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Burke Koonce and John Fichthorn discuss the latest topics of interest in politics, financial markets, and the cultural forces that shape the world around us. In this episode, we are joined by business professor William Keep, who has written extensively on multilevel marketing and was featured in the 2017 documentary Betting On Zero.

John, who is executive chairman of Maven, owner of and other media properties, and Burke, who runs the Capitalism Maven site for, have a long history together discussing markets, politics and contemporary subjects. These discussions sometimes get made into films such as Betting On Zero.

William Keep is one of the nation’s experts on multi-level marketing and pyramid schemes. He is a professor of marketing at the College of New Jersey and former dean of the business school there. When Bill Ackman was going after Herbalife, Keep was one of the people he turned to for information about the industry.

As Keep does in Betting On Zero, he articulates what’s wrong at the dark heart of the ‘direct selling’ industry—every industry has its problems but there might be only one where the very existence is a problem. Yet, as Keep points out, the industry, which accounts for a de minimis proportion of retail sales in the United States, has its own congressional caucus.

An industry that buys its protection buying touting how many “jobs” it creates and how it is born out of the American dream of capitalism and free markets is in fact extremely anti-capitalism and anti-free markets. Listen and find out how. Keep also has a multi-level marketing awareness conference coming up. Be sure to check it out at

This is a great episode with one of the sharpest anti-MLM minds around. We hope you enjoy it.