The best laid plans

Alternative Column: On my way home from recording my guest DJ gig with Bob Dorr, I stopped at McDonald's for a couple filet-o-fish sandwiches. I figured I could eat such a simple thing as I drove home in the dark.

Ray Kroc's rigid standards have influenced my life ever since my first job on Pico Boulevard when I was 16 and saving up for my first car. I used to complain about the blandness of McDonald's. My dad pointed out that the value of a place like McDonald's was the sameness. You always get what you expect.

In the movie, “The Founder,” Ray Kroc was not nice. He knew that familiarity made people comfortable. He knew his vision depended on that one thing. When one of his stores offered fried chicken in addition to the company's regular menu, he came down on them like The Deep State on a peace loving president (JFK?).

A principled position is the key to success in much of this world. You don't quit smoking and then bum one once in awhile. If you do, you haven't quit.

When Robert Mugabe led the nationalist Marxist takeover of the government in Zimbabwe he had a grand vision of a society of equals that was not dominated by European colonialists. In the year 2000, the economy deteriorated because of those Marxist ideals. He blamed white landowners for the poverty and pushed for all of the privately held land to be confiscated by the government. Of course the government was called “the people.” It sounded nice.

The blacks who had worked for the white imperialists were expected to run the farms. They were not ready for a management role. Crops failed. Money was printed to create an illusion of prosperity that didn't exist. By 2008, inflation was 100,000 percent.

As unfair as a white management/black workforce arrangement was, at least it didn't produce widespread hunger and poverty. Mugabe's vision was based on Marxism. It was based on theft. There were too many victims to inspire a society of equality and mutual respect. Mugabe's vision went awry.

He has now been deposed. In all likelihood, another dictator will take his place. The luxury of the life of a head of state can tempt a man to stray from benevolent ideals, especially when the rules restricting his power have a history of being ignored.

The rules of our own country have been ignored for a long time now. Signed in 1787, The Constitution was designed to do one thing; limit the power of a central government. The rule of England over her colonies had taught the colonists that central planning, while having noble intentions, was too broad to make sense on a practical level.

The evolution of constitutional restraint now has the President traveling all over the world forming alliances with other elitists and creating enemies. Our fear of these enemies convinces us to hand over half the fruits of our labor to government. We are convinced the government is here to correct all injustice, foreign and domestic.

The founders' vision was a government combating force and fraud, enabling the best role in society for each of us individuals. The government we now have is not only intrusive on our freedoms, but ineffective in enforcing its original role because it is too big. It has gone awry.

Ray Kroc's vision of simple, high quality fast food is now long gone. Other companies see an opening. No government intervention to prevent monopolies is necessary. I thank Ray Kroc for showing me the value of consistent high standards and welcome new ideas and people when those standards are corrupted.

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