Get to work, you lazy bums, if you want to be a billionaire

Australian mining tycoon Gina Rinehart, reportedly the world’s richest woman, has some advice for all those whining poors.

“If you’re jealous of those with more money, don’t just sit there and complain. Do something to make more money yourself — spend less time drinking or smoking and socialising, and more time working.

“Become one of those people who work hard, invest and build, and at the same time create employment and opportunities for others.”

I am sure those who are poor are slapping their foreheads and saying, “Duh! Of course she’s right! Instead of boozing and laying around, if I had simply worked and invested, I too could have been a billionaire. Why didn’t I think of that before?”

Rinehart knows whereof she speaks because she herself earned her money the hard way: she inherited it from her family.

It is vaguely reassuring to know that the US does not have a monopoly on rich jerks.


  1. Ravi Venkataraman says

    I think some of these billionaires admonishing the poor to work harder, and at the same time asking for lower minimum wages, should be asked to live on minimum wages for a week. If they agreed to this experiment, then I feel they may not be pushing for lower wages and making these absurd claims. But one can never be sure that they won’t come out with some other bizarre explanation justifying their long held views.


  2. Cor (formerly evil) says

    I have a better idea Gina; we can take everything you own away and manage the mines democratically. Then we can throw useless vagrants with no skills (you) in prison.

    I consider this a compromise solution. You see, Gina – some people would be happy if we taxed your obscene legacy out of existence just on general principle, while others have been making noises about the guillotine.

    I’m sure you’ll agree we’ve struck a reasonable balance, and I’m equally sure you’ll learn the value of a day’s pay after breaking rocks for oh, let’s say twenty years.

  3. mnb0 says

    There has been research on this issue. Arthur Louis, “The New Rich”, Fortune 88, september 1973, page 170 and Lester C Thurow, The Zero-Sum Society, New York 1981.
    Their conclusion is that getting rich is “as much a matter of merit as winning the lottery” (Krämer and Trenkler, 1998).

  4. nohellbelowus says

    In addition to her online photos, Gina Rinehart gives us further evidence that she’s an intellectual heavyweight.

    Here is her Facebook page. It’s the best way to contact her, unless you frequent the Hometown Buffet in Sydney.

  5. colinhutton says

    US readers must allow for Gina Reinhart’s Australian context before rushing to judgement. Our A$ = US$ and purchasing power is roughly equivalent. Our GDP (per capita) is somewhat less at $40K pa (US=$48K pa), but we have a *much* flatter distribution. Our minimum wage here is double that of US and our current unemployment rate is 5.2% (USA=8.3%). I have visited the US on several occasions. By US standards we do not have ‘poor’ people in Aus.

    Australian mineworkers earn between $80k and $120K pa (far more than my daughter who teaches high school). Despite that, Gina R is unable to attract sufficient Australian workers and has been given a government dispensation to import workers on temporary visas (who have to be paid Australian rates of pay!).

    From everything I have read, I am sure that Gina R pays taxes that represent a considerably higher proportion of her wealth and income than is the case for Romney in the US!

    Just saying.

  6. davidct says

    Does anyone have any pictures of her mines. I do not know for certain but it is traditional for mines to “externalize” their costs. That means that they tend to make a big mess for someone else to deal with. Gina being a traditional girl, we should find many big messes left for horrible governments to clean up while she keeps her profits.

  7. pipenta says

    A week is too short. Make it a month. Make it THREE. Make it a year.

    Even then it won’t be the same. It will be like running a marathon (snort) or taking an Outward Bound course. Even if you do it for a year and you do feel the physical effects, it is a different thing to eat crackers and instant soup for lunch and dinner because you are entering into some challenge for whatever reason and doing it because that is all you have and you are scared you might not even be able to get that much in the future. A billionaire living in conditions of deprivation for a limited set amount of time might feel the depression. What they will not feel, and this might be the most important part of the equation, is the fear. Take your rich asshole put him on a diet of instant noodles and if he gets sick, don’t let him go to a doctor. No, that’s not enough. For him to begin to fathom the situation, don’t let him bring his sick kids to the doctor. So you see it can’t work. Because to make the simulation even a remote approximation of poverty, you have to apply conditions that are inhumane and do things that should not be done. Never you mind that the wealthy do it to countless poor people every day.

  8. ik says

    you know that ‘cake’ meant bread crumbs, right?

    Getting rich like this is not done by working hard alone. There are tricks, it’s not all luck, but it IS all about force multipliers and situational control. You cannot do it by working hard. She could talk about THAT instead and make some amount of sense.

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