Mr. Peabody & His Boy Sherman Find the Key to MARSP Membership

The Bottom Line, Hess Bates, MARSP Treasurer

Thinking about the looming deadline for my Spring VANGUARD article, I fell asleep in front of the TV… and had the strangest dream…

In an improbable episode, Mr. Peabody and his pet boy Sherman traveled via their WayBack Machine to 2017. In pursuit of wisdom and adventure, the time travelers came upon a then-current issue of MARSP’s newsletter. In its pages the pair read The Bottom Line column whose strangely coifed and bearded author suggested that members should sign up their spouses—or other beneficiaries—for Associate memberships in their organization.

We will get right back to our story after these words from our sponsor:

For more than seven decades, MARSP has been the only organization in Michigan working to protect and enhance the retirement benefits of our state’s public educators. During those years MARSP has developed unique skills as its leaders worked Lansing’s legislative halls, establishing non-partisan relationships with those who would be its friends while resisting efforts made by those who do not share its values. MARSP’s hard work has made the organization successful in its mission and every MPSERS retiree (whether a member or not), enjoys the results of MARSP’s efforts.

So stop by your local grocer’s today and pick up the big Family-Sized box of MARSP. Use it to make your clothes come out cleaner and to sweeten your coffee; it makes great shoe polish too!

And now, back to our regularly scheduled program…

Five reasons to enroll your MPSERS beneficiary as a MARSP member:

  1. Membership strengthens MARSP’s ability to shape policies that affect your shared interests!
  2. Affordable member dues at just $40 per year. It’s a small investment to support the only organization dedicated to defending MPSERS pensions and healthcare!

  3. Access to expert staff and a wealth of resources on retirement planning, healthcare options, and more!

  4. Create memories that’ll make your grandkids jealous with MARSP’s member-exclusive Travel Program!

  5. Who wouldn’t want to be part of a group that uses phrases like “warm embrace of their beneficiaries” in publications?

“Golly Mr. Peabody,” said Sherman, “I’m really surprised to learn how difficult it is here in the early 21st century for organizations to add new members to their rolls, even when those organizations provide important services to those who join.”

Mr. Peabody responded, “Well said Sherman, and right you are! It appears that folks (including many MPSERS retirees) are gripped by a paralytic aversion to joining organizations, even when it is clearly in their best interests to do so. It really makes no sense at all!”

Pondering, Sherman asked, “Isn’t there anything MARSP can do about this?”

Mr. Peabody pointed to what he was reading, “Well, right here in this newsletter MARSP’S Treasurer writes that all MPSERS beneficiaries should be signed up as Associate members. That move would almost double MARSP’s membership, provide much greater power to the organization’s lobbying voice and strengthen its financial foundation at the same time! It seems a solid, no-brainer, win-win to me.”

“But Mr. Peabody, wouldn’t that be too expensive for the folks who already belong to MARSP?”

“Sherman, sometimes you really disappoint me. Regular and Associate memberships require the same very reasonable $40 per year in state dues.”
Mr. Peabody did the math on his fingers. “And those two memberships together cost only 22 cents per day—even less in a leap year! That is a really tiny amount to support the only state-wide organization that is dedicated to the defense of retiree benefits.”

Mr. Peabody continued, “I think that we have found the best and most efficient solution to MARSP’s nagging membership problem. A solution that is especially important considering the unfortunate reality that — although no one in the organization looks like it — MARSP’s members are old people. And old people have a disquieting tendency to suddenly just drop dead, something that doesn’t help the membership rolls either.”

Sherman remained quiet for a few moments, contemplating old people suddenly dropping dead. Finally, “Wow Mr. Peabody, just think; with lots more Associate members, MARSP would have the resources to enhance its recruitment efforts while still making strong progress with its primary mission of defending retiree benefits. That guy with the beard might really be on to something!”

“Right again, Sherman,” said Mr. Peabody. “MARSP members hold the best solution to their membership challenges right there in the warm embrace of their beneficiaries.”

Sherman thought for a moment. “Mr. Peabody, you really know how to turn a phrase. But I think I get it; it’s now up to MARSP members to enroll their loved ones. If they will just do that, they’ll provide the person-power and financial resources needed by their organization. But without them taking that step, MARSP will surely face continuing membership challenges. That’s really the bottom line here, isn’t it?”

Mr. Peabody arched an eyebrow, gave a quick wink to the camera and said to Sherman, “It’s strange that you would choose those words, but that is The Bottom Line.” Mr. Peabody reset the WayBack Machine’s time flux conversion constants, double-checked the astronomic navigation coordinates, energized the time-warp field relays and then summoned his boy.

“C’mon Sherman, our work here is finished. The only thing that remains now is for MARSP’s members to follow through!”

You can change the course of history! Click here to enroll your MPSERS beneficiary as an Associate Member!

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