passive income is unethical

Why Passive Income Is Unethical According To Some

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Did I get your attention? I heard someone say passive income is unethical. But why? I have to admit that the thought of passive income being unethical has never crossed my mind until now. However, it is 100% ethical, and I will explain why.

Passive Income Is Unethical Some Say

What is being unethical?

According to Merriam-Webster, not conforming to a high moral standard: morally wrong: not ethical illegal and unethical business practices immoral and unethical behavior. So I think we can all agree that activities such as stealing, scamming, fraud, Ponzi schemes, and the like are unethical, immoral, or both. But we are discussing legitimate passive income methods such as :

Note: This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you buy from my link I might make a small commission. This does not affect the price you pay. See the full affiliate disclosure here.

  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Advertise on your car
  • Blogging
  • YouTube Creator
  • Rental Property
  • Drop Shipping
  • Royalties
  • Investing

Why on earth would anyone consider these passive income methods unethical is beyond me. Let us look at each one.

Affiliate Marketing

You get paid a small commission to promote a companies product. Some laws say you have to have an affiliate disclaimer on your website. If you look at the beginning of this post, you will see mine; even though there are no affiliate links on this particular post, some of my posts do have them. I don't see anything unethical regarding affiliate marketing so long as you have the notice on the website. No one has to use your link; it is more courtesy for providing the content.

Advertise On Your Car

So a company is going to give you money for plastering their advertising all over your car. If you haven't seen this, it is a car with a vinyl “wrap” over the entire vehicle. Pretty fantastic technology to watch this be applied. While you might find this embarrassing on your vehicle, unethical it is not. You are providing a service for money. That's it.


Bloggers can get paid by allowing advertisements on their blogs. However, everyone has the freedom to not click on the ads or even read the blog, so I see nothing unethical about ads on a blog. Annoying sometimes, yes.

YouTube Creator

If you have created a video or videos that generate enough views, YouTube will pay you. Why? Because they are placing advertisements on your videos, you will get a small piece of the advertising revenue that YouTube brings in. So if you are creative enough to make videos that people want to watch, there is nothing unethical about that transaction.

Rental Property

If you rent an apartment or a house from a landlord, you agreed upon the rental terms and probably signed a contract. You willingly agreed, so I don't see anything unethical in this arrangement. Of course, this doesn't mean that all landlords are ethical, but the income generated is not unethical.

Drop Shipping

Suppose you have created a website that sells products produced by someone else and shipped by them and not you, then you are a drop shipper. No ethics violations here. The customer doesn't have to buy the product, or they can find it from somewhere else. The choice is theirs. Oh, and by the way, Amazon is a drop shipper also. They do have their fulfillment centers but not on every product.


Getting paid for the use of your assets like music, books, movies, etc., seems only fair. Should radio stations profit from your songs without compensating you? I don't think so. Now that would be unethical.


Interest or dividends are the benefits of investing. You are giving your money to companies or banks to use, and they are making profits from your money. So why wouldn't you expect to get paid for that? It is a fair exchange as you are the one taking risks, so you should get a reward. I see nothing unethical about it.


I can only think that anyone that believes passive income is unethical doesn't understand passive income. Passive income requires hard work and possibly years to acquire and is 100 % ethical. It is no different than starting your own business, you may succeed, or you might not. I can imagine the negative sentiment comes from those that have never taken a risk or tried and failed. All you have to do is ask any successful entrepreneur if they have had failures, and you will find a resounding yes.

So to all the Debbie Downers, keep your opinions to yourself.

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