Newly-appointed Ben Carson, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development secretary, addressed HUD's employees publicly for the first time on Monday.
Carson’s speech actually had very little to do with housing, reflecting more on his past experiences as a brain surgeon and his vision of how Americans can work together. He spoke to enabling society to reach their full potential.
“If we develop that potential then they become part of the engine, not part of the load,” Carson said in his speech.
But he did touch on what will perhaps be his policy for HUD programs moving forward. Carson stated that there will be no extras for anybody, and that every policy put forth would apply to everyone.
During the question and answer session afterwards, Carson talked about his plans to further public-private partnerships.
“The problems that plague us, homelessness, inadequate numbers of affordable housing units, these are things that affect our entire society,” he said.
“I found that there are enormous numbers of people out there, people of good will, that are willing to get involved in these problems,” Carson said. “We don’t necessarily have to get involved with government and government financing. We are smart enough to craft programs that work, that allow them to make a profit and also accomplish what we are doing.”
Carson explained that HUD programs should take advantage of America’s entrepreneurial spirit.
Aside from that, however, the secretary’s speech had very little to do with housing, which some viewers were quick to point out.
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He did have a lot to say on the power of the human brain.
“There is nothing in this universe that even begins to compare with the human brain and what it is capable of,” Carson said.
He also spoke to how people should treat each other, even making everyone in the room take his “nice” pledge.
“We need to focus a little less on what we can’t do and a little more on what we can do,” he said, explaining his philosophy for success in life: "THINK BIG,' which stands for “Talent, Honesty, Insight, Nice, Knowledge, Books, In-depth learning, God.”
And he ended his speech by calling on HUD employees to work together in order to become more effective.
“The more we know each other, the more effective we’re going to be as an organization,” Carson said.
Here is the video of his entire speech: