In the years since the DeVoses debuted GLEP, we’ve witnessed the nationwide rise of single-issue PACs funded by a small number of extraordinarily wealthy donors, especially since the Citizens United ruling uncorked the dam of corporate money. “The [DeVos] family has been forward-thinking in their use of money to influence politics,” says Craig Mauger of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network. “And what’s happening with them in Michigan seems to be an example of where we’re going as a country with the concentration of power in our politics.”

Occasionally, though, it can be useful to mention poverty in a certain context. Inspired by the personal and business philosophies of DeVos and Van Andel, Cross spent the ten years after writing Commitment to Excellence researching the two men, culminating in his 1995 self-help book Choices with Clout: How to Make Things Happen – by Making the Right Decisions Every Day of Your Life. Much of the book is compiled from interviews with the Amway founders and top-level distributors. In a passage about excellence, Van Andel outlines the proper way for an Amway distributor to rationalize the issue of poverty:


After four years of litigation Amway won a landmark case in 1979 concerning the legality of MLMs. Because distributors can make an income on direct selling in addition to their downline, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) ruled that Amway was a legitimate business and could continue to operate. This decision has only led to other MLMs adopting similar loopholes and has done little to protect the millions of people scammed into giving their time and money to Amway and other MLMs.
Bottom line: If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, Amway may not be the place for you due to the company politics. Sort of ironic, since the Amway business thrives on the entrepreneurial spirit of the distributor force. But, if you are looking to just go to work every day, maintain the status quo, get paid fairly, and live a balanced life, than Amway is great!
Oh my gosh… WHAT? Amway? That company that’s been around for 50 years? That company that partners with 3,500,000 entrepreneurs? That company that’s partnered with Disney, Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, Sears, etc…? That company what works in 80 countries? Amway’s CEO is the head of the US Chamber of Commerce? 65 laboratories? 500 scientists? yeah… Total scam… I mean why purchase higher quality products through a single mom or a freshly graduated student needing to pay off his school loans? Walmart and Amazon need all the support they can get. And they waste money on advertising to get people to buy crap from China!
My name is Matt and I am with the World Wide Group. We have Amway as one of our main distributors. Many people think bad things on Amway because of how Amway reps handled business in the past. Like many other companies however, they’ve transformed the ways of doing business to better suit the entrepreneurs out there. Most people, when trying to start a business pay tens of thousands of dollars trying to get set up just to open shop. This company allows you the opportunity to start your business for very little. Amway has a bad history (I’ll give ya that), but now days they do all the hard work for us. They take care of all the contracts with other companies as well as maintain the cost of organizations for the consumers. If Amway was a sketchy company, do you really think that all these hundreds of fortune 500 companies would be lined up for partner with Amway? Just something to think about. This isn’t a door to door salesman thing, nor is it a sell out of your garage kind of business, unless for whatever reason you want it to be. Starting up with this company allows you to do all the shopping you do anyway at your own store rather than going and giving someone else your money. Everyone that’s looking at this right now already does what I do….only I get paid for it. It’s that simple and true, whether you want to hold onto your opinions or not. When you teach other people how to shop off their own site, that’s when bonus checks start building. You can easily make more money than anyone that signs you up by simple working your business better. It’s not a get rich quick and it can be hard if you’re not a people person, but it’s a solid business if you’re wanting something real, but like any business it takes your efforts to build your dreams. If you’re wanting to build your dreams and are looking at these types of posts, then it’s obvious that you need to change something in your life. Whether your change involves this business or another, I hope you take actions towards building those dreams sooner than later. If you’re interested in taking the next step in you life and want to take a better look at this, then you can email me at s.generator@hotmail.com.... I’m simply here to help. You can visit my website to see what the business looks like. Find the link to partner stores on my site to see what stores partner up with us. www.ampenterprises.mychoices.biz.
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.
I have been experiencing the Amway Opportunity and Teams for 2 years now... best thinks ever happen to me. The best advise I can give to people is don't trust me or any one on internet. The haters probably have their own and very specific reason to be mad at this company but experiment it for yourself and see if it is for you or not! I was so skeptical and I am so bless I didnt listen all the bad things said on this company their ethic and their partnership with N21 made it for me so far the most growing and exciting experience!!! You don't know me but I am someone that needs ethic, equity, respect of human being and every living creature... I found that in so many level through this company!!! Our over consumption and crazy society is (for me) so wrong, it put sens back into my life and I can create my own economy since I am involve in this MLM!!! I love that chance and opportunity. Thanks Amway and all my beautiful team mate I am associate with... So bless to have met you on my path and thanks for your love and support!!
Thanks to the DeVoses, Michigan’s charter schools enjoy a virtually unregulated existence. Thanks to them, too, the center of the American automotive industry and birthplace of the modern labor movement is now a right-to-work state. They’ve funded campaigns to elect state legislators, established advocacy organizations to lobby them, buttressed their allies and primaried those they disagree with, spending at least $100 million on political campaigns and causes over the past 20 years. “The DeVos family has been far more successful not having the governor’s seat than if they had won it,” says Richard Czuba, the owner of the Glengariff Group, a bipartisan polling firm in Michigan. “They have, to some degree, created a shadow state party. And it’s been pretty darn effective.”
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Ultimately, however, he dealt with his catch-22 through simple fantasies of escape. He was adamant that someday he’d be a millionaire, his current predicament no more than a bad memory. His hand would describe a hyperbola as he explained that The Business was hard at first, but if you’d just stick in there, you’d soon enjoy exponential success. This would happen so soon that he wouldn’t have to prospect long enough even to get particularly good at it. “The point is not to get good,” he insisted, “It’s to get done!”
I only learned the extent to which he and Jean had convinced themselves of this when I worked up the courage to visit their bathroom. It was a strange spectacle indeed. The wall opposite the toilet was decorated with Post-Its, each with a biblical proverb or chestnuts like “A drowning man doesn’t complain about the size of the life preserver” and “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything!” I was startled when a reggae song about “winners” suddenly filled the air; I located the speakers in the medicine cabinet. Most impressive, however, was a wish list taped above the toilet. Scrawled in pencil, it was presumably lengthened whenever Josh or Jean had a flash of covetousness in the shower. It included, among other items,

In 2002, the first election of GLEP’s existence, its PAC had more money than the Michigan Education Association, United Auto Workers, or any Democratic-affiliated PAC in the state. And if they lacked the influence and statewide presence of those groups, it was only a matter of time. “They take a very long-term view,” says Matuzak. “If you pick up a few new Republican legislators every two years, and throw a fair amount of money at legislators who are already there, you can create coalitions of folks who can tackle what seem to be impossibly large issues.”


To understand the DeVos family, it helps to understand West Michigan. A sweeping landscape of flat, rolling farmland freckled with small towns, it sits on the opposite side of the state—in more than one way—from the big, diverse, reliably Democratic Detroit metropolitan area. Broadly speaking, it’s a region where people are deeply religious, politically conservative, entrepreneurial and unfailingly polite—think Utah, if it were settled not by Mormons but by Dutch Calvinists. “There’s an old expression here,” chuckles Gleaves Whitney, director of the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids. “‘If you ain’t Dutch, you ain’t much.’”
The house is outfitted with an elaborate security system. A small room on the second floor holds the bank of monitors. There are cameras on every corner of the house, and at every outside door, and several around the pool. Three rapid beeps signal a door’s opening. Even though Feather Sound is a very safe neighborhood, Renata says, and she never heard of any home invasions while she was growing up here, people are very particular.
As a business owner, I am at the top and my employees are there to keep my profit margin. As long as you don't own the company you "work" for and you are not taking the vacations your boss can afford you are with the other employees holding him/her up. I am at the top of the pyramid. People have to ask me to take vacations. If you consider that to be acceptable, congratulations you are part of the mentally conditioned 95% who will work for a retirement that is not enough to fulfill your dreams or freedom.
“This is an extremely contentious, controversial business model,” business consultant and author Robert L. FitzPatrick told the Detroit Free Press in 2006. “If you go to work for Hewlett-Packard, you don’t walk in the door saying, ‘Hey, I wonder if this is a scam?’ But anybody who gets into multilevel marketing will have to deal with that question.”
Kyritsis got off easy. You can find stories online of people spending $192,000 to "make" $30,000 (shit, we think there are actual cults with a higher rate of return). It's impossible to know the exact "success" rate for Amway independent business owners (IBOs), but one case from 2008 showed that out of 33,000 IBOs, only 90 made enough money to cover the costs of their business. That's a failure rate of damn near 100%. But of course, to Amway, those aren't failures. Amway doesn't make its money selling the random household goods the distributors are handing out -- they make money selling a dream. Then once you've committed yourself and forked over serious cash -- and convinced friends and family to do the same -- how can you leave? At this point, you've got too much invested not to see it through.
When I got started with Amway Global back in 2006, like you, I too though at first it was a scam or pyramid scheme. But than I decided just to take the dive because it was working for others. I was told by my upline to build or make a list of all my friends, family members, etc and contact them to sell products and present to them the business opportunity. And if possible, schedule a home event or get them to a local hotel meeting, on a 3 way call, or attend a live webinar presentation.
Great article Christene! It's very difficult to build an Amway business in the United States, most of their growth nowadays is international. Even the business builders inside Amway are leaving the country to build abroad. The reason for this is twofold: 1-people like Ethan V. are out there on the web slamming Amway and discouraging IBOs all in an effort to market their own products and services to them (I call this leech marketing); and 2-Amway has not embraced internet marketing, and continues to teach belly to belly marketing tactics that require all of their new people to "burn the rubber off the tires." It's not up to us to dictate how the marketplace wants to be marketed to, it's up to us to figure out how to speak to them and then provide that message.
But The Dream’s real concern is far from the key-party-and-polyester image conjured by the airplane game. Marie and her producer had, like many people, noticed her Facebook feed filling up with friends from high school selling leggings, or makeup, or handbags, asking their friends to buy them and sign up as salesmen themselves. They’re all participating in multi-level marketing (MLM) schemes, which anyone involved will tell you are not a pyramid scheme, because pyramid schemes are illegal.
Remember Income is not profit.  Even if a business consultant earned 21,048 in commission for 2013, this figure does not include the cost of being an Amway member.  Remaining active is not cheap. Our own analysis of the numbers estimated that after expenses the average Amway IBO lost $1,176 per year.  Our calculations used data from Amway USA from 2010

William Keep, dean of the College of New Jersey’s School of Business, and a pyramid scheme critic, told Bloomberg earlier this year that “in terms of sending clear signals to the industry, the F.T.C. has done worse than nothing since 1979. It sends confusing signals that have in no way helped us understand how to identify a multilevel marketing company that may be a pyramid scheme.”
I am lucky to attend many concerts and events at different venues, at this show I felt ashamed on how Orlando is represented through service and offerings at the Amway Center. Your guests deserve better! We were given subpar products and service at more than premium pricing. Your staff was overwhelmed. Your locations understaffed and not properly stocked. Was the concert a surprise to your purchasing team and beverage managers?
I loved the days when we’d go to the Bayou Club as a family. We began going immediately after joining Amway, when I was in second grade. The development was new, still under construction. There was space between the houses and the far stretch of the golf course undulating luxuriously around them. Model homes rose from the landscape like castles, bigger than any houses I’d ever seen – and vacant. Never occupied. Empty dreams, waiting to be filled.
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