In 2015, Forbes named the DeVos family twentieth on their list of America’s 50 Top Givers, with lifetime charity donations of $1.2 billion. Most of that money has stayed in West Michigan – Amway’s headquarters are in Ada, and the DeVos and Van Andel families own or have bequeathed a considerable portion of Grand Rapids, and are often credited for catalyzing the revitalization of downtown. Of the $94 million the DeVos family gave in 2014 alone, $54 million of it stayed in Grand Rapids. Much of it went to public schools and Grand Rapids–based hospitals, arts programs, and faith-based organizations providing services to the homeless.
Scott confidently reprised decades’ worth of conservative alarmism, invoking inflation and national debt and other flat-earth bugbears in a doomsday routine as charmingly archaic as it was fatuous. An accurate narrative of the last few decades—growing productivity, GDP, and per-capita income, accompanied by a massive upward redistribution of wealth—would hardly have packed the millennial portent Scott was looking for. The Second Wave, like Communism, like all the works of man, was destined to decay and collapse, making way for the coming entrepreneurial kingdom—which, for those who lacked faith or zeal, would bring a day of reckoning. Were we ready? To prove he “wasn’t making this crazy stuff up,” he littered the floor with copies of Fortune, Money, and Forbes, citing the relevant disaster stories. I felt like I was back at ENTERPRISE 2020.
A 1998 analysis of campaign contributions conducted by Businessweek found that Amway, along with the founding families and some top distributors, had donated at least $7 million to GOP causes in the preceding decade. Political candidates who received campaign funding from Amway in 1998 included Representatives Bill Redmond (R–N.M.), Heather Wilson (R–N.M.), and Jon Christensen (R–Neb).
‘Shorts are fine here, jeans are fine. Casual attire, golf attire, tennis,’ says Dale. ‘What we train our staff on here, constantly, is the difference between a country club and a normal restaurant. We have a membership: they’re paying X amount of dollars just to walk in the door and come have a hamburger. So, we encourage the staff to make introductions if there are two members sitting here and they don’t know each other. To get them involved, help them meet each other, help them make friends – because that’s what’s going to make them participate more and stay members longer. It’s like a church. Like trying to get your congregation active and engaged and involved.’
But Dream Night brought all the questions back to the surface: If Amway isn’t a scam, why did it seem so much like one? It may win heaps of praise nowadays, but Amway doesn’t seem to have changed much at all. Perhaps what’s changed is us. While Amway is the same as it ever was, the rest of us have made peace with commercial insanity. Maybe capitalism has finally reached the stage of self-parody, unblushingly celebrating a house-of-cards as its highest achievement. And maybe Dream Night, instead of being the ritual of a fringe cult, is the vanguard of the future.
But judging by the Herculean efforts made to seduce me into The Business, the Plan couldn’t be quite as effortless as it sounded. Josh and Jean, who had now thrown themselves into signing me up as one of their “downlines,” had adopted a strategy that consisted mainly of driving me, at untold inconvenience to themselves, to as many meetings as possible (they were all in far-flung suburbs, so I needed the rides). My attempts to find refuge in the back of the car being firmly rebuffed by Jean, I sat captive in the passenger seat while Josh tried out the various small-talk friendship-building techniques he’d learned from World Wide. Our trips always ended with Josh proffering a Sample Kit, a large white box filled with detergents and propaganda, including Promises to Keep, a book by the suggestively named Charles Paul Conn, as well as xeroxed articles explaining why Amway was the most “misunderstood company in the world.” I resisted Josh’s offers; I was reluctant to take the Amway plunge and knew that the real purpose of the kit was to give him an excuse to drop by my house and retrieve it.
Ponder..."selling overpriced product and appointing people to sell over priced product when equally good and cheap products are available in market" both difficult and unethical...why a good human being for money would like to suck people to buy something and recruit people to buy the amway product because he and his uplines will earn and businesss will grow.rest everbody is entitled to his or her opinion..
In the canonical 6-4-2 pyramid, the “Direct Distributor” on top receives a 25 percent “Performance Bonus” on the entire group’s spending. The Performance Bonuses that go to his six “legs” (12 percent of their sub-groups’ spending) are deducted from his own, leaving him with a 13 percent profit. In turn, they payout 6 percent bonuses to their four “legs,” who payout 3 percent bonuses to their two. Those bottom forty-eight distributors, in other words, get back 3 percent of everything they spend while the top distributor gets 13 percent of everything they spend. (The amount of all checks are calculated, incidentally, by Amway’s central computer and distributed by Amway; uplines don’t actually write checks to their downlines.) It would amount to the same thing if the distributors at the bottom were to receive the 25 percent rebate—and then pay fees directly to their uplines equal to 3 percent, 6 percent, and 13 percent of their purchases.
After years operating behind the scenes, Betsy DeVos is set to become the public face of education policy in America—an advocate of private Christian education helming the largest public-education agency in the country. Most education policymaking happens at the state and local level; the Education Department administers financial aid and collects and analyzes educational data, but doesn’t set state standards or school curricula. Even so, the position is a considerable bully pulpit, one with the ability to define the national discussion on education.
I work in the car business. Most people in the US can't reasonably afford the vehicles they drive. People are getting more and more upside down in cars. Terms are getting longer, down payments smaller, most trades have negative equity and inflation is increasing the cost of cars while wages aren't rising proportionately. I have money but I avoid paying bills or interest. I could pay cash for a lot of new cars today but I drive a 2000 year model family sedan I payed $1900 for. I have good ac, comfortable seats, it's reliable, I have aftermarket Bluetooth, it's all power etc, good stereo and a very low cost of ownership. I pay less than $40/month for insurance.New cars just aren't the best investment. New cars are rapidly depreciating status symbols. I'm well off but don't care to advertise it. If you have so much money that you can afford it go for it but the truth is that most people can't afford what they have. I'm not just talking about poor people with new Sentras or Rios but mostly middle class people. If they make $24,000 they buy a $20,000 car, if they make $48,000 they buy a $40,000 car and if they make $80,000 they buy two $50,000 vehicles.
My uplines’ despair made me reluctant to add to their failure. But I had stayed in too long already. Having run out of other things to buy, I had resorted to subjecting my cat to Amway pet food. And I began to sense that when Josh and Sherri looked at me, they—in their last-ditch hopes—saw Diamonds. Before I disappeared from their lives, however, I accompanied them to one last Rally.