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Top 10 Controversial Ways to Make Money

VO: Rebecca Brayton

Script written by Sandra Argese.

We’ve all wondered how to make fast money LEGALLY. While they might not all be easy, there are a few controversial jobs out there. From porn to gambling to bounty hunting and derivatives trading; whether it’s because some people think they’re unethical ways to make money, these are all controversial jobs. WatchMojo counts down ten divisive ways to earn a buck.

Special thanks to our user Sandiee for suggesting this idea! Check out the voting page at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top%2010%20Controversial%20Ways%20to%20Make%20Money


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Script written by Sandra Argese

Top 10 Controversial Ways of Making Money

Show them the money! Join as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Controversial Ways to Make Money.

For this list, we’re looking at moneymaking methods that are disputed and fire up arguments among many for their controversial nature. We’re excluding illegal ways of making money, and only discussing ways that are legal in at least one part of the world and do not give reason for prosecution or a criminal record as a result. Just to be clear, we’re not saying we agree with these methods, though we can understand why they are deemed controversial.

#10: Bounty Hunting

Whether you’re someone who hasn’t shown up to court, has breached bail conditions, or you’re an on-the-loose criminal – watch out, because a bounty hunter may be on your tail. If you don’t think that alone sounds controversial, then think about this: a bounty hunter will literally do anything possible to catch the person they’re after. Hired to seize fugitives for financial compensation, some have the authority to carry weapons, use dangerous force, and even break into homes. After all, these bail recovery agents only get paid once they’ve caught their target so often, they’ll do what they gotta do to get the job done.

#9: Derivatives Trading

Putting value on an asset today and agreeing to sell or buy it at that price at a later date is always a risk, and increasingly commonplace. But what makes derivatives trading controversial is in the speculation or shorting. By speculating, a trader anticipates - or artificially drives up - the price of the underlying asset, selling it for a gain in the future. When shorting, you sell an asset you don't currently own, hoping the price falls, only to buy it later, earning a retroactive profit (thus raising moral questions). However, when going long, you buy the underlying asset and your losses are capped by the price of the asset. But if you think the price will drop and short the asset and you bet wrong, then your potential losses are infinite.

#8: Marijuana Dispensaries

The possession of marijuana isn’t usually legal, unless it’s been prescribed for medical reasons. So when the drug has been okayed for various symptoms, where do you get it from? The trusted Marijuana Dispensary, of course! These offices are set up to sell medical cannabis in various forms, including drinks, smoothies, and more. But these dispensaries irritate a fair amount of people as there are sometimes no limits on how much marijuana patients are allowed. There is also that fear that users may abuse their legal allocation of a substance that isn’t entirely legal everywhere.

#7: Lobbyists

Politics is controversial enough as it is, so throw a lobbyist into the mix and the result may not go down well with the public. A lobbyist is someone who tries to influence the government and its political decisions. This is done by spending hours researching and writing arguments in accordance with his or her interests or the causes he or she has been hired to lobby for. In short, professional lobbyists essentially receive a whole heap of cash for pressuring legislators into passing certain bills or adopting new ways. As such, many argue that some lobbyists don’t even care about what they’re advocating and are only in it for the money; go figure.

#6: Stripping

Some people consider paying to see someone slowly but surely get down to their birthday suit as sleazy or downright dirty – and others go further, qualifying the act as cheating. Ranging from live shows to online web cam models, strippers and exotic dancers everywhere have people spending their hard-earned cash so they can get a few minutes of naked glory and lap dances. Stripping as a profession is also controversial because performers are often treated like objects that are expected to follow the commands of their client, which can lead to the mistreatment and abuse of the dancers.

#5: Sperm Banks

These facilities are places that store sperm that has been donated by men for use by women who want to become pregnant. While sperm banks have helped many women unable to have babies by traditional ways, there are critics who believe these enterprises disrupt the ideal of the family model and use screening methods for their donors that can be considered discriminatory. Some also take issue with the fact that donors will end up fathering kids whose lives they’ll never be a part of – or want to be a part of – while others are afraid of the passing of diseases or other unfavorable traits to potential offspring.

#4: Gambling

Do you think that putting your money on the line for the odd chance you’ll win more is always a harmless thing to do? Think again. People can become overly frustrated, addicted, angry or depressed when they constantly lose their dough, and gambling institutions know it; so they try to cash in on it. Some people even resort to gambling money, items, or assets they don’t have, or isn’t even theirs. So while it’s an easy way to make money and requires none of those hard hours at work in an office or another job that requires effort, you’re probably more likely to lose big rather than win big. Gambling is a risky business all around, and unfortunately, it doesn’t always result in a happy ending, which adds to its controversial status.

#3: Surrogacy

When a woman is unable to carry a growing baby in her womb, or there is no woman in the relationship at all, a surrogate can step in. Yes, an agreement where another woman carries a pregnancy for another set of parents gives the opportunity to people who can’t bear babies to have kids. However, it’s been argued that surrogates are much more prone to depression and anxiety due to the constant strain on their bodies. There’s also the potential struggle to surrender the baby when it’s born if the surrogate appears to have formed a connection with the fetus. A further question that continues to be raised regarding surrogacy is whether or not women should use their bodies to generate income at all.

#2: Clinical Trials and Medical Testing

While it may seem like the quickest way to solve financial worries, undergoing medical testing for various products, medications and so forth can also cause you harsh and unexpected long-term effects. Since clinical trials are experiments, participants are willingly allowing themselves to be tested, used and studied – but the outcomes of such tests are usually unknown. As such, a volunteer or a patient may be risking health conditions, physical defects, or permanent damage and that’s where the controversial part comes in. While you are getting paid to do it, some people wonder if potentially putting your health in danger to make ends meet is really worth it.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

- Writing Essay Services
- Telemarketing
- Phone Sex Operator

#1: Pornography

Don’t know what porn is? We don’t recommend Google-ing it. Porn is the capturing of erotic or sexual behavior in one of many forms, whether it’s on the internet, in a magazine, or various multimedia formats, for the use of sexual arousal. Whether people agree with it or not, the industry is undeniably huge and there is certainly a market for it. Critics call pornography dirty, sleazy, sick or unacceptable. It also raises questions about whether the actors really even consent to take part and whether its consumption brainwashes people into false ideas about what the standards in the bedroom are. On the flipside, porn can be used to spice up people’s sex lives at home, at sperm banks and for many other reasons. But considering its subject matter – despite the slowly changing views of sex in modern times - it’s not surprising that working in porn remains controversial today.

Do you agree with our list? What way of making of money don’t you quite agree with? For more controversial Top Tens published every day, be sure to subscribe to

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