Yay, Gina Rinehart!

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Recently by Becky Akers: ‘A Brave Resistance, or the Most Abject Submission’

     

You couldn't ask for more convincing proof that we live in times of universal deceit than the uproar greeting Gina Rinehart's truth-telling, not only in her native Australia but worldwide.

For those of you too busy earning your own money to covet others', and who have therefore never heard of Ms. Rinehart, allow me to show off my new-found knowledge. Ms. Rinehart is the only child of a gentleman, now deceased, who left her the business he'd established, Hancock Prospecting, in Perth, Western Australia.

Alas, the company was bankrupt. Ms. Rinehart not only resuscitated it, her prudent management sent its profits into the stratosphere. (Her "fiercely loyal executive director Tad Watroba, 65, … a mining engineer who arrived in Australia 30 years ago after fleeing communist Poland with his wife Margaret" tells us Ms. Rinehart "waited seven years for necessary dental work after she took over a debt-laden Hancock Prospecting after Lang’s death in 1992…")

Naturally, the Australian media hates Ms. Rinehart for such probity. And the foreign media seems determined to match that virulence. They variously bill her as "Australia's richest person," "the world's richest woman," or, when they really want readers turning pea-green with envy, the "heiress" whose fortune "has easily surprised [sic for surpassed?] Forbes' calculation of the 16 billion estimation of Christy Walton, widow of John Walton and holder of a major stake in the American retail giant Wal-Mart. In an extraordinary accumulation of riches from the mining industry," — and not because of her own efforts, of course — "Mrs Rinehart's wealth has grown by an unprecedented 11 billion this year alone. She makes more than 630,000 every 30 minutes, say financial experts." Yet this hatchet-job astoundingly asserts that its victim "has never had a real job." Perhaps the reporter's thinking of Queen Elizabeth, not this workhorse with what The Australian called a "punishing schedule — she has been known to work through the night."

Ms. Rinehart is made of spunky stuff — the sort that Americans (and, presumably, Aussies, too,) celebrated before Marxism conquered the country. It wasn't enough that the world's trash was practically impaling itself with jealousy over her wealth; she apparently wanted it to despise her for her opinions as well. And so she has taken to dispensing what decent people recognize as common sense but politicians, unions and their foghorns in the media excoriate as "insult[ing]" and "dangerous."

Our heroine believes, you see, that folks should work hard if they expect to prosper. I know, I know: hang her higher than Haman.

Specifically, she "wrote in an industry magazine column" (I tried to link to the original article posted here so we can read her words in context, but the site only delivers an error message), "There is no monopoly on becoming a millionaire … If you’re jealous of those with more money, don’t just sit there and complain." Uh-oh: there goes the favorite pastime of way too many people. "Do something to make more money yourself — spend less time drinking or smoking and socialising, and more time working."

Whoa! Seems Ms. Rinehart didn't get the memo about one's finances never being the individual's responsibility, never the result of his choices, poor or prudent, his virtues and vices, his preference for or postponing of immediate gratification. Rather, poverty is always the fault of The Rich, who stole all the loot before the rest of us got there while lolling about on their yachts, drinking champagne and plotting how to exploit us further.

But I interrupted our champ. She also suggested that the aspiring Mr. Bigbucks "become one of those people who work hard, invest and build, and at the same time create employment and opportunities for others. … The millionaires and billionaires who choose to invest in Australia are actually those who most help the poor and our young." And, as an employer herself, she no doubt spoke from experience when she added that "lowering minimum wages and lowering taxes would make employers hire more people'…"

Now she's not only shattered the myth that The Rich keep the rest of us poor, she's also pointed to the culprit of more poverty than anything else: government. "Rinehart blamed what she described as u2018socialist', anti-business policies for the plight of Australia’s poor."

And the State's thieving leeches came out swinging. "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," sniffed "Treasurer Wayne Swan." Slimy Swan is a "senior [minister]" as well as "an outspoken critic of Australia's mining billionaires and their deep-pocketed anti-tax campaigns." Oh, I'll bet he is. How dare The Rich try to evict his greedy mitts from their pockets!

Merely the fact that this loathsome politician opposes Ms. Rinehart recommends her, let alone her astute observations. And were I one of those slogging Australian workers, I'd find her "comments" far less insulting than the taxes, licensing, regulations and other horrors Swan & Co. dish out.

"Health Minister Tanya Plibersek" joined the attack. She "said it was u2018pretty easy for Gina Rinehart to say that people on the minimum wage should get paid less.'"

Straw men are always easiest to defeat. Though we're unable to read her entire article, Ms. Rinehart said nothing of the kind in any of the extracted quotes.

But the straw dog barked again in responses to further declarations from this irrepressible heroine. "In a video recorded for the Sydney Mining Club," she notes that miners in Africa "u2018are willing to work for less than $2 per day.' … she explains that u2018Africans want to work. Such statistics make me worry for this country’s future.'" Heck, Ms. Rinehart, I don't have even a zillionth of your expertise in business, but it makes me worry for Americans' futures, too. "'Indeed, if we competed at the Olympic Games as sluggishly as we compete economically, there would be an outcry.”

Again, such uncommon sense provoked Australia's Official Thieves as surely as it would ours. "PM Julia Gillard responded today, saying, u2018It’s not the Australian way to toss people … a $2 gold coin and then ask them to work for a day.'” And again, that's not what Ms. Rinehart said.

You won't be surprised to learn that "Australia’s mining union labelled her remarks u2018bizarre' and accused her of pursing a u2018dangerous' agenda. u2018At the same time as trying to import cheap foreign labour and avoid paying tax'" — ah, yes: when a mugger lurks in the alley, only the "bizarre" and "dangerous" choose a different route home — "'Rinehart claims it’s millionaires and billionaires who are the greatest for social good,'" sneered "mining union president Tony Maher."

But "legendary adman John Singleton," who also owns Macquarie Radio Network, claims the same thing. He said in reference to Ms. Rinehart that "if it wasn’t for mining … we would be living in a Third World country.” Whom to believe? Well, between a demagogue who breaks knees like Tony and a businessman canny enough to recognize Ms. Rinehart's brilliance, I'm going with the latter.

But Tony wasn't done spewing his bile. "She should spend less time ranting and more time sharing," he lectured, as if he should.

Here's hoping this cretin takes his own advice.

Becky Akers [send her mail] is a free-lance writer and historian. Her novel of the American Revolution is available in paperback or for Kindle, Nook, iPad, Sony, or for your computer.

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