The Pyramid Scheme that Collapsed a Nation

The Pyramid Scheme that Collapsed a Nation


In architecture, pyramids are
famed for their sturdiness. They’ve lasted for thousands of years despite
overgrown jungles and blasting desert sands
ripping at their foundations. They’re about as indestructible
as our buildings get. But as businesses? Not so much. A pyramid scheme beings to collapse
the moment it’s begun. Because it’s not really a pyramid. The base is flipped. And if you invert a pyramid,
you’re left with a funnel. There’s not a lot of buildings
that are shaped like a V. In 1997, Albania learned a very hard lesson
about funnels. No matter how much water you pour into them,
it doesn’t stop trickling halfway down. If something sounds too good to be true,
it probably is. Be it a beautiful woman looking to chat online,
a company that says you can retire at thirty-five, or a politician saying that he’ll make your
country great again, they’re all selling a fantasy. The world is never so simple as jingoists
would have you believe. The whiff of money, power and fame are
an intoxicating aroma, and conmen know it. For the inexperienced and desperate, the idea
of getting rich quick is an easily masked scheme. Especially once you build
a community around it. A cult by any other name. We’ve all heard their siren songs:
“Be your own boss in one easy step. The secrets they don’t want you to hear. Earn thousands per month
from the comfort of own your home.” You know, so on and so forth. They’re never all too complicated. The simpler the pitch, the better it works. They aren’t trying to convince you with facts,
they’re trying to convince you with emotion. Any analysis and it’s quickly obvious that
the only thing holding up the base is a lie. And lies make for a terrible foundation. I’d like to say that I presume you know
what a pyramid scheme is. But given just how successful they are,
and having seen my own, university-educated friends
fall victim to them, perhaps I should briefly
cover them just to be sure. Pyramid schemes come
in a number of different flavours, but they mostly tend to fall into three specific categories: Classic, Ponzi and MLM. While their tactics differ, in effect,
they’re all offering the same thing. You give someone above you money and do your
best to convince people below you to give you theirs. MLMs often call their customers salespeople, asking them to buy products they know they’ll likely never sell. And on paper, these scams create massive growth,
especially at the outset. The stated intent of the scheme is essentially
to be growing exponentially. But just like all things exponential,
the numbers required to keep that going past
the early stages are almost unfathomable. For a ponzi scheme asking each tier to find
three people below it, all it takes is thirty tiers before you’ve surpassed
the entire planet’s population. It’s like driving a car towards a wall. The only question is what speed you’re going
to be going when you crash. Yet, it seems like we’ve learned nothing
from history, because they’re still everywhere. They range from as simple as sending cash
in an envelope to as complex as buying
fake coins on the internet. Sometimes there’s no product beyond
a vague financial structure, other times you’re asked to hoard
THRIVE patches or Herbalife pills. But at their core, they’re all the same. Money funnels to the scammer,
and everyone else watches in vain
as their investments disappear into thin air. The only person left eating is
the one who fed you the lie. Pyramid schemes prey
on the ignorant and unprotected, so it should come as no surprise that they’re
most prevalent in countries with little
to no financial regulation. Unfortunately, this defines
post-revolutionary Albania. After Communism collapsed here, people were
rightly excited for a capitalist future. After fifty years under a totalitarian regime
whose dictatorial control had meant that you had no way to get ahead,
things were changing. But education was limited, especially
in free market economics, and the idea of personal wealth
was a foreign concept. Both literally and figuratively. It was the poorest nation in Europe,
and everyone felt the brunt of that weight. In the winter of 1991, as the regime fell
around them, the situation deteriorated to the point that the only thing stopping mass starvation was Italian food aid. Life was very hard. But as awful as communism was,
it wasn’t as if the switch to capitalism
somehow guaranteed them a better life. Even for those of us who’ve grown up
our whole lives in the system, avoiding scams is a larger challenge
than we’re willing to admit. Most of us expect our laws
to protect us from them. To protect our seniors as their minds
begin to wander. To protect our children before they’ve come
to know the value of a dollar. A society thrives when P. T. Barnum
is held back for that proverbial minute. So for many of us, protection against predation
is a foundation stone of a successful capitalist state. But Albanians had no protection. For people with little to no awareness
of what the free market was like, the positives of the transition
were not guaranteed. For many, it was the financial equivalent
of being thrown to the wolves. The crippling market protections of a failed
communist state became the crippling anarchy
of unchecked capitalism. Rarely is the best solution to an extreme
the introduction of the opposing extreme. While it may have been an armchair
libertarian’s paradise, for the average person
on the ground it was hell. Because once the protections were removed, the only people with enough power to take advantage were the ones who had power to begin with. As proto-capitalism swept across the nation,
ex-communist leaders, the mafia, and vulturesque foreign investors
snatched up everything. It would have taken incredible political will and
a genuine desire to do right by their people
for the transition to live up to its promises. And unfortunately Albania
had neither of those. But the promise of capitalism rang out
in the ears like a bell. In a country where people’s salary barely hit 50 dollars a month, where there were more donkey carts than cars, where there was not
a single stoplight in the entire country, Western style wealth must have seemed
like an unattainable dream. Like this secret world you knew existed,
but you could never reach. And in a situation like that,
conmen are bound to thrive. By 1996, the equivalent of 10% of the national GDP became tied up in what everyone had come to believe were unstoppable, high growth investments. Pyramids schemes. As competition increased among the scammers,
some investments began offering
up to 40% interest per month. The central bank couldn’t afford rates nearly
close to what were offered on the private market, so people naturally gravitated towards
those that promised the highest returns. And as they grew, the government hovered either
between silent or openly supportive of the schemes, which led investors to believe they were legitimized, perhaps even backed with public funds. It began to snowball. People mortgaged their homes, sold their farms,
cashed out their savings, and put their hopes
in the fantasy of unbridled growth. A resident of the capital was quoted as saying
in 1996 that the city smelled like a slaughterhouse as legions of farmers came to sell their livestock
in the hopes of joining the boom. As their power reached its zenith,
they must have seemed unstoppable. Both the ruling party and the opposition
found themselves corrupted. The Prime Minister even had his economic advisor imprisoned for telling the truth about
the oncoming collapse. The IMF warned the government that the scams
were being used to launder money out of the country, and the corrupt president shot back, accusing them
of trying to hinder Albania’s newfound success. Anyone in the country who wasn’t on board
was shouted down, accused of being communist holdouts unable to adjust to this prosperous new world. But it was a con. Massive, unchecked ponzi schemes run by mafioso
and government officials alike, milking the nation to the brink of collapse. When the car finally hit the wall in 1997,
it had nearly maxed out its speed. As the scams began to fall and it was clear what was about to happen, those in power dragged their feet, attempting to throw their support
behind the remaining scams. They were in too deep. Riots broke out. The military and police had been scammed just as much as the citizens, and they began to desert their posts. Millions of guns disappeared from armories. A full scale revolution was on the brink. Government offices were burnt to the ground,
and hundreds of protesters were beaten and arrested. Within a few months, most of the country had
slipped from the government’s control. Tens of thousands fled the nation, starting
a population decline that continues to this day. Seeing their political futures crumbling
alongside the pyramids, politicians turned the nation’s remaining guns
on those who they’d robbed into insolvency. But it was futile. The system collapsed. In the end, nearly two thousand people
lay dead in its wake. In a country of just under three million,
over a hundred and thirty thousand lost everything. As the people forced the president from his post,
an interim government was put in place and began trying to stop the hedging. Assets were frozen on the remaining pyramids,
some of the worst perpetrators were put in prison, and the country began the long road
towards recovery. But there was nothing they could do
to turn back the clock. The money was gone, and for those who’d invested, the price of this lesson came at the cost of their entire lives. Everything they’d built was washed away
in a moment of confusion and greed. The water had all funneled down the spout. And in the end, there wasn’t a drop left
for anyone else. But the point of telling this story is not
to shame the Albanians for their lack of awareness. They’re just a symbol for the rest of us. A symbol of our need for financial regulation. All of our nations are susceptible to pyramid
schemes, and no matter where you’re from, we’re all capable of being duped
by a confidence men. The higher their boat rises, the more we imagine
it deserves to be there. But this happened because the government
of Albania let it happen. Because people felt that seeing numbers rise
was the same as benefiting from a growing economy. Because it funneled money
to the people in power. Which brings me to the United States. There are many of you who will not
want to hear this next part. Most people in the middle of a confidence
scheme will fight tooth and nail to legitimize it. They’ve invested their personalities in this,
let alone their money, so even hearing that it might not be true is enough
to send them reeling. Remember that a con man won’t sell you facts,
but emotions. Because they know that you’ll fill in the
rest, and once you’re invested a penny, psychologically you’ll be invested a pound. In 2015, the United States had over 18 million people invested in MLMs, with sales of nearly 36.5 billion. That’s a full percent of the population
higher than it was in Albania. And even though these schemes exist in every country on earth, the reason I speak of America specifically is because their president is
famous for taking part in them. ACN is a multi-level marketing company
out of Concord, North Carolina. For nine years it provided Donald Trump with millions of dollars in exchange for hype and access to his name. In turn, he even went so far as to promote
their products on the Apprentice. Despite being named as a pyramid scheme by
the Montana Commissioner of Securities in 2009, and having to declare bankruptcy in 2011, he only stopped repping them when he ran for president in 2016. Ideal Health, an MLM selling multivitamins,
was also featured on the Apprentice. They too, gave him millions of dollars. Only instead of them searching him out,
he found them. In the late 2000’s, Donald Trump was specifically
looking for an MLM to sell his name to. And within a year of them meeting,
Ideal Health was renamed The Trump Network. It specifically targeted those who had been
hurt most by the financial crisis. Trump said it wasn’t be a pyramid scheme
because it had a product. But if you remember from before,
that’s just pyramid number three. The only version currently legal in America. And within his cabinet it only gets worse. Betsy DeVos, Trump’s Secretary of Education, is married to the owner of America’s largest MLM, Amway. With 9.5 billion worth of product pushed each year,
it’s the 29th largest privately held company
in the United States. Director of HUD Ben Carson, much like the president before him, also served as a frontman
for an MLM called Mannatech. Carl Icahn, who was Trump’s advisor on federal regulations, owns 24% of Herbalife, one of the largest pyramids in the world today. And of course this isn’t just limited
to Republicans. Since 2017, 48 members of Congress, 14 Democrat
and 34 Republican, have been working to pass a bill that provides further protections from
litigation for operators of pyramid schemes. In true conman fashion, they’ve named it
the “Anti-Pyramid Promotional Scheme Act”. But it only gives them more power. This is bigger than the president. It’s a symbol of our complacency. A symbol of our ability to be conned. Confidence men are given that name for a reason. They create cults around themselves. Cults of wealth. Cults of personality. Cults of confidence. And in turn, we open our wallets to them. We vote for them. It was no different in Albania. They felt they were making their country great again too,
right up until they didn’t. If we don’t believe that the government’s
job is to protect us from these conmen, it won’t. If we don’t force them to put regulations
in place that stop scams, they won’t. We’re not immune to the examples of Albania. One of first orders Donald Trump made as president
was to remove a law that stopped financial planners from having to manage retirement funds in their client’s best interest. The elderly have always been an easy mark,
and the money trapped in retirements is massive. Their stated reason was that it would
increase the economy. But don’t forget that on paper Albania prospered
right up until the moment it collapsed. That’s how cons work. I’m not anti-capitalist. Far from it. I firmly believe in the individual nature
of society, and our ability to write our own stories. But there’s a limit to all things. Extremists almost never realize
they’re extreme. Cultists almost never realize
they’re in a cult. The answer to unchecked communism is not
unchecked capitalism. Increasing the speed that we’re driving towards
that wall only brings about destruction faster. Regulations exist to protect us from predators,
and that’s a good thing. Fight for them. Remember your role in all this. And for the love of God, don’t expect the water
to stop trickling halfway down. This is Rare Earth. Do these bunkers come with a toilet?
Probably not.

100 Comments

  • Rare Earth says:

    We exist because of you: https://www.patreon.com/rareearth

  • MeliLew says:

    It's not a pyramid scheme, it's a reverse funnel system LMAO

  • Mark Mywords says:

    regulations are RULES by one group of people who think they know what's best, and have the power to FORCE others to do what they want. Regulations protect INDUSTRIES, not people

  • CatsMeowPaw says:

    So many MLM spruikers have downvoted this video

  • daniel jackson says:

    Fucking scary.

  • Yoda Gaming says:

    Orange man bad

  • Basil Syed says:

    Man, you really don't like Trump, huh? If I were you I'd try and keep away from being so explicit about that kind of thing, for the simple reason that it weakens your point.

    One note about the fiduciary rule: it's really popular in the media to portray it as "the law that requires financial advisors to act in the best interest of their clients." This is false; a fiduciary standard has existed for financial advisors dealing in securities since the Securities Act of 1933. The rule that was repealed by the Trump admin that you are referring to was implemented in 2015. Two things were wrong with this rule. The first is that it was implemented not as an act of Congress, which is how laws are meant to be implemented in our republic; it was implemented instead as a rule put in place by a bureaucracy, with no oversight or approval required by elected representative. As this is at best just short of autocracy, this ought to be abhorrent to anyone who believes in any semblance of democracy. Secondly, because a fiduciary standard had already been in place for decades before this, what this rule really did was not establish a new standard, but put the burden of proof for a fiduciary standard on the advisor; in order to cover themselves legally, since this rule was passed, advisors now have had to fully document all their reasons that the choice or recommendation they made for their clients was the absolute best choice. This sounds great so far, until we get to the matter of cost. And the fact is, that this increases costs for financial advisors, to the point where they need to either raise their fees, or close shop. Bigger advisors can survive this easily; the little guy, not so much.

    And that is the true burden of financial regulation: you'll never see big players opposing more regulation, because they can absorb the cost and see their competition die off all in one fell swoop. You won't see Amazon fight against a national $15/hr minimum wage for the same reason.

    And a final note about the fiduciary standard. Annuities don't seem to be covered against it. For the unfamiliar, these are financial instruments, a large part of which are securities based, that lock vast sums of your money into them for years, with huge fees built into them. And even bigger fees for if you'd like to take your money out early. I wonder if this loophole is intentional, and I wonder who therefore really ends up benefiting from this rule that has mercifully been struck down.

  • man man the man says:

    No rebecca from Minecraft is real

  • Wesker 313 says:

    I still dont know what to do -_-

  • Synecdoche says:

    6.9k dislikes from albanian bots

  • wantsome7655 says:

    Capitalism is one big pyramid scheme. Prices go up….. print more money….. prices go up……. print more money. All the money gets sucked up to the top of the pyramid and hoarded by the 1%.

  • Shawnqual says:

    But what was the actual pyramid scheme in Albania? Information on that would have been great.

  • Larry Holcomb Jr says:

    Ahhhhhh. More Trump hate. So refreshing, edgy and new. 🤔

  • Gary Clark says:

    We had no choices at the 2016 election. I stood in the booth looking at the ballot and realized my choice was between P.T. Barnum and Al Capone. In other words, I had to choose between a wealthy person becoming a politician or a politician becoming wealthy in office.

  • Heinrich Himmler says:

    Would you please piss off with the trump references just because you don't like him, and just get to your point. Keep your whiny bs out of the video.

  • Sailing Luana Cordelia says:

    Lets be clear who the cult is… Who wants to control education, healthcare, religion, charity, unrelenting taxes, take guns and more? The only reason for a government to take guns is because rights are next. Trump isnt even lowering regulation… he is modifying it and making it work… but why report facts… like how the gobernment has made moves to lowet emmissions with controls that work… maybe how the US has cleaned up more long term hazardous waste sites than any other sitting president as his policy is to fix them all unlike Barry Obama.

    If you look at any buisness or government it fits your definition of pyramid scheme. I know plenty of people who support Am-way, Mona-Vi or Herbal Life. Yes they were attracted to the buisness model and a chance to make some money as sales agents… but how is that different than insurance agents or any other buisness or government office?

    The difference, this president isnt bowing to socialist and communist nations who seek to control us. We were the only nation truely following the climate change Accord, where our tax money and labor was paying nations for them to tax us. Then look at NATO where our nation was paying other nations, with our tax money and labor again, to use our military to protect them. So we pay them and pay the bill?

    I fully believe from the research i have done that we were being con-ed by Russia. Look at Obama, who helped their energy industry from oil to Nuclear increasing their wealth by hundreds of billions just after reelection. How about how he helped with imports and exports to assist Europe so their citizens can work less, be paid more, pay less for healthcare, have more favorable trade, iran, criminals recieveing guns and money from Obama. Look at even how Obama securred billions in loans for 3rd world airlines to buy Boeing aircraft, not being advanced enough to fly or maintain them, and crash them killing people…

    You make accusations of Trump's past actions but no evidence he is doing anything but trying to be a good presided. Yet, Obama actively made moved that seriousy hurt Americans from his education policy, energy policy, financial aid to terrorist attacking military installations, financial aid and wepons to mexican cartels, paying Europe billions to support their governments, actively trying to sell China national security patents like the AP1000 (they already copy it, selling it to them just stops us from having safe nuclear energy access), meanwhile Obama surrounded himself with elitist sports athletes and movie stars. Who made themself a millionare on the back of tax payers, tax payers under threat of his oppressive control?

    I shake my head at the total lack of accountability in actions of the left… "he says nice things so why do i care he is giving Russia nuclear material access, why do i care he gave guns and money to criminals, why do i care he paid terrorist to kill americans, why do i care he is trying to take our ability to say no, why do i care he caused education prices to quadruple or more, why do i care that he caused healthcare to skyrocket". "He is nice and just stabbing me in the back with the media's help".

    You ignore the results and facts of the work they do, and in typical liberal fassion make propiganda to support your blatant ignorance.

    Ive lost a lot of respect for this channel….

  • chan polun says:

    This video mixes certain concepts up. Not all MLM are pyramids but all pyramid schemes operate in a MLM structure.

    The key is to see how the company derived the income from. Look at the company’s financials. If the majority of the income comes from selling a product / service, and the commission is distributed from this sum, then it is perfectly fine MLM.

    But the majority comes from recruiting people, and the commission is of a portion of this amount, then it is a pyramid scheme.

    The reason is, many pyramid schemes disguised itself as a MLM so judging by if the company sells a product / service is insufficient.

    But some legitimate MLMs are really not into scamming people and ought not to be concluded as the same.

    This video sounds like the narrator is free styling instead of going through a stringent thought process

  • madcoki says:

    Another anti-trump video

  • Kobe Spoor says:

    Fucking retard with the Trump diss, leave your own opinion out of it

  • Kody Eldridge says:

    "If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is, like a beautiful woman who wants to chat online…" hey, hey, hey there's no need for that kind of negativity.

  • Matthew Chapman says:

    Ponzi schemes aren't necessarily pyramid schemes. There is overlap, but there are plenty of examples of Ponzi schemes that aren't pyramid schemes. Uber, for example. It's a Ponzi scheme because the company masks lack of profitability by subsidizing past losses with future investments. But it's not a pyramid scheme because the business model doesn't depend on employees continually recruiting more employees — they have an actual customer base outside the company.

  • oldcougar65 says:

    capitalism is a ponzi scheme which is reaching its limit, where a few people at the top have all the money, and everyone below them are thrown under the bus. Capitalism requires constant growth in a finite world. We are devouring our resources far faster than they can be replaced.

  • Bruce Lee says:

    Never been scammed by these schemes, but man my heart sank listening to this. 😞

  • steeve steeve says:

    Whoever came up with pyramid schemes must have learned from religion.

  • John Otvos says:

    Evan, I love your work, but it's far too late to regulate neoliberal capitalism. The market reigns supreme and in Chris Hedges manner: "If we don't overthrow them, they will kill us all." Canada's best living intellectual, John Ralston Saul has framed it as a "slow-moving corporate coup d'etat". Hedges calls it complete stateside, but, it lags here, north of the 49th. Another former American intellect, Sheldon Wolin referred to it as "Inverted Totalitarianism". All apt, methinks.

  • eris13al says:

    You know what is worse? That people voted again for the same man that brought this insanity.

  • Arcabard R says:

    Meh kinda cute he has foofy money from some loones universal income scheme like you don't have bit coins he traded a lot of land though I can say that as fact and so did the last President

  • Jace Somers says:

    The ~6.9•10^3 people who disliked this are part of an MLM scheme.

  • Dennis Williams says:

    Had respect for this chanel until you had to show your Liberal bias….Trump is actually making America Great along with the rest of the world…..watch how he dismantles the pedo cult that run the entire planet….but you say its a scam…..your Liberal education based on fake news and lying teachers is showing.

  • Mbreti Gent says:

    We all knew it was a con. But we’re willing to gamble because some made some money. I was a teenager than and I knew it was a con.

  • Dr-Stephen Newdell says:

    You are one of the best writers I have ever encountered.

  • Doran Ziegler says:

    MLMs are a legitimate way to launch a product. MLMs are not scams. Many are poorly run just 
    as any business can be. There are some MLMs that put out superior products. They are usually
    more expensive and some can only be obtained from the MLM companies. He is painting
    all MLMs as bad with a broad brush.

    This guy will do better if he were to expose the biggest scam in modern history — the securitization
    of mortgages which scammed well over 15 trillion dollars from the people, not to mention
    kicking more than nine million families from their homes. The securitization of mortgages, car loans,
    and debt in general make any real Ponzi scheme look like child's play. There is no scam in the world 
    or any 100 scams that have stolen anywhere near 15 TRILLION dollars. At least with MLMs, many 
    people do make money and get a usable product. In the mortgage scam, everyone lost, including
    non-homeowners who paid for the banks bailout and because of a wrecked economy that caused
    high unemployment. The only winners were the large banks and Goldman Sachs.

    So, please prioritize your venom and do a video on the premier scam of the century that was so
    well crafted that most people, including the maker of this video, know nothing about.

  • bikegirl2 says:

    yea it was better before x

  • Tariq abdullah says:

    The narrator called trump a jingoist without any grump fan noticing. As expected:-)

  • Timothy Jackson says:

    BITCCCONNEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEECTTT

  • mark mogensen says:

    "Protection against predation" is not the cornerstone of a successful capitalist society. Protection against coercion is.

  • Chuma James Nxele says:

    Bro, please just go and work at Vice.

  • ; sanchezz says:

    0:59 we found the LIBERAL

  • Andrew Cummins says:

    Oh so it’s an I hate Trump video. Got it.

  • motorcop505 says:

    Once again you had to slip in your dig against the president. After eight years of a president who completely destroyed the Constitution – with the total cooption of the media (I didn’t see you calling hi out on the myriad crimes of his administration), we finally have a President who doesn’t try to divide us into cubbyholes by race, sex, ethnicity, and sexual proclivities. Perhaps you should expose the criminal enterprise that is the Democrat Party. Or are you willing to take on this totalitarian party in your own back yard?

  • Touch Bionics says:

    Same happened in Russia, look up MMM pyramid scheme

  • Aditya Choubey says:

    Share this video with three friends and ask each of them to share it with the next three to gain access to unlimited intelligence*.

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  • nusphere says:

    Great filming here

  • Spanyurd says:

    Fuck regulation, I regulate myself and if you dont do the same, I will help you. Government is just another pyramid scheme dont forget that.

  • corn-dog lebron says:

    cryptocurrencies are a pyramid scheme and its too late to do anything about it, 1 third of all crypto on the market is owned by 0.001% of HODLers

    if you didn't get your foot in the door in 2010 its too late

  • Wonton Dragon says:

    “…Promise everything, deliver nothing". -Napoleon Bonaparte

  • Nikhil VJ says:

    Just as the answer to unchecked communism isn't unchecked capitalism, the answer to unchecked capitalism isn't unchecked communism. Well, at least one of those isn't so tough on freedom of speech.

  • Nikhil VJ says:

    Another pyramid scheme : mass immigration for welfare.

  • Nikhil VJ says:

    I think the idea that a population is helpless against pyramid schemes is not complete. Every culture has a memory going back generations and has passed-on wisdom warning against conmen. Communism cuts off freedom of speech and takes absolute control over all cultural exchanges esp education : The chaos following is a testament to the devastation of simple age-old wisdom caused by Communsim. I don't see how else other than "burn and learn" can the population move forward from there.
    On the other hand, look at the pyramid scheme of welfare immigration being championed by our intellectuals, and the "nope, don't take in that trojan horse" pushback to them by the people and the populists they're electing. Compare that with the gullibility of socialism-steeped Europe. You mentioned pyramid schemes in the US, but I think you left out the most dangerous one.

  • Jim Sapara says:

    Undynamic production

  • Ridy Blackletoe says:

    The otherwise well made film is ruined with propaganda for the last segment, chipping away at the crediblity of the former parts of the film and revealing the narrator as a partisan. Better documentary film is produced from a neutral viewpoint. I would personally cut the last segment.

  • Eric Salinas says:

    Every Trump supporter is a cult member whether they know they are in a cult or not.

  • Bryant Gill says:

    Keep YOUR politics to yourself ….

  • Aret Zelli says:

    Let's focus on this. President of US supports Pyramid schemes. Where is the USA headed?

  • Katie Kat says:

    LuLaRoe just collapse not that long ago.

  • Kris Smiley says:

    Social security it the biggest ponzi of them all

  • Rebecca Hale says:

    Excellent information..

  • Janet Scofield says:

    All I can say is the only other option was Billary.

  • Tom Whitworth says:

    Why are Republicans more involved in MLMs?

  • Naum Rusomarov says:

    Ponzi schemes were actually very popular (and quite destructive) in most Eastern European countries in the late '90s and early 2000s. In a few countries these schemes erupted spectacularly.

  • gaybloody kunt says:

    This needs more views‼️‼️

  • hengineer says:

    While I find your stories fascinating, we get it. You don't like Trump. I hear in just about every episode.

  • Ed Lemieux says:

    Not a single thing said about regulatory capture. Sad. Stating that it was a libertarian armchair paradise and then stating the government had a role in the scams is pretty disingenuous. Scams are fraud. Therefore law in a polycentric law system would make them illegal. Very dishonest to state that scams would be allowed in the libertarian Paradise. Otherwise I enjoyed the video keep doing good work.

  • Robert Bob says:

    This president is making this country great again and he will continue to keep on making it great in 2020

  • stefan x says:

    This guy i know joined a pyramid scheme. He bought "natural products" one of them: pure aloe vera juice. This costs (i shit you not) 10 euros for him to buy. And tried selling it for 18 euros! He spent thousands of euros of this stuff and his whole house was chuck full of this crap. Funny part is, he was selling off some of this stuff! Probably off the strength of aloe vera juice not being a well known thing here, but i knew that the small amount of sales just keep the scheme going. I mean cmon, you can buy aloe vera drink for 1.5 euros, im pretty sure that stuff is like 25% aloe vera juice.
    Lol he showed me a list of "earnable income per position"
    If you had like 40+ ppl below you, you were gonna make 100.000 euros per month! It seems this scheme was functioning to an extent, bc the guy who told him about it was making like 5k a month, this is how they keep new ppl coming it (and the only way to join is to spend thousands of euros). But it was so obvious nobody had ever made the kind of money they stated on that paper.

  • ewan hussarmi says:

    Usury. Here we go again.

  • Marcia W says:

    One big can of common sense. But it's not common. Thank you, excellent vid.

  • Robin Murray says:

    Albania is beautiful but crooked as it can be…
    Medicare and usdebtclock.org ever debasing dollars
    are federally approved Ponzi schemes
    just a matter of time…
    Buy Gold
    barchart.com/quotes/UGLD

  • Robert Winn says:

    Political parties are the worse pyramid schemes in existence.

  • Adam M-S says:

    1:20 What's a British-registered 4×4 doing in Albania?

  • DeMon Spencer says:

    It's weird when people know all of these facts and still partake in the scheme. Trump's involvement with pyramid schemes and shady business deals is pretty much common knowledge here in the US. The man ran a phoney university that got shut down in the middle of his presidential campaign because it was ripping people off. His foundation also got shut down because it violated laws that made it tax exempt. He was using it to pay personal debts. But somehow he still became president. It looks like us Americans seem to have a lot in common with Albanians. The only difference is I bet they've learned from their mistakes and we still haven't.

  • MilNutJob says:

    LOL This is nothing but a liberal lefty commercial against Trump! Won't be watching you again. I want fact or fiction, not a combo.

  • Stephen Stone says:

    I'd like to fight pyramid schemes. Want to help? Send me ten dollars. Find 3 people that will give you ten dollars each. You're already twenty dollars richer and pyramids are going down! Alright! Let's go!
    Whoooooooo!

    Yeah!

  • Jonathan Williams says:

    An even more ridiculous scam is promising to tax the country into prosperity, like Hillary promised

  • Jonathan Williams says:

    Unchecked capitalism does not mean having no laws against fraud or theft
    Regulation stifles growth and incentivizes corruption (Russia)
    Laws against fraud and theft and the like are part of what makes capitalism what it is

  • Twosocks says:

    So your solution is..government? A collection dumb bureaucrats to watch over all of societies ills? Have you dealt with a bureaucrat lately?

  • Benjamin Bowman says:

    Is it just me or does this guy remind me of a Rick Steves (that old show from PBS) who travels to different countries buut this guy actually tells the tru tru

  • Cheydinal says:

    This is very similar to the South Sea Bubble in the UK

  • Jim Greene says:

    These articles are very interesting, but sometimes the introductions are too long before getting to the point of the story. This is a good case in point. It would have been better if it began with a simple statement to the effect that a pyramid scheme collapsed the economy of post-Communist Albania, before spending so much time explaining what a pyramid scheme is.

  • The Maxster says:

    Make your country great again? Fuck you! I was telling people how cool I thought your channel was, even sharing it on FB. No more!

  • z says:

    or a politician promising to make the country great again….fantastic line

  • Via Radenkova says:

    Welcome to some of the most well thought out and relevant content on this platform

  • Mark Zuccerman says:

    When I was in high school I loved educational YouTube and Vsauce was my favorite channel, but nowadays, RareEarth is my favorite channel

  • Latrocinium086 says:

    One speaks as a frog to Jupiter

  • Camdenandroid says:

    Pyramid schemes including MLMs are illegal in China. One of many reasons that China is the future of capitalism.

  • Hi5Flex says:

    if you dont like trump, fine, but you risk losing viewers when you give those subtle attacks, do you want to alienate 50% of your viewers

  • Michael Marko says:

    This is a serious story. Good job. I've been so impressed with your content but this is a cut above.

  • dictatorofneptune says:

    All you had to do was just get 5 people you care about for this amazing life opportunity. Albania failed. 😂

  • Alan Richmond says:

    If you want a recent example of a Ponzi scheme, take a look at what happened in Davos. The schemes only collapsed May this year, leaving tens of thousands broke, if not more. They had schemes running 30% interest per month for over a year, it was only when the 400% schemes started popping up that the whole thing fell down.

  • Ghonosyphlaids says:

    Oh man you pissed everyone off with this video and didn't even say anything controversial. Well done! Odd times we live in

  • 加來龍武 says:

    MLMs are like weird cults, if you see their rallies and conventions they will convince you of that easily. To me MLMs are just cults selling financial paradise instead of eschatological ones. With that said, the damn thing I hate about MLMs is that like cults, they target family and close friends first, destroying family and friendships one dollar at a time, and I know that from all the friends and family I lost as they get involved in losing their money and alienating people. Surprise! None of them are rich right now!

  • Sean H says:

    As someone who may be most accurately described as a realist libertarian or at worst a pragmatic libertarian, or perhaps an individual rights enthusiast lol…..i love the term "armchair libertarians paradise" you (i guess?) coined on this episode. I dont always agree with your politics 100% of the time, but you ALWAYS make me think. And thats why this is one of the best channels out there.

  • WorldPeaceNow!!!!! says:

    if it s too good to be true it probably isn t!

  • Proud violent Libtard says:

    The U.S. is going to fall hard.

  • Jonathan Shafer says:

    What is that pyramid-like structure in the thumbnail called?

  • Miguel S. P. says:

    Trump is a shameless piece of shit in a corrupt system and so called democrats and republicans parties are not better . We need real, honest, truthful democratic republics in the world.

  • Randy Kemp says:

    Zilis cbd is a funnel

  • Bob Jackson says:

    I'm led to believe an almost identical thing happened in Serbia.

  • Peretz Rickett says:

    Great show again. The answer to unchecked communism is not unchecked capitalism, correctly stated. The answer to unchecked capatilsm and unchecked communism is unchecked voluntaryism.

  • Ethan Hayes says:

    "Pyramid schemes are bad. And that's why Trump sucks."
    It's kind of impressive how almost anything can perfectly demonstration of how awful he is.

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