Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson said that poverty is largely "a state of mind" during an interview on Wednesday, reports CNN.
"You take somebody that has the right mindset, you can take everything from them and put them on the street, and I guarantee in a little while they'll be right back up there. And you take somebody with the wrong mindset, you could give them everything in the world, they'll work their way right back down to the bottom," said Carson during an interview with SiriusXM Radio.
The 2016 Republican presidential candidate said that there are things parents can do to teach children not to fall into that mindset.
"A lot of it has to do with what we teach children. You have to instill into that child the mindset of a winner," said Carson.
Carson also said that there are things to government can do to help people out of that mindset.
"I think the majority of people don't have that defeatist attitude, but they sometimes just don't see the way, and that's where government can come in and be very helpful," he added. "It can provide the ladder of opportunity, it can provide the mechanism that will demonstrate to them what can be done."
Carson's conception of poverty has been criticized heavily on social media.