A tale of two messages for “the poor”
Newser takes its lede from AFP on this item, not that I blame them: World’s Richest Woman Tells ‘Jealous’ Poor to Drink Less – And stop complaining, says Gina Rinehart.
Australia’s Gina Rinehart may be the world’s wealthiest woman, but she’s almost certainly not the most well loved. The mining tycoon tackled the subject of those who are “jealous” of the rich in a magazine column, and offered them some advice: “Spend less time drinking or smoking and socializing, and more time working.” Oh, and stop complaining. Not surprisingly, her words of wisdom haven’t gone over well, reports the AFP.
True enough. But there’s also another message buried, as in not in the lede in the AFP item:
“Become one of those people who work hard, invest and build, and at the same time create employment and opportunities for others.”
Rinehart blamed what she described as “socialist”, anti-business policies for the plight of Australia’s poor, urging the government to lower the minimum wage, as well as taxes, unless it wanted to end up like Greece.
“The terrible millionaires and billionaires can often invest in other countries… maybe their teenagers don’t get the cars they wanted, or a better beach house or or maybe the holiday to Europe is cut short, but otherwise life goes on,” she wrote.
“The millionaires and billionaires who choose to invest in Australia are actually those who most help the poor and our young. This secret needs to be spread widely.”
Which caused a politician to pounce, of course. But which message would actually help the poor the most? Answer that question and you’ll know which side you’re on in November. And, no, the image isn’t Gina Rinehart. It came up when I searched Shutterstock for “wealthy.” I thought she looked nice enough, so I went with it.
But senior ministers including Treasurer Wayne Swan — an outspoken critic of Australia’s mining billionaires and their deep-pocketed anti-tax campaigns — slammed the remarks.
“These sorts of comments are an insult to the millions of Australian workers who go to work and slog it out to feed the kids and pay the bills,” Swan said, adding that Rinehart clearly regarded Australians as “lazy workers who drink and socialise too much”.