There is an interesting dynamic right now. Not a pleasant one, just interesting. I saw an article from President Clinton’s former Secretary of Labor condemning and belittling President Trump’s current Secretary of Housing and Urban Development for comments Mr. Carson made regarding poverty and the individual's state of mind.
For those who are not familiar with Dr. Carson, he is a black neurosurgeon who rose to prominence for his work in separating conjoined twins. Incidentally, he grew up in a single parent home, in Chicago, where his illiterate mother took away the TV, and forced the two children to read.
So today the liberal media is all a flutter with how “out of touch” Dr. Carson is with his thinking. They are sure poverty is not a state of mind or an individual choice. Those living in poverty are victims trapped by an oppressive system. Funny how the progressive-liberal community is able to corrupt the American dream so that only privileged white folks can share it. If we are going to talk about white privilege, I think we see a prime example of it in the words or Robert Reich, and the authors (both white and black) who condemn Carson as out of touch when he advocates for change as a personal choice.
When I was a boy we were taught that our future was in our hands. It didn’t matter if you were black or white, rich or poor, the future of America was what you chose to make of it. To support this ideal, we were taught about Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt. Born into poverty on Staten Island, he began with a row boat ferry and by the time of his death was probably the richest man in America. Today, the DNC and the left clearly believe the political elite need to care for the poor as a parent cares for a child.
A friend recently pointed out the failures of our “war on poverty” on-going since the mid-1960s. As we began the war there were 10 million Americans living below the artificially chosen line we call the poverty level. Now roughly 50 years later, despite spending trillions on various anti-poverty campaigns we have 46 million (about 14.5%) living below the poverty level. According to Newsmax, the number of American’s living in poverty reached a high of 50 million under the Obama administration.
The Pew Research center talks about poverty in its January 13, 2014 paper, Who’s poor in America? 50 years into the ‘War on Poverty,’ a data portrait and finds some interesting facts in the data. In the 50 years the poverty rate has fallen only slightly from 19% in the mid-1960s to 15% in 2012. But the demographics have changed significantly. There are far fewer elderly poor, and there has been a breakdown in the family structure with single mother households making up almost 51% of the impoverished. Poverty rates have dropped for the blacks, but increased for the Hispanics. From a lay standpoint, it does not appear the trillions of dollars spent fighting this war has resulted in a winning campaign.
Apparently, the ideas of a man who succeeded in life, despite his impoverished beginning, is “out of touch with reality,” and not as important as repeating the same old programs that have failed to work for 50 years. The cliché definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result. This seems to be the mantra of the left. Why inspire the young to strive to reach their potential when we can appear empathetic, while we hold them hostage to the welfare state and dole out a subsistence living?