Wealthiest Woman: If You Quit Being Lazy, You’d Be Rich Too
Australian mining heiress Gina Rinehart is worth $19 billion from her father’s company. In her column in Australian Resources and Investment magazine, she says the non-rich should stop complaining about unfair financial practices of the rich. Why don’t the less-privileged just get a job? She wonders…
“There is no monopoly on becoming a millionaire,” she writes. “If you’re jealous of those with more money, don’t just sit there and complain. Do something to make more money yourself.” She seems to feel she knows why some people are not rich, advising: “Spend less time drinking, or smoking and socializing and more time working.”
The mining baroness says environmental rules should be reduced and the minimum wage should be lowered. (The Australian minimum wage is AUS $15.06 an hour or $606 a week, about the same in U.S. dollars).
She does not want to hear another word about the rich paying their “fair shares.” This echoes in the United States, where extremely wealthy Mitt Romney, who inherited much of his money, refuses to disclose whether he has paid taxes for many years. What taxes he has reported paying were at a rate much lower than what most working people pay (because he gets his money passively, from capital gains).
Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan said in a statement that Rinehart delivered “an insult to the millions of Australian workers who go to work and slog it out to feed the kids and pay the bills.”
Reinhart warns that if governments don’t support their rich, “The terrible millionaires and billionaires can often invest in other countries. And if [the rich] do suffer [from government regulations], what does that really mean? Maybe their teenagers don’t get the cars they wanted or a better beach house or maybe the holiday to Europe is cut short; But otherwise life goes on for these millionaires and billionaires.”
She cites her grandfathers, who started out without massive wealth. Grandfather James Nicholas ostensibly was cleaning stables before he launched a transportation company. Her other grandfather built a sheep station with 25,000 sheep.
Reinhart also notes that her friend, Michael Kailis, came from a poor Greek immigrant family and became Australia’s “crawfish king,” while other buddy Jack Cowin borrowed money from friends to found the Hungry Jack burger chain.
Of these “lessons,” she writes, “You can’t get rich without working hard, taking risks, investing and reinvesting your profits.”
Rinehart does not note that you can also get rich, as she did, from inheriting.
- World’s richest woman lauds $2-a-day wages (bottomline.nbcnews.com)
- Rinehart calls for minimum wage cut (smh.com.au)
- ‘Drink Less, Work More,’ Billionaire Tells Non-Rich (cnbc.com)
- Swan, Katter slam Rinehart’s comments (news.smh.com.au)
- Swan, Katter slam Rinehart’s comments (news.theage.com.au)
- ‘Lazy’ Australians tell world’s richest woman to rack off (theweek.co.uk)