Andy Thinks About Money

What Would You Do If You Were Rich?

This story was first broadcast on Dec. 16, 2007.

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

Everyone's idea of how much money a person has to have to be called "rich" differs. If I had the money 25 years ago that I have now, I'd have called myself "rich" but I don't think of myself as "rich" now.

These days I'd use some word like "comfortable" to describe my financial condition. I know exactly how much money I have in my pocket and how much I have in the bank and I don't think any one really rich knows those things about his money.

There was a story in the paper the other day about a man named Steven Kirsch who invented a new kind of computer mouse and made $230 million on it. I liked the story and I liked Mr. Kirsch because the first thing he did was to give $75 million of it to the United Way and other charities. That's what I'd do if I made $230 million. I'd give my four kids a couple of million each - the school I went to and my college are always asking for money so I'd give each of them a million in exchange for a promise that they'd never ask me for another nickel. That goes for my kids, my college and the United Way.

There are a lot of things I'd do if I was rich. I'd say keep the change more often.

I'd fill up with high test gas instead of the 89 octane I usually buy now. I'd send all my shirts to be washed and pressed at the cleaners. Now I do the short-sleeve ones myself.

I'd have all 150 watt bulbs in the lamps in the house. When the heels of my shoes were worn down, I'd throw the shoes away and buy new shoes instead of having new heels put on the old ones. I'd never take another bus where I could grab a taxi. I'd buy more books. I'd buy both Harper's and The Atlantic, Time and Newsweek. I wouldn't shine my shoes, I'd have my shoes shined. If I dropped some pennies or a nickel on the sidewalk, I wouldn't bother to bend over to pick them up. I'd sit up front with the rich people when I flew to Los Angeles, not in one of the cheap seats in back that have made "coach" a dirty word.

The biggest difference in my life if I was rich would be - I wouldn't have to think of something to say at the end of 60 Minutes every week.
Written By Andy Rooney