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.
There were some rational explanations for Josh’s behavior. To recruit others, he needed the propaganda talents of his upline World Widers, who made it clear that their underlings had to be “fanatical about personal use,” and even held this up as an index of a distributor’s positive attitude. Another rationale was provided by the well-worn anecdote, often retold in the first person, about the distributor who missed a new Performance Bracket by a few dollars when a little bit more personal use could have taken them over the edge. The story always ended, “Well, you better believe I never made that mistake again!”
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:
Renata tells us about the best local attractions, recommending particular farm-to-table restaurants and yoga studios as my husband and I make slow, opposing circles around the room. We meet in front of the master bathroom. The shower is wide enough for three people with three showerheads, a knee-high tawny-colored tile wall, and the rest of the walls completed with glass. The whirlpool bathtub could easily accommodate three.
I don’t know how the CEOs stumbling through E2020 felt about this, but from what I could gather, the prospects for people like me were distinctly mixed. On the one hand, as a customer I’d be awesomely empowered—whole industries would rise and fall according to the butterfly effect generated by tiny shifts in consumer taste. But as a worker I’d be downgraded to “enabled.” I would have to eschew “third party” union representation, sacrifice guaranteed benefits, dispense with government protections, and forgo lifelong employment; instead, I’d accumulate “human capital” to sell in an open labor market. Of course, “change” would repeatedly render that arduously amassed human capital obsolete in the space of a nanosecond, after which I was to uncomplainingly set about accumulating more. This was called “being adaptable.”
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.
From the beginning, designers focused on creating a sustainable site; providing water efficiency; optimizing energy and atmosphere protection; conserving materials and resources; monitoring indoor environmental quality and health; and selecting environmentally preferred operations and maintenance. These elements combine to create one of the most environmentally friendly, high-performing professional arenas in the country.
You don't have an entrepreneurial mind. If you really think the products are overpriced and equal to what you can buy at Walmart - then keep buying at Walmart. I know that many of their products are way above the average. Amway is not unethical. They are offering you that opportunity of selling top products to people you meet. But if you have no sales skills, you will not be able to make it in direct sales. This is not Amway's fault.
What with backorders and unexpected disappearances, it took me a few weeks to gather enough items for my next experiment: a blind taste-test pitting Amway food against brands from “communist” supermarkets. Unfortunately, biases crept into the data when my subjects learned to identify what they called the Telltale Amway Aftertaste, a lingering cardboard bouquet with unmistakable PineSol inflections. Aftertaste aside, Amway food still rated low: Only the Critics’ Choice Cherry Flavored Toaster Pastries (a Pop-Tart analog) managed to eke into second-to-last place. The Goglonian Bagels were universally declared the worst ever experienced. And the Big Fiber Fudgies? Let’s just say that they were pretty much all Telltale Aftertaste.
Some Amway distributor groups have been accused of using "cult-like" tactics to attract new distributors and keep them involved and committed. Allegations include resemblance to a Big Brother organization with a paranoid attitude toward insiders critical of the organization, seminars and rallies resembling religious revival meetings, and enormous involvement of distributors despite minimal incomes. An examination of the 1979–1980 tax records in the state of Wisconsin showed that the Direct Distributors reported a net loss of $918 on average.
This one is just beyond the gate when we enter the neighborhood. It’s desert-colored with a terra-cotta paving stone roundabout drive and another gate that retracts when we enter the code. There are two palms planted on either side of the porch, two more on either side of the yard, and another in the grassy area encircled by the roundabout. A row of perfectly rectangular hedges lines the front of the house beneath the picture windows.
Ok, tell you what, if you have any actual questions, ask them right here. I’m a recent inductee into this “cult” of Amway. If you truly market yourself as someone who is knowledgeable and can provide something more than opinion, shoot. If you don’t I’ll take it as you got paid to bad mouth Amway just like the person who wrote this blog. She even stated in one of the comments above that she gets paid to market her own blog, and this is her business. Please show me something I haven’t already seen, and convince me that I shouldn’t join this; we can have a real conversation.
i am a pediatrician from pune, India & i personally know so many poor people ( ex.- a riksha driver – santosh gaikwad, a tyre puncture shop person- bhumkar, a truck driver- vilas ghule , javeri- student & so many ) have changed their life through amway business…. all earning more than Rs. 70000 per month income… so many from other higher professionals also ( Rakshit Bhardwaj sir- vice president-IT company ).. i have no. of examples ( can’t write in detail)
Josh also showed signs of breakdown. After the presentation he took his customary position near the speaker, a hand-held recorder jutting provocatively from his hip; but because he wasn’t in Dave’s downline, he wouldn’t be able to accompany him to dinner. Josh claimed that it was at such dinners that speakers, unfettered by FTC restrictions, could reveal “the good stuff.” He proposed tailing Dave to the restaurant: “They couldn’t stop us, could they?” When Jean talked him out of this, he became desperate to simply “go somewhere and meet people.” Jean reminded him it was a school night for her. “Well, maybe we should talk to the hotel staff,” he suggested.
Helmstetter credits the practice of ‘dreambuilding’ as a central reason why Amway is so successful. Dreambuilding is more than wishful thinking, Cross explains. It’s more than seeing what people with more money have and wishing you had it. Dreambuilding is ‘the perfection of excellence’ – ‘It is a way to control what you think, to enhance what you believe, and to solidify your attitude’ (emphasis his own). Most importantly, it’s a procedure, ‘a skill that has to be learned, practiced, and put into action.’
What schools teach our children today?? What did YOU lear out of school? may be how to get a loan for 40 years and work on 2 job places for rest of your life to cover your loan of your house. Question! Would you be able to work? Whether you have two jobs to cover your loan? Or you house simply would be taken by bank or debts company because you not able to cover your loan, but remember that loan have to be paid out , but you wont have a house any more, rented flat may be...with all your debts. And what about family, do you want to see your kids growing or see them when they are already in the bed sleeping, because you come back home late, because you got two jobs.
Clockwise, from upper left: Amway cofounders Jay Van Andel (left) and Richard DeVos (center) meet in the Oval Office with President Gerald Ford, who is holding a copy of Richard’s book, “Believe!”; former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Richard DeVos during a 2009 event at the Scripps Research Institute; an aerial shot of Dick & Betsy DeVos’s primary residence in Ada, Michigan; Dick & Betsy enjoy their courtside seats at an Orlando Magic game—an NBA team owned by the DeVos family. | National Archives; AP; Getty Images
Whatever the quality outcome, the political lesson isn’t lost. The DeVoses have transplanted their organizational model to other states—New Jersey, Ohio, Louisiana, Virginia, Wisconsin, among them. They have done this by marshaling forces under the umbrella of their American Federation for Children, a nationwide campaign for school reform that has attracted high-profile speakers to its conferences, including New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, former Governor Bobby Jindal, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former D.C. school czar Michelle Rhee.
‘It was very marshy. They rearranged the golf course because part of Bardmoor was in here, so they restructured it,’ she says, referring to the adjacent gated community. ‘Bayou Club is divided into two cities: Pinellas Park and Seminole. When you first drive into the community, while you’re technically still in Pinellas Park, you wouldn’t know it. Pinellas Park is low-income – we call this section an oasis in the middle of Pinellas Park.’
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
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.’”
Throughout his adult life, Betsy’s father, Ed, donated handsomely to two religious colleges in Michigan, Hope and Calvin, the latter being his wife’s beloved alma mater in Grand Rapids. But his most important contribution—one that has shaped much of the past three decades of conservative politics—came in 1988, when Prince donated millions in seed funding to launch the Family Research Council, the conservative Christian group that became one of the most potent political forces on the religious right. “Ed Prince was not an empire builder,” Family Research Council President Gary Bauer wrote to supporters after Prince’s sudden death in 1995. “He was a Kingdom builder.”
“We believe this is going to be the heart of this downtown sports and entertainment and arts district,” Martins said. “Anchored at one end by the Dr. Phillips Center and on the other end by Camping World Stadium with this development and the Amway Center being at the heart of it all. I do believe that type of development can attract a major event to any one of these facilities.”
Today, the DeVoses’ charitable giving and local boosterism mean that people in West Michigan have a different view of them than Michiganders elsewhere in the state. “The political narrative that has grown around [the family] is unfair,” says Whitney, whose Hauenstein Center has received grant funding from the DeVos Family Foundation. “They have made life better for a lot of people, and I can’t say that loudly enough.”
The DeVos family’s charitable giving and political activism sprawls across three generations. It’s not just Dick and Betsy, but Richard and Helen’s other children, too. There’s Daniel DeVos, who chairs the Orlando Magic, an NBA franchise the family owns, and his wife, Pamella. There’s Doug DeVos, Amway’s current president and the chair of the executive committee of the National Constitution Center, and his wife, Maria. There’s Cheri DeVos, who sits on the board at Alticor, Amway’s parent company. And there’s their children, a generation of young adults ready to carry the baton.
“You also need a great trade group. They are worth more than their weight in gold, they are worth their weight in platinum. A fair number of our folks are on the ground in the markets we serve. Global trade compliance is not country-by-country anymore. More and more, the regulatory bodies are talking to each other. If an issue comes up in one nation, it comes up around the world. It is really critical that we extensively document where the components that go into our products come from.”
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My husband and I tried Amway, and here's the story: My husband's BEST friend and his wife started asking us to hang out a lot, which was cool because we enjoyed their company. I thought she was my best friend at the time, stupidly enough. It didn't take long for them to tell us about this "amazing" opportunity. We thought we would give it a try since we sincerely trusted our friends. We would go to their house for a "meeting" in their basement with a bunch of strangers and two guys in suits. The guys would talk about how nice it is to work from home, make tons of money and generally just talk about nothing to do with the actual business. After every meeting I would think, okay but what is the business all about!?!?!? So eventually they set us up as "business owners" and we purchased a ton of crap from Amway totaling over $1,000 because, "that is what you do." Eventually, we decided that we would not continue with the business. There was nothing wrong with it, but we knew it wasn't for us. We didn't want to approach complete strangers in coffee shops and present them with an "opportunity"; we didn't want to stay home on the weekends to attend meetings instead of spending them at the lake; we didn't want to choose Amway partners over friends and family like you are taught (yes, there is a "tier"); we didn't want to spend thousands of dollars on products and guilt-trip our friends and family if they didn't want to buy our products (yes, this was also taught). All in all there was nothing very wrong with it, it's not a scam, but it's definitely NOT for everyone. I am writing this not to bash anyone but to give anyone an insight if they are wanting to be part of Amway. Oh, and as for the "friends"... they now completely ignore us. And I mean, I'll see them in public and they'll turn away from me when I wave; they will talk to anyone BUT us. And this was my husband's long-time highschool friend; they were even in eachother's WEDDINGS. So to be quite frank I will talk everyone out of doing Amway and it's their fault. If that is how they will treat others for simply not continuing with the business then I will tell NO ONE to join.
For dinner before a game, there are a number of options at the arena. One thing to keep in mind is that Loge ticket holders are also entitled to dinner at Jernigan's Restaurant on the Club Level and have the exclusive option to reserve a table from 5:30 - 6:30 pm as premium ticket holders. Regardless of when you're going, reservations are recommended.
I absolutely agree with this post! I was recently approached by a friend to attend a “business meeting” regarding a “great business opportunity on the Internet” but he did not wanted to say anything until the meeting happened with him and his friend, who supposedly was the owner of this business venture. When I arrived to the “meeting” Suprise! I saw other friends there and about 300+ other unknown people. Immediately warning bells started ringing and I knew it was a pyramid scam anyhow, I stayed for the meeting and indeed by the end my suspicions were confirmed and it became quite obvious that the my friend’s friend was the recruiter. A few days later I heard back from a very close friend of mine who had also been approached and attended a separate meeting, she questioned me about it because the recruiter told her that I was “very excited at joining this venture” which of course was an absolute LIE and an obvious attempt to manipulate and pressure her to join! After two weeks, the recruiter contacted me ACCUSING ME of stealing a USED lip gloss from his wife the day of the so called meeting and then proceeded to ask me why hasn’t he heard back from me?!?! Could you imagine? The freaking nerve of these people!!!! Of course I put him in his place and hope that he never, ever dares to contact me again because if he does I will file a complaint for harassment!!
There have been instances in the past where even auto-rickshaw drivers had sold their belongings (including their auto-rickshaw) and paid upto Rs 35,000 to become members of such scheme (GoldQuest). But as with any pyramid scheme, they had to bear the brunt of the binary tree’s exponential function and they became bankrupt. As expected, the organizers went absconding.
This is the average success rate of people who have been here a while. This is the demographic being advertised to, who is buying this product. This is their daily driver, it's what they can afford. It doesn't make the individuals bad people or losers, you don't have to look down on them to see this is where you will be if you choose to buy into whatever job, product, belief or social group is being "sold" inside, and advertised to you.
What do u think of Senegence? I was talked in to joining and have a ton of issues with the way the company operates. If I were told that purchasing product would be this stressful I would have never joined. They have sold me products they don't have! Kept my monney for a 2 months at a time and are out of stock on 99% of the items 99% of the time. When they release a Lipsense color the site freezes and by the time(meaning hours) you get in the the product you want is gone. Senegence doesn't put limits on the amount of products one distributor can buy. Growing your business should be the only stressful part of a company NOT GETTING PRODUCTS! at this point I feel as if I've been very mislead and any advice Your be greatly appreciated. Thank you
The Amway approach supposedly avoids impersonal door-to-door sales, as each distributor need only sell directly to a small customer base of friends and family. Business “growth”—and an ascent to the flashier “bonus levels” (Ruby, Emerald, Diamond, Executive Diamond, Double Diamond, Crown Ambassador)—comes mostly through expanding one’s downline. In theory, this odd marketing system ensures that benefits accrue not to Madison Avenue slicksters, but to ordinary folk capitalizing on their close-knit community ties—a scheme that seemingly reflects the small-town, Protestant populism of Amway’s co-founders, Rich DeVos and Jay VanAndel.
‘It’s very dark,’ I observe. We’ve begun in the middle: a room with wood paneling, shellacked stone floors and walls, and a recessed circular area for entertaining, carpeted in emerald. Behind me, a pool table occupies most of a Turkish rug annexing the area beneath the open-style second-floor balcony. The Realtor stands near a grand piano and a stone planter housing ferns.
"The first part of the brainwashing," says Kyritsis, "was that 'there would be no success without the system.'" What's the system? The system is a series of seminars, recordings, and books that claim to be a guaranteed path to master salesmanship. Following Amway's guidelines successfully is seen as the only path to success, so if you aren't making money, it's because you're not "working the program" properly. Any success is due purely to their teachings, any failure is due to you not following them hard enough. Sound familiar?
If there’s one law of physics that defined how Michigan politics moved in the 1990s, it’s that Governor John Engler was a master of the state Legislature. His political acumen—honed over a 20-year run in the Legislature, during which the 22-year-old boy wonder grew into his sturdy tree-stump physique and Ben Franklin hairline—was legendary even before he won a stunning upset in the 1990 governor’s race.
Now, however, the DeVoses were on their own, pushing Prop 1 with minimal support from the state’s Republican establishment. Among the broader public, the opposition was fierce and widespread. “That was one of the best campaigns I was ever on,” says Julie Matuzak, who was, at the time, the American Federation of Teachers’ top political hand in the state.
Such pandering to heartland values has (along with record-breaking donations from Rich DeVos) endeared Amway to the Republican Party. But the company has also had its share of critics. In the seventies a succession of defectors charged that The Business (as the faithful call it) was a pyramid scheme, a fraudulent enterprise that made money by recruiting new members and channeling their fees to higher-ups in the organization. A 1979 Federal Trade Commission investigation concluded that Amway was not in fact a pyramid scheme—only that some of its claims to prospective distributors were overly optimistic—because most of its revenue came from sales of actual products. But that didn’t end the company’s troubles. During the Reagan years, Amway was the butt of jokes and the target of exposes. Senior distributors set up private “distributor groups,” organizations dealing in motivational materials and notorious mass rallies. Dexter Yager, founder of the Yager Group, was known to leap around stages brandishing a giant gold crucifix.
Oct 20, 2018; Clemson, SC, USA; Clemson Tigers safety Kyle Cote (32), linebacker Chad Smith (43), linebacker Shaq Smith (5), and safety Denzel Johnson (14) celebrate during the second half of the game against the North Carolina State Wolfpack at Clemson Memorial Stadium. Tigers won 41-7. Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports ORG XMIT: USATSI-382469 ORIG FILE ID: 20181020_pjc_ak7_603.JPG
I was just speaking with another friend of mine and he told me that one of the two IBO friends I mentioned tried to sell him Amway products too. He told me that he himself was an IBO with Amway in 2013 and he was recruited by a mutual friend of ours. Can you see what Amway makes you do to the people closest to you? Fortunately he realized what he was into before losing a whole lot of money but like 99% of IBOs, he was only able to cut his losses and not make profits.
Earlier in 1949, DeVos and Van Andel had formed the Ja-Ri Corporation (abbreviated from their respective first names) to import wooden goods from South American countries. After the Chicago seminar, they turned Ja-Ri into a Nutrilite distributorship instead. In addition to profits on each product sold, Nutrilite offered commissions on sales made by new distributors introduced to the company by existing distributors—a system known as multi-level marketing or network marketing. By 1958, DeVos and Van Andel had built an organization of more than 5,000 distributors. However, they and some of their top distributors formed the American Way Association, or Amway, in April 1959 in response to concerns about the stability of Nutrilite and in order to represent the distributors and look for additional products to market.
"Amway differed in several ways from pyramid schemes that the Commission had challenged. It did not charge an up-front "head hunting" or large investment fee from new recruits, nor did it promote "inventory loading" by requiring distributors to buy large volumes of nonreturnable inventory," said Debra A Valentine, a general counsel for the FTC, in a seminar organised by the International Monetary Fund in May 1998.
The size of the settlement astonished some observers and the news is spreading fast. It was reported on the front page of the USATodayAmway11.05.10. About $55 million of the total is in actual cash and products as restitution for victims and legal fees. Other elements of the settlement include substantial price reductions to make retail sales feasible, and major changes in the infamous “tools” business that will require Amway to take greater responsibility. These schemes are run by some of Amway’s top recruiters and have been allowed to function as arm’s length, rogue operations, though highly beneficial to Amway.
In 1999 the founders of the Amway corporation established a new holding company, named Alticor, and launched three new companies: a sister (and separate) Internet-focused company named Quixtar, Access Business Group, and Pyxis Innovations. Pyxis, later replaced by Fulton Innovation, pursued research and development and Access Business Group handled manufacturing and logistics for Amway, Quixtar, and third-party clients.
The IBO Association International (IBOAI) was founded in 1959 as the American Way Association with the goal of "serving the common interests of Independent Business Owners throughout North America." Members are served by an 18-member Board of Directors who are supported by seven full-time staff. The Association's board members are "elected by its voting members", who must be "Qualified Platinums and above."
Greed and power-lust, to be sure. But also something larger, more desperate. Americans have, after all, worked progressively longer hours since the Vietnam War; and job insecurity is a hallmark of our E2020 future. Amway promises to transcend the excesses of capitalism by wholeheartedly indulging them. At a time when realistic, collective solutions are off the docket, it’s no surprise that people are turning to miracles. In this way, Amway is not so different from other mutations of the American Dream: the notion that grassroots entrepreneurs will save the urban poor, that the stock market will save Social Security, that casinos will fund our schools. All of these schemes offer salvation while preserving a core myth of capitalism: that the instruments for distributing wealth are also responsible for creating it. Or as Double Diamond and Überparasite Greg Duncan put it at Dream Night in a talk about Washington bureaucrats dividing up the social pie, “I make pies!”