Dr. Carson Tells Poor People ‘Fix your own toilet!’
Of course, Dr. Carson said no such thing but we’ll get back to that in a moment.
Here’s a shocker for you — if you look at all the news about Dr. Carson, you’ll find it’s virtually all negative. It’s a bit more subtle than the criticism of President Trump but nonetheless the media flips virtually everything he says to make it look like Dr. Carson is incompetent.
For instance, in speaking about the problems of West Coast homelessness, Dr. Carson said that government funding is not the only solution. To which Portland mayor Ted Wheeler said “Secretary Carson, if you don’t think gov’t can provide solutions, then you should step aside and allow someone up to the task to lead.” Mayor Wheeler, the federal government did not create this problem — you did — and it’s not the responsibility of the citizens of the other states to fix it! If you want us to chip in, make your case.
Back to the great toilet controversy. Dr. Carson goes though this in great detail in a Facebook post but let me just summarize. In a forum on the state of the poor in the black community, one of the ideas Dr. Carson mentioned was looking for ways to make those in public housing feel more of a sense of ownership and community. His idea is to encourage people to not call the federal government for minor repairs by giving them a credit for repairs they make themselves. If they apply for a mortgage to buy their own home, they could use this money as part of the down payment.
The public radio station in New York then ran the story HUD Secretary to Public Housing Residents: Why Don’t You Fix It Yourself which focused on how this won’t solve any issues with major repairs that need to be done to buildings.
Deborah Goddard, executive vice president for capital projects at the New York City Housing Authority, called Carson’s proposal confusing and unworkable.
“Who is liable when a repair goes wrong?” she asked.
What a world we live in where the concern isn’t about raising someone up but making sure the government doesn’t get sued because someone botched a toilet repair! All of these liberal bastions of good intentions continue to force us into the unintended consequences that negate any intended good.
If you search long enough, you will find that HUD just inaugurated it’s first EnVision center in Detroit. Dr. Carson noted that “while funding for HUD has increased over the last twenty years, the number of households served has remained the same. We need to think differently about how we can empower Americans to climb the ladder of success.”
Pillars of the EnVision program
- Goal: Increase the number of students and adults who go from unemployed to employed.
- Goal: Increase the number of people who start revenue generating businesses.
- Goal: Increase the number of enrollees in to HUD’s Family Self-Sufficiency program.
- Goal: Launch and increase number of residents in the Section 3 Database. (The database can also be used by residents to identify businesses that may have HUD-funded employment opportunities.)
- Goal: Increase enrollment in two and four-year colleges.
- Goal: Increase the number of adults who earn GED.
- Goal: Increase the number of 3rd grade students who read at grade-level.
HEALTH AND WELLNESS
- Goal: Increase the number of pre-natal wellness visits to Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC).
- Goal: Increase the number of annual physicals at FQHC (adults).
- Goal: Increase vision and hearing screening among pre-school aged kids.
CHARACTER AND LEADERSHIP
- Goal: Increase civic engagement.
- Goal: Increase the number of adults and youth participating in a mentoring program.
- Goal: Increase the number of two-parent households.
The EnVision Center demonstration focuses on empowering people to leave HUD-assisted housing through self-sufficiency to become responsible homeowners and renters in the private market. By doing so, HUD will be able to make those resources available to others and help more Americans.
In a rare moment, I dropped my cynicism to think — just for a second — that maybe Republican concepts of individual responsibility might have a chance!