Ben Carson, One Nation - A Book Review

Modest Beginnings

Ben Carson is not afraid to speak his mind. In fact, he begins his book saying that Americans have been lulled into quiet compliance through political correctness which has stifled our dialogue rather than open the doors to communication and exchange of knowledge. He says, "If we don't have enough basic information to manage our lives, we will give up our freedoms to those who promise to take care of us".

Dr. Carson implores that we go beyond pure knowledge saying "the wise use of knowledge is more important than knowledge itself", contrary to the adage that knowledge is power. and that we need to "act like mature adults who can tolerate hearing something about which we disagree and still remain civil and open-minded."

He feels more emphasis is placed on sports and athletes than on the value of a good education. We see this in the comparison of teacher's salaries , those who shape the minds of future generations, to the multimillion dollar stadiums where all star high school athletes compete for trophies. He says few schools have a showcase full of trophies for nerds of which Ben Carson was one.

He was a student who carried a slide ruler in a holder on his belt, but that was not always his chosen path. His beginnings were typical of those raised in dire poverty: he had a horrible temper and poor self-esteem and started life in an impoverished neighborhood of Detroit.

Ben and his brother were raised in the sixties, a time of civil unrest and upheaval in a changing world. Through the efforts of his mother, who married at thirteen, he and his brother learned the value of reading. Despite the family's limited means, Ben's mother ensured that he would gain a world view through study by requiring her sons to read two books a week. She enforced this strict guideline by making them submit a handwritten book report to her, which she would mark up and review.

Civil Rights Issues in the 1960s

Civil Rights Demonstration in Tallahassee Florida, By Florida Memory via Wikimedia Commons
Civil Rights Demonstration in Tallahassee Florida, By Florida Memory via Wikimedia Commons | Source

Dr. Carson is a retired Neurosurgeon whose many accomplishments include successful separation of conjoined twins and other medical feats that defy the imagination. He's a graduate of Yale University, former director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, widely regarded as one of the world's greatest hospitals 1.

He retired following a distinguished career as a doctor, a professor and surgeon to pursue other interests. He's been married to the same woman, Candy Carson, for nearly forty years and has three sons.

Johns Hopkins Hospital Complex

By Lizardraley99 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Lizardraley99 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Ben Carson, MD

"Famed pediatric neurosurgeon, bestselling author and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Ben Carson, M.D." By V. Aceveda, U.S. Air Force [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
"Famed pediatric neurosurgeon, bestselling author and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Ben Carson, M.D." By V. Aceveda, U.S. Air Force [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Education

Like most successful people, Doctor Carson recommends that people start with education to advance our situation. He suggests that we've lost our way in schools that cater to teaching to the standardized testing rather than impart the wisdom of those who led the way.

He talks about the value of his own education, obtained at great sacrifice, and speaks about what he attained through his various jobs he held while putting himself through college. He shares a lesson learned in how to motivate people who are not interested in working, something he learned as a supervisor for a highway cleanup crew. He put this information to use and dramatically improved the productivity of his team.

He talks about the problems of long term government dependency and the derailment of the working class which has been promulgated through the subsidization of able-bodied workers. He speaks to the issues of minimum wage and of the responsibility of families toward each other, including the elderly and the disabled. He talks about the role of government and the problems of government dependency. He reminds us about our spending policies and the enormous US debt that will serve to sabotage our children's futures.

He believes our nation would do well to return to the values imbued by our forefathers as they formed our nation including a return to God who governs our outcome. What does a neurosurgeon know about government? He reminds us that our founding fathers included five doctors whose opinions contributed to the establishment of our new nation.

He's not afraid to speak about his beliefs and has done so recently in an address to the National Prayer Breakfast in February 2013.

Speech at National Prayer Breakfast February 2013

Have you heard of Ben Carson, MD?

  • Yes, he is a potential Presidential Candidate in 2016.
  • Yes, I've seen him on TV or other media.
  • Yes, I've read his book.
  • Yes, for any of the above reasons or other.
  • No, I've never heard of him.
See results without voting

Ben Carson, MD

Gage Skidmore [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Gage Skidmore [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons | Source

He talks about our compassion for the poor and says our policies "should mean providing a mechanism to escape poverty rather than simply maintaining people in an impoverished state by providing handouts". He claims this is a mechanism of manipulators, whose ultimate intent in these kind of programs is to gain a huge block voters who, although they fail to contribute to the collective tax revenue base, continue to have a say in how much taxes others need to pay.

He's not afraid to quote the Bible and God's words of wisdom for us through the ages. In fact, he was criticized for his stand on the definition of marriage and for statements he made about his beliefs. Dr. Carson says we need to move beyond the personal attacks that are made in retribution for speaking about our beliefs. He claims that the opposition shows the weakness of their argument when they launch into personal attacks on someone's character rather than support their side of the argument with facts.

Ben Carson is an outspoken leader, whose ideas are worth considering, even if we don't buy into all of his recommended solutions. He proposes direction and action on the part of each of us, rather than leave our futures in the hands of those whose plan for us feels more like slavery than freedom.

God Bless America, 1970 John Wayne Variety Show

2 Chronicles 7:14

"If my people, which are called by My Name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; I will hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."

The Bible

How Can We Fix America?

Ben Carson advocates that we study the track record of potential candidates and vote based on our beliefs rather than look for someone whose name sounds familiar or who has promised us any number of benefits.

Among many other action points, he challenges us to do each of these things:

  • Learn a new fact about American history each day for a month
  • Replace television and Internet surfing with reading
  • Learn the names of our state and government representatives
  • Research their voting records
  • Study various media and news report outlets to determine if the facts are real or spun
  • Ask an older and wiser person for his or her perspective on a controversial issue.
  • Identify a member of an elite class and ask how they would recommend that you assist those stuck in poverty

Ben Carson advocates a return in our nation to a "place where our public education system is the envy of the world". Only with "improvements in education, combined with wisdom and knowledge" will our country turn around.

Reading about our potential future leaders is the only way to know what they stand for and the policies that they propose. By studying the achievements of our candidates, we will gain the advantage of making informed choices.

This book will provide valuable insight into the character and beliefs of Ben Carson. I highly recommend reading this book to anyone who plans to vote in the upcoming elections.

Sources

  1. U.S. News & World Report (usnews.com). 2014
  2. The Carson Scholars Fund Website

© 2014 Peg Cole

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Comments 83 comments

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

Hi Peg, what a fascinating and interesting man. He has definitely got the right ideas, and its refreshing to hear that he doesn't like political correctness because it stops us thinking and acting the way we should, thanks for introducing me to this very interesting man, hope to see him more on tv even over here in England, nell


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Hello Peg. It is good to see people who have worked hard and with spit and vinegar pulled themselves to a level in society that seemed impossible at the time. The US system has become so complex it defies logic. We need people like Dr. Ben Carson who are not afraid to stand up and question what is being told to the public. Yelling into the wind is how I view it.

As always you have presented the information with care and skill.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean

Ben Carson is an inspiration to all classes and all races of people. Thank you for the review on his book. I intend to read it.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Nell, thank you for being first to comment on this man and the ideas in his book. I agree that political correctness has thwarted many frank and open discussions between people who hold back their opinion rather than offend. I do appreciate your quick visit and thoughtful comment.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

Although I'm not someone who believes in his basic ideologies, he does have some good ideas worth hearing. Thank you for sharing a review of his book.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

Hi Dear Peg,

Wow, what an inspiration. I am in agreement that we have become so politically correct that it is to the point of being ridiculous.

I love your book review and the introduction to Dr. Ben Carson. He is a very interesting man and one to watch.

Excellent article.

Up and more and away

God bless you and God bless America! I love that particular scripture you have quoted, as it is so relevant this day.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

seems like a man with interests, and a future plan.. great book review and you did Dr. Carson justice bless you pegcole


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Good morning Mckbirdbks, Thank you for reading this book review and for expressing your important thoughts. It is inspirational to read about someone who has bridged the gap between poverty and success. Yelling into the wind indeed.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hello Ms. Dora, I'm glad to see you are inspired by Dr. Carson's book. I plan to send copies to some of my relatives. He is an interesting man.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hi Flourish, I'm grateful for your comments and can respect your viewpoint. It is difficult to find anyone whose ideas fit our ideologies exactly but I'm glad some of his words have meaning for you.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hello dear Faith,

It's good to see you here and thank you for the kind words. Dr. Ben Carson quoted that particular scripture and two others at the beginning of his speech at the National Prayer breakfast. He advocates that we should all study Proverbs as the words of Solomon have great insight into wisdom. I like the fact that he's not afraid to speak about God. It is truly refreshing in this PC stiffled world.

Yes, God Bless America and God Bless you.

Love to you


wba108@yahoo.com profile image

wba108@yahoo.com 2 years ago from upstate, NY

I'm considering voting for Ben Carson if I think he could win the next election. I can't think of one thing he's said that I don't agree with. He knows what all successful people know, that life isn't a bowl of cherries and that if you want to succeed, you need to get off your duff, work hard educate yourself and stop blaming others for your problems.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Thanks so much, Frank, for your kind words and visit. God Bless you, too.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hello wba108@yahoo.com, It's nice of you to take time to express your views. I appreciate your comment and sentiments about hard work. It does seem like people play the blame game rather than taking responsibility for their actions. Thanks again for dropping by.


poetvix profile image

poetvix 2 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country.

While I have yet to read the book, I have heard the man speak and follow him on social networks. He's brilliant in a common sense, practical, will actually work for the nation kind of way.

I admire him greatly and would love to see him and many more like him in office. The man actually has integrity, something all but nonexistent in our federal government at the moment.

I very much enjoyed the history on him you provided with this review. Kudos!


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

Oh my, i'm in tears. I watched the video. It was long but oh, what a wonderful speaker, Dr Benjamin Carson. I've never heard of him and that's a shame. I could listen to him all day, and i will buy his book,' One Nation. ' Peg, this is an outstanding book review. I wish the whole world could read it. His story about his childhood, the poverty and his mother's determination to educate her children, even though she had little education was an inspiration. Thank you so much. Hugs..


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hello Poetvix, My fellow Texan, yes, it is refreshing to hear someone who speaks from the heart and isn't afraid to voice his values. I have only just begun to read about him so I'm on the learning phase. I do hope we will come together as a Nation and elect someone with integrity. Thank you so much for reading this review and for taking time to share your opinions about this man.


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 2 years ago from California

Dr. Carson is an interesting man. Thank you for writing about him. I was defining what integrity meant this morning for a group. This is what I said, "Integrity means saying you will do something and doing it". I might add without complaining. I think Dr Carson might be this kind of person.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Ruby, I'm so glad you found this interesting and even watched the video. He is an incredible speaker with topics that seem down to earth and heartfelt. You will most likely enjoy the book. I know I stayed up most of the night reading it and finished it the next night. Hugs back to you, friend.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hello Tirelesstraveler, How inspiring that you spoke to a group this morning about integrity. We need more people in leadership positions who hold to their values and consider integrity as important.


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

I'm enjoying reading your book reviews and learning about interesting people that I've never heard of before, Peg. Ben Carson's book definitely sounds like it's worth reading. Thanks for introducing him to me.


grand old lady profile image

grand old lady 2 years ago from Philippines

I'm a huge Ben Carson fan. It's nice to know he wrote a book like this. He is really brilliant and a straight talker.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 2 years ago from United States

I have been very impressed with Ben Carson when I have heard him speak on TV. I think he would make a good president. I am glad you wrote this hub as it gives us a lot of information many people, including me, did not know. Voted up and shared.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hello AliciaC, It is my pleasure to share the words of the people that I'm learning about as well. My hubby bought me this book last weekend at Costco. Before that, I'd never heard of him either. Thanks for letting me know that you enjoy these types of reviews. I am honored.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hi Grand Old Lady, Nice to know that you've heard of Ben Carson. I had not until recently. We could benefit from having some straight talkers in charge of our country.


epbooks profile image

epbooks 2 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

Interesting perspectives - thanks for sharing this review!


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Thank you for dropping by and for leaving an interesting comment, epbooks.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

I have known about Ben since the little prayer breakfast he messed up having his say! I don't think this man could tell a lie. I really love him and hearing him talk. If we had more men in this world like him there would be some hope. He is just amazing! Glad someone is putting him out there.


SubRon7 profile image

SubRon7 2 years ago from eastern North Dakota

Hey, Peg, thank you for writing about this great man. I'll put it like this, I have heard him say nothing that I absolutely disagree with. One thing that stood out what he said to do was talk to someone older. I'm almost 70 but I still look to guys older than me for knowledge and wisdom. And one of the many things I like about you, Peg, is that you respond to each individual comment from your readers. It's late, so I'm not watching the long video tonight. I've heard it before but want to hear it again, but tomorrow! Thanks again, Peg, and goodnight!


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hello Pamela99, Thank you for your fine comment and for dropping by to read this. I learned quite a bit about him, too. Thanks for the votes and for sharing. Cheers.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hi Jackie Lynnley, You've got that right. He really shook some walls with what he said. I believe we do have hope if there are people out there who share these ideals.

I woke up with the song "Whispering Hope" on my mind. It's been years since I heard that tune. Thank you for your great comment and for the visit.


truthfornow profile image

truthfornow 2 years ago from New Orleans, LA

Interesting, I think that most people these days do not speak their minds. Therefore, we all have a hard time getting along.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hello James, SubRon7 - It's good to see you adding your thoughts to this article. I always appreciate hearing your point of view. Yes, the video is long, 27 minutes, but it's a message well worth hearing again. I can see some squirming on the part of the people sitting behind the podium and I wonder what their reaction was to the words of Dr. Carson. I saw a few things on YouTube that went into the aftermath of the speech, but I didn't include that discussion here on the book review.

I understand you had a birthday recently. Happy Belated Birthday, James, and many more. I like to talk to people that are older than me as well. I often miss having my Dad to talk with on important issues like these.

Keep the faith, stay strong and see you soon. All the best.

Peg


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hello Truthfornow. I think you're right about people not speaking their minds. It's become a dangerous place to voice our opinions. That is something I'll never get used to here in the land of Free Speech. We're afraid we'll offend so many special groups that we cannot voice an opinion about much. Cheers to you and thanks for sharing your thoughts here. Peg


SubRon7 profile image

SubRon7 2 years ago from eastern North Dakota

Thanks, Peg, but my birthday is still a couple months away. My dad died in 1996 and I still miss him every day, as I'm sure you miss yours.


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Dear Peg,

There are moments when I really miss Mom, times when I am bursting to share something special with her. By now, I am sure she would have "broken down" and had her own laptop...but if not, I would have been dashing over with mine to share this video of Dr. Carson.

I listened, just as I imagined Ruby did, to him last evening...enjoying Michelle's hand claps and the 'body language' of the gentlemen I could see... especially the smiles. At these times, I feel Mom nodding her head and whispering..."yes, exactly".

Your review was excellent in every way...what a wise man 'J' is in his book selections for you! The video of the man himself was 'icing on the cake'... I can hardly wait for our next Costco trip! Thanks, dear friend for sharing this inspirational man...who needs to be shared more and more.

Voted UP and UABI and why, yes...I will also share! Love, Maria


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Peg...I am familiar with Ben Carson and like what I have seen thus far. I fully intend to keep myself updated on his plan. After doing some research and finding that Ben is a potential candidate for POTUS 2016, I made a donation to the cause, which qualified me to receive a Ben Carson monthly newsletter and 10 free bumper stickers that read: "America Needs a Doctor, Stat! Ben Carson '16. RunBenRun,org."

Your hub is fabulous. The more that the general public is exposed to Ben and all that he is about....the better. Here's to BEN CARSON 2016!

Up+++shared, pinned, tweeted googled


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hello Maria my friend,

I'm thrilled that you stopped in to check out this book review and thank you so much for the excellent comment, for sharing the thoughts about your dear Mother and for your reactions to this man's words. We need strong people with strong values to take our country back to a place where we can recognize ourselves again and be proud of our Nation. I'm not afraid to say it, "One nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all." I hope you will enjoy reading the book as much as I did. Thanks again for the kind visit, the votes, and your ongoing friendship.

Love back in your direction, Peg


Cari Kay 11 profile image

Cari Kay 11 2 years ago

I love Ben Carson and would vote for him in a heartbeat. That said, LOVED the 'God Bless America' video. Some of my favorite actors there. What a great page. Thank you!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York

Peg thanks for introductring Dr. Carson. Now can we get him to run for president? I realize not everyone will agree with him but he certainly hits home on so many points. Education, helping the poor not handing out to them, and on and on. An intelligent man filled with intelligent ideas.

Voted up, useful, and interesting.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hello Paula, fpherj48, I'm so grateful to you for dropping in and for mentioning the RunBenRun.org campaign. I will definitely be checking that out and have already ordered another one of his books, "America The Beautiful". I can't wait to read that one.

Thanks for all the shares, votes, tweets and for the fabulous comment.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hello Cari Kay 11, Thanks so much for the visit and heartfelt comment and for telling me that you enjoyed the video. I love it when John Wayne says, "I'll say it again, 'cause I say it everyday. God Bless America."

I'm looking forward to reading more of your work.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hello Tillsontitan, I think he will. There is no one with whom we can agree on every topic, but he does hit home on so many points, as you've said. It's so good to see you here and hope all is well with you and yours.

Thanks for the votes.


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

Hard work gets us where we want to go, and Dr. Carson has done well in his life doing just that. He clearly is a man of ideals that has not been afraid to rise above the odds.


SubRon7 profile image

SubRon7 2 years ago from eastern North Dakota

Finally listened to Dr. Carson's speech, Peg--what a man!


Sylvestermouse profile image

Sylvestermouse 2 years ago from United States

A truly excellent book review! I have been quite impressed with Dr. Carson and his accomplishments. Mostly I appreciate his no nonsense attitude and direct approach. I get rather tired of politicians, or anyone, who talk a lot, but say nothing.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hello Aviannovice, Deb, thank you for stopping by to take a look at this book review. I appreciate your candid thoughts and valuable comments. Thank you so much.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Subron7, James, I'm glad you stopped back in to let me know you liked the video. Me too. Your comment was priceless!

BTW, I'm ahead on the birthday greeting, then. Hooray.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hello Sylvestermouse, Nice to meet you here and thanks so much for the thoughts about Dr. Carson. I really appreciate your excellent comment and your visit.


WriterJanis profile image

WriterJanis 2 years ago from California

He has some very interesting action points. I like them.


Olan Smith profile image

Olan Smith 2 years ago from Antelope, California

I think he would make a great President. He has a great American story to tell and he uses common sense approach to things. I hope he decides to run in 2016. Thank for the article.


OhMe profile image

OhMe 2 years ago from Pendleton, SC

Dr. Carson makes so much sense. I enjoyed reading this and learning even more about him.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hello WriterJanis, I like his action points and his writing, too. Lately I've been trying to learn something new about American History everyday. It's amazing how much I've forgotten over the years.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hi Olan Smith. Having someone like Ben Carson as a role model would hopefully inspire a change in the way people see things. I appreciate your candid thoughts and your visit here to this book review.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hello OhMe. Nice of you to drop by and let me know that you enjoyed reading about Dr. Carson. He seems to be a sensible person with a lot of interesting ideas.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas

No matter what future office holders think or believe they will tow the party line or soon be looking for another job. This is true of both major parties and I have seen it in action many times.

Most of the people I know would prefer to work if a job was available. There will always be a few lazy people in our midst because of the law of averages. There are lazy wealthy people too, but no one gripes about them. There are also people who grew up in wealthy homes who make their own mark, so money isn't what creates laziness. Researchers already know what causes laziness, but that is another story.

From my perspective poor people work harder than anyone else because they have to in order to survive. Everyone who imagines that so-called welfare is easy street or a dream come true should be forced to live on it, no help from any other source, and after a couple of years, let's see what they think then. I'd wager you will hear their screams of inhumane treatment in about 2 weeks time if it takes that long.

Not everyone qualifies for public assistance just because they have no job and no money.

People who have never been poor think they have to punish the rest of us for being poor so we'll be good G-damned sorry we dare to continue to take in air and be poor at the same time. They don't realize how punishing it is to be poor in the first place. My wish would be that everyone could be poor until they learn their lesson about the reality of being poor.

The Walton family got most of their wealth by not paying a fair wage to their employees, not providing any benefits to their employees, by subsidizing their payroll with taxpayer provided food stamps and medicaid that the Walton family in no way contributed to, and by selling cheap junk from China made by people paid even lower wages than Walmart employees.

I don't think the Walton family can be proud of how they got their money or how they avoid paying taxes or how they take advantage of people who have far, far less than themselves in every way possible -- except maybe character. They are not alone in their legal theft and as such, I think it wouldn't hurt them and people like them to pay their fair share in taxes instead of taking money from hard working taxpayers to subsidize their payroll. They need to raise the wages they pay as well.

If wages and benefits were reasonable for all workers there would be no need for so-called 'hand-outs.' I think sometimes people who came up living in poverty forget where they came from and why they were there -- if they ever knew.

Good for Ben Carson that he was able to dig himself out of the hole, but I do think he lives in his own reality from what you have presented here. I don't know of anyone who is dependent on government in the context Mr. Carson alludes to. The average 'welfare' recipient is on public assistance for about 2 years -- unless he's suggesting that some of the special needs children I take care of should get up off their lazy behinds and get a job? They are the only people I know (and not ALL of them) who are dependent on lifelong, or long term government assistance.

Some mentally challenged people are able to hold minimum pay jobs. I recommend Mr. Carson and anyone else who thinks a person can live as well as an animal on minimum pay try it for a while.

Like being homeless and desperately poor, living on the minimum wage alone would be an education in itself. Many people in this richest nation on earth do their best to succeed on the minimum wage, but it's a miserable way to exist while the wealthy who take advantage of them by paying those low wages, etc., such as the Walton family, live high off the hog.

According to a lot of very uninformed people, poor people on assistance live better than the Waltons, Bill Gates, and the Queen all put together. If they really believe that why don't they give away all their worldly possessions and go on public assistance? I know, it would be dishonorable in their minds, where stealing from poor people by paying low wages that a bird couldn't live on is not dishonorable.

I say it is dishonorable to take advantage of people no matter how easy they make it for a person to do so. Even if they sign an agreement allowing it, it is still totally without honor to take advantage of any person by not paying them their worth when one is able to do so.

Many people, if you read my article on 'Who Are the Homeless People of America?" are working. Walmart employees are obviously working, yet they qualify for some public assistance programs. Clearly the answer isn't quite so simplistic as some people prefer to believe.

Just as it says more about the character of someone screaming at their waiter/waitress than it does about the character of that waiter/waitress, so it says volumes about well off people who pay their employees untenable wages .

It shouldn't be how much money people have stacked up that generates respect, but how they got and are getting the money they're piling up, and what they are doing with that money.

People who expect others to do the work they consider themselves too good to do (and they expect poor people to do it for a pittance), should not criticize those people who make it possible for them not to have to do those jobs they consider beneath them.

Well written, but I don't think laziness is the cause of poverty or homelessness in the U.S., as Mr. Carson seems to believe.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hello Au fait,

It's clear that you are passionate about these matters of corporate greed and the rights of the poor. I can appreciate many of your sentiments here. Having been a small business owner, I can tell you that it was very difficult to work a regular full time job, plus, run my business nights and weekends and I could not afford to pay wages for anyone to work in my store in my absence. Perhaps you faced the same difficulty with your own business. You've said, "The Walton family got most of their wealth by not paying a fair wage to their employees, not providing any benefits to their employees". While this may be true, more companies are moving to this standard of hiring part time workers to avoid having to pay benefits to them due to excess regulations and US corporate taxes which are the highest of any country. Still, it is true, corporate greed is rampant.

You wrote, "Walmart employees are obviously working, yet they qualify for some public assistance programs." I can tell you truthfully that when I worked for a major airline as a flight attendant that my salary was so low I qualified for food stamps as well, although, I did not apply for them.

On the subject of the book review, I agree that the causes of poverty are multi-faceted and it seems as if Ben Carson understands this clearly having risen from dire poverty through sacrifice and hard work. His works of charity in education are well documented in his program, Carson Scholars Fund and in his principles of tithing.


RonElFran profile image

RonElFran 2 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

I really like that Dr. Carson challenges people to investigate for themselves, and not be swayed by one-sided perspectives delivered by ideologically driven media outlets. And his focus on helping poor people become self-reliant is, in my opinion, right on target. My hope is that Dr. Carson won't become the captive of either extreme of the political spectrum, but will position himself to speak to people of good will in both parties. The current state of our political discourse, where people scream at one another from inside their ideological fortresses, is destructive and non-productive.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hi Ron. I like that about him too. He encourages people to investigate the track record of those representatives who are serving and to vote based on our beliefs rather than our political affiliation. I agree that we need representatives who will pull our country together rather than point fingers at the other party. We are all in this together.

Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts about Dr. Carson.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas

Your statement about not applying for food stamps suggests you believe there is shame in asking for help when a person needs it. I have heard some people say it is more honorable to tough it out even when children are involved. What kind of person thinks it is honorable to make their children go hungry or without necessary medical care to spare their own honor. Not you I hope.

Most Walmart employees have children they can't afford to feed. Is it really so important to make the Walton family wealthier even if children must go hungry in that plight? Why should tax payers subsidize the payroll for the Walton family that has seemingly more in its coffers than the U.S. Treasury?

I hear your disapproval for individuals and families applying for and accepting food stamps, but I don't hear your disapproval of a company that makes it necessary for their employees to need to do that, or for tax payers to subsidize its millions of dollars in profits acquired through the practice of forcing its employees to get food stamps and tax payers to fund them.

Yes, indeed lots of companies are operating their businesses just like Walmart. Does that make it morally right or acceptable? I remember reading a few times, about how most people thought running plantations by owning people rather than hiring them was the way to go. Very cost affective. They gave their livestock a bowl of gruel everyday for their pay. Well, most days anyway.

I think that proves that what companies do -- or get away with, isn't always morally right. What is legal is not always morally right. It sounds almost like you are saying that because other companies are following suit with Walmart policies and practices that we should all accept it as right.

It's true that U.S. Corporate taxes are the highest in any country, yet European countries and Australia have better and more generous programs for helping poor people by far, even with lower corporate taxes to pay for those programs, and their businesses generally pay higher wages than U.S. employers as well.

It would seem that anyone having grown up in poverty would well understand the problems of that condition and how to get out of it once they had that opportunity, but Ben doesn't talk/write like he remembers that time. If hard work and or education alone could get a person out of poverty I could give you hundreds of names of people who should be wealthier than the Walton family by now.

I grew up in a tar paper shack and I can tell you, no one works harder than poor people. They have no choice if they want to survive. I have no trouble remembering that time, but then I do not have hundreds of thousands of dollars, or maybe millions of dollars, obstructing my view, as Ben seems to have. Last I knew, surgeons clean up pretty good in the financial area.

When I look around I see dozens of hard working people just barely getting by for every so-called lazy slacker I come across. To make sure we punish the lazy slackers we must punish all poor people and let God sort it out, yes?

Thankfully most people do not think their children should suffer hunger and lack of medical care to protect their own honor and save them from what some people (yes, we know who they are) believe is the public shame of being poor. In fact that shame is created and perpetuated by heartless people, and still again, we know who they are. They shout to the highest heavens whenever they imagine they must pay so little as a penny in taxes. That hint should be sufficient in identifying them.

Appreciate your strong stance in defense of the Walton family and the wealthy class in general. Attempting to whitewash anything with money does not and cannot make it right. I know all that money shines so brightly it can be hard to see the ugliness it attempts to camouflage or cover up, but choosing not to see it doesn't mean the ugliness is no longer there.

You are correct in that I am very passionate about poverty and getting rid of it, as opposed to being in love with money and trying hard not to offend those saints who have nothing to show for themselves except money.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hello Au fait, Thank you for your lengthy response here, although, it seems like you've read more into my words about food stamps and the fact that 'I did not apply for them' than was ever stated in those six words. You said, "Not applying for food stamps suggests you believe there is shame in asking for help when a person needs it." Your conclusion is based on nothing that I have ever said, felt or intended. The fact that you would assume this about me is both hurtful and untrue.

My story about working for a company that underpays its employees in no way indicated my approval for such business practices.

Your anger at me seems to be misdirected, and for that, I'm sorry to have offended you in ways that I can't even imagine. Again, thanks for your visit.

All the best to you.


Cari Kay 11 profile image

Cari Kay 11 2 years ago

It's just not one or the other. Having been 'on the wrong side of the tracks' myself in my younger years, I saw far too many people abusing the system. Indeed even now, we have a neighbor now who lives in a beautiful home and brags how he doesn't have to work because the government pays him not too. In the meantime, the sheriffs are always there arresting somebody and traffic goes in and out of the house all night (drugs and likely some other 'nightly' activity). The government keeps funding the family though. Saw much too much of that in my younger years. Let's face it, there are riff-raff in all 'classes'. The food stamp thing is not a rich vs. poor thing, as much as there are some who would love to create a two-tier society. We need a system that does reward hard work rather than laziness. Defending that idea in no way supports a rich vs. poor mentality.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hello Cari Kay, Thank you so much for your comment and thoughts on this topic. Dr. Carson supports a system that rewards incentive rather than handouts. He wrote, "It is quite possible to obtain more money from the welfare system than one would get from a minimum wage job. It is hard to criticize someone who takes advantage of such a situation."

He held a number of different jobs during high school and throughout his college studies. From his experiences in low-skilled jobs he learned important things: as a school bus driver, he learned to be extremely cautious around small school children; as an assembly line worker in a factory he learned the importance of concentration; as a bank teller, he learned accuracy and efficiency. His job as a crane operator in a steel factory led to a realization of his gift for hand-eye coordination which prompted his choice of medical specialty. Working as an X-ray technician led to a new technique for visualizing a difficult part of the skull which facilitated a complex neurosurgical procedure.

He suggests that "no knowledge is wasted knowledge"... and that it ..."opens many doors of opportunity"... "When you make yourself valuable by acquiring knowledge and many skills, you make yourself more employable." He also says one "has to be humble enough to start at the bottom with a minimum-wage job even if you have a college degree" and be willing to prove one's self to move up the ladder. I have been there and done that. Education is an ongoing process.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

This is a good book review. But I think that Mr. Carson is living in a dream world. I wonder if his family got assistance in the way of food stamps, welfare, public school education or was he home schooled by a working mother?

In the 1960s, it is my belief that the public school system was in pretty good shape, but that is all going away.

The State of Louisiana is an example of shutting down the public schools. It serves two purposes __ first is breaking the Teacher's Union. And second, provides funding for private schools.

We can't fire good teachers because they are in a union and shut down public schools and send to public school kids to private schools with a voucher for very long before there is an outcry from the private school kids parents who pay to keep their kids in the private schools for the purpose of keeping them away from the poor kid, as if the poor kid are not as intelligent as the rich kids. But maybe it is true, because it is difficult to learn when you can't hear over the growl of a hungry stomach.

Ben Carson advocates a return in our nation to a "place where our public education system is the envy of the world". Only with "improvements in education, combined with wisdom and knowledge" will our country turn around.

This is not possible when there are those who are shutting down PUBLIC schools. Bobby Jindal is one such person. Not pointing fingers but that is a fact. And Rick Perry is leaning that way for Texas.

I agree that everyone needs to find where the politicians stand and how they vote on issues.

"The wise use of knowledge is more important than knowledge itself", contrary to the adage that "knowledge is power". ---Ben Carson - I like this quote and I will keep it in my book of quotes.

Blessings and hugs to you.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hi Shyron, Thanks for the thought provoking comment. I'm reminded of the quote, "I have a dream..." Dr. Martin Luther King. Perhaps the vision expressed in the book is only a dream. I believe that America can still return to its core values and be the country that we grew up believing in. I think Dr. Carson does too.

From what I understand, his mother worked from dawn until midnight as domestic help to rich people. She gleaned from the experience that education was the path to escape poverty, which is why she required Ben and his brother read two books weekly from the library. What he read in books led Ben Carson to pursue his dreams.

According to the book, he attended Higgins Elementary School in Detroit after living in Boston, moving into a multifamily dwelling in a racially mixed neighborhood inundated with gangs and interracial fights. He said his mother was too proud to accept welfare but she would use the bus passes that were available.

About the quote, "contrary to the adage that 'knowledge is power'", that bit was mine. The first part was directly from the book.

You said, "I agree that everyone needs to find where the politicians stand and how they vote on issues." I'm glad you feel this way, because, whether or not we agree with the things people write and say, it's a good idea to find out where they stand on issues.

Blessings and hugs right back to you and thank you for the engaging thoughts on this book review.


savvydating profile image

savvydating 2 years ago

This article provides an excellent synopsis of Dr. Ben Carson. Thank you for writing it. Frankly, I have not read his book, and I am grateful to you for reminding me to pick it upsoon. Beautifully done. America must wake up!


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hello Savvydating, I'm so glad you dropped by today. I was just noticing your comment on Mckbirdbks's latest episode of his Quinn Moosebroker Mystery and was going to pay you a visit. He's a great fiction writer. Thanks for your excellent comment about Dr. Carson's book and I hope you'll find a copy and check it out. See you soon.


Merrci profile image

Merrci 2 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

Excellent review! And clearly one that brought out many opinions. Reading the comments here was interesting too. The book and the man both sound fascinating. Dr Carson sounds like a great role model. I'm sorry that some of the readers honed in one one thing you said, rather than consider the concept itself. Our society does that too often these days.

I liked what he says about learning and knowledge; "If we don't have enough basic information to manage our lives, we will give up our freedoms to those who promise to take care of us".

It seems to go along with the political correctness that has made many of us withdraw and not say anything. We wouldn't want to offend. Look where that has gotten us.

The book is now on my wish list. You did a wonderful job on this! Pinning too.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hello Merrci, It's nice to see you here today and thanks for the excellent comment. With the diversity of our population, we have a diversity of opinions about politics. Usually, I stay far out of these types of discussions and when I don't, then, I usually pay the price.

Everyone is welcomed to their own opinion about this author of whom I've written the book review. It is sad to me that some tend to attack our character rather than promote the merits of their own beliefs.

You're right about political correctness that makes us keep our words generic and weak. I respect Dr. Carson for taking a stand on the issues and for sharing his ideas for potential solutions.

Thanks again for your thoughts and for pinning the review.


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 2 years ago from the short journey

Dr. Ben Carson is a hero of our times. So glad to see his work highlighted here.

The attempt to redefine tolerance in order to try to make everyone feel uneasy about their own opinions is a huge effort to try to make everyone think alike. Carson's respect of individuals, individual thought and choices, individual rights and responsibilities all cause him to seek to help people everywhere reach for their highest potential.

The charity he founded before he was unfairly attacked by people who think the government can answer the true needs of a populace is highlighted in the following link:

http://www.freemaninstitute.com/everydayben.htm

and is just one example of how he remembered his roots and began to realize his potential to help others. See more at:

http://www.carsonscholars.org

He has a humble attitude that is often misrepresented by those who are shamed by the example of his work. His efforts to lift others up remind me of Proverbs 16:7. Learning from his life is an opportunity we should not miss.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hello RT, I believe you've summarized the man quite nicely here and thanks for the links. I have the Carson Scholars link within my text so I'm hoping I don't have to delete this one as it is a duplicate link. Perhaps they don't count the ones in the comments section.

Yes, Dr. Carson advocates a study of Proverbs to govern our choices and our lives. I appreciate your positive remarks and additional thoughts on his material. Thank you so much.


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 2 years ago from the short journey

So sorry I missed that! Carson Scholars does not have a link under Sources on my end and I missed the highlighted box.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas Author

That's okay RTalloni. I'm glad you knew about the site and shared it here. I will edit the sources and type in the site location with an inactive link so it doesn't get flagged for overly promotional. Again, thank you for the great comments and for reading this book review.


poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 23 months ago

As attractive as he is I remember a certain community organizer who did not have much experience and I wonder if its such a good idea to put someone in charge who has so little experience with being in charge.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 23 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hello Poetryman6969, I can understand your sentiments about an untested public servant who aspires to be in charge. Thinking over the intents of the early founders, I believe their plan was that people would only serve for a short time, not make serving in Congress a lifetime career goal.

Some of the most successful people have stated that they did not need to be an expert in every capacity, only to be capable of picking a support team of those who are. I believe that Ben Carson has led a staff in times of life and death in the operating room, making decisions that instantly affect outcomes. Who knows how he would be in terms of political and world issues?


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 22 months ago from Southern Oklahoma

I appreciate his upbringing and hard work to succeed. I love his values and attitude. I wish he would run for president!


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 22 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Me, too, Sbrown. He seems like an intelligent and reasonable man. Thanks so much for stopping in. It's good to see you again.


Dana Tate profile image

Dana Tate 22 months ago from LOS ANGELES

Beautiful and inspiring read. Thank you for the introduction of someone so intellectual. I'll try to get his book it seems to be an interesting read.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 22 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Thank you for dropping in today, Dana Tate. Your comment was the highlight of my day. I hope you enjoy reading this book as much as I did.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 18 months ago from Chicago

Thank you Peg for this outstanding review of Dr Carson and his book. He is a great man and a very good candidate for president. I thoroughly enjoyed your article.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 18 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hi James,

Thank you so much for stopping in and for the comment. I enjoyed reading the book.


Miss Lil' Atlanta profile image

Miss Lil' Atlanta 15 months ago from Atlanta, GA

I love this Hub! I'm so want Ben Carson as president!


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 15 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

He is a breath of fresh air, Miss.

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