Andy On The Recession

Andy Rooney On Economic Tough Times And Memories Of The Depression

The following is a weekly 60 Minutes commentary by CBS News correspondent Andy Rooney.



I get five or six newspapers every day and I've been reading a lot of stories about what they're calling the recession we're having. They don't want to scare us, so they don't call it a Depression, they call it a recession.

Talk of a Depression, spelled with a capital D, probably means more to me than it does to you because I grew up during the worst Depression we ever had in this country.

There were pictures of bread lines and soup kitchens in the paper every day when I was a kid. Big bakeries gave away their bread when it was three or four days old and people who were out of work and hungry, lined up to get it. We don't have anything like that now.

My family was lucky because my father always had his job. He made $8,000 during the years I was in grade school in the 1930s and $12,000 when I was in high school. I was one of the rich kids on our block.

We had a live-in maid my mother paid $16 a week. She had her own room upstairs next to mine and while I forget how old I was, I couldn't have been real young because I remember how pretty I thought she was.

I don't know anything about economics but I don't think what we're in is a Depression - or even a recession - whatever the difference is. I'm as ready to blame President Bush for things as anyone else but I don't think this recession is his fault.

I look at The Wall Street Journal every day. I don't understand it but I look at it because it's all about money and I know how important money is.

Do you know what these headlines mean?

"DEAL FEES UNDER FIRE AMID MORTGAGE CRISIS," "DEFAULT FEARS UNNERVE MARKETS," "BOND INSURERS WEATHER HIT TO RATINGS," "WORLD RIDES TO WALL STREET'S RESCUE."

Oh, I don't think that's where the world is riding to.

I'm going to keep reading The Wall Street Journal though even when I don't understand it because if the world comes to an end, I know they'll have a story about it - on page six.
Written By Andy Rooney
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