[SCA-AE] NMS--wider consideration

Joel Welling welling at psc.edu
Thu Feb 25 00:40:01 EST 2010

Yup.  I like to fight in Crowns.  And when I was an officer, I was
required to be a member.  That doesn't mean I think the Corporation is
being responsible with my money, or that the membership rules the
Corporation places on fighting in Crown are sensible or reasonable.


On Thu, 2010-02-25 at 00:32 -0500, Taranach McLeod wrote:
> I see... so you *are* a member?
> On Wed, Feb 24, 2010 at 9:54 PM, Joel Welling <welling at psc.edu> wrote:
> > On Wed, 2010-02-24 at 20:27 -0500, Taranach McLeod wrote:
> >> Why yes, the money does belong to the corporation.... just as the
> >> group does, and the kingdom does and so on and so forth. Your point
> >> would be?
> >
> > No, Taranack, *we* are the group, the kingdom and so forth.  *We* make
> > the regalia, cook the feasts, fight the tourneys and do the arts.  Only
> > the bank accounts belong to the Corporation, and the only reason we have
> > anything to do with them is that we're emotionally attached to the name
> > 'SCA'.  Oh, and we can't leave because they would get to keep our bank
> > accounts.
> I wonder just how many events you would be able to run without that
> insurance, and without the 501(c)3... Are you fully cognizant of what
> is required to run a 501(c)3? I am... and it is not a "zero cost"
> situation. There are also fewer and fewer sites that are willing to
> rent without that insurance or at least mandatory membership in THEIR
> group.
> >> As I pointed out in another post, the membership fees have long lagged
> >> far behind what the economy would indicate and they have continued to
> >> shave and trim to keep offering everything they could *WITHOUT*
> >> raising membership cost.... and that membership has been the same for
> >> well over a decade!
> >
> > What's your point?  The Board has covered an ever-increasing budget by a
> > variety of kludges while keeping the overt rise in 'membership' fees
> > low.  The NMS is one of those kludges, and as their budget has continued
> > to grow they have decided they need to milk that particular kludge more
> > efficiently.  As far as shaving and trimming go, they've kept an office
> > in a very expensive location, and they employ six people.  So far I
> > haven't heard what work they're doing that I couldn't reasonably expect
> > of a web server and a clerical assistant.  They may have shaved and
> > trimmed, but they still look pretty shaggy to me.
> Why don't you just show us how to do it then? I mean if it is all so
> "easy"... Yes, Milpitas is not exactly "low maintenance" but it is
> another 'tradition', among many, that a LOT of people keep hanging on
> to. As to the budget, in case you haven't noticed, EVERYTHING has gone
> up in price, and yet you are still expecting everything for nothing
> more than it was thirty to forty years ago? Every time there is even a
> hint of raising membership, everyone starts screaming, so they try to
> cover the increasing costs through other means and still get screamed
> at... they resort to those Kludges because their hands are tied by
> impossible expectations. All the NMS has managed to do is offset the
> converging lines of rising expenses and relatively stagnant revenue.
> >> If the membership in the SCA had kept pace with the rest of the
> >> economy you would be paying $55 to $65 and then there would be no need
> >> for the NMS to make up the shortfall...
> >
> > Exactly my point.  It's just a different form of fee.
> So you would rather be the "reluctant member" paying an average of $60
> a year so that those non-members could continue to participate without
> the NMS fee? Or perhaps you would like to have every group incorporate
> as it's own 501(c)3 and cover the $300-$500 for insurance per day for
> every single event. How long do you think it would be before each
> group starts to diverge from the others? How long before the groups
> start getting to the point where the rules are too far apart to play
> with each other? When the real world differences within a single
> kingdom geographical area such as ours would factionalise each group?
> It already happens to a limited extent with inter-kingdom
> anthropology. The overall corporation is what keeps everyone on
> roughly the same page.
> >> ...and we could keep letting the
> >> slackers and freeloaders take advantage of the insurance we pay for
> >> that gives us the ability to hold our events...
> >
> > Um, here we go.  Slackers and freeloaders?
> >
> > Also, just how much do you think the cost of insuring that individual
> > adds to the cost of the event?  Well, the right answer is $0, because
> > the insurance cost for the event is the same whether those 'slackers and
> > freeloaders' attend or not.  But if you want to think about amortizing
> > the cost of the insurance for that event over the number of people who
> > attend, we can probably do that calculation.  Do you think it will even
> > come close to the size of the NMS?  I don't.
> That's exactly right... if there was no NMS then those slackers and
> freeloaders would be taking advantage of the insurance that the
> MEMBERS paid for. The insurance that allowed us to get the site where
> that event is held because the owner would not rent without it.
> > And finally, please remember that the insurance doesn't cover *them*.
> > It covers the group officers in case the 'slackers and freeloaders' try
> > to sue them, by providing a target with bigger pockets.  I suppose it
> > would come into play if they burned down the hall.  But I honestly don't
> > see how you can claim that they're 'taking advantage of the insurance'.
> >
> >> and they could
> >> continue to complain and whine about how it is so not worth it for
> >> year after year after year but they still keep coming and acting like
> >> their voice should be counting for something and demanding changes and
> >> criticizing every rule or regulation but won't become part of the
> >> process....
> >
> > They earn the right to be heard by cooking and cleaning, by
> > participating, and in fact by doing everything *we* do to earn the right
> > to be heard.  *Except* for sending money to this group in California,
> > and as far as I can tell, my having payed the fee hasn't earned me the
> > right to be heard out there.
> I see, so I cook and clean and participate and do everything else that
> they do as well as pay my membership, hold offices that facilitate
> their playtime, organize the events and yet their voices are an equal
> to mine? Sorry, no... They may have earned the right to participate
> but not to govern.
> If someone comes over to your house and helps to cook and to clean and
> participates does that give them the right to direct your finances?
> Does that give them the right to tell you what to do or "vote" on what
> your family should do? I was raised old school where you pull your own
> weight or just go along for the ride. By every indicator I have found
> there are at least as many non-members participating as there are
> members and that is the conservative estimate, most numbers are nearly
> triple... throw in the total received from NMS and that is only about
> 15% of the total revenue... that means that half the participants
> (members) are carrying more than 85% of the load for everyone else to
> play. So with all else being equal, such as event and feast costs, it
> is completely fair that members should be doing all the same things as
> well as running the offices and covering over three quarters of the
> costs of running the game.....
> If anyone should be angry, it should be the members that care enough
> to take on that additional burden for those that refuse to pay for
> their entertainment and scream long and loud that WE are being unjust.
> Remember, the BoD are members too...
> > I'm not bitter, I'm angry.  This financial nonsense has been going on
> > way too long, and the fact that there is no mechanism to hold the Board
> > accountable to the 'membership' is the  main cause of it.
> >
> > Maghnus
> > who has been a reluctant member for over *thirty* years
> Many of those I have been hearing screaming loudest have been those
> who are self avowed "non-members" who refuse to pay on "principle"...
> I am generally a generous and easygoing kind of person, but these
> arguments have been blown far out of proportion and are getting me
> rather steamed at those who want to do and get everything for nothing
> or the barest pittance at best. Ridiculous... I enjoy a freebie as
> much as anyone else but not when it comes at anothers expense.
> Taranach
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