Gina Rinehart has been described as Australia’s richest woman. She is tough and savvy, but her rise to that title is primarily thanks to her father, Lang Hancock. He discovered the world’s largest iron-ore deposit in the Pilbara region of Western Australia and she inherited his wealth when he died. It proves that it’s easier to build up a fortune if you’ve got a big fat nest egg from which to launch yourself.
I only mention this because Ms Rinehart has been quoted as saying that if we want to make more money we should stop complaining, drinking, smoking and socialising. We should pull our collective fingers out so to speak and work for it. At the same time and I don’t know how that fits in with her philosophy Ms Rinehart believes it would be better all-round if the most vulnerable people in the country could take a cut in the minimum wages. It would make us more competitive with countries that pay their labourers two dollars an hour (or is it two dollars a day?). We’re an expensive country. Selfish too, if we want to pay off our mortgages or afford rent and utilities (rent is almost as expensive as a mortgage these days and utilities are going up). And we want to eat so that we have the strength to work in the salt mines for a couple of dollars. How thoughtless of us.
Just an addendum. As I write this, I find that Gina Rinehart is no longer the richest woman in the country. Apparently the price of iron ore has slipped and Ms Rinehart has recently lost a third of her wealth. I’m not good at figures but I think it leaves her with a paltry 21 billion dollars. Perhaps she’s trying to set the lowest paid workers an example.