Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Ben Carson, has made it his mission to ensure that low-income residents living in government-sponsored housing don’t enjoy too may comforts. According to a report from the New York Times, Carson paid a visit to a homeless shelter located in Ohio this week and was “plainly happy” after being told that it had “stacked dozens of bunk beds inside” and “purposefully did not provide televisions” to keep residents from getting too comfortable. While visiting an apartment complex for veterans, he noted that it had so many amenities that “only pool tables were missing.” “A comfortable setting…would make somebody want to say: ‘I’ll just stay here. They will take care of me,’” Carson explained.
Asked to comment on his position on the less fortunate members of American society, the former Republican presidential hopeful told internet portal KnowMyRepublican.com, “I realize that everybody’s feeling sorry for those folks, but I doubt many people paused to consider whether pity was what they really needed.” The retired neurosurgeon went on to argue, “I know they’re suffering and I’m well aware of how many challenges they face on a daily level. Their life truly is a struggle and many of us don’t even realize how many things we are taking for granted until we meet a homeless person or someone who’s struggling to find solid ground and change their life for the better. This is something that is ever present both in the American society and throughout the world. It is not, however, something we can afford to ignore.”
Asked to elaborate, Carson argued that the American society is based on hard work and due diligence, “not only charity and handing out aid.” “The reason why we are today one of the wealthiest and most advanced nations in the world is, I believe, because we call things what they are, which is to say, we are realistic and honest, and also, we are not afraid of good, old hard work,” he said. “Yet, despite such a goal-oriented prevailing mindset, we are still a nation with a significant part of the population that is poor, homeless or struggling to have a normal life. There are many reasons why that is, but ultimately, regardless of how much Americans choose to help these people, they are the ones who must overcome the difficulties they’re faced with. It has to be their own hard work and their own willpower that keeps them afloat.”
“That is why we must draw a very clear line between giving them help and giving them luxury,” Carson said. “A place to sleep – of course, some food – of course, medical care – there’s no argument over that, but television? I think that’s pushing it. Because, at the end of the day, whether you’d like to admit it or not, poor people are no different than babies; they won’t stop sucking on breasts and grow up unless the mother makes them. I believe we are the mother in this case, and it is up to us to make sure poor people have enough to survive, but not enough to do so comfortably. Because, if we give them comfort and luxury, that might cause jealousy in other Americans, which is a huge threat for our society. One that’s bigger than all the terrorists and North Koreas combined.”
“Ultimately, much like babies, poor people too need to grow up and realize that this country was not meant for the week. It was meant for the hard working, problem-solving folks who aren’t afraid of taking responsibility for both their successes and their failures. And having a job, as well as the responsibility that comes with it, and providing for one’s family, is the ultimate success in life. If you’re an American, that is,” the retired neurosurgeon concluded.