It might be best to deny it, but I think people are smarter than they used to be. We know more because information comes to us more easily. With newspapers, television news and all the information available on the Internet, there's no reason for anyone to be dumb about what's going on in the world.

According to a newspaper article I read today, 14,700 Americans have told the Internal Revenue Service that they have money in foreign bank accounts. I want to be honest with everyone, so let me say, right out in the open, that I don't have a bank account in a foreign country. I wish I did but I don't. Having a foreign bank account is my idea of rich. If I were rich and French, I'd put money in a bank in New York.

Maybe if I knew how to open a bank account in a foreign country I'd have one, but I have no interest in finding out. What money I have -- let me look here in my pocket -- is hard enough to manage as it is. People keep getting more of it and it seems as if I keep having less. I ought to have a nest egg by now, but I don't have a nest, and there wouldn't be an egg in it if I did. I have a checking account but I don't dare check to see how much is in there. The bank is good to me and I'm sure they'll let me know when my money is gone. They keep track better than I do.

My salary is pretty good, but I've probably told you about the best money I ever made. A long while ago, I sold a book to MGM Studios for $55,000 and they also paid me a weekly salary for year. We all ought to remember what we did with our money but it gets spent and we forget. I forget where that MGM money went. We rented a house on Malibu Beach and ate in expensive restaurants. That's where most of it went.

When I was very young, my mother gave me 35 cents a week to spend any way I pleased. There was a store next to the little post office where I went every day in the summer to get the mail and buy an ice cream cone for a nickel. A double-decker was 10 cents but I didn't buy one very often because I couldn't afford it. I had a nickel left over at the end of the week because I couldn't buy an ice cream cone on Sunday. I forget what I did with the nickel, but I have more than that to spend now and I still can't remember what I do with most of my money.

What do banks do with all the money people deposit? I guess they just keep it safe for us until we need it. As a friend told me, banks borrow the money that's deposited in our savings accounts and give us, the depositors, a small amount of money for this practice. And as you know, the money they pay us as interest is getting smaller and smaller.

When I was little, I kept my money in a box, and it was the best bank I ever had. I knew where the money was all the time. My uncle often gave me money when I saw him every few weeks, and I kept it in the box. I don't recall where I spent most of what I saved.

The value of money is always diminishing due to inflation. The $5 I had 70 years ago was worth more than the $5 I have today.

Our desire to buy things is sometimes bigger than the amount of money we have to pay for those things. It's too bad that our money doesn't increase the way our desire does. There ought to be banks where we could save desire. Interest would be high.

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