So long you loser hosers.

November 12, 2009

AustralianFriendNot much time today, I’m afraid.

I’m busy putting my house in order.

I’ve applied for a job in Australia.

When the Holy Franchise Empire collapses:

  • which country will be the last to shatter like a crystal vase? (the Excited States of America)
  • which country will be second last? (Canuckistan)
  • the first?

My peers are setting a banquet here, here, here, here, and (especially) here.

Oh how I will enjoy the bugs…

I always thought an ombuds function would be quickly corrupted by the usual suspects.

Go figure: I was wrong once in my life ;-)

Commonwealth means recognizing wealth as a common good, to some degree. My Dad always spoke very well of these people


A Safe place: If you build it, franchisees will come

September 29, 2009

FieldofDreamsSmart franchisees stay in the corn.

The pros only show up when the conditions are right for them to do perform their duty (ie. ask questions, reconcile, lead).

I think it takes about 1 year of a new franchisee group until it gains their trust (legitimacy, real not false hope).

The platform that invokes their appearance best is a Attorneyless Franchisee Network, AFN:

a group of current trademark franchisees whose goal is a relationship not a lawsuit;

patient, education focused, decentralized.

Shrewd franchisees will stay away if an attorney leads.

The safe space starts inside one person’ s head. It forms digitally, quickly transcending (not opposing) Big Franchising (see Adam Smith on commercial Conspiracies). The Tribe is formed when the venom is drawn out in a supportive, therapeutic/health-focused  environment.

Doctors do not judge, they treat the dis-order, acknowledging the pain but administering the appropriate treatments. Leaders assume the patient is a little deranged, not because of their lack of worth as a human being but because of the hidden pathogen (predatory franchising).

It does take faith but when you see healing take place, my goodness: you’ll never forget it.


Health care reform “debate”: More industry Canada Goose-stepping

August 20, 2009

USFascism

Go ahead: Blame Canada

I’ve held off commenting on the current U.S. health care reform debate.

Until now.

This “debate” is structurally identical to what passes for communication in the franchise industry today.

Propaganda, pure and simple (biased influence)

Unmistakeably, evil if judged by historical wisdom authors. Still corrupting even to most docile sheeple.

Some of it bordering on Große Lüge (The Big Lie), analogous to Big Tobacco defense style, Nineteen Eighty-Four,  modern PR, corporatism…

I think today’s Toronto Star op ed is a good summary of how most Canadians I know feel about our system versus the U.S.’s. In Why I’d rather be sick here than in U.S., Bob Hepburn writes:

For weeks, Americans have been told that Canada pushes its sickest and weakest to the bottom of wait lists, that our health care is inferior, that it’s the government that decides who lives and who dies.

Despite these attacks, the reality is that the overall quality of health care experienced in Canada is far better than in the United States.

If you have any doubt, just ask yourself this simple question:

Would you rather be sick here or in the U. S.?

For me, the answer is obvious.

I have worked and studied in the U.S. for a total of 10 years and, although I have received good care from American doctors and clinics, I’d much rather be sick here.

Some inconvenient data:

  1. 87% of Canadians beleive our health care system is better than the U.S. (EKOS survey),
  2. +90% happy with quality of care they received,
  3. 100% of Canadians have been covered since 1967 while 50 million U.S. have zero coverage,
  4. zero Canadians have gone bankrupt because of an health care expenses,
  5. zero Canadians have had coverage reduced because of being at a higher risk, and
  6. 10% Canadian GDP on health care (16% in U.S., highest in world).

We have problems, absolutely. Were lots of problems when I was hit by a automobile as a kid in 1968. But I know one Canadian family that was not bankrupted by hospital invoices. I went on to work at Royal Victoria Hospital, St. Thomas Psychiatric Hospital and Victoria Hospital as a staff administrator.

Our first question is: How can we help? (not How will you pay?)

Ours is not a 100% government-owned, monolithic system. Many of the elements are privately owned and for-profit. It is wide-ranging but does not cover all health needs.

That said, even the most libertarian politicians know it is political suicide to even hint at tinkering with the founding principles of the Canada Health Act:

  1. administration,
  2. comprehensiveness,
  3. universality,
  4. portability and
  5. accessibility.

The debate, like in franchising, would normally be seen as just plain silly if it weren’t for the toxic effects on families and communities with these thought reform methods.

By its operating software, antithetical to a sustainable physical, spiritual and mental healthy human life. Machines running man.

Similar to many modern corporate technologies.


Franchising was an imperial Empire

August 17, 2009

BritishEmpireWhen you think about it, franchising uses a lot of military terms: conquer markets, roll out regionally then nationally, blitz the consumer, attack markets. The very term marketing “brand”originated, of course, with heraldry and military regalia.

Franchising had operated as a type of self-governed nation state that has traditionally been held together by British common law principles.

They acted as if they were above the law.

This ability to exercise coercive power is over, however.

By 1920, see above, the sun never set on the British empire.

An empire is:

a State with politico-military dominion of populations who are culturally and ethnically distinct from the imperial (ruling) ethnic group and its culture. Wikipedia

The franchising elite is what I have defined as Big Franchising: product franchisors, key business-format franchisors (lapdog peak associations), and the franchise bar. If you doubt the transnational of modern franchising methodology, I direct your attention to the World Franchise Council.

Franchising is an imperial empire because it gains its strengths from “domains of knowledge, beliefs, values and, expertise”. Wikipedia These near-religious beliefs are found in full-blown vigour at the International Franchise Association’s continuous cliche-ridden press releases (see SmartBrief).

In most empires, there is a visible difference between the rulers and the ruled such as skin colour, language, education, nationality, ethnicity, etc. Not so in franchising.

The differentiating factor is between the investors’ ears.

Awareness that franchising is a game designed to re-distribute wealth (not create it) is what separates the haves from the have-nots. That franchising is often a debt-induced form of servitude is what the “innocents” have not learned yet.

The British empire held control by exerting a monopoly on sanctioned violence via their military, colonial administration, police and courts. This was possible through misrepresentations and control of information.

  • Franchising has done the same via the franchise bar’s jealously guarded monopoly on franchise legal work and access to justice in the civil court system.

Franchising as a coercion-based empire is over not because digital information can now be shared (internet). There are many digital house negroes actively trying resist the inevitable.

The empire has ended because credible and honest sharing is happening here, a few IndFA sites  and at WikidFranchise.org.

All empires pass away.


Sue the Leafs/NHL cartel in eMcKangaroo Court

May 10, 2009

nhlTorontoMapleLeafsThe law creates just outcomes only in some cases.

In franchise law, the justice is delivered to those that control access to the Courts and the political process. Only franchisors and large franchisees have that clout.

The latest proof of this policy and law bias, is that the NHL and the Toronto Maple Leafs should be sued in an Ontario Superior Court for their unfair dealings, racketeering and extortion activities.

That won’t happen because franchising and especially sports franchising is a monopoly game played by insider credence good cheaters.

But: Why not try the bastards in a virtual Court room? I propose a McKangaroo Court to ease our pain. A mock trial for a phony form of competition (ie. sports franchises).

Hockey Maniacs: In southern Ontario, pro hockey is a God. The Toronto Maple Leafs have been able to sell out every game for over 40 years by providing, at best, a fitfully mediocre product (eg. a competitive sports team). Think of the Big Auto before Toyota and Honda showed up.

The Leafs owner’s are monopoly players in the world’s most lucrative hockey market. A normal fan can only dream of attending a game with their kids anymore.

Jim Balsillie has been trying to bring another professional hockey team to southern Ontario for some time now. His most recent attempt is to offer over $200 million to rescue the Chapter 11 Phoenix Coyotes and move them to southern Ontario, Canada.

But other 30 NHL owners (franchisees acting like franchisors, 25 which are U.S.-based cartel) have other ideas. And the encroachment  kickback to the Leafs and Buffalo Sabres is extortion: plain and simple.

The Globe and Mail reports on legal action, taken by the current owner of the Phoenix Coyotes in an article, NHL acting like ‘illegal cartel’, Coyotes charge:

“The NHL is excluding competition and restraining trade in [the United States and Canada] through the application of unreasonable restrictions in its constitution and bylaws, which are preventing the relocation of the Coyotes from Phoenix, Ariz., to Hamilton, Ont.,” said the lawsuit filed yesterday in Phoenix.

The suit also takes aim at Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment [MLSE], which owns the Toronto Maple Leafs, alleging it has colluded with the league for years to preserve “market power” in the Greater Toronto Area. Prohibiting relocation deprives hockey fans of “increased competition, lower prices, higher quality and more variety,” the suit alleged. WikidFranchise.org citation

Remember: monopolies are “bad” because they creates market inefficiencies and distortions that are manifested in these very real and pernicious anti-competitive practices:

  1. Predatory pricing,
  2. Tied buying,
  3. Short- or forced-shipping,
  4. Encroachment,
  5. Economic conspiracy and
  6. Refusal to deal and exclusive dealing.

Alan Eagleson a disbarred agent/NHL power broker is THE poster boy for all credence good experts to this very long-suffering Leafs fan.  Wikipedia, WikidFranchise.org

Argument: The Arthur Wishart Act (Franchise Disclosure), 2000 governs all franchise commercial relations in Ontario, Canada.

  1. MLSE is acting as a “franchisor’s associate” under Section 1.1 (“franchisor’s associate, a. and b.).
  2. As a “franchisor’s associate”, Wishart treats MLSE is treated as if it were the franchisor (the same duties and responsibilities as the “normal” franchisor, in this case, the NHL).
  3. Section 3 creates an obligation by all parties:  “a duty of fair dealing in its performance and enforcement.”

I think the citizens of southern Ontario deserve to have their pro hockey fix met by the appropriate franchising corporations.

The Maple Leafs and the NHL  show their contempt for their real customers (ticket holders) by continuing to run their robber baron scam. For these offenses, they deserve to be sued.

And I bet there some CDN hockey nut franchise legal beagles that’d love to write up the arguments.

In this way, the problems that non-billionaire business format franchisees endure can be explained to the public while showing where the real weasels live.


Franchisees are revolting, but in a new way this time

April 11, 2009

wolfgrandmaPredatory franchisors and those that continue to profit from their action give the distinct impression that franchisees are a lower form of life. They are:

  1. Slow.
  2. Greedy.
  3. Lazy.

This part-economic, -social and -cultural discrimination performs several very important functions for the elite but most immediately it provides the intellectual grounding for:

…”liberating” franchisees’ life savings by any means possible.

This liberation helps the economy because franchisees’ life savings (by this perspective) are inefficiently husbanded by stupid people. They prove franchisees’ passivity and idiocy every day when they hawk the latest loser business model.

Franchisees deserve what they get because they are a lower form of life.

They have, in modern secular and economic terms, a life unworthy of life (lebensunwertes leben). Everyone in the mob sleeps well because they are simply slaughtering subhumans’ capital heritage for the “common economic good”. The predators are society benefactors: genetic soldiers in the inevitable sacrifice of the weak being trussed-up to feed the strong.

  • This is how the wolf sees himself: improving free enterprise by killing the weak, lame, stupid, slow,  infirm or elderly.

Some, however, are starting to see this Walter Mittyesque view differently. They see modern franchising as a:

bastardization of valid biological natural selection theory mixed in with an infantile parroting of a 4th rate intellectual “stew” of eugenics, laissez-faire dogmatism, propaganda, piracy and mind-numbing self-interest.

Don Sniegowski at Blue MauMau reports today that Over a Thousand Franchisees Demand to See Televised UPS Store Trial.

LOS ANGELES – Against opposition by United Parcel Service, Inc., some 1,400 franchise owners have requested that the Los Angeles Superior Court allow them to see on closed circuit television a class action lawsuit of The UPS Store and Mail Boxes Etc. franchisees going up against their franchisor.

Further down in the comments, the “How-to-Contribute” is helpfully presented.

Before any valid re-ordering, chaos must reign. This seems to be the way it always happens. It starts in the city of angels but that’s not where it will end.

The cowards have always relied on the fixer but from now on, it’s beyond his reach. Memory, witness and narrative seem to have awoken from a form of spell.

upsstore, mailboxesetc, Peter Thomas

It’s over.


Franchisors starve while industry rag sharpens the axe spin

April 9, 2009

headlesschicken1Might consider not putting your neck on the block this Easter.

McChicken (not eggs) are on the menu this season to an increasingly desperate selling machine.

An interesting article from Franchise Times this month, entitled: Tight credit is turning franchisors into lenders.

It almost makes sense blaming the credit crisis for making selling new outlets next-to impossible.

It has the almost-true ring to it, don’t it?

I agree that new franchise sales are in the dumpster and that the normal financing sources such as the SBA 7a loans and Canada Small Business Financing program have absolutely collapsed.

However, I believe that attributing it to the credit crisis is a huge misrepresentation

I figure the 7a and CSBF program loans have stopped because of the discovery of widespread fraud as defined by predatory franchise lending.

Notice how the industry media, franchisors, lawyers, lenders and consultants seem to speak as if they were one? Funny how they act as if they’re a group or one big happy family (less the franchisee), isn’t it?

This is why these are the business risks I coded when I sucked this article in WikidFranchise.org:

  1. Able to finance and sell negative cash flow franchise on crooked appraisals,
  2. Any excuse may satisfy a friendly editor,
  3. Appraisals grotesquely inflated,
  4. Appraiser and lender has cozy, repeat-business relationship,
  5. Bankrupt is bankrupt whether you put $1 or $1 million in at first,
  6. Buying an existing outlet even riskier than a new one,
  7. Churning (serial reselling),
  8. Desperate to sell any franchise for any price,
  9. Do the old franchisees get the same deal as the new ones?,
  10. Easy credit fuels worthless system sales,
  11. Even the “cheapest” will drain your past, present & future earnings,
  12. Excuse du jour, tight credit,
  13. False assumptions, multiple,
  14. Fee reduction always has a catch,
  15. Franchise bubble will crash much harder (non-franchised),
  16. Franchisor association public relations machine,
  17. Franchisor financing: faster in, out & resold (serial bankrupts),
  18. Franchisor guarantees franchisee debt,
  19. Franchisor picks up stores for a song,
  20. Franchisor takes franchisee store, resells to new dealer,
  21. Franchisor takes franchisee stores,
  22. Franchisor takes store and converts to corporate,
  23. Fraud financed by rigged appraisals used equipment & leaseholds,
  24. Higher short-term ROI to franchisor when churned (versus royalties),
  25. How much cash you put in at 1st is irrelevant,
  26. Kleenex system: tradename born to die quickly,
  27. Lending is subject to expert fraud because it is a credence good service,
  28. Lending duty never enforced via regulation or litigation,
  29. Loan servicers and brokers attracts fraud,
  30. Misrepresentations,
  31. Most lucrative form of commercial lending, franchising,
  32. Only one side presented,
  33. Ponzi (pyramid) scheme,
  34. Predatory franchise lending,
  35. Predatory franchising makes more money selling than operating system,
  36. Press release dressed up like journalism,
  37. Propaganda, thought-terminating cliches, The Big Lie,
  38. Reputation damage masked by confidentiality agreements,
  39. SBA 7a loans used to fuel franchise bubble,
  40. Selling price inflated by easy credit bubble,
  41. Sincerity,
  42. Sold for as much as much as they can get (next-to worthless),
  43. Sold only to people with no small business experience (very naïve),
  44. Spouse can sue for losses also,
  45. Spouse dragged into negative investment,
  46. Spouse must never sign any document,
  47. System designed to fail for franchisees

I don’t mind lies but I do dislike inaccuracies.


How to Profit from Franchising’s imminent Meltdown

February 19, 2009

wickedwitch3That depends on what role you play in the coming psychodrama.

I’m not to interested in what Big Franchising will do: they will continue to act in a short-term self-interested way.

As far as franchisees, now that is more interesting. Most people only define franchisees as those currently in a franchise agreement. Nope: not me. Never have.

Defining a problem narrowly is the role of the fee-for service professionals. Only amateurs like me have the freedom to define something that will lead to solutions rather than blind alleys.

Also, active franchisees are under a sort of a spell.

They’re in a type of sleep-walk or a fairy tale. They are so stressed-out that their frontal lobes (System 2, rational mind) are inactive. They are in throes of a nightmare where the only thing that they can do is to fight or flee.

Former franchisees, like me, that hold the key but they must be able to integrate their life experiences with a rational understanding of how they were to put to sleep for a while. Working through the emotional pain of reliving their own franchise is the cost they pay for redemption.

Three groups:

  1. potential investors,
  2. current and
  3. past franchisees.

1. Potential: Profit by not signing any deal for one year. You will avoid the worse financial catastrophe in your life and I say this wiht a confidence of 19 out of 20. It is much, much preferable to be unemployed rather than in a franchise. Now is NOT the time to reach for that brass ring: Don’t do a Walter Mitty on your family.

2. Current: Profit by trying to imagine what would happen when (not if) your franchise is unable to discipline or litigate anyone. Start talking to a few other unhappy campers, read FranchiseFool, start a WordPress.com weblog (share information). Notice how your fears are all in your head?

If not, have your wife call me. Seriously: if you’re willing to put your pride before your family’s well-fare (welfare), you are acting like a moron, for the moment. The smart rats quit a sinking ship

3. Former: Profit by telling your story. Contact the people that you’ve lost touch with. Start contributing to Blue MauMau. Speak up: you’ve earned your voice and you better damn well use it when you can. Sure you betrayed other franchisees while getting out but that was then. This is now and you are needed.

Only a fool will continue to obey commands of a dead sorcerer.


forever Jung and Half-formed boy Predators

January 28, 2009

calvinhobbes1Why won’t these little worms just grow up?

Enough is enough, already.

Yes, we know you’re tough and smart. We know the gym class shower room was demeaning. And yes pulling the wings off flies does hold some amusement value.

  • But seriously: Get some help in the second half of your life.

There are some people (mostly male) that think the worst of people, are never satisfied with any accomplishment and would rather kill something rather than share a little bit (let alone collaborate).

  • They’re so emotionally shut down and compartmentalized that all that’s left is fear and anger.

It’s been my experience that modern franchising is practiced by fearful men who lack the confidence and maturity that should have been formed during their boyhood. They’ve never learned to trust themselves, mask their inadequacies with arrogance and accumulate wealth but are unable to enjoy the use of those resources.

They act-out as if they were european dragons or worms (from the old English): like Smaug of The Hobbit fame: only hoard and destroy, are master hynotists, believe themselves to be invulnerable (although they are not), have a dry but cruel sense of humour with an “overwhelming personality”; their Achilles’ Heel is always hubris: overweening arrogance, superbia.

They try to deny part of their nature but it keeps popping up, especially when their Divine Right to Decide is questioned by lesser mortals.

One Model: Within every individual, there are two forces, world views or archetypes at play: every male has within him a female side, and every female has male characteristics within her.

Carl Gustav Jung identified unconscious forces called anima and animus.

  • anima is the unconscious feminine component of men and
  • animus is the unconscious masculine component in women.

Jung believed that the anima and animus act as guides to the unconscious unified Self, and that forming an awareness and a connection with the anima or animus is one of the most difficult and rewarding steps in psychological growth.

Jung reported that he identified his anima as she spoke to him, as an inner voice, unexpectedly one day.

Often, when people ignore the anima or animus complexes, the anima or animus vies for attention by projecting itself on others. This explains, according to Jung, why we are sometimes immediately attracted to certain strangers: we see our anima or animus in them. Love at first sight is an example of anima and animus projection. Moreover, people who strongly identify with their gender role (e.g. a man who acts aggressively and never cries) have not actively recognized or engaged their anima or animus.

Jung attributed human rational thought to be the male nature, while the irrational aspect is considered to be natural female. Consequently, irrationality is the male anima shadow and rationality is the female animus shadow. (Analytical Psychology)

When a half-formed male is seriously confronted, he becomes unglued: screaming, cursing, the issue becomes a life-and-death struggle against the Questioner. I’ve seen this type of tantrum up close and you tend not to forget the experience. I think every franchisee has experienced this.

  • It can be a franchisor, a lawyer, a politician: it doesn’t matter (see Big Franchising).

Irrationality is the shadow side of an unbalanced psyche and it gets played out in volcanic bursts of rage. Innocent questions are heard by the child as if you were trying to kill them. (And in a psychological sense, you are: you’re calling them to put aside their childish ways.)

  • In franchising, this acting-out these man-boys, empowered by iron-clad agreements that are the same across all systems,  have the 100% unilateral right to bankrupt you and drive you into a mental hell.

All of the rights are on one side: for mom and pops, franchising is Unsafe at any Brand.

After the honeymoon is over and you’ve signed on for multiple, self-reinforcing monopoly relationships, your economic gender assault can occur with very little warning or defence.

Calvin and Hobbes


The Fixer: Getting professional thieves out of Trouble

January 6, 2009

fixtweedProfessional criminals have always relied on  The Fixer.

He is someone of high political, economic and career influence who solves a professional thief’s problem for a fee.

Secrecy and deceit are required because of the extra-legal nature of some of the work.

A historical example of The Fixer would be  William M. (Boss Tweed) Tweed of Tammany Hall. [see above]. Tammany Hall, likened often to a machine, ruled the City of New York from 1790 to to the 1960s.

People wonder why franchisors, franchise bankers, sales agents, the franchise bar, etc. can get away with [almost] bloody murder. A study of history of professional thievery can provide some hints:

The professional thief generally has a record in the Bureau of Identification as long as your arm, but after most of the cases “dismissed” or “no disposition” is entered. This is due to the thief’s ability to fix cases.

In order to send a thief to the penitentiary, it is necessary to have the co-operation of the victim, witnesses, police, bailiffs, clerks, grand jury, jury, prosecutor, judge, and perhaps others. A weak link in this chain can practically always be found, and any of the links can be broken if you have pressure enough. there is no one who cannot be influenced if you go at it right and have sufficient backing, financially and politically.  p. 82

Professionals within franchising make more money by fixing problems (sabotaging valid claims) than they do by solving them (reducing opportunism). It’s that simple: Less money is deducted from the theft when you fix a case, even after paying The Fixer’s fee. It is very easy for a franchise legal expert to lie to complaining investor [Credence good cheaters]. The lawyer knows that he is not under any legal duty to tell the truth until a solicitor-client relationship is created. And the proof is in the pudding: In 10 years, I know of no franchisee-lead case that would be considered a success by the investors themselves.

The fixer acquires his position with professional thieves by service. He tries to maintain a batting average of one thousand. Not all of them can do this, but their record is so good that the thief feels secure if a regular fixer is on the case. [Blonger, the Denver fixer for confidence men, had the reputation of not having one man sent to prison in twenty years under his protection.] p. 88

Modern franchising runs on political and economic influence. Our Australian friends are simply the latest who have been wised to that reality. Again, from the past:

Fixing is a mixture of finance and politics. It is primarily a financial transaction, bought and paid for by everyone concerned. But it is made possible by politics and often involves political favors as well…For the thief, fixing is almost always a financial transaction…from the point of view of coppers, clerks, and bailiffs, fixing is primarily a financial transaction…The prosecutor and judge are probably handled with more finesse.  p. 98-9

I have already used a tree as an analogy for Big Franchising (vast weight of organism is below ground: iceberg). Modern franchising has a visible and invisible nature (Overworld :: Underworld):

From the point of view of the fixer, also, this is a financial transaction. One fixer said to a thief: “Everything I get is bought and paid for, just as you pay me. No one gets any political or other favors.” The fixer can operate only if he has the consent and good will of those who are politically powerful. he may get a start on the basis of old friendships, but he can keep his position as fixer only if he kicks in. He must turn over to the political barons the larger part of what he gets from the thief, and his standing is determined by his reliability in dealing with them. p. 100

Thieves of nominally independent corporations (ie. franchisors, lenders, sales agents, legal, supply, etc.) would NEVER act with such arrogance if it were not for The Fixer’s protection racket. The weakest link is always the franchisee who 99% of the time goes away thinking they had a one-off bad luck with a cartoon-character type of franchisor thief. They are satisfied to receive 10% of their own money back and remain in silence via shame and contract. Professional franchising practitioners are, however, experienced and shrewd students of human nature.

No thief ever expects to have the bad luck to run into a case that cannot be fixed in some manner. This conclusion is not formed because of he thief’s conceit but because of his knowledge of the weaknesses and limitations of the average citizen and public official. p. 106

National franchisor associations act as a forum for coordinating Overground and Underground activities. The Fixer usually enjoys a very influential role such as Chief Counsel or Chairman of the franchisor controlled association. The Fixer is a lawyer because solicitor-client privilege harbours his clients’ extralegal activities. Politicians who are very often lawyers, know their political career is short and are not foolish enough to destroy their future legal earnings by crossing a mandarin partner of the some of the most influential and aggressive internationally-based, multi-line law firms.

It is sometimes believed that he fixer is the general boss of the thieves. This is an error. The function of the fixer is to get thieves out of trouble, not to control them. He often gives some advice to out-of-town professionals, after agreeing to take care of them. p. 107

The Fixer runs a monopoly on the most lucrative and industry-challenging cases [national, well-funded franchisees group or class-actions) while allowing the tactical fixing to happen to Tier 2 law firms who are seen as franchise experts within the franchise bar. The Fixer operates a protection racket that has the appearance of a law practice.

There is in every large city a regular fixer for professional thieves. He has no agents and does not solicit and seldom takes any case except that of a professional thief, just as they seldom go to anyone except him. The centralized and monopolistic system of fixing for professional thieves is found in practically all the large cities and many of the small ones. p. 87

Source: — The Professional Thief, Chapter 4: The Fix, The University of Chicago, 1937 [my emphasis]

I am at a serious disadvantage when discussing the subterranean nature of franchising. I am not a member of that brotherhood and have only caught glimpses of behavior that has piqued my interests over the years.

  • Professional thieves and modern franchise executives function in a similar way, in so much as they are primarily profit-making activities that need to manage risks and returns, under stealth.

They are highly energetic, charming, some exceptionally well-educated people who hold 2 conflicting ideas in their heads: They know they prey upon society but also want not to be an enemy of the state (which as profiting from crime, they surely are).

  • This internal, unresolved conflict (cognitive dissonance) accounts for their bullying, arrogant, irritable, defensive and plain mean behavior. They can’t ever quite buy their acceptance into respectable society.

They:

  1. possess highly migratory and portable special skills (especially persuasion, and communication),
  2. rely primarily on on-the-job training (often passed down from father to son, mentorship, tutelage),
  3. are highly congenial and supportive of other professional thieves (including competing trademarks, are compelled to warn and bail out even those they personally dislike),
  4. steal in a full time, planned and methodical manner,
  5. converse privately in a highly-specialized language (argot: legalese, mumbo-jumbo)
  6. achieve recognition for competence from other peers (who you know is important),
  7. operate in a very rigidly adhered to code of behavior, and [above all else]

8. particularly loathe anyone that (a) would inform “squeal,” or “squawk” and/or (b) has yet to lose their integrity.

They inhabit a modern version of The Waste Land or purgatory. Their only defense is confusion and attempting to degrade those impertinent enough to hold up a mirror to their face.


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