Like most industries, the U.S. franchise industry is experiencing a downturn. Does this downturn warrant a bailout from Congress? The economic impact of the franchise industry certainly cannot be disputed. Just like the automobile sector, the franchise industry is responsible for millions of jobs. I am thinking that it may be time for me to brush up on my congressional lobbying skills, and take a trip to Washington DC.\u00a0 :) I would be happy to join any other franchise industry executives who feel that our industry needs some financial help. (I would be happy to carpool with them to DC. Arriving in a corporate jet\u00a0probably would not be the wisest thing to do in these tough financial times.) Billions of taxpayer dollars are floating around, waiting for good homes. I think the franchise industry deserves a piece of the pie. Just look at all the products and services our industry provides: Food and drink. There are thousands of food related franchises all over our country. These franchises serve everything from burritos, to chicken wings, to juicy steaks. There are also some newer sports bar type franchise opportunities, as well as the usual mix of ice cream and donut franchises. Technology related franchises are becoming more prevalent, as our society continues to transition to the electronic age. Do you need your computer repaired? How about the design and installation of a state of the art security system? Automobile related franchises. Cars and trucks still need to be maintained, and franchises in this sector provide oil changes, tune-ups, collision repair, and auto parts stores. Need to customize your ride? That can be handled, also. There are many more products and services that the franchise industry provides. On your way to work you may have dropped off your dry cleaning at a franchised dry cleaning store, picked up the copies you had done at a franchised copy store, and stopped in for your weekly 20-minute tanning session at a franchised\u00a0salon. Many of these franchises are going through some tough times, as consumers become nervous and more cost conscious. If this continues, some franchises will have to close up shop. These former franchise owners may be entering the already listless job market. A franchise industry bailout probably sounds appealing to the struggling franchise owner, or franchise company executive. But, who is really going to be paying for it? The person paying for it is the same person\u00a0who is currently purchasing a cup of coffee, or a dozen bagels from their local franchise, on their way to work. That person could be you. No one seems to have all of the answers right now. Patience may be a virtue that all of us need to perfect. Things will get better.