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McCorporatism


McCorporatism

One of the historically significant displays of Corporatism in U. S. history is in the fast food industry. Most notably, McDonald’s Elitist view of the consumer comes to the surface. Corporatism is where you find it. I’ve found it, right here in Johnstown, Colorado.

The McDonald’s franchise here in Johnstown is “owned” by a man named Gary, last name isn’t important. He “owns” 8 McDonalds franchise locations, in the same circumstance that “proprietors” in the Northeast “owned” Exxon stations, in 1980. They found that they could be bought, sold, traded, fleeced and butchered, along with the public. At one point, in the station I worked in, the wholesale price on the invoice was a penny/gallon more than the retail price displayed across the street, at the Sunoco station. Everyone got pillaged by a corporate predator.

The present story is interesting because it comes out of so many unknowns. The greatest advantage in life is to be underestimated. I do “underestimated”, very well. Appearances would never suggest that I’ve been a photographic speed reader, capable of reading multiple books at the same time, for 52 years. Gary couldn’t possibly know that I read all of the McDonald’s training manuals, 31 years ago. That was at a time when McDonald’s was searching for methods to speed up the turnover rate on their seating capacity. One method was to maintain the thermostat settings in cold seasons and climates at an uncomfortably low level, encouraging people to consume their purchase as quickly as possible, and leave. Of course, that resulted in one of the great consumer backlashes of the ’70s.

Today, Gary continues that marketing philosophy. By his own statement, he tolerates customers in his McFeedlot for a maximum of 20 minutes, and only if they bring him money. The comical point is, that it isn’t money. It’s borrowed debt. Perhaps he believes that he’s playing the debt game, really well. He’ll find out. Those who do not learn the lessons of history, are doomed to repeat them. Inflation will change the financial landscape. People won’t be inclined to go through the processing plant that is McDonald’s when the meals on the menu start at “$?”12 and change. Gary forgets that he can’t schedule the customers. He can’t fire them for not performing up to his expectations. He also can’t judge people by appearance. 



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