There are so many scams these days, we might all be living in the middle of one and not know it.
A Lifetime Opportunity!
There are an awful lot of scams out there. If you’re not careful, you might find yourself pulling out your wallet to make a small investment only to have it snatched right out of your hands by your newfound “business partner”. We can’t allow ourselves to fall victim to the empty promises of get-rich-quick fraudsters. But just how prevalent are such scams in the world today? Are they an exception to the rule, or just the way the dog-eat-dog world functions?
How The Pyramid is Built
Everyone is familiar with the concept of a pyramid scheme. It’s simple: the perpetrator, the guy at the top of the pyramid, gets a group of people to invest money into a project. Those investors are tricked into recruiting other investors. The payments are divided up among the people at the top levels of the pyramid (those closest to the perpetrator) and the gains get less and less the further one moves toward the bottom. The gains are based entirely on the number of people who buy into the project; there is no actual product or service provided. Since the value of what is gained has no basis in the real world, such schemes are ultimately doomed to failure.
While the pyramid scheme is illegal in most countries, its close cousin, the multi-level marketing or MLM scheme, is not. Many companies who resort to MLM tactics describe such activities as “direct selling” or “relationship marketing”. It involves hiring large numbers of people to sell some product or service directly to customers. Out of every hundred people employed this way, probably only one or two will make enough profit to last in the enterprise. From these lucky few, a handful of “successful salespeople” are given some petty promotion, where their job becomes recruiting and training even more enormous groups of doe-eyed victims to harvest for profit. The cycle continues.
MLM tactics are widely considered to be little more than a slightly more stable version of the classic pyramid scheme. It is a system in which a tiny minority reaps huge profits, while a huge majority invests massive amounts of time and energy without any personal benefit.
In other words, it’s a microcosm of the world we all live in.
Dragging the Stones to the Top
At the last count, one percent of the global population owns about 40% of the available wealth. Meanwhile, half the world lives on less than a dollar a day. That seems pretty pyramidal, doesn’t it? The situation is getting worse; in the United States, income for the one percent more than doubled between 1979 and 2007.
Let’s focus on the US:
Proving itself the leader in harvesting the hard work of the majority for the benefit of the few, the United States infamously bailed out the big banks in 2008, handing over $700 billion in interest-free loans to some of the wealthiest institutions in the country. At the same time, trillions of dollars have been shelled out to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention the hundreds of US military bases in countries around the globe.
Oh, then there are the billions of taxpayer dollars spent every year to maintain America’s massively bloated prison system, kept tightly packed with nonviolent offenders thanks to the failed war on drugs.
All this represents an astronomical amount of money being transferred from working Americans to Wall Street bankers, military contractors, and privatized prisons like the Corrections Corporation of America. It’s a huge transfer of wealth from the bottom to the top. It works pretty much like a multilevel marketing scheme; get huge numbers of dupes to toil away for 40 hours a week or more and convert all their time and energy into exquisite luxury for a privileged class at the top of the pyramid.
It’s the world’s biggest scam, and we’ve all fallen for it.