Given that we have a couple of other posts today, I don’t want to push them down the page too much, so I’ll put this after a jump. But, I looked up the ASA Council minutes regarding the dues increase:
The February minutes, where the decision of Council to go forward with the increase, are not online. But the August meeting minutes are, and are here, starting on the middle of page 4.
1. As you can see, it’s really the EOB committee and secretary/treasurer that drafts these things, and council provides input and a final vote. People overestimate the role of Council / the ASA president and underestimate the role of EOB / the secretary-treasurer. At least judging from the minutes, Council discussions do not engage seem to financial particulars that closely.
2. ASA Council members appear to have been given the impression that ASA dues presently are “often lower” than other associations in nearby fields. I welcome anyone to actually look at other disciplines and what they charge for dues and what they provide in return journal-wise. AEA is already very low, and is actually reducing its dues, so that Paul Krugman will be paying less and getting more than even the new category of Unemployed Sociologists under the new proposal. APSA’s dues are here, and, APSA members between $30K and $134K are already paying less than current ASA dues, a gap that will widen under the new proposal. [Also, even under the new proposal, unemployed political scientists pay less than unemployed sociologists, and unemployed economists–if they exist–pay the least of all.]
3. Although most of the discussion indeed does seem to have been about “progressivity,” the parts that seem to be about increasing dues outright are about preventing unspecified future reductions in services rather than expanding services.
4. There’s a part at the end about how when a proposal for a dues change is advanced to members, it will be important to provide a history and rationale. Well, they messed that up, except it seems like Council might have been much more occupied with the progressivity part than the dues increase part.