Salman Rushdie, joined by Michael Moore and 45,000 others, have signed an online petition to ask Jamshed Bharacha, the president of the Cooper Union (a private school in New York City), to reverse his decision to raise the monthly rent on the St. Mark’s Bookshop, which the Cooper Union owns, from $15,000 to $20,000. The Bookshop may have to close down if Rushdie and Moore do not succeed.
This is totally silly.
There is no asymmetry which makes it more morally (or otherwise) incumbent on Cooper Union to sacrifice its budget than for Rushdie and his followers to sacrifice their budgets in order to keep open the bookstore they love so much.
If Rushdie and Moore, and their 45,000 followers, are so adamant that the Bookshop stay open, they should each donate $10 to the Bookshop, rather than signing an online petition, in order to further their goal. That would ensure that the Bookshop could stay open for another 10 years (assuming no further rent increases)!!
This is just about as silly as it would be for a guy who makes $5 million per year to pester you (who make only $50,000 per year) to give money to his charity, and, upon your refusal, starting an online petition in order to pester you into doing so.