The debate between the cause of poverty and why people remain in poverty has been raging between those on the Right and those on the Left for years.
According to NPR, Ben Carson issued this bold statement on how he intends to fix it: “We’re working on concepts, on ‘how do we break these cycles,’ not ‘how do we continue them.’ So many people are just focused on, ‘but if we can change this,’ then it won’t go on like it always has, but maybe we don’t want it to go on like it always has. We have three to four times as many people in need of affordable housing as we can provide. The more we can move out the more others we can help…Success is not how many people we can put into public housing, it’s how many we can get out of it.”
Carson got into hot water with the Left for a statement he made during an interview in May, according to The Washington Post. He said “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.”
Considering the Left believes poverty is a byproduct of either racism, sexism or the greedy rich, it’s no wonder that many liberals had issues with his statement.
A lengthy article in The New York Times describes some of the complaints from the Left, citing research and statistics that supposedly disprove Carson’s theory. Eldar Shafir, a behavioral scientist at Princeton University, went so far as to blame Carson’s belief as the reason people struggle to rise out of poverty.
Shafir said the belief that anyone can succeed if they try hard enough could be the root of the discouragement those in poverty feel. “That’s part of the mindset: When I’m poor here [US], I’m not just poor, I also failed somehow,” he said.
Yet Carson hasn’t backed down from his statement. If anything, he added to it in the interview with NPR. He explained his belief with a metaphor.When a person goes to bat against legendary pitcher Nolan Ryan, they react in one of two ways.
When a person goes to bat against legendary pitcher Nolan Ryan, they react in one of two ways. The first say “Nolan Ryan! Oh no, he’s a legend. He’s got a 100 mile per hour fastball. I’ll probably not even see the ball.” Carson says this belief causes people to fail miserably. But there is a second group who say, “Nolan Ryan. He’s an old man. I’m going to knock the cover off the ball.” Thos people, Carson says, likely “have a much better chance.”
His belief is that while those in poverty need support groups and safety nets like welfare programs, the focus should be on getting them out of poverty, out of those support groups and off the safety nets. He wants people to succeed and grow, not wither and rot in poverty for years on end. Carson believes programs like welfare, are partially to blame for not focusing enough on growth and success and currently provide only band-aid solutions.
According to Carson, the purpose of the US government and HUD “is to provide the avenues, the mechanism, to allow anyone who can get out to get out, and I think that’s going to be most people.”
While there may be the occasional example of someone languishing in poverty despite their best efforts, odds are it’s more the exception than the rule. Many cases could simply be the result of people believing there was no hope, no way out, and have simply accepted their lot in life.
Even if it was somehow true that no matter how hard someone in poverty tries to escape they won’t ever succeed, there’s no benefit to believing it or preaching it, other than the benefit leftist politicians receive that is.
You see, it’s harder to get votes when you tell people they need to work hard and try in order to be successful in life. Votes come easier to those who say, it’s not your fault, just relax, we can fix your poverty if you just give us the power to do so.
Dr. Carson believes we should work on getting people out of affordable housing. Do you agree?
If the Left had impoverished Americans’ best interests at heart they would do everything they could to encourage them, give them hope, and create programs that facilitate a way out for them, not tell them there’s no hope and no matter what they do they won’t succeed.
Thank goodness there are still people like Ben Carson who have the best interests of those needing a hand-up at heart; people who are trying to give the less fortunate a way out, rather than provide useless excuses to get votes.