The world’s richest woman, Australian mining tycoon Gina Rinehart, drew international scorn recently after saying that people who are jealous of the wealthy should drink less and work harder.
And now she’s back with some more helpful advice.
Speaking at the Sydney Mining Club, Rinehart said her country’s mining industry couldn’t compete with nations that are willing to pay workers less than $2 a day for their sweat and labor.
The implicit suggestion: Employers should be free to pay workers whatever they please.
This echoes Rinehart’s earlier to-do list, in which she urged Aussie lawmakers to cut the minimum wage so that, well, she wouldn’t have to spend so much money on things like workers’ salaries and benefits.
“The evidence is inarguable that Australia is becoming too expensive and too uncompetitive to do export-oriented business,” Rinehart said at the Sydney Mining Club. “Africans want to work, and its workers are willing to work for less than $2 per day. Such statistics make me worry for this country’s future.”
Yep, it’s getting harder and harder to be a job creator.
Rinehart knows what it means to pull yourself up by the bootstraps. She inherited a fortune now estimated to be worth about $18 billion. That’s a heavy burden to bear.
Yet, inexplicably, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard didn’t take Rinehart’s advice in the generous spirit with which it was offered.
“It’s not the Australian way to toss people $2, to toss them a gold coin, and then ask them to work for a day,” Gillard said. “We support proper Australian wages and decent working conditions.”
As Rinehart observed in an earlier magazine piece: “There is no monopoly on becoming a millionaire. 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, smoking and socializing and more time working.”
And, apparently, you should be happy with whatever table scraps you receive by way of compensation.