Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Ben Carson is right.

"I think poverty to a large extent is also a state of mind," Carson said. "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.

Carson grew up in abject poverty in Detroit, rising out of it to become a world-renowned surgeon. In the interview, he seems to attribute poverty at least in part to having the wrong mindset.

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," he said in the interview, which was noted by The Washington Post." Source.

Trying to get people out of poverty is the hardest thing you will ever try to do. I know because I've been trying to figure it out my whole entire life. You see - I still have family in government housing.  And every time I see people shit on what Ben Carson says, I just shake my head because they just don't understand what a complex issue this is. They think - just shower them with money and they will be fine. But that's not how things work in the real world. Sometimes you can give people every cent you own, and they will still be poor, and worse yet - you will be poor too.

It's hard to talk about your family without sounding like a complete asshole. My Aunt and Uncle are the nicest kindest people you will ever meet. They would give you the shirts off their backs. But they do have poor people logic. They believe the only way to get ahead in this life is luck, not through hard work.

My Uncle fell for every get rich quick scheme on the planet. Companies would draw the cost of the schemes right out of their bank accounts. Yet, my Uncle thought that because everything depends on luck - he wouldn't really do the schemes. But they would still take the money from him. I think I learned the most in life from my Uncle.

It isn't that my Aunt and Uncle never had a brush with trying to get ahead. They won the California lottery twice. I talked about it here in 2008. They didn't win millions, but enough to put them on a better path in life. They decided to buy more lottery tickets and stuff they couldn't even use. A few years ago my Aunt was fantasizing  about winning the lotto again and telling me what she would do with the money if they did. She said they would rent a cruise ship for them and their friends to have a party. Which even I don't know how much that costs. But you get the idea. My Aunt then told me that  she guessed they "just weren't lucky" enough to win a third time.

Now, they've already beat the odds TWICE. And frankly if they are "lucky" enough to win a third time I have no illusions they they will not be poor again within a short amount of time. They are like those lotto winners who win big, and in a few years wind up penniless. And the frustrating thing is they are not horrible people. They are the kindest people in the world. But you just can't reverse their poor people logic. Like thinking you will rent a cruise ship instead of buying a house.

Almost two years ago Mr S and I drove out to see our families. His in Ohio. Mine in the projects in Illinois and extended family in the Ohio projects. I hadn't seen my family in a while so a lot of things that used to irritate me I'd forgotten. Like the get rich quick schemes. I always felt like he short changed my Aunt by being so into them and I was a bit bitter about it. It wasn't until the last day we were there that I really started getting edgy. And then, right as we were leaving.......... he pitched me. He had a product that cured everything. And I about lost it. I mean, my Aunt isn't in great health now. So why wasn't he trying to fix her with this product. It brought all that stuff right back up. Because you know the get rich quick product company was just fleecing them. But what do you do to stop that? You can't.

As we were leaving town Mr S. said to me - I'm surprised this didn't cause you to melt down earlier. I was like - what? Him - in the beginning of our relationship it's all you ever talked about. Because honestly I did have a little resentment over it. I felt my Aunt could have lived a better life if she married someone else. It's hard to watch your family live a certain way knowing that even if you helped they would be right back in the situation they are in. It's frustrating. But it had been enough time that I'd forgotten all of that.

I don't know what the answer to all of this is - but I think that unless you've traveled through the welfare system you should just shut the fuck up. Because you don't really know what you are talking about. At my Aunts housing complex I was completely taken back by kids wearing Beats headphones which cost between 2 and 300 dollars. In the projects!

I've said a few times that it takes three generations to get off welfare. The old people you just can't do anything about. They have let their skills lapse so far that you just have to take care of them. The next generation tries for a while to get off welfare, but sometimes they have babies early and just wind up in the same cycle eventually. They will get off the dole for a while, but they will spend some time there. Finally the third generation is young enough to run like the wind and make a fresh start.

Mock Ben Carson all you want, and sometimes he does say goofy stuff. But when he talks about welfare - he is completely right.

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