Lost in Las Vegas

The Real News Network has posted the documentary Lost in Las Vegas from Paul Jay.

On the day of the Nevada primaries, a special presentation of the feature length documentary by Paul Jay reveals Las Vegas as a model of neoliberalism, a tale of the shape of things to come. It’s all told through the eyes of a Canadian Blues Brothers act deciding whether they want to move their families to Vegas. It’s two performers portraying two actors playing two fictitious characters in a town where everything is a replica of something else.

There is a life lesson for two people, Kieron Lafferty and Wayne Catania, in the Canadian Blues Brothers act that finds themselves trapped in a corporate entertainment world. The lesson that they miss by a hair starts in a conversation at 1 hour 26 minutes into the documentary. Wayne Catania, the John Belushi of the act, delivers the punchline about 45 seconds later.

That’s how you get control. Be able to go without. I think that’s it, is to be able to say no. I’m going to put my daughter above the money, and if I have to say no, and walk away and change my life style so it’s like you know “No, you can’t have those shoes. They’re a little too expensive, we’re going to go with with this pair.”, then that’s the way it’ll be.

The point Wayne miss is that you have to have the conversation with the members of your family about doing with less way before you change your lifestyle to make less money. You have to cut back, and live beneath your means. The money you save, you use to build that nest-egg that gives you the freedom to say no, walk away, and not even disrupt your lifestyle very much. Not doing that is what makes you a wage slave, a slave to your wages. Investing your money so that you become an owner, not just a worker is the only way to get free.

As I remember it, the concept is embodied in the title of the book, Get Rich Slowly: Building Your Financial Future Through Common Sense.

The solution for individuals is laid out in the book The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents Are Going Broke by Elizabeth Warren (yes, that Elizabeth Warren) and Amelia Warren Tyagi.

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