To the editor:


The doctor says ...

I'm not a big fan of Dr. Phil personally; however I do acknowledge that he has done his homework, has earned his credentials and is a respected authority in his field.

Some time ago I happened to see one of his shows where an elderly couple came to him for help because their adult son took over the basement of their house, refused to work, expected to be taken care of and was driving them broke.

Dr. Phil summarized that the couple was making themselves feel good at the expense of their son. They were enabling him to remain unproductive by giving him all the tools he needed to do so - a free place to live, three meals a day, his electronics/cellphone/gaming device, providing for all his needs thus allowing him to feel incapable and useless and leaving him with no ambition or self esteem. Dr. Phil also noted that as long as the parents continued to supply these conditions, no change could be expected in the son.

While doing research on the perceived need for additional welfare housing at the former St. John's Hospital in Red Wing (now owned by Mayo), that story popped into my mind. Same thing, larger scale? Do we claim to be offering a "hand up" thinking we will see a change that isn't going to happen? Dr. Phil might ask, "How's that working for you?"

How is that working for us? What's our payoff? As a society do we feel good about ourselves when enabling more and more people to be dependent on us? What is the true value of approving this project which promotes additional subsidized housing in Red Wing, more "adult sons living in the basement" so to speak?

The project is asking for tax-increment financing, placing an additional financial burden on the parents - oops - on us, the taxpayers. What healthy progressive outcome do we expect?

Please contact Kay Kuhlmann and Brian Peterson at 651-385-3600; also Dan Rogness at 651-385-3697 or members of the Planning Commission to let them know that we do not need and cannot afford this housing project in Red Wing.

Becky Kirtz

Red Wing