HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s assertion that poverty is a “state of mind” got me thinking. About poverty. And about how Ben Carson is full of shit.
“I think poverty to a large extent is also a state of mind…You take somebody that has the right mind-set, 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.”
This is worse than Ragged Dick nonsense. This isn’t policy. It’s frightening to hear that the man in charge of the 1.3 million units of occupied public housing managed by some 3,400 public housing authorities thinks that a little positive thinking can result in national prosperity.
I wonder if positive thinking can bring funding to the $26 billion in unmet capital needs for our nation’s public housing stock?
I wonder if positive thinking can provide sufficient state investment to create homes that people can afford?
I wonder if residents of New Jersey, which shamefully boasts the sixth highest housing wage in the country and whose residents must earn at least $26 per hour at 40 hours per week in order to afford the average two-bedroom, market-rate rental without spending more than 30 percent of their income, would benefit from magical, pixie dust thinking?
I wonder if the real-life minimum-wage-earning residents—who must work nearly 130 hours per week to afford the same New Jersey market-rate rental—are thinking if only they changed their “state of mind” that things would improve.
I wonder if Carson has any comprehension of his awesome responsibility as HUD secretary. I know he doesn’t, but clearly he’s undergone poverty conversion therapy, and it seems to be working just fine… for him.