Some big companies and some private entrepreneurs have been accused of being "sweat shop owners". This is when they exploit their workers, often in foreign countries by having them work for a very small wage. For example, a foreign operation may have a warehouse full of women and children working all day under poor conditions for a few bucks a day. The owners of these operations can rake in the dough as they save a ton of money in labor costs. There are some big American corporations that have been accused of this.
Some uplines operate just like sweat shop owners, but in many cases, they are worse then sweat shop owners because even exploited workers earn something. At the end of the month, they have a net gain, even if it might be small. In the case of many Amway IBOs, they spend money on Amway products, and uplines take the lion's share of the rebate/bonus that is generated by those sales, and then in turn, these same uplines try to get many of their downline to also become customers of their system of cds, books, voicemail and seminars or functions. In many, probably most cases, uplines will make just as much if not more income from the system, than from Amway. Most downline IBOs would be far more profitable if they simply worked a part time minimum wage job instead of building an Amway Empire.
These same upline will also teach fierce loyalty to the system. Never miss a function. Make sacrifices to buy more books or cds, and make sure you are always looking for people to sponsor to add to the system. Joining the system almost guarantees that you will suffer a net loss in the Amway business. It is why I continue to write about what IBOs and prospects should look for when they are being recruited or indoctrinated into these systems. It is why there are so many defenders of Amway, most of whom are losing money, but think they are still successful because it is what upline teaches. If only the IBOs and prospects could just step back and look at things objectively instead of blindly believing what their upline teaches them.
I know most IBOs won't believe this, but I will say it anyway. IBOs on the system are probably worse off than sweat shop employees because they are paying their upline to do their work. At least sweat shop employees get a small salary. Upline will teach you that it is an honor to drive them around, or to do tasks for them. I saw this firsthand and have no doubt that some or all of it exists today. Many platinums work as free doormen and ushers at meetings and functions. Upline benefits by maximizing profits from functions. It is pure downline exploitation and I hope eventually that more and more IBOs will recognize this. It is clear for those who are willing to look at it objectively.
For most, a part time minimum wage is a better proposition than Amway.