Franchising as a low-quality religious experience

mcdreligionI worked as a manager for a three-store McDonald’s Canada franchisee from 1977 to 1980. We were growing by 30% per year, starting the breakfast program and were awarded a Triple A rating, to boot.

This takes tremendous time, energy and effort to accomplish.

If you push yourself hard enough, you start to get a little off-balance mentally. Distorted thinking creeps in.

As a matter of fact, you end up doing thing as a member of a group that you would never have done, if by yourself.

You start identifying much more closely with corporate identities and your career.

When the crash comes (as it did when McDonald’s terminated Ted and Liz and took the 3 stores away), you see how hollow your blind faith was in a legal fiction called a corporation.

Starting a business takes tremendous energy and focus.

  • So does being a member of a religion or cult.

Franchising is often bough to solve a recurring personal problem such as unemployment, underemployment, career burnout, etc. I bought the deadbeat lawn care franchise two weeks after my lay-off package expired in 1992.

As out society becomes more and more secular, it becomes hareder and harder for people to see franchising for what it is: a false religion.

  • It doesn’t help much that small business is being hailed (inaccurately) as the latest golden calf.

One Response to Franchising as a low-quality religious experience

  1. Carol Cross says:

    This is a concern for me —-especially since my brothers and sisters who are veterans of the Armed Services of the USA are now targets of the franchisors because of the Patriot Express Loan Initiative that was passed by the Congress/SBA in June of 2007 in contemplation of the coming recession.

    Under the law, and as indicated by Les Stewart and many others, franchisees are merely resources for franchisors in terms of cheap labor and cheap “venture” capital to stimulate the economy during the recession and to keep BIG franchising and big business afloat as well as to encourage new franchisors, 70% or more of the “newbies” who are said to be purely fraudulent or incompetent, as indicated by Richard Solomen of Franchise Remedies in his posts on Blue Mau Mau.

    Richard Solomon of Franchise Remedies always tells the brutal truth and he predicts a coming blood bath for franchnisees.

    Will the securitizations of the big franchisors that have run into billions, perhaps trillions, be protected through the continuing legalized process of the sacrifice of franchisees in the turn and churn mechanism that has been perfected by BIG franchising and made possible by ineffective federal regulation of franchising that permits churning and turning and pumping and dumping outside the view of the regulators.

    Government has depended on the really lousy jobs being produced by franchising to make the job numbers look better and the Congress has been influenced by the job numbers cited to them by the IFA and the other lobbyists and franchising is growing in the USA and WORLD economies.

    Do the governments really understand that the franchiSEE is not an owner of a small business and merely a resource of the franchisor who may be a really BIG business or a startup small business who wants to grow into a BIG business chain through the use of the cheap labor and cheap “venture” capital of the little fish franchisees who form the basis of the pyramid structures.

    It is really frightening when you hear that “small business” is being represented as the savior of the US economy when so much of the “small business” sector is represented today by franchising. The SBA subsidizes BIG franchising.

    All we can do is WARN.

    We have to hope that President-elect Obama will be a smart “field” representative of the American people and will not be bought and influenced by the power of those who reside inside the safety of the House and the Senate, who have so long conducted business on behalf of the special interests in this country and not on behalf of middle-class Americans.


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