Laws exist to serve their citizens’ imperfections

When a franchise crashes, it can devastate some families for decades.

Citizens own their own laws, don’t they? Not the experts.

Humans constantly evaluate risks in their environment. Very high evolutionary weight is given to this skill but in complex post-industrial financial decisions, more and more people are understanding just how irrational human decision making is. Our laws should take into account human factors.

People (and this is empirically proven) compensate for perceived risks:

  1. drivers with anti-lock brakes/air bags are more reckless (speed, distance, reaction time) than others,
  2. car drivers follow helmeted cyclists closer than non-helmeted cyclists,
  3. the greater the  safety improvements in skydiving, the divers take on more risk,
  4. football players have much more serious injuries than rugby players…

Franchise disclosure laws simply shift (not reduce) net risks for a population while giving a dangerous false sense of authority to a decaying industry. The judges know this in all jurisdictions because they have had their own franchisee clients by the time they get appointed to the bench. Lawmakers have a much more difficult time resisting policy tsunamis.

Related post, on-line book by Gerald J. S. Wilde, Queen’s U.

5 Responses to Laws exist to serve their citizens’ imperfections

  1. Ray Borradale says:

    And this is why when you do get franchising ‘reform’ it amounts to additional disclosure rather than deterrents and access to justice.

    As soon as we see more disclosure without legislative meat then we smell collusion even though we hear mandatory whining by franchisor lobbyists prior to celebrations and increased member fees.


  2. Les Stewart says:


    Yes I would agree that a prescription of more ineffective medicine makes franchisors and Mr. Bill AbleHours happy, sometimes a cigar is not a cigar.

    Sometimes at the last moment that unintentionally but surprisingly serving of Justice with a capital “j”. Every hobbit has his part to play and once It enters Mount Doom, he nominal victor gets burned.

    Oh shit…that was NZ.



  3. Carol Cross says:

    You two certainly have called it exactly right! Pretty disgusting state of affairs!
    When you have academics, law professors, writing articles such as “Addressing HARM Caused by Misleading Franchise Disclosure” and “Franchising Fraud –The Continuing Need for Reform” and public comments to the FTC such as Comment #79 from Robert Purvin concerning the FLAW in disclosure, in 1997, and NOTHING is done to address the flaw, and the courts accommodate the fraud —what is the answer?

    The Great Franchising Robbery Continues!! Only if some big personality who gets media coverage discloses this robbery will franchisors be held accountable for selling something of value to the public.

    Where are you, Michael Moore? Where are you Andria Huffington? Where are you, Mother Jones? Where are you, Bill Maher?


  4. Ray Borradale says:

    I am wary of much of academias regular stamps of approval for franchising but even in much of the worst paid for research you can sometimes find little accidental gems.

    I do like New Zealand’s approach to franchising. Nothing complicated – don’t even tell anyone its buyer beware and then keep the location of the mass grave a secret. Economic efficiency and the grace to not worry people before its time to send them to that other place. Bewdiful …

    Michael Moore would have a ball and who wouldn’t carry his suitacase.


  5. Les Stewart says:


    I was wondering what the hell happened: my views on FranchiseFool went up 4x the average with this post (Where’s Mark Bryers? With Waldo in AUS, of course.) leading the way.

    The bitch is that there has to be sufficiently precise laws to catch a thief. The standard of care for the Kiwi politicians is “knew or could have been reasonably been expected to know” that someone would defraud 3,000 of their citizens.

    They were negligent in their arrogance and Mark Bryers was/is a smart enough person/trained attorney to know that.

    Morals got nothing (primarily for me) to do with this. The elected officials breached their duties and continue to do it by not being straight with their electorate.



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