Ben Carson Talks About Poverty and the Left Has an Aneurysm

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson meets with city and housing officials inside a shelter in Columbus, Ohio, Wednesday, April 26, 2017. Carson said Wednesday he expects to release a policy agenda within the next few months that delivers “bang for the buck,” partly by encouraging more private-sector collaboration. (AP Photo/Dake Kang)

I might not have thought much of Ben Carson as a presidential candidate and I fear his poor judgment in selecting personal advisers is going to result in his ruin, but there is no better example or more knowledgeable person on the national stage on the subject of poverty, welfare dependency, and the power of hard work than Ben Carson.


Carson gave an interview Wednesday and this was part of it:

In an interview released Wednesday, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson said that a “certain mindset” contributes to people living in poverty, pointing to habits and a “state of mind” that children take from their parents at a young age.

“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,” he said during an interview on SiriusXM Radio with Armstrong Williams, a longtime friend.

“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,” Carson said.

Carson said during the interview that “the wrong mindset” is the product of negative parenting habits and exposure.

“There’s also a poverty of spirit. You develop a certain mindset,” he said.

It got the inevitable reaction:


Carson’s statement is not unknown to the left, but it is only objectionable when you don’t have the right politics:

What is amusing is watching a lot of people who never had to worry about where their next meal was coming from tell a guy who grew up hard and succeeded what poverty is really like.

Ben Carson’s statement should be unremarkable. I grew up hearing that broke was the state of your wallet and poverty was a state of the soul. Both of my parents were high school dropouts–one to go to work and the other to get married–but they inculcated in me the value of education and hard work. Though Carson was, in this context, speaking of people without means the same poverty is just as apparent in the thirty-five-year-old losers working at Starbucks and living at home. His statement also speaks to the futility of the multitude of “anti-poverty” programs that do nothing more than teach another generation that they will be taken care of even if they make no effort to better themselves.


And we conservatives can’t afford to be smug about this and think that this is a problem of the inner city. It isn’t. The opioid crisis that his hitting middle-income families is a sign that poverty is a spiritual rather than a material deficit and that dependency can come from over-indulgent parenting just as it can from absent parents, because the two are merely opposite sides of the same coin.


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