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Fundamental Transformation

Updated on August 3, 2014

By: Wayne Brown

The people were gathering around outside a building which had been a familiar sight in their town for many years. The building had been the home to a McDonalds which had been the first “chain restaurant” to come and plant roots in the small town. That single move had created a boon as more chain type fast-food restaurants began to follow McDonald’s lead. Of course this was eventually a shot in the arm to the local economy as more people spent more money on fast food and that money circulated in the local economy through jobs and spending with outside vendors. It seemed a “win/win” solution for the town.

Today, something was very strange. The doors were locked and the McDonald’s sign were no longer in place on the post or the building marquee. In their place was an unfamiliar sign reading “McBungles”. As folks parked their cars and walked to the crowd in front of the locked door, they began to speculate as to what was going on with this change in their town.

As they milled about and talked, the sounds of the double doors unlocking caught their attention. Immediately a neatly dressed young man stepped outside and welcomed those forming the crowd to the first day of business for the McBungles’ food chain. He explained that while McDonald’s had done well, the concept had run its course and the government was beginning to realize that the food selection offered by the chain was bad for the health of the citizens. He told the crowd that McDonald’s management knew they were facing extinction if they did not change their ways and thus, McBungles was born to replace the aging McDonald’s concept. The young manager emphasized that McBungles represented a reform or fundamental transformation of the McDonald’s approach to the food business.

As he invited the customers into the dining area, they immediately noticed menu boards listing all the foods offered by the McBungle’s chain. Most of the foods appeared to be health-oriented products designed to provide good nutrition while minimizing fats and carbohydrates. One customer yelled out, “Hey where are the prices?” Sure enough, while the food selection was listed on the board there were no prices listed for any item. The customers looked at each other in confusion and then turned to the young manager and repeated the question in unison.

“Well,” stated the young man, “Remember that I told you that this was a fundamental transformation. Pricing under our current marketing scenario would be very difficult to do. Instead, once you make your desires known to our attendant, they will ask you how much money you have in the bank. On the basis of your answer, the attendant types that amount into the computer which then calculates what you owe for your food. Let me give you a quick example.

The young manager moved to the counter area and faced the people. “Now let’s take this young lady here, I would assume that maybe you are a college student or a young person who is just joining the workforce. Is that the case?” The manager queried. “Yes,” Replied the young lady. “I just started working at the Insurance Office down the street straight out of high school.”

“Okay, perfect!” replied the manager. “And how about you, sir, you appear to be a man who has worked a few years and is established in your profession.”

“That’s true,” replied the gray-haired man. I am a doctor who has operated a medical practice in the community for two decades now. A very successful practice I might add.”

“Wonderful,” stated the young manager. “The two of you are perfect for my example”

The young manager then went on to explain to the crowd using his two examples as aids in clarifying his point. He suggested that both the young lady and the older doctor have the “McBungle’s Burger” listed on the board. He then turned to the computer and asked the young lady how much money she had in the bank to which the young lady replied “$200”. He punched the figure into the computer and then a price appeared in the display showing that she owed $2.25 for her burger. The manager now went through the same exercise with the older man who was the doctor. He typed in the amount of money the doctor told him was in his bank account and suddenly the price for the burger appeared on the display…$8.40.

“What?” the doctor quickly said. You mean to tell me that both of us are having exactly the same meal and I am paying almost four times as much for my meal as this young lady is paying for her meal. How can you do that?”

The manager smiled at the man and quickly pointed out that the doctor had many assets and considerable money in the bank therefore his “ability to pay” exceeded that of the young lady by far more than four times the price therefore McBungle’s had been much more than fair in its calculation of the relative price. Then the manager went on to explain that a significant part of the company’s mission was to be able to feed those folks who had little or no money at “no charge”. On that basis, he pointed out that one could see why the doctor needed to pay the higher amount as it would provide the money necessary to feed the other people who were less fortunate.

The manager went on to explain that the marketing strategy would be heavily focused on attracting the customer with significant assets into the store. This would keep pricing at a level such that the chain could make its normal profits while also feeding those folks who had yet accomplished much in life. The others could easily afford the pricing and no one would really be getting hurt in the equation. It was truly a “win/win” for all parties in the end.

So, on that day, the crowd was sold on the idea of fundamental transformation and each one stepped forward to order their meal. Since their orders varied, most of them could not see the relative difference in pricing which they were being charged on the basis of their bank accounts. Most of them left happy and told the young manager that they would return and over the coming months that proved to be true as more and more people came into the chain to eat.

Slowly, over time, people begin to get a feel for what their meal was costing them on the basis of their bank accounts versus others who were in line with them. Then some of them had a bright idea and began to lie about their bank balances. Soon, almost everyone in town was eating for free or close to it at McBungles and the chain was beginning to hurt financially.

The class envy in the town began to show. The young woman who worked at the Insurance Store could no longer stand the sight of the doctor who had so much more money than she did. She felt that he did not deserve to have assets like that no matter how hard he worked or how many years he had studied. The doctor in turn was resentful of the young lady because he felt it was unfair that he subsidize the price of her food purchases. He had done nothing to warrant having to prop up her needs through pricing penalties. Soon there were cracks and divisions in the population of the town. Fundamental transformation had fueled the fires of class envy throughout the town.

When McBungles could no longer pay its taxes and was faced with closing the doors, the government was outraged as the healthy food idea coupled with fundamental transformation was just too much too lose at one time. So, the government sent in the FBI and the IRS to investigate. Well, it didn’t take much investigation before it became apparent that people were lying about their assets in order to get cheap food. The government was faced with a dilemma which called for the President and Congress to act quickly and invoke laws allowing the computer system at McBungle’s to direct query the financial assets of all its potential customers so the proper pricing could be achieved. Suddenly, with this government intervention, the chain was back on track to profitability and fundamental transformation not to mention the community service being done on their part to achieve wealth redistribution in the town.

The other chains and restaurants in the town that witnessed McBungle’s success started copying the model right down to using the direct query of assets. Soon there was no place to eat in town for those with any money unless they were willing to pay very high prices for their food. The concept soon spread to the grocery stores causing the costs of eating at home to go through the roof for anyone with money in the bank. The hand-writing was on the wall as fundamental transformation had taken root and was growing throughout the community.

Soon those who had money in the bank started noticing that those with no money were living better than they were. They had more groceries and cheaper eat-out food. Soon gasoline was being sold in the same manner. The cards were slowly stacking up against the sector of society that had worked and achieved assets. Suddenly, it was apparent that working and achieving was no longer the answer to success. One simply needed to let go of their assets and join the ranks of those who were benefitting by not achieving anything. The doctor closed his practice and within a few months had lost enough of his assets to almost eat for free at McBungles. Other professionals and business people followed suit. Fundamental transformation had finally won the day. Reform and change had finally created a society totally dependent on the achievements of others yet by the day there were fewer and fewer achievers lining up to consume the goods.

The direct query lost its affect because the people had no money. They did not produce anything. The businesses which had followed the McBungle’s model were now back to the brink of bankruptcy and there was no place to go. They could not return to the old way of doing business because no one had any money to spend. There was nothing left to do but close the doors and join the ranks which were getting poorer by the day.

The town soon became an empty shell as more and more building were vacated by businesses which had gone broke. People were on the streets begging each other for food and comfort. There was nothing to share because there was nothing produced. The circular error of fundamental transformation was finally becoming all too apparent…when the producers are no longer motivated and basically penalized out of the society; the world begins to fall apart. Now the people had no place to go or to look for assistance except the government. Of course, that source had almost dried up as well because the revenue stream flowing into the government had diminished little by little as the debt piled up. The government took on more and more social welfare and borrowed money in every place that it could driving the national debt level totally off the charts into undefined levels.

Like a disease spreads through the body, fundamental transformation spread throughout the society and eventually undermined the world as all were slowly pulled into that deep abyss which appeared on a sign in a small town one morning advertising a new fast-food chain…McBungle’s.

©Copyright WBrown2011. All Rights Reserved.


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    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      7 years ago from Texas certainly understand the message. I hope more and more Americans will if we are to keep our democracy intact. WB

    • profile image 

      7 years ago from upstate, NY

      Wayne Brown- Love this story about the painfully obvious folly of the left! I love how these enlightened and arrogant liberals fail to miss the simple lessons of common sense that are so brilliantly illustrated in this humorous parable. The lesson is clear, no amount of government gimmick's are going to produce something of real value, the initial appearance of success is the hook that lurer's poeple into believing big government wealth distribution schemes will benifit society.-Regards


    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      7 years ago from Texas

      @LuxmiH...We can only hope that is the case. Thank you for the great comment. WB

    • LuxmiH profile image

      Luxmih Eve-Lyn Forbes 

      7 years ago from Fort Pierce, Florida

      Wayne it takes real talent to be able to weave a story that explains a concept in such a way that the reader keeps an open mind. Hopefully those who need to understand will be drawn to this hub and as a result will see the light.

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      7 years ago from Texas

      @MartieCoetser...Thank you! I wanted something to make people think how easy it can be to lose what we have in a short period of time seemingly thinking that we are trading for something better. Those who turn us against each other in the class envy game have such motives at the heart of their actions. There is nothing of humane concern in their interest. WB

      @drbj...Hopefully it will give pause for thought and a chance to weigh how they feel toward others who have attained some success through efforts to produce a product or service in the marketplace. Our freedoms allow us the opportunity to try but not the guarantee of success...those who do not try are guaranteed to fail. I'll have to consider that chair!LOL! WB

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      7 years ago from south Florida

      Wayne - You have mastered the art of telling a simple interesting story to illustrate a more complicated and extremely flawed theory. McBungle's was the perfect name for this failed business. Did you copy the White House?

      BTW, the Chair of Economics is now open at Fokk U. Would you care to apply? Your acceptance is guaranteed. Voted way UP!

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      7 years ago from South Africa

      Thoroughly thought-out. Brilliant. Indisputable: the sharing of wealth will be the end of wealth. However, I believe there is a difference between communism and socialism. In a way the latter could be practice in harmony with capitalism. But oh, don't ask me to submit a business plan - what works on paper often doesn't work in practice, because the moment a plan comes to life, corruption starts to kill it.

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      7 years ago from Texas

      @leroy64...I think you are correct...a thriving black market usually accompanies a government controlled one in these circumstances. Thanks for the good words! WB

    • leroy64 profile image

      Brian L. Powell 

      7 years ago from Dallas, Texas (Oak Cliff)

      I had to read this three times. (That means I liked the article. I don't make that effort for things I dislike.) Nice commentary on the direction certain groups want to take our country in. Wouldn't a world full of McBungle's create an underground and illicit world of restaurants and fast food? Laws are only effective if people accept them.

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      7 years ago from Texas

      @Deb Welch...There have been a few places here in Texas that operate in that manner and some probably still exists although I am sure the management will tell you they either get stiffed or overpaid. Thanks for the good words. WB

      @femmelflashpoint...Love that line about "blonde-friendly"...I think there is something there in me which that will inspire at some point! LOL! I wanted this to feel like a "harmless" thing that was happening so the reader could realize how insidious this liberal direction can be in a society. Liberalism does not have a lock on caring for others and reaching out a helping hand but it certainly is a conrner in which a lot of socialist, fascist, and communist love to hide their ilk and try to sell it under the guise of simple liberal well-intentioned security for the people. It is way past time that we recognized that factor in our society and dispensed with it. Thanks for the great words! WB

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Finally!!! Wayne - God bless you!! You've brought it, and you've brought it blonde-friendly!!!

      This is a spectacular explanation in a story nearly anyoneee should be able to understand. I hope it goes viral, lol! (I mean that in a very good way!)

      Excellent work!

    • profile image

      Deb Welch 

      7 years ago

      Wayne - I as well enjoy reading the whole enchilada where your Hubs are concerned. There was a restaurant I read about over a year ago that served low income people and everyone paid what they thought the meal should cost. Strange enough - the business was doing well at that time - go figure. I would rather have a set price and no favoritism because of my personal standing economically. Thank you. A different read.

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      7 years ago from Texas

      @cjv123...You are one fire-cracker of a conservative who I admire greatly...thank so much for those great words! WB

    • cjv123 profile image


      7 years ago from Michigan

      Not only is this Hub excellent but even your answers are fantastic to read Wayne. The comments by others are very interesting as well. It is always a delight to read your writings, you are one talented Texan!

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      7 years ago from Texas

      @Genna East...Thank you. I hope that it at least causes someone to stop and think about being too quick to trade freedom for security. Many Americans have no apprehension at all that folks within our own system migh attempt to sell us socialism or fascism without giving it a thought. I know that what this President is selling is anything but democracy. WB

      @WillStarr...Sadly true, Will. The only will of the people coming to the surface is the "will of the non-producers who keep asking for more, more, more. WB

    • WillStarr profile image


      7 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      We have lost our way. A country whose Constitution cites liberty as its mainstay and strength has meekly capitulated to the security siren-song of an all-powerful nanny government.

      Soon we will have the security of universal health care, mandatory government planned healthy menus,, and equal wages for all.

      "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need"

      - Karl Marx (and now, Barack Obama, and his far left friends)

      Excellent, Wayne! Voted everything but funny, since what is happening to my beloved country is not funny at all.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      7 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Brilliant metaphor, Wayne one of the best I have ever read. Losing freedom and the ability to make intelligent, independent choices can manifest in furtive ways. I continue to see this in the media with alarming and growing intensity – as well as in the halls of governance. Up and awesome.

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      7 years ago from Texas

      @50 Caliber...Thanks Dusty...glad to land one near the target! WB

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      7 years ago from Texas

      TheManWithNoPants...The track record of socialism throughout history speaks ever so clearly of the circular error built into the model. The utopian aspect of the model always assumes that people will notice and respond to class envy yet they will not notice producers and non-producers as they "share equally" in the pie. A big flaw. WB

      @Judah's Daughter...Well, you have my permission to recommend it but it will never fly...too controversial in subject matter...Hubs of the Day are about the ten steps to churning good butter...I don't write that stuff well! LOL! Thanks, you kind words are just as good as getting "Hub of the Day"! WB

      @RealHousewife...Right on, Kelly. Most folks don't mind working hard and paying their fair share...even rich folks but we are all beginning to notice that there are way more folks now living off the dole and producing nothing who are clamoring for more...something is wrong with this picture. WB

      @saddlerider1...Thanks, Ken. We have a government here in the USA and too many elected officials who want to use the excuse that they are protecting a fool from himself to grab power and take away liberty. The First Lady would shut down every fast food joint in America if she had the power because she feels that she knows what is better for Americans than they do. But, the argument does not pivot on the point of pivots on individual freedom of choice...a point which she misses...a huge flaw in the thinking of a former lawyer. WB

      @Truckstop Sally...The real fact of the matter is that America has worked for so long because people worked at it...just as in a good marriage. Now, we have far too many folks who just assume that America will continue to be America and they will lose nothing in the process...extremely flawed thinking especially with this administration in office. WB

      @Scarlett, My Dear...Thank you so much for those good words...they mean a lot coming from you. I think you might be surprised how much you and I agree in many ways. Too often the conservate side of the aisle gets labeled as "uncaring". I too care deeply for those who really need help but as I heard remarked yesterday, our government questions the rights of those who have made money and hold assets yet does not seem to question anyone who is on government assistance. We have to balance that scale in order to be sure that our dollars are indeed helping those who really need the help and not just rippinb off the system. America has been such a wonderful place many, many years. Though we have our flaws, we take care of our problems and hopefully we take care of each other. But, and it is a a big BUT, we cannot afford to allow those who would trade us security for our freedoms to dominate our thinking. Washington has become a place where taxpayer money is used to buy votes...a situation which is even more serious than lobbying in my mind. As citizens, we have not seen it that way before but it has become much clearer in the past few years. And, it has reached proportions which we can no longer afford. No one ever spent their way out of financial trouble and we won't be the first. I hope that I can continue to write in a way that you will read and appreciate the point though you may not agree. I don't expect that we all should agree...that's what makes for good discussions and generates compromise...which we still need. Thanks again. WB

    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 

      7 years ago from Arizona

      Wayne, a great spot on hub rather message that many need understand for what it is, before the coming elections. Kudos on an original writing of value, Peace, Amigo, dust

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      7 years ago from Texas

      @Sunnie Day...Yes, they could not go back...there choices and their freedom to go back had disappeared when their relationship with each other dissolved. That is what so many do not see as the dangers of a society with a lot of social guarantees which are traded for freedom and opportunity. There are no guarantees...only promises which end sooner or later. WB

      @dahoglund...Thanks, DA...the welfare state scares me a lot! WB

      @Old Poolman...Thank you, Mike. I was hoping it would come across that way and make folks realize how easy it is to use class envy to break down our society and make it worthless. WB

      @FitnezzJim...You are quite correct...simple models do not accurately assume the human dynamic and how things are perceived. Just as folks were led to believe that Bush wanted to steal our Social Seccurity money that is not there anyway...human perception is the pivotal aspect because too often perception is fact. WB

    • Scarlett My Dear profile image

      Scarlett My Dear 

      7 years ago from Missouri

      Dear Wayne,

      I read this piece earlier, but wanted to think on it a bit more, before sharing my opinion. Lord knows us "libs" like to rain on a parade, especially when there's a little red hen in the crosshairs! (;

      Let me just say, I sure like you. You love your country and aren't afraid to speak your mind to defend it. You have yet to offend my sensibilities, simply because you speak from the heart and with respect. I love this, btw. Brilliant metaphor! As usual, Your argument makes sense.

      It is my nature to want to help those that I can, but never with simply a "handout". Give a man a fish ~ feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish ~ feed him for a lifetime... and all that.

      Your example here shines a spotlight on the issue of fairness and equality of the classes ~ ALL of the classes.

      Thank you, again for another great piece. Well put.


    • Truckstop Sally profile image

      Truckstop Sally 

      7 years ago

      You are a very sneaky teacher! What a lesson for us all! Work hard . . . do the right thing . . . plan for the future . . .!!

    • saddlerider1 profile image


      7 years ago

      Wayne I bet if you check your reads you will find many many who read this brilliant Hub but did not want to leave a comment. I see that in many of my deepest poems, lots of views but much less comments. Makes one wonder?

      You covered this subject beautifully. I am sharing this one with my Canadian friends we have the same problems up North. I believe in fairness, but it has to be fair to all parties, I hate one-sided anything:-) Rated way UP brother, punched all your buttons.

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 

      7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      WB - This is exceptionally brilliant. I hit all the buttons. I don't mind working hard - but our tax system almost penalizes us for it!

    • Judah's Daughter profile image

      Judah's Daughter 

      7 years ago from Roseville, CA

      I wish I could recommend this hub as "Hub of the Day"! I hope you don't mind, but I will post this on my Facebook!! Awesome!!!

    • TheManWithNoPants profile image


      7 years ago from Tucson, Az.

      I am genuinly impessed Wayne. I see no holes in this, although someone will no doubt try. I appreciate the work that went into this my friend.


    • FitnezzJim profile image


      7 years ago from Fredericksburg, Virginia

      Circular transformation. Is that also known as 'leveling the playing field'?

      Great illustration of how an academic approach to solving a problem gets twisted when we take into account how various people react to their perception of their own situation. The people factor counts, and most academics overlook that.

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 

      7 years ago

      Wayne - without a doubt this is the absolute best explanation of the welfare state I have ever read. I really doubt there will be many that won't be able to understand this story, and am curious what the libs comments will be. It will be very interesting to see how they can possibly argue with anything you said in this story. Any you are so right, once we get to this point, there is no going back.

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 

      7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Nice presentation of how the welfare state works.

    • profile image

      Sunnie Day 

      7 years ago

      WOW Wayne..I am in awe of the way you have written this article and sharing a concept/virus that has plagued the world for many many years..You have made it so easy to understand. Once we are infected..I can not imagine how a society can ever go back do you? I guess here lies the answer..

      "They could not return to the old way of doing business because no one had any money to spend. There was nothing left to do but close the doors and join the ranks which were getting poorer by the day."

      Going to share this on my face book and bookmarking it..Really good.



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