Ah Jessica, you get massive claps from me. Few people know about the term the Gilded Age so it’s nice when another thinker comes along and draws the comparisons we’re all thinking. I would contend, however, that Carnegie was more of the rags to riches story most of these millionaire hucksters emulate given that he started in a boiler room, then moved to a telegraph company hustling, and ended up as a steel titan. Same goes for Ford and the Model T or Vanderbilt and his rise to power with the steam boat. Either way, the point is they wanted people to buy their product, but chastised them for when they wanted their product and were poor. Have you read Bhu Srinivasan’s Americana: A 400-Year History of American Capitalism? It’s a fascinating read that shows capitalism as more an operating system than ideology—for better or worse—inside democracy. Alger is often mentioned because of the very things you wrote.

Storyteller | Combat wounded veteran | Metalhead | Designer | Bleeding on a page just makes it more authentic: https://benjaminsledge.com

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