The world's richest woman has stirred controversy by telling poor people that are jealous of the wealthy to stop smoking and drinking, and work harder. Ironically, Gina Rinehart inherited her vast wealth.
Gina Rinehart may not be a household name but she's certainly become a talking point after her controversial remarks. The Australian reported the mining magnate heiress, who has a fortune of $30.1 billion, wrote:
"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."
Her advice to those who aspire to great fortunes is to work hard and invest, while she goes on to suggest the Australian government should reduce the minimum wage and give tax breaks to the rich.
Defending the "terrible millionaires and billionaires" who invest their fortunes for the good of others "and most help the poor and our young" Rinehart has provoked a slew of criticism. As the LA Times pointed out "Rinehart made her money the old-fashioned way: She inherited it."
While her remarks have attracted global attention, her severest critics are home grown. Australian MP Bob Katter said she
"left out the bit about daddy being a major cattle station owner and the biggest mining magnate in Australia. That helps as well. She says here that the minimum average wage of $600 a week should be cut. This is coming from the world's richest woman.”
Australia's deputy prime minister Wayne Swan responded to her remarks by saying:
"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."
Meanwhile the president of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, Ged Kearney, said Rinehart's remarks insulted all
"those 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."