Let us Disband The FTC?s Franchising Division

Previously Senator Dick Armey and his staff in 2000 to review seriously the important decision to scrutinize the FTC’s franchising division. Mr. Armey has sense retired. Today, I urge the Administration, the GAO, Senate Subcommittee and other governmental oversight bodies to curtail the efforts of the FTC to further over regulate the MUD (much unnecessary disclosure) plaguing our industry. How much should the FTC’s franchise group be downsized? We see by the introduction of a proposed change and additions to the franchise rule that they have over stepped their usefulness in franchising, so perhaps that division should receive no funding and be immediately disbanded. I have an interesting case study and 2000 pages of proof of innocence of an action taken against my company by the FTC.

It is really incredible to read considering the FTC moved to seize bank accounts based on competitor’s complaints and declarations. The competition in the future does not appear to be coming from the marketplace. That competition is not too bothersome compared to the FTC. The new competition is agencies like the FTC against American business. Just like the new enemy to the flows of civilization are those of the International Terrorists. And we saw exactly what happens with all the layoffs of 2001-2003, we need not repeat that again in an exacerbated business cycle. I am still trying to figure out why I as a consumer was damaged by Microsoft for receiving a free web browser. Last time I checked “free” was my favorite price. Who is the FTC to tell me the consumer of my own free will that I am wrong to want to buy Microsoft products?

A question you are probably wondering is can the franchising industry survive without the FTC? The question should be more like how much can the franchising industry thrive without the FTC piling more minutia on its backs. Why is it up to the franchising industry to stop the horse and why are you trying stop the horse anyway (referring to the statue outside the their building). Do you have something against horses? I was quite concerned when I went to visit the FTC and discuss the case they filed against our company. We sat in a room and answered questions, before we started and after our meeting concluded of the investigator stood and was watching my rear end. Although I am from California and tend to let things like this go, I was offended as my wife was present. He was not a bad looking guy and said he was 26, but surely he would have no problem in Washington D.C. finding a date to suit his needs. I thought that was very inappropriate.

Also I got to thinking that the name of my company is The Car Wash “GUYS,” then I wondered how much did that fact have to do with the singling out of our company as an FTC target to prosecute. Or worse off how much of the name “GUYS’ in our brand name had to do with the prosecutor choosing us as his for next assignment? And how much of this fact has to do with the ongoing phone calls and harassment we keep getting. Is this a psychological stalking type mentality occurring? Should I just not worry about it since the FTC settled the case with our company and it is over, or should I be concerned that some one still likes me? This is a true story and I have a problem with any agency, which cannot put away personal issues like these and others to do their job. Is this the reality of the FTC, is it internally really this pathetic? I did not question anyone’s sexual preference nor should anyone question mine just because I am happily married. We should stick to the issues, without grandstanding. I am putting the FTC on notice of this issue as after this letter is read over, I do not wish all my suggestions to these proposed rule changes to come back an haunt me, they are my honest opinions and I have a right to be heard and the FTC has the responsibility to listen and public comments are to be taken seriously. How can I be sure the FTC will not once again target my company, we made comments in 1999 also and this was just prior to them opening a case against us, these are some real questionable issues, which also must be addressed as I pursue funding deletion of this division at the FTC. Will they come after our company again, they probably will not get very far.

Although I bet they try. Individuals who give Public Comment when the FTC has solicited them should not be harassed for their sincere opinions in the form of a lawsuit against their companies. I have not said anything in this letter that I am not sincere about. The FTC needs to look in the mirror and fix the internal problems there and continue the mission of Truth, Justice and the American way for the betterment of citizen and country. It must be done. We must hold government accountable as well as ourselves for we are all one.

If this proposed rule making exercise costs $250,000.00 of taxpayers monies, we should have them less often. We could have used the funds we would have saved, by the wasteful tendencies of a runaway agency to strengthen franchising and small business and for education on franchising for the public. We could have used this time, effort and these resources in Forming a task force with teeth to cut red tape, revitalize American small business and help with ways to educate new entrants. We could enlist this task force to come up with new innovative ways to encourage small business and help fund programs working with the private sector such as my plan to further increase funding for small businesses and franchising:

We should be investing in America’s future and find ways for more people to start franchises and other independent small businesses, not tying the hands of Franchisors, who hold the key to jump starting small businesses, increasing employment and bringing the economic recovery to robust fruition. Franchising promotes efficiency and sets the bar for competition and the consumer benefits from it. We should be turning towards the private sector and for answers, not to government agencies to dream up more rules and laws.

I find it interesting that anytime there is a problem or perceived problem someone in government comes up with a solution. It is always the same. I propose we make a another new law, rule, code, permit, condition, resolution, clarification, tax, fee, fine, act, decree, bylaw, directive, ruling, guideline, decree, declaration, decision, resolution, license, authorization, sanction, authorization, policy, system, format, charge, bill, statue or any number of other things that in the end all mean excessive regulation to business.

And may I ask the simplest of questions? What does any of this have to do with flipping a hamburger, changing a muffler, washing a car, sending someone on vacation or cleaning some ones house? Because last time I checked that is what the franchising industry does for America.

Rules for the sake of making rules will not make the world perfect and excuse me for saying so but the garbage they teach to first year law students that free society only exists when there is a set of standards for law is BS. The Taliban in Afghanistan also had laws based on god knows what/who? The best law in the world is that which can be avoided, that never has to be made.

The wonderful thing about making rules in government is once you make the first one you have job security for the rest of your life, must be nice. These proposed rules are an unjustified “piling effect” of minutia.

I look at the counterparts in other countries to the FTC. In those countries the agencies are there to spur on growth and economic development. Yet in our country, the greatest country in the world, our great agency, The Federal Trade Commission, spends its money and funding attacking American companies, stifling free enterprise and hurting consumer choice by enacting burdensome rules which border on restraint of trade and at minimum cause severe barriers to entry in so many industries that could hold possible economic opportunity to average Americans.

There are adequate restrictions on franchising in place already to protect consumers. Over regulation hurts consumers and now the FTC wants to impose restrictions on franchisors protecting non-consumers, possible consumers and competitors. Why are we protecting the possibility of damage to a consumer that has not yet actually occurred and may never occur. You are not a damaged consumer if you did not buy a franchise yet, how could you be. For actual fraud to occur in principal you have to have been ripped off and the culprit disappears with your money, leaving you holding the bag, how can that happen in franchising? There is no fraud in franchising that is a Myth. How could you be damaged as a consumer/investor if you never purchased anything? Well then why is the FTC attempting to enacting a rule to protect people who are not buying anything or have not bought anything?

And using as a basis for their endeavors 100 complaints in nearly a decade, all this after 350,000 franchise outlets have been sold. Event he franchise rights groups, rabble rousers and unions writing the letters in advance could not get more than 3 dozen people to sign them? What does this tell you folks? There is no fraud, unleash the reigns on the throats of the franchisors who are building this great nation, providing opportunity, helping people pursue happiness, my god I am on a roll after 90 pages, tell me, can you here me now? What is wrong with this picture why are we making more rules? To help lawyers? They have been helping themselves to the franchising industry long enough. We need some breathing space, America needs your help now. Reduce the drag and help lift this industry to new heights. Think about it, how does the over regulation from any agency help free markets?

“Lance Winslow” – If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; www.WorldThinkTank.net/wttbbs

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