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Amway Forever: The Amazing Story of a Global Business Phenomenon by Kathryn A. Jones

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Chapter 5

Unveiling “The Plan”

About the same time that Jay and Rich were launching their new direct-selling business in 1959, Fidel Castro was sworn in as prime minister of Cuba. Socialism, Communism, and Marxism were gaining footholds around the world. “A wave of pessimism swept over many Americans,” Rich observed. “People said to me, ‘Capitalism has failed. It is failing around the world.’”1 Rich didn’t believe it and neither did Jay. In their view, the capitalist system paid people’s bills and made their lifestyles possible. It was “the American Way.” In fact, that soon would be the name of their new company—Amway, a shortened version of “American Way.” Rich explained that they settled on the name because “the American way of private ownership and free enterprise is the best way.”2

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