Poverty … A State of Mind????

“I think poverty to a large extent is also a state of mind.” – Dr. Ben Carson, Secretary of Department of Housing and Urban Development

Yesterday morning Dr. Ben Carson was interviewed by Armstrong Williams, a longtime friend, and the interview was aired yesterday evening on SiriusXM Radio.  A few snippets from that interview:

“I think poverty to a large extent is also a state of mind. You take somebody that has the right mindset, you can take everything from them and put them on the street, and I guarantee in a little while they’ll be right back up there. And you take somebody with the wrong mindset, you can give them everything in the world, they’ll work their way right back down to the bottom.”

“There’s also a poverty of spirit. You develop a certain mindset. I think the majority of people don’t have that defeatist attitude, but they sometimes just don’t see the way, and that’s where government can come in and be very helpful. It can provide the ladder of opportunity, it can provide the mechanism that will demonstrate to them what can be done.”

Try telling that to the single mother of four who struggles every day to put food on the table and every month to pay the rent.

tracy-grant.jpg

Carson tours the apartment of Ms. Tracy Grant

Alzene

87-year-old Alzene Munnerlyn

Earlier this month Carson toured facilities for the poor in Columbus, Ohio where he explained in an interview that in his view, compassion means not giving people “a comfortable setting that would make somebody want to say: ‘I’ll just stay here. They will take care of me.’”  Although he toured a number of apartments occupied by low income people, he gave the people almost no opportunity to speak with him, to help him to understand their situations.  87-year-old Alzene Munnerlyn living in senior housing said that although he spent about 10 minutes in her apartment, she was not given an opportunity to converse with him. “It was staged. It was so fast.” A dog-and-pony show, some called it.  A photo op … look at the magnanimous Dr. Ben Carson.

At a supportive housing center for drug addicts in Lancaster, Ohio, Trisha Farmer, the chief executive of the Recovery Center, pleaded for more federal help to house recovering addicts. Mr. Carson interjected. “We are talking about incentivizing those who help themselves,” he said, before again asking minutes later about how comfortable the facility was letting people get.

As Zerlina Maxwell tweeted, “Ben Carson said poverty is a state of mind. Next month, I’m going to tell my landlord that I paid my rent with positive thinking!”

I awarded Dr. Carson Filosofa’s Idiot of the Week award on March 7th, just a few days after his Senate confirmation. I noted at that time that Carson is as unqualified as Betsy DeVos (Secretary of Education) and Jeff Sessions (Attorney General), but no surprise.  Living in the inner city as a child does not, in and of itself, qualify one for the job of Secretary of HUD.  Now, however, Carson lives in a home with an estimated value of $1.2 million and recently purchased a “get-a-way” home in Florida for $4.375 million. His annual salary is just short of $200,000, and according to Forbes, his net worth is $29 million. This is the man who claims to understand poverty, and this is the man upon whom people needing housing assistance must depend.  Spare me. Carson has a complete lack of government experience, lack of knowledge of the issues surrounding his new department and, more importantly, lack of understanding what it is like simply trying to scrape together the rent money each month … all of that makes him remarkably un-qualified.

On Tuesday, Trump’s proposed budget went to the House of Representatives with no chance of passing in its current state.  The budget calls for deep cuts in HUD programs … nearly $6 billion per year. Under those circumstances, HUD needs a strong director, someone who believes in the goals of the agency — to help people; someone who will fight to keep sufficient funding to meet those goals.  Instead, they have a Trump ‘yes-man’, a pansy.

The one bright spot came last month.  Carson has been touring low-income housing in cities around the nation since he took over as Director of HUD, and in April, when he was touring a facility in Miami, he was stuck in an elevator for 20 minutes until the fire department could arrive to free him.  Poetic justice, yes?

Here are a few shots of Carson’s home, just for comparison purposes.

carson-house-2

24 thoughts on “Poverty … A State of Mind????

  1. Most of you are combogalated in your daily life and them dam cellphones,you trap yourself in your own hell and now you can’t see your way out,at one time man and woman held hand and walk in parks,now that is few today when you phones in everyone hands, look at yourself and then see the problem

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    • Actually, since you do not know me, you have no reason to be attacking me with such disrespect. We could have had a reasonable conversation … and let me assure you that I am far from what you think I am … but you put an end to a conversation with your disrespect. Obviously, you are the one with the closed mind.

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  2. It is easy for anyone who has never been ‘poor,’ to philosophise about a person’s ‘ability’ being enough to lift them out of poverty to higher income and living standards.

    Such ‘tosh’ might convince similarly ignorant rich people, but it is like rubbing hot peppers into the eyes of those who struggle to pay all their bills and provide a home for their kids on a low income job. Even for the most determined, it can take an entire lifetime to feel that they are secure enough not to worry about tomorrows bills.

    Such uninformed diatribe is so disrespectful towards the people who actually do graft for every last penny, pay their taxes and perform as good citizens.

    Dr Carson is an ignorant person with a ‘wanting’ character it seems…

    “Ignorance and Want represent society’s abandonment of the poor and the consequences of that abandonment.”
    Charles Dickens…a Christmas Carol.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Quite true … as Keith commented, “poverty is a lack of money” … nothing else. Rich people, however, seem to need to feel superior AND they seem to need to justify the fact that they do not wish to be responsible for helping those less fortunate. Not all rich people … there are people like Bill Gates in the world … but those in Trump’s circle all seem to feel this way.

      I learned a new word from you today … ‘tosh’ … thank you!!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ben Carson writing “I think” seems Oxymoronic. I mean, does he? Really? Regardless, he thinks what he allegedly thinks, and I think he’s a moronic d-bag. I could be wrong. Then again, I could be Aquaman using my Aqua-sense to summon aid from my friends from the deep. You never know.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 😀 You make me laugh, my friend! Yes, I often wonder if Carson actually thinks, or if he has been programmed to say what Trump tells him to say. The sad thing is that he was apparently quite good at what he did as a surgeon. Too bad he decided on a career change!

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  4. Per the book “The Rich and the Rest of Us,” by Tavis Smiley and Cornel West, the following quote is key:

    “Poverty is the lack of money. Period.”

    In my work with working homeless families, I see people working hard, often more than one job. I see single mothers who were beaten by their spouse or boyfriend and lost their house and dignity. In any welfare measurements, there are people who malinger, but it is a much smaller percentage than some would lead you to believe.

    When I speak to groups of people, I constantly have to educate a few folks who are firmly convinced that all folks in need can be painted by a brush representing a small subset.

    Dr. Carson is doing just that.
    Keith

    Liked by 1 person

      • No man nor woman is resposible for anyone but themselfs, but we can teach one another how do certain things to help one another,it up to the indivual to do for themselves,one can’t tell someone into doing for themself, that a state of mind issue

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  5. If you think (Alzene Munnerlyn) housing is poor then you would break down in tears when you see the conditions I have to raise my three children in, over here is South Africa if you apply for low cost housing at the government, you get placed on a waiting list for 7 years +, and then when housing does become available it’s situated in such a dangerous area that you can’t live there anyway, let alone raise children there….. :’-(

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