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Is Poverty a State of Mind?

Posted by CircuitGuy 3 years, 6 months ago to Politics
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I think Ben Carson is absolutely right that poverty is a state of mind. That doesn't mean it's not real or important or it's easily fixed. But there's a difference between broke or struggling to support yourself and "poor". Poor implies a permanence. It implies you don't have the hope or ability to get see a way to prosper.

“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.”

"You take somebody with the wrong mind-set, you can give them everything in the world — they’ll work their way right back down to the bottom."

"If everybody had a mother like mine, nobody would be in poverty."

It's unpopular but true. I do not agree with Carson on most things, and I do think gov't should help the poor, not as alms but for the same reason it should protect against pollution, crime, and invasion.

I'm posting this under "politics" because of the political backlash against a statement that I think is true. Admitting it and absorbing this statement, that poverty is a state of mind, would be a good thing for the world.
SOURCE URL: https://nyti.ms/2rXGTsZ


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  • Posted by Animal 3 years, 6 months ago
    As I've been saying for several decades: There will always be rich people and poor people, because rich people will always do the things that made them rich, and poor people will always do the things that made them poor.
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  • Posted by $ blarman 3 years, 6 months ago
    I agree with Carson. I've lived with people who have far less than even the so-called poor in the United States (seriously - how can you be poor if you have a roof over your head and a flat-screen television to watch every night). They were political refugees trying to escape a civil war in their own nation. They were just happy to be living in a place of relative safety even though they were working a minimum wage job. (The father had a doctorate in laser physics and was a chess Master and was working fast food.) Their outlook was still positive, a kind of "nowhere to go but up". They didn't consider themselves poor, even though by any objective standard of income they were definitely in the gutters. They had hope that things would get better, however - that at some point he would be able to find better employment. Those here in America would do well to take a page from that book. Dr. Carson's own story is that of rising out of real poverty to become eminently successful. I would place pretty good betting odds that those who would criticize him for speaking are themselves critically ignorant about the matter. I would bet that none have been to Indonesia or Calcutta, India, or the Phillippines, or Africa and seen what the truly poor look like.
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  • Posted by jimjamesjames 3 years, 6 months ago
    Yes, it is a state of mind. Dr Ruby Payne researched the" hidden rules of poverty.".
    Examples:
    'Food
    Poverty. Eat it now, might not be more
    Middle Class: Did you like it?
    Wealthy: How is it presented?

    Money:
    Poverty: Spend it now
    Middle Class: invest for the future
    Wealthy: How do I display that I have it?

    Time:
    Poverty: The present. Enjoy it now
    Middle Class: Use it for the future
    Wealthy: Traditions, history

    Destiny:
    Poverty: Is fate
    Middle Class: Is choice
    Wealthy: Noblesse Oblige

    Humor:
    Poverty: about people
    Middle Class: about situations
    Wealthy: Social faux pas

    Driving Forces:
    Poverty: Survival,, relationships, entertainment
    Middle class: Work, achievement, success
    Wealthy: Financial, political, social connections

    I, and my friends, grew up in lower-middle class families, Not all intact families. Five of them are coming to Wyoming for a reunion the end of June. All are millionaires or very well off, all have strong self-concept, all think of themselves as individuals, not members of a collective. Poverty is a mindset.
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  • Posted by DrZarkov99 3 years, 6 months ago
    I had a black associate who came from a low income background, and was physically handicapped. He worked his way up to a PhD and a good solid financial status, because he refused to accept the word "can't".

    His half brothers, by contrast, were high school dropouts, not handicapped, and stuck on "poor." They constantly complained that it was "the man" who kept them down. My friend wasn't popular at family gatherings when he told the half brothers that he couldn't remember a bunch of rich white guys dragging them out of school.
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  • Posted by NealS 3 years, 6 months ago
    I believe poverty is a state of mind. I also believe homelessness and medical care and treatment are states of mind. I've noticed a huge difference between my newest more rural facility and my previous big city Veterans Hospitals, which I'm sorry to say has become a state of mind for some veterans. The previous facility always seemed to have a lot of long haired, unshaven, poorly clothed, "veterans" hanging around. They hang out in the cafeteria, the halls, and outside when the weather is nice. I agree that there are many exceptions, many people are in need, but a huge percentage of need is only there because it is available. A friend and I were talking about this same "free" issue in Oregon. It seems when the Trailblazers or other professional sports teams are playing a game the emergency, free, and veterans facilities are close to empty. Apparently sports are more important that health issues. That's just the way it is.

    With healthcare, if we stopped the entitlements and just let the providers provide for the needy and just build their cost of free service into those that pay, perhaps the cost of healthcare might go down. Back to free enterprise, let the providers and users make the choices. I wonder how it's done in countries run by dictators, do they offer free services and have a lot of free loaders too? Perhaps life is just a state of mind, either live it or let someone else live it for you.
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  • Posted by $ Thoritsu 3 years, 6 months ago
    CG, I agree with you on this, and about many Carson positions.

    The government has taken a role with poverty now. It is ridiculous to think that this is just going to be eliminated, or that eliminating it overnight wouldn't cause riots. Therefore, the question is how to make this role effective, such that it executes itself to extinction.

    Since the government has taken a role in helping the poor, it should revise its strategy away from "giving away fish" to "teaching how to fish". I would be a huge advocate of a change:
    1. Forgoing voting rights in elections following any period accepting these services.
    2. 10% reduction in budget/yr and 10% reapplication of the remaining funding from handouts to work and education for food and housing.
    3. Work and education are provided by private parties, companies compete for these contracts with incentives based on the recipients performance over the 5yrs after they are off the program.
    4. Eliminate the department of welfare and replace it with a DARPA-like acquisition program.
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  • Posted by ChuckyBob 3 years, 6 months ago
    ABSOLUTELY! I have lived in the slums of Chicago and seen a mentality what will ALWAYS lead to poverty, no matter how much money is thrown at it. In fact, the more money you throw at it, the more dependance it engenders. So, throwing money at it only serves to create a "slave" class in our society. LBJ fully understood this when he promoted the euphemistically named "Great Society".
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  • Posted by strugatsky 3 years, 6 months ago
    Agreeing with you on the main premise - poverty is a state of mind, I most definitely disagree that government should help the poor. Once it becomes legal to steal from one and give to another, and profitable for the middleman, we get exactly what we have now. Government exists (or should exist) only for the protection of rights; being wealthy, or not being poor, is not a "right."
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  • Posted by term2 3 years, 6 months ago
    I never liked having no money. I just moved heaven and earth to make money when faced with a shortage. The first thing I did was cut expenses, then earned money. Must have gotten this from my parents for which I am forever grateful
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  • Posted by Herb7734 3 years, 6 months ago
    Of course its true. I have been poor, although I never realized it until I could look back when I was no longer poor, and finally realize that the reasons my parents did some weird things, like eating my leftovers was because we were poor.
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  • Posted by $ Olduglycarl 3 years, 6 months ago
    Only "Local" governments might help the poor depending upon the community's make up. In my community, my town, if our incomes were not extracted by force of law, would otherwise be able and willing to help those in need, to teach and support them into a place where they would thrive.

    Although it's understood and generally expressed as a "mind" set, I wish we would more accurately say "brain" set because it is most certainly the delusions of the brain, the learned traits and other physiological conditions that prevents one from engaging their mind.
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