One of the silly defenses that Amway supporters use to defend their business is that it must not be a pyramid or it must be legitimate because you have the opportunity to earn more than your sponsor. While many downlines in fact do earn more than their sponsors, it's likely because about half of all IBOs don't stay for even a year and factoring the business expenses for those who are on tools, the reality of suffering business losses also causes many people to exit the business. It's not that hard to earn more than people who quit. But even at that, someone who quits is often better off than IBOs who continue.
An IBO at the 100 PV level will earn about $10 in bonus income from Amway. If they are attending functions, buying standing orders and voicemail, they will operate at a loss. Thus, unless their business grows each month (highly unlikely, even if they do as upline advises) then they will suffer losses each month and those who quit will be better off. It is why I have stated that doing nothing or staying home and watching television can honestly be better options than joining Amway and the systems such as WWDB, N21 or BWW. It is why reasonable people can conclude that working for minimum wage, even a few hours a week makes you better off than joining Amway and the systems.
The defense that someone can outearn their upline is silly. The true benchmark of this statement would be for a new guy to start a business, and in 2-5 years, outearn a long tenured diamond. It will never happen because upline has direct influence over the fortunes of their downline, even at the diamond level. It is why you have seen diamonds quit, or split from their upline to start their own training systems. They cannot affect change from downline, without upline consent, thus the breaking away from their "mentors" or leaders. At times there have even been lawsuits over the tools income. Do people really sue their mentors? Don't diamonds teach you that suing people is wrong? That you don't get something for nothing? Yet they want you to believe you can build your business "right" and then sit back while the cash rolls in like crazy.
You can surely outearn your sponsor. All it takes is for your sponsor to quit. However, your sponsor quitting might mean you don't outearn your sponsor. See my example above. Taking losses is not outearning someone. Keep in mind that everyone in Amway is equal. You are all unpaid commissioned Amway salespeople, bound to Amway's terms and agreements. You don't own your downline. You don't really own much as an independent business owner. You can outearn your sponsor, but that means squidly diddly when your sponsor makes nothing or takes a loss. Come back and chirp when you outearn your upline diamond. Do I hear crickets chirping now? :-)