find their lord and savior, and not so much about the "stuff". And just to let you know, whoever was talking about th"7 deadly sins" do your research next time and you'll find out that the "7 deadly sins" were actually created by man and are not considered "deadly sins" by the lord in any means. They were originally created by man and for the catholic church. They were not in the bible in its original text. In any means, don't base your opinion on your lack of knowledge, and don't lump an entire group of ppl together in a bad OPINION bc you weren't strong enough to get the job done. Blaming the entire group and forming an opinion on them based on experiences with a few is prejudice, like blaming an entire race for the acts of few in that race. "Money is neutral. If you're a good person with a lot of money, you can do a lot of good and great things, if you're a bad person with a lot of money, you can do a lot of bad things."
I thought the functions were about "business", so why is a Sunday Service necessary? Are you telling us there were no available houses of worship to go to that weekend?
I went to a many "Sunday Services" and the big pins always made it quite public that they were making "big" donations. That just smacked me as the parable of the Pharisee and The Tax Collector being lived out before my eyes.
Donations are all well and good, certainly the charities can't operate without them, but never once in my four years did I ever hear a Emerald, Diamond, EDC, etc. speak of actually volunteering their time to a cause (being they have so much "free time")
But they sure bragged about those $10,000 checks....
Guess the volunteering and service was left to us "losers".
When one of your precious leaders actually rolls up their sleeves and pitches in, maybe - just maybe - they'll be "qualified" to speak to us about all "the good" they do.
Sorry friend; but how does your comment have anything to do with the subject of Carnegie on wealth, and why would I need a Christian lecture on the 7 Deadly Sins? Sound like you need a Quixtar Cult Intervention.
I can tell by your post that you're from LTD. Have you actually researched the religious beliefs of your leaders? All the LTD leaders are strong believers in the Word of Faith/Prosperity Gospel. Many prominent Christian leaders would argue that some of their beliefs are far from true Christian principles and are borderline heresy. They even brought Kenneth Copeland in for the 2007 LT9 Leadership event. Copeland is currently under US Senate investigation for using his ministry for illegal and personal gain (this preacher has his own personal jet!). Do you know who you're following?
You also say that money is neutral and it depends on what you do with it that matters. The LTD leaders don't truly believe that. They believe that money is a sign of God's approval only comes if you have enough faith. I had a personal conversation with one of the biggest Emeralds in LTD who told me that people in Africa were living in poverty because of their sins (but I thought Jesus died for our sins so we wouldn't be punished?). And Emeralds/Diamonds had more money because essentially they were "better" Christians (but don't we all fall short and that's why we accept Jesus's sacrifice for forgiveness?).
Once again I'll ask, do you know who you're following and what they really believe in?
If you want to educate yourself go to Amazon.com and pick up a copy of "The Disease of the Health and Wealth Gospel" by prominent New Testament Scholar Gordon Fee. He breaks down the false teachings of LTD/Kenneth Copeland and gives the Biblical way Christians should view money.
Jose writes: "Blaming the entire group and forming an opinion on them based on experiences with a few is prejudice..."
And blaming the entire group and forming an opinion based on the experience of the MANY is...wisdom.
I won't include quotes to save space just make reference to previous comments.
A. Carnegie was a huge giver and a wonderful person
B. Carnegie was a ruthless businessman, but it's ok he had to be.
A. Diamonds are materialistic and only talk about cars and houses and trips.
B. Diamonds are pharisees because they brag about how much they give away.
A. Diamonds don't give anything back in the way of time to the community.
Now all we need is someone to complain about the diamonds bragging about their time spent serving different causes and we can keep this thing balanced.
Wait, I can do that. I've heard many stories about diamonds attending youth camps and even sleeping in the cabins with the counselers while there. Or diamond ladies taking time to go to homes for hurting women and spend time visiting with them.
When they were telling these stories I was thinking: "blah, blah, blah, get back to the ferrari's"
(that's a joke!)
My point: the same people who complain about materialism start hurling stones if you make reference to generosity. It's no win!!
You couldn't be more off, but that is no surprise most people like yourself come here and post before really understanding what was written.
Carnegie was a good person with his money and I like his philosophy on his responsibility as a wealthy man. A philosophy that I have never heard from a Diamond's mouth. I don't recall ever saying it was OK for Carnegie to be ruthless, but it is ignorant to make a statement and not be able to understand the times of that era.
Also just like every other IBO you can tell me all the stories you heard all day long and it doesn't matter. I heard some stories too, however the vast majority of any meeting or conference is about material items, I guess you think I am wrong for thinking the material items should not be front and center?
Wow, you "heard stories" about Diamond charitable work. Must be gospel! (that's a joke, along with your reading comprehension!)
I never once heard Dex, Fred, Brett Diemler, T.J. Michaels, Greg Johnson, Don Wilson, Tim Tower, etc. etc. etc. speak about actual time given - but brag about those checks....
So the Pharisee label fits perfectly. Maybe read the parable this time and the point might hit you...
OK, bring on the "we love the troops" routine.... (awwww, did I take away the next great "rebuttal" - so sad.)
"So the Pharisee label fits perfectly. Maybe read the parable this time and the point might hit you..."
Just to clarify: pharisees were not characters in a parable, they were actual people who were known to be the most knowledgeable and religious people of their day. Jesus was chastising them for making a big display of all their religious actions, including their giving. (you were showing the parallel between diamonds on stage bragging about big donations and pharisees making a big display out of their giving) I GOT THE POINT
There's nothing wrong with my reading comprehension.
Just track with me for a second and try to keep up.
A. Diamonds are materialistic and only talk about cars and houses and trips.
Here I was referencing Truth’s original post:
“There is nothing wrong with having nice things, but there is something very wrong with making those things the focus of your life.”
The way I “comprehended” this was to mean that diamonds make these material things the focus of their lives. (I probably read that wrong, sarcasm intended)
B. Diamonds are pharisees because they brag about how much they give away.
Of course here I was referencing your post:
“I went to a many "Sunday Services" and the big pins always made it quite public that they were making "big" donations.” &
“But they sure bragged about those $10,000 checks....”
( I agree that someone standing on a stage bragging about the amount of money they donated could easily be compared to a pharisee) I think everybody can understand your analogy including myself.
Here’s MY point. The reason I put those side by side as A&B is because I thought is was ironical that in the SAME Blog you have one person saying that all they talk about is material things and their lives are totally focused on those things. Then another person says: “the big pins always made it quite public that they were making "big" donations”
So they are ALWAYS talking about material things and ALWAYS talking about making big donations?????
It strikes me as comical that Diamonds are criticized to no end for making public the nice things that money can buy… Then, when they switch gears and talk about how you can help others when you have money, they are criticized again and accused of being like the pharisees. (or at least that's the way I "comprehended" it)
Sorry so long but I’ve been accused twice now of not having the ability to read and comprehend so I guess copy and paste is only option…
WOW, you play the victim almost perfect. Too bad I don't buy it. I have also heard the stories about Diamonds giving money and yada yada yada. Those are great on a Sunday morning and all. Unfortunately, the rest of the time it's all about their material items. The dress wardrobe they bought before the function, the vacation, the cars, etc, etc. No doubt it's exciting to think about the things one will be able to afford, but is that all there is to it. That is what is so sad.
Of course not to mention the fact that most of that stuff is purchased with tool profits paid by the IBOs in the crowd, most of them losing money month after month in this "great" business.
We all got your POINT the first time, thanks. Your the only one who seems not able to comprehend that.
That's a nice Cliff's Notes synopsis of the Pharisees - there's much, much, more depth to the Parable and my analogy than that. Read and study it.
If you look at the diamond in Ruth Carter's book, that diamond "grossed" about 3 million, and netted about $300,000. Yet, in that diamond's line item for charitable contributions was about $12,000.
It's like a Pharisee who didn't tithe their 10%.
Hi, I'm an IBO to quixtar and I just want to you know that I'm not going to bash you. I under stand how it looks when you go to a funication and all it seems like is that there showing you there cars and homes. I been to many funications and yes I see the same thing but that is only to show you what you could have. I know what your thinking is that what they told you. Yes it is and I believe them. Think about it quixtar gives every one the same chance in life to get where the dimonds are. I would like to through out a something to you. Become a freind with an IBO get to know his upline and his group. If you stay long enough you will see that the upline is not the only one making money. And you will see the dimond is no the only making money as well. Yes I agree that some time IBO's make claims that are not true but that is not everyone. Becuase I'm not like that. Thank you for your time and I hope this helps.
Vince, why not play the lottery? It's "possible" to win the big pot and everyone has the same chance.
But you don't need tapes and seminars to play the lottery.