Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson said in a radio interview that poverty to “a large extent is also a state of mind.”
“You take somebody that has the right mindset, you take everything from them and put them on the street and I guarantee in a little while they’ll be right back up there,” he said in a SiriusXM radio interview released Wednesday. “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.”
Carson added that a “defeatist attitude” could prevent people from escaping poverty.
“You know, that’s real poverty,” he said. “If you don’t have that defeatist attitude, there’s hope for you.”
“I think the majority of people don’t have that defeatist attitude, but they sometimes just don’t see the way and that’s where government can come in, and be very helpful,” Carson added. “It can provide a ladder of opportunity, it can provide the mechanism that we demonstrate to them what can be done.” Sirius has released Carson’s interview to news outlets to promote the broadcast.