Ted, I respect you opinion but I have to disagree. The reason why network marketing gets a bad wrap is because of 2 reasons.
1). There are a few bad apples that do develop "schemes" just to get your money.
2). The most common, people enter network marketing thinking it's an easy way to make money with little or no work.
As stated, the 2nd reason is the most common. People don't realize network marketing (MLM) is a relationship business. The money made in an MLM is just a by products of your relationship skills. The whole negative "pyramid" label that's been placed on MLMs is very unfair. You show me any successful company and I will show you how they too have a pyramid business structure. Think about it, the CEO of a company is at the top making tons of money. Profiting from the work performed by the people below him/her in the company. The whole key to network marketing is doing your research! You study each mlm company you may be interested in joining. Do they have a good track record? Do they have a real, physical product? You should be asking tons of questions. You wouldn't open your own local business without doing the proper research would you? I sure hope not!
You said mlm programs are "losing their spread". Again, I have to respectfully disagree. There's a reason why Avon has been around since 1886! People tend to forget that Avon is an MLM. It's the perfect way for someone to start their own legitimate business with little or no capital. Also, just like any other successful industry; it's constantly evolving. Network marketing is slowing turning from it's traditional roots of a binary system, to a revenue sharing system. Revenue sharing is very powerful! It takes the argument that only the top 3% actually earn, and throws it out the window. One of the companies I was in had a revenue sharing system. I literally saw some members of my downline have ZERO affiliates in their downline and they still made extra money. They didn't sponsor, but they worked hard and promoted the company's products and in turn got paid daily. That's the power of revenue sharing. I could go on and on, but this is getting pretty long. In closing there are very good mlm companies out there, you just have to sort through them and pick a good one. My team and I are very good at spotting the fakes from the real golden opportunities.