Steve Harvey, the TV powerhouse who was once homeless, discusses how he used to go scuba diving in his bathtub as a child to imagine how he might rise from poverty and why he believes the government needs to replace welfare handouts with assistance that empowers the poor with a vision for their life.
"The government can play a role in providing that vision by providing some basic opportunities, some vision centers, some places where people can go to get life skills."
In a weekend special hosted by conservative commentator Armstrong Williams, Harvey is joined by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson as he makes the case that’s solving America’s poverty and homelessness challenges needs to rise above politics.
"If you change your attitude, you can change your altitude."
Harvey said the key for Americans escaping poverty is to given a vision so can rise beyond their circumstances. "Instead of giving them a fish sandwich, teach them how to fish," Harvey suggested when discussing handouts and teaching people how to think.
To make his point, Harvey talked about a bath time ritual he had as a poor child that inspired him to become a world traveler.
"I would be in my bathtub at nine with a scuba mask on and I wasn't in the tub. I was scuba diving in the barrier reefs because I saw it in the book."
"My mother bought a travel magazine twice a month and my father used to be so upset with her (he said) 'why you spending that money on magazines for that boy,' she said 'because we can't take him nowhere.'"
Steve's mom opened his mind to the world with that travel magazine. Today he travels the world with his wife because that travel vision started at nine years old in those travel magazines.
"If we just give them life skills and a place to come, where the mothers can come to learn a life skill, to understand what it would really be like in the work force." Steve believes it would make a world of difference.
"I don't care where you are on the socioeconomic spectrum, it is good for you that other succeed. That they become part of the engine and not part of the load."
—Secretary Ben Carson
Carson, who joined Harvey on the show, shares a common rags-to-riches story, rising from a single-parent family in Detroit to become one of the world’s most accomplished pediatric surgeons and now a Cabinet Secretary in Donald Trump’s new administration.
To watch the entire Rightside Forum show with Harvey, click here (http://www.armstrongwilliams.com/watch-armstrong-on-tv) for local listings.