[amsat-bb] Re: Life Membership

Glen Zook gzook at yahoo.com
Sun Jan 17 13:41:52 PST 2010

Had not members contributed to AMSAT back in the early to mid 1970s there would probably not even be an AMSAT today!  So soon people forget their roots!

As for what I have personally contributed to AMSAT lately?  Obviously you haven't read the September/October 2009 issue of the AMSAT Journal!  Therein you will find an article on becoming a volunteer written by me.

Not every AMSAT member has discretionary funds to contribute to the organization and quite a number of the early life members are now retired and, like myself, living on basically "fixed" incomes.  My wife and I are not "destitute", but we definitely have to budget our money.

Looking at your biography page on QRZ.com I see that you have been licensed for a little over 15 years.  Also, looking at your photograph posted on QRZ.com, I see that you have a "fair" number of years remaining in the workforce before entering the world of the retired.  As such, you obviously have a "fair amount" of discretionary funds (since you have posted your relationship to the ARRL and that you are a "benefactor" of AMSAT reinforces this) which allows you to make financial contributions.  That is fine.

When I became a life member I was gainfully employed and was definitely "above average" in income.  In fact, I was gainfully employed until 2002 when I "acquired" rheumatoid arthritis and became fully disabled.  I have been "fighting" with a major insurance company for the benefits that they are supposed to be paying me and this has been ongoing for almost 8 years.  Fortunately, Social Security agreed that I was disabled and has been paying me for close to 7 years.  What Social Security is paying is definitely less than what I would be paid by the private insurance company, but it is at least "something".  Starting next month I will "officially" not be disabled but then "retired".  Although my wife and I receive payments that are much higher than what the average person gets from Social Security, the total amount received is considerably less than when I was employed.

Considering that the majority of retirees are receiving considerably less money every month that what my wife and I receive, it is pretty easy to see that those persons have a very hard time "making it" on a daily basis.  Those persons, when gainfully employed, generally did have at least some discretionary funds and could, if desired, contribute financially to AMSAT.  Today, things are very different.

It is the same with a lot of younger members who have lost their jobs.  Those persons are in no condition to contribute financially to AMSAT.  Yet you seem to think that the ability to give money is what is important.

There are those life members who have been "around" for a "while" who do have both the skills and the time to contribute to AMSAT as volunteers.  However, there are also life members who no longer have the physical ability which would allow them to "contribute" as volunteers today.  According to your way of "thinking", those persons should just be eliminated, forgetting the role that those same people have played in the past, because they no longer are in a position to contribute financially.

At least in my opinion, such actions are very wrong!  Without the financial support that those life members contributed in the past AMSAT would definitely NOT be the organization that it is today.  In fact, there is a very good chance that the organization would not have survived the 40 years that is has.  Frankly, I sincerely wonder what your "position" is going to be when you are retired, out of a job, or some similar situation.

Glen, K9STH

Website:  http://k9sth.com

--- On Sun, 1/17/10, Clint Bradford <clintbrad4d at earthlink.net> wrote:

... my $50 membership thirty years ago is worth $1,000,000 in 2010 dollars ...
All moot, of course. Your fifty bucks contributed years ago was exactly that - and nothing else - period. It was used back then - and any comparison to what it is worth today is valueless.
"What have you done for AMSAT recently?" - is a much more appropriate discussion.
Clint Bradford, K6LCS
AMSAT President's Club member - for each of the past few years
AMSAT benefactor


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