Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The "don't you want to be rich" fallacy

One of the frequent fallacies you encounter in get-rich-quick schemes is known as "appeal to popular fantasy". It is sometimes used by members as a last resort, who basically concedes that the scheme is probably NOT legitimate, but as long as it makes money, it's enough for them. It often takes this form:
A: Acme XYZ is a scam because of ____, ____, and ____. 
B: Acme XYZ may be a scam, but as long it makes me $$$ I don't really care. After all, don't we all need money?
This is "appeal to popular fantasy" because all of us want to be rich, or at least rich enough to not worry about money. As long as scam feeds you money, and you probably won't be penalized in some way, why not make money off it?

The problem is this bends morals into a pretzel.

In most scams, which are either Ponzi or Pyramid schemes, the money came from other participants. For the participant to gain, someone else needs to lose.

Some will justify the action by claiming the crime wasn't committed by them, but by the scheme organizers. They fail to appreciate the fact that by participating, they are enabling the scam to continue, even if they don't actively recruit additional participants. They are accomplices, in every sense of the word, esp. AFTER they know they are probably participating in something potentially illegal.

The Federal case of FTC vs. Burnlounge illustrated another potential pitfall... Some of the top recruiters were indicted along with the executive and sentenced to huge fines (hundreds of thousands of dollars).

Don't let the fantasy to be richer blind you to obvious facts and let you "bend" your morals.
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