I accept andnunderstand your viewpoint, absent. It makes sense. But my gut instinct is still not comfortable. What if a child asked for his autograph and had no money? I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he didn't insist on the $1 if it was a child.
My feeling is that it is not right to put a price on everything. If Einstein, or anyone else famous, doesn't want to give autographs, all they have to do is say no. If, for instance, he or a similar person, were giving a public lecture, it's very easy to say that no autographs will be given. Likewise at a school, though that might be seen as a bit mean.
What if the charity he chose was not one that the autograph seeker would choose to support? You mentioned a problem with that yourself recently, absent.
The thing is, from my perspective, the charging a dollar for an autograph is not fundamentally right. It doesn't feel right. Charging a dollar for an autograph is not fundamentally wrong either, necessarily, but I'm not comfortable with the idea.
Oh well, hey ho and all that, but I'll follow my instincts.
Bags What makes you uncomfortable? It must be tiresome to be bothered by the general public for your autograph, especially if your fame, rather than celebrity, does not depend on its good will. $1 isn't a lot and if someone didn't want to pay it, then they didn't have to and could go without the autograph. Many people believe that the autographs of famous people are worth huge sums of money and sometimes they are, but not usually a simple signature on a piece of paper or on a photograph. However, if that was what the autograph seeker thought, then a $1 donation to charity would seem a very small price to pay. And Albert Einstein was not responsible for their ignorance. A long as he told people that he charged before he signed their autograph books or whatever, then I can't see a problem.