Dr. Ben Carson responds to M. Catherine Evans

In her blog post entitled “Ben Carson’s plan for low­income single mothers is same­old, same­old” M. Catherine Evans completely missed the point I was trying to make in my interview with Mr. Andrew Swoyer.

Rather than expand the already­too­omnipresent Federal government, as she erroneously claimed I suggested, I proposed moving away from the failed Great Society policies of the past that have contributed to a steadily growing population of low­income single mothers in America.

The key to success for turning this trend around is for all of our local communities and neighborhoods to collaborate and create private sector, non­governmental daycare opportunities, which would enable these young mothers to finish high school, attend a community college or perhaps pursue a bachelor’s degree, or even a graduate degree. Instead of expecting the Federal government to try and solve this problem, I’m talking about having local businesses and industry, churches, academia, and non­profit charitable organizations work together to forge creative and locally­appropriate daycare opportunities.

These kinds of daycare settings are available in some communities already. I know because I have visited these daycare facilities and seen how they can transform peoples lives with my very own eyes. While we have some such daycare settings available already we need many, many more to help low­income single mothers lift themselves out of poverty and into a newer and brighter future.

The primary objective here must be helping these women continue upward on their educational path. Helping single mothers finish their education enables them to join the workforce rather than remain unemployable and dependent on government assistance to provide for themselves and their children.

Helping single mothers finish their education and join the workforce also enables them to become independent and self­sufficient and to lead by example with their own children. My own mother had an elementary school­level education but nothing was more important to her than my brother and I doing well in school. She knew, in her heart and soul, that the key to our future success was excelling at school. And she was absolutely, positively right. This is a simple but powerful truth.

Starting with the Great Society in the mid­1960s and continuing onward for decades, the Federal government has tried to deal with this problem by creating new national programs and dedicating billions and billions of taxpayer dollars to them. And, after all this time and money, what has it produced? Approximately three times as many single mothers today (10 million in 2011) as in 1970 (3.4 million).

My vision for the future is our society moving away from the Cradle­to­Grave Government mentality and towards a future where communities and families work together to provide for themselves and their children, not rely on the largesse of the taxpayers via the Federal government.

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