New Internationalist

Kids and money

Issue 414

by Lauren Greenfield

Horror films don’t necessarily need zombies or renegade sharks – the attitudes towards money of Los Angeles 12-16-year-olds more than suffice. Though at times laugh-out-loud funny, this film is completely terrifying. We meet kids who think nothing of getting a $1,000 bag for their schoolbooks and have enough shoes to make Imelda Marcos blanch. One little girl’s look of pure hatred when she is denied an extra goodie by the host of a birthday party for 12-year-olds at an expensive Hollywood Spa (massages and facials included) pretty much says it all. Greenfield interviews poor kids too – a Latino who has to help save to buy the family fridge, a 16-year-old who lives in a one-room motel unit with her parents – but it’s the kid with four nannies that sticks in the mind. I guess this is what George Bush meant when he said ‘our lifestyle is not negotiable’.

RS

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