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A LETTER TO LUKE HOSFIELD

September 22, 2013

Luke Hosfield is 28 years old.  He wrote a Letter to the Editor that was published today (Sept 21) in the STRIB. It made me sad….not his predicament by any means, but his attitude made me sad.  So I hope he clips that letter and moment of fame and preserves it for posterity.  He needs to read it again in 40 years.  After all, HE did not cause the problems of the world today so why should he pay for Healthcare?

  • ·         His generation is not the one that did not save for  retirement and now has to work past age 65
  • ·         His generation is not the one that took out bad loans they could not afford and crashed the economy
  • ·         His generation did not spend trillions on foreign wars that have yet to yield positive results.
  • ·         He wants to know why his generation has to foot the bill for problems others created
  • ·         He wants to be sure we all understand that no one thinks about his poor generation and the raw deal they got graduating in 2008 during the crash.
  • ·         He thinks since we are not helping him now, why do we want him to help with Healthcare.

 

My immediate reaction was “what a spoiled brat”; then I thought, oh gee, he forgot one thing in his “poor me” tirade – what about his education costs.  But since he did not mention it, I am sure he is not the one worrying about that! He’s just unhappy because four years after he graduated, the world is not HIS.

As I thought about what he said, I could not help but think of a similar time in my own life – 40 years ago.

He graduated 4 years ago and got a raw deal; I graduated in 1967 and got my first REAL job  4 years later in 1971.  At the time, I had a student loan balance that was 20% higher than my annual salary at that first job.  Pretty even, but I think I win this one because he didn’t mention cost of school.

I didn’t take out any loans that I could not afford so I guess we are even on that one.

In 1971 the US was pretty embroiled in war that my generation did not start – I was the first class of boomers, after all…and we were in the cesspool of Viet Nam…my friends were fighting in that war and some were dying.  Pretty even there as well; although we took on the costs of war and paid it in lives and in dollars…so I think maybe I am a little ahead of him again….as I am sure he did not enlist, nor did his friends ….and he certainly does not think he should pay.

No, we did not have the worst recession since the Depression, but then again, I did not buy a home I could not afford.  But I did buy one in the mid -1980s and one year after I made the purchase, it had DEVALUED 30% due to rocky economic times.  I sold that house 10 years later for $1000 more than the original purchase price.  Again, I think I win here.

And then there is one other thing we need to add to the picture here.  He is a boy.  I was a girl in the business world in the 1960s, 70s, 80s…and somehow I overcame all those terrible things he is facing, and did them very successfully despite being a girl – including many “FIRSTS”- 1st woman director at BI; 1st woman director at CMG; 1st woman vice president in CMG.  Add to that- lots of honors along the way.  And then 25 years later, I started my own business. 

So if we add up all the bad times in his life and all the bad times in my early life, why did he get a raw deal and I moved along from one success to the next?

Well, Luke, I think your raw deal originated – not out in the world you are blaming, but right at home in your own household and it’s called pampered and spoiled. 

 You are following my track pretty closely so far…we’ll see if you turn it into success and despite your current bad attitude, I hope you break out of the mold.

Because you see, in spite of all the bad things you think have happened to you already, you could have one more.  I did.  When I was 57 years old in the midst of yet ANOTHER recession, I fell off a platform and broke my back.  I did not work for almost 30 months.  I had insurance-which as an independent, I paid myself- but it was not quite enough to save me from financial difficulties.

But one more time, I figured out a way to make it; and pay back those that helped me; and to continue on.  And you know what?  I did not think I got a “raw deal”; I was glad I was able to make a comeback and overcome a disaster I caused myself.

Yes, I accepted responsibility for myself.  I paid for my own insurance. I accepted the role I played in the difficulties I faced.  But I am not really trying to chastise you for your attitude.  I am sharing a story that could have been much worse had I not accepted it was my responsibility to pay for health insurance. I paid it for 30 years and was not sick.  And then, in a second, I was –because I made a wrong step. And I will be forever grateful that I had it. Today I am 68 years old.  My work since that medical disaster has been recognized internationally; and today it is a model for the “future” of my industry.

MnSURE and the Affordable Health Care Act is not something you are doing for that deadbeat generation that came before you.  You are doing it for yourself. 

And if you cannot accept that, where will you, with your attitude, be in 40 years?  Think about it.

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