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Does the World Need More McDonalds?

But, hey, in Portland they use loads of processed tofu to prepare meals, serve craft beer and compost, so it's all good! I'd love to see somebody compare the "carbon footprint" between the average Portlander and Manhattanite. But, digress, I do ...

How does this relate to McDonald's? It does, big time, particularly if you're conflicted about making MCD an investment because of some of the social stigma attached to the brand and large fast food chains in general. (Large is the keyword here because, you don't see activists talking down In-N-Out or Five Guys much).

TheStreet's Keris Alison Lahiff filled us in Friday on MCD's expansion plans:

(MCD) plans to add at least 1,500 new locations to its total 35,000 over fiscal 2014, 50% more than over 2012. At the company's investor meeting on Thursday, senior management announced 2014 capital expenditure of $2.9 billion to $3 billion, providing for the openings of between 1,500 and 1,600 new restaurants and 1,000 renovations.

Here's one recent renovation -- with a really funny temporary drive-thru setup -- I spotted a couple months' back in West Los Angeles:

Expect opposition. Once again it will be as futile as it is misguided.

On its performance as investment alone, McDonald's has done more for neighborhoods and the people who live in them than your run-of-the-mill local city or county supervisor who makes it his life's mission to rail against "formula chain stores" even as issues ranging from homelessness to potholes continue to get worse.

MCD is up more than 29,000% if you max out the chart; 77% over five years and 16% over the last 365 days. Other than provide him or her with your unconditional love and support, there's probably nothing better you could have done -- or could do going forward -- than buy your kid a share (or more) of MCD. But, of course, many hypocrites from places such as San Francisco and Portland will brand you, the smart shareholder, as the bad guy. As part of the problem, not their self-guided, top-down, holier-than-thou solution.

Anyway, if you're angry with me after reading this, watch the video. If you watched the video and are still angry, I make no apologies. I have been around the block where this issue resides a million times -- passionately and on many sides. If more McDonalds means more investors creating wealthy estates, then, yes, we absolutely do need 1,500 more of them.

-- Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.

Rocco Pendola is a columnist and TheStreet's Director of Social Media. Pendola makes frequent appearances on national television networks such as CNN and CNBC as well as TheStreet TV. Whenever possible, Pendola uses hockey, Springsteen or Southern California references in his work. He lives in Santa Monica.
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