Maturity is knowing you were an idiot in the past.
Wisdom is knowing that you'll be an idiot in the future.
Common sense is knowing that you should try not to be an idiot now.
-- Jeph Jacques, "Questionable Content, #976" --
Speaking of idiots, I guess it's common knowledge that in my opinion, many Mensans have no common sense.
The latest action contemplated by the national governing board has me rolling my eyes. (Note, I'm getting this second hand, so I may have some details wrong, but it's probably close enough for example and discussion.)
The American national organization has to send 4% of all US dues collected to the international committee, leaving 96% for American Mensa. The international committee has decided to increase their cut from national groups from 4% to 6%.
American Mensa has freaked about that additional 2%, that income shortfall (reducing expenditures is, of course, out of the question), so they are discussing increasing individual US dues from $60 to $70 dollars.
Let's see now. International increased their take by 2%, therefore we have to increase individual dues by 16.7%. Did I get that right?
I don't understand.
I don't know what they're thinking.
I strongly suspect that annual dues of $70 is going to lose a lot of members. I know that if I were not a paid-up life member, I'd drop out if dues went to $70. That's ridiculous. Many people already find membership not worth the current $60. You don't get anything worth that much money.
I know some people are going to say, "Oh, the regional and national gatherings! They're so much fun!" Um, they aren't free. There's nothing free, no unique or valuable benefits of membership, except the opportunity to meet other people who also score well on standardized tests. And to many, that's not worth $70 a year. Especially not these days. If you have a job, you can find interesting conversation among coworkers. If you don't have a job (a large proportion of Mensans do not have jobs for one reason or another, and I'm not counting entrepreneurs) then you can't afford the $70.
(Some local groups do have fundraising efforts and then host a free dinner, picnic, or party. Note that the funds are raised from members.)
I think soon the only people who will pay the dues are those sad people who find Mensa membership the only thing they have to validate their worth.
Nothing like shooting yourself in the foot, eh?
I am surprised that people are not sharing memberships. If you are a member because you enjoy the diversity of conversational topics as opposed to wanting to wave your membership card around, then you don't really need that membership card, because members are almost always allowed to bring guests to events.
So, uh, why don't two people share the annual dues, one of them get the membership, and then both can go to events, one as a member, the other as a guest? Even more fun, get 40 people together, pool the money to get 15 memberships, and then you can "guest up" for events as desired, with whatever card-carrying members are attending the event.
Most of the publications are online, so the group can just share userids and passwords.
That's what Jay and I did. I had the life membership, so we could see no reason for Jay to actually join. He could attend everything as my guest. There were other couples where both were members and both paid dues. Duh? We couldn't understand why.