Skip to comments.Is the Tea Party Movement Like a Pyramid Scheme?
Posted on 10/19/2010 5:49:39 PM PDT by woofie
One of the movements leaders, Mark Meckler, was once a top operator in a company accused of conning consumers. Is he applying the same tactics to the tea party?
There's a book Mark Meckler likes to recommend to reporters and others seeking insight into the tea party juggernaut. Called The Starfish and the Spider, it explores the "unstoppable power" of decentralized and leaderless organizations. "We're like the starfish," Meckler, a national coordinator for the Tea Party Patriots, said earlier this year. "There is no head, there is no leader of the organization. There are thousands of starfish out there and they are self-replicating in that way."
It's certainly an inspiring metaphor. If one tentacle is chopped off, the starfish grows a new one, making it a model of resilience. Yet there's another type of organization that's resilient, decentralized, and reminiscent of the Tea Party Patriots, a national umbrella organization that claims to represent 15 million activists and 2800 local affiliates. You can find it in companies like Amway, Herbalife, and others that rely on what's known as multilevel marketing (MLM), a business model some consider to be nothing but a pyramid scheme.
Like the tea party movement, these companies also operate as "leaderless," grassroots organizations. Organized by "networks," they espouse a bottom-up approach and depend on a neverending supply of people willing to work long hours with no assurance of pay. Meckler, it turns out, is intimately familiar with these types of outfits, having spent years at the highest ranks of one accused of preying on consumers with promises of easy money.
If this guy is associated with the Tea Party I hope he is not using it to hype his stuff
If there’s anything the left hates worse than patriotism, it’s profit.
I’ve invested all of $3 in the Tea Party “pyramid scheme” since they first appeared on the scene.
Anything that comes from Mother Jones News should be taken with a freight car’s worth of salt. Motehr Jones readers think that The Nation or The New Republic are right wing publications.
You’re really posting from Mother Jones? Here at FR?
Are you too old for the zot?
The left isn't getting anywhere with the usual stuff. You know, racism, crazies, etc. so they are going for the corruption angle. Gee, what next?
[If you are from Berkeley.... it is the most common action verb known.]
My thoughts exactly. Why this hasn’t been pulled is beyond me...and I’m no fan of Meckler.
Leftists can’t comprehend any movement which doesn’t involve leader-worship, collective thinking, or hatred of a race/class.
More like a trapezoid.
This idiot doesn’t understand a pyramid scheme. There needs to be a transfer of cash at each level, with each layer added making the originator more rich until the levels grow so large they collapse the structure. This is nothing like that...there is only ONE layer.
Pyramid scheme...? You mean like Social Security...?
Funny thing is they don’t seem to mention anyone losing their fortune to the tea party or how anyone at “the top” is getting rich off it.
OMG, the left is starting to drool again. Get the bib!
You know what a REAL Pyramid Scheme looks like?
I hate you.
This doesn’t even make any sense, not even to deluded college students and other misguided liberals.
Does Mother Jones even know how chain letters operate?
Did you add Mich. sales tax?
Mother Jones is not exactly a bastion of intellect.
The comparison is idiotic.
Meanwhile the Federal Gov’t. hugely extorts your tax $$ in a grande scheme called Ponzi! We willingly throw a few good investment dollars at the TP pyramid. At least we know the value of the end results.
Hey, I got in on the ground floor!
The underpants gnomes said I didn’t have to pay sales tax on a donation.
Seems like my elevator got stuck between the 9th and 10th floors. :(
Are you a double diamond yet?
Having sat through a Koskot pitch decades ago I can recognize a Ponzi Scheme, and the Tea Party ain’t it. Don’t think Amway is either.
Ah, the left is dragging one of their favourite whipping posts: The Drreaded Amway.
They must really be desperate.
Just desperately seeking the “leaders” who must be “cleaning up” ...they’d sic the IRS on ‘em if they could find ‘em.
Can’t audit the whole of Flyover Country tho!!!
Mother Jones should stick to baking veggie-burgers in aluminum foil solar ovens and recommending eco-fascist friendly cockroach traps.
The left doesn’t seem to be able to understand the bottom up nature of the Tea Party. There isn’t a ‘leader’ who ‘calls the shots’. There are folks who set up local gatherings, and there are some groups that set up national gatherings like the 9/12 Marches, etc. But Tea Partiers are just folks who have come to understand that they are not alone; there are more folks like them out there, and enjoy getting together with folks who feel the same way they do about government. And they are becoming active in politics, when they’d never done anything like that before.
All I can say is that it's lonely at the top. :-)
Double Diamond Squared!
But, you see, the author is examining this through an acid haze.....Chromosomes died in the pursuit of his obtuse reasoning.
In left-think, accused=guilty (as applied to non-leftists)`
I hate my shoes....
I think I AM too old to withstand a zot and I wasnt sure if it was legal to post from Mother Jones or not. Thankfully no zot yet
Gee, I just don’t know which left-wing narrative to believe. Pelosi and part of the MSM push the narrative that the Tea Party Movement is a Republican Party astroturf operation. The Obamatons and the rest of the MSM push the narrative that the Tea Party Movement is a nefarious vast right-wing conspiracy headed by the Koch brothers. Mother Jones now pushes a new narrative about a pyramid scheme scam.
The left’s narratives are utterly inconsistent with each other. They also conflict with the facts.
Who is Meckler? I’m pretty sure he hasn’t been at any of the Tea Party events I’ve participated in.
He was definitely involved in Sacramento Tea Parties -- April and August 2009, at a minimum.
He was an organizer of the April Tea Party, televised live by Neil Cavuto -- here is Mark on stage:
More pics on this thread:
There’s no evidence that TPP is selling its contact lists.
Anything from Mother Earth News that isn’t about good weed, or the best bongs for the buck is pisswater.
Meckler is the real deal. I know him and trust him, and believe me after 22 years in this business there are very few people I trust any more.
Is Mother Jones like a Russian human-trafficker?