Robber Barons


Other than in biblical accounts rarely do we get an honest appraisal of individuals, never if it is a fictional work. I am reading Matthew Josephson’s book on the lives of people like Vanderbilt, Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Jay Gould. The book’s title “Robber Barons” pretty much tells you where the author’s perception is coming from. It amazes me that even an historical account cannot be objectively presented. Men who helped build this country, those who considered the title “capitalist” to be a badge of honor, left us a great heritage, and a model to be emulated are presented as men who made their fortunes on the blood and sweat of others as if that was bad. The fact that so many of those “vassals” made a good living, were able to raise families in a safe and better environment than they ordinarily would have in their country of origin. and most important, were given a model that they could themselves follow and achieve that same position in society and life does not seem to be presented. Granted, they did not reap many of the rewards of the “captains of industry” but the men listed above worked just as hard and had more to lose than the steady 9 to 5 job and paycheck of the laborer. Many of their stories demonstrate that often they rose from a menial labor job to attain great success and that others could do the same. The problem with these great men was that often they did not demonstrate a charitable love for those who needed help, “the poor, the widow and the orphan”, along the way. But that was not because of their position but because they, like everyone else, were only human and had the same self-centered innate nature as all of us. They only demonstrated their charity after they made their millions and were more than comfortable. Then they gave, establishing great schools, colleges and foundations. But by then it was more of an act of assuaging their guilt rather than true charity. It is great to be a chiropractor and have the opportunity to demonstrate charity and love for humanity each time a person walks into our office, to do it every day and not need to have it demonstrated after we are gone.

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