You know how when you wear your ostrich-egg diamond necklace for your Saturday promenade down Main Street and all the drunk poors stir awake on their cardboard mats and sort of give you this really judgy scowl? Ugh, it is literally the worst, and if you're regularly besieged with the covetous stares of your less moneyed fellow citizens, then it's easy to empathize with Australian mining tycoon Gina Rinehart, who recently wrote a screed in Australian Resources and Investment Magazine about how anyone who's jealous of the wealthy should "spend less time drinking or smoking and socializing, and more time working" if they, too, want to take baths in melted gold while drinking champagne made from the grapes that grow on John Steinbeck's grave.
Rinehart should know all about hard work and bootstraps — she has built onto a multi-billion dollar mining empire (Hancock Prospecting) she inherited from her father in 1992 to become the world's richest woman. In her latest editorial (Rinehart regularly contributes to Australian Resources and Investment), she criticized Australia's current political climate of "class warfare," insisting that billionaires such as herself have been doing most to make every member of the mining proletariat a millionaire. Rinehart also warned — and stop me if any of this sounds familiar — that Australia risks spoiling its economy by following European models for social welfare, which includes higher taxes (boo) and excessive regulation (double boo).
Australia's Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan criticized Rinehart's editorial for being "an insult" to the very people who make Rinehart's mining enterprises function, and Ged Kearney, the Australian Council of Trade Unions president, called Rinehart's social commentary out of touch:
Gina Rinehart's comments are the product of someone who has never had to earn a living and an insult to millions of working Australians who didn't have the head start of inheriting a fortune from their father and of being able to bully politicians by virtue of their inherited wealth.
It seems that America isn't the only Anglophone nation of rugged individualists that gets to listen to its wealthiest citizens moan about how nobody appreciates all the wonderful things that they've done for their fellow people on the way to accumulating enormous fortunes.
Gina Rinehart attacks ‘jealous' poor [Telegraph]