In "guest commentary" in Scuttlebutt Jim Capron, President, US Sailing describes why he believes it appropriate to make membership in US Sailing mandatory for sailboat racers. The plan is to include this requirement in the 2009-2012 Racing Rules of Sailing. Needless to say there is a lot of resistance to this plan. Most of the resistance is focused around the belief that US Sailing does not provide value to the sailboat racer commensurate with the membership cost.
You can read his pitch here:
What do you think?