Advice to the poor, from world's richest woman: "spend less time drinking"

Are you broke? Can't pay the bills or feed your family, despite holding down one or more jobs you hate? Can't get a job because there are no jobs to be gotten?

Australian mining tycoon Gina Rinehart, the richest woman in the world, has advice for you: "spend less time drinking."

The longer quote: "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 or smoking and socialising, and more time working. Become one of those people who work hard, invest and build, and at the same time create employment and opportunities for others."

Rinehart, it should be noted, inherited her wealth. Her current net worth is about USD$30 billion. (AFP)


  1. “If you’re jealous of those with more money, don’t just sit there and complain.”

    But what if they’re just hungry? Do we need extra rules for that?

    1. Yeah, all the tact of Barbara Bush. 
      I think sitting on a mountain of rare earth metals ready to sell to Chinese mega-corps has a lot more to do with it than alcohol intake.

      1. There’s a certain facile truth to what she says, in that if some people spend less time on leisure and more time on work they will enrich themselves. But the world is so much more complicated than that. There are for some peole barriers to working, barriers, to earning a fair wage or a fair return, barriers to even working to break down those barriers. Then there are people who have a different measure of wealth and success for whom this whole idea of hers is sort of a non sequitur.

      2.  To be fair, while her comment is lacking in tact, spending what money you do have on alcohol isn’t going to help you improve your situation.  Even bottom-shelf rot-gut liquor adds up quickly…  Just as a pack-per-day smoker can “save” $1642/yr (assuming $4.50 cigarettes), a fifth-per-week drinker can “save” $520/yr (assuming $10 per fifth).  That money can then be used to start a savings/investment account and be put to use improving one’s own lot.

        It’s not about choosing to be poor, it’s about deciding what’s more important to you; a drink now or a nicer home later.

        1. It’s an interesting thing about humans that socializing (and drinking is a big part of that in a lot of western cultures) comes higher for us in our hierarchy of needs than the achievement of our future goals, or eating any food beyond starvation levels. I was taught as part of my medical training, and have seen it in patients in my practice, that if people don’t have enough money to both adequately feed themselves and their children AND to go out socialising they would rather socialise and go hungry. Many cases of malnutrition happen when people could feed themselves but instead choose to partake in social activities such as going to the pub.

          The point about that is that it isn’t an indictment on the people who end up like this, it’s revealing of a fundamental part of being a human. Saying to someone, “don’t bother socialising, your long term nutrition is more important”, is at the base of it ridiculous. Humans are social animals, and it’s easy for people who don’t have to make the decision to make the “right” one for other people.
          This leads inexorably to the conclusion that a fundamental need for humans (and I would therefore argue a right as well) is to socialise as well as to eat. You would never tell someone to stop spending time eating and and get working, it doesn’t make sense, and neither does telling them not to spend any time socialising.

          This is why politicians who bang on about poor people ‘wasting’ their money on alcohol or drugs really annoy me. If people would rather starve than give these things up then by what measure do we say these things do not have value?

          1. The obvious inference, of course, is that some of the people who spew this advice don’t have those needs because they’re fucking sociopaths.

          2. One can meet one’s social needs without spending $400 / month or more on going clubbing, like some people I know (who then complain they can’t put gas in the car or make rent).  Or spending $200 on some shoes their kid “just has to have” when a $30 pair will do, and then bitch about how poor they are and how unfair it is that she had to go back to work after 3 months of mat leave to pay the bills.

            Or who buy Starbucks coffees 2-3 times a day for the whole family, every day.

            Or the example in Sons of Anarchy — my wife and I just started watching — where we’re supposed to feel sorry for the poor ex-con 3 months behind on bills who nevertheless has TWO CARS and a MOTORCYCLE. And a house.

            It’s runaway consumerism, that is completely encouraged by our society/economy and the ones who fall into this trap are specifically the ones who have low education / little means to escape it. And it is one of the reasons (not the only one mind you, but it is one) that the poor can’t get ahead.

          3. That’s an interesting and valid point.  Being (relatively) poor sucks, and I’m sure it’s something many of us have been through at one point or another and can relate to.  But you can socialize without spending enormous sums of money, even in America.  Using so much of your income on social activities that you can no longer plan for the future is not just short-sighted, but it shows a lack of awareness.  There are numerous things to do with friends and family that don’t cost a fortune, or at least certainly cost less than a couple rounds of drinks a few times per week.

            Though I strongly suspect that the people she’s talking about aren’t social drinkers, but rather the sort who stay at home and drink to the exclusion of hanging out with friends.

          4. Something that interests me is how there’s a certain degree of envy in how we talk about these things- not of the rich, but of people who are struggling. When a bunch of people are getting a raw deal, I’ve always kind of had to wonder at the fact that the urge of some of them will be to resent the others for not suffering enough. I’m guilty of it, too. The economic crash came right at the end of a term in AmeriCorps, so I and a bunch of my acquaintances (especially my fellow former americorps) were broke, broke, broke and working endless scut jobs just to get by. And the rage we felt towards those we knew who landed unemployment or who bought ski passes but who weren’t well off enough to “deserve” them. I mean, the truth of it is, the couple hundred bucks on a ski pass really wasn’t enough money to make a difference in the grand scheme of things, but as the more responsible people, it burned. 

        2. I’m sorry, but of all the people I know who are “poor” it’s because they’re doing jobs they love and doing things to help the community.  I only know one person who is poor and an alcoholic =- he is in his 50s, screwed his back from manual labour and just got over cancer and lives alone on a pensions.  He’s got quite a few “barriers to employment”, beyond that myself & most of my “poor friends” do more to help the community than Gina does eg. work in childcare despite crappy pay because they love kids.  I work as a cleaner.  Not glamorous or well paid, but you know what? Someone’s gotta do those jobs or society will quickly degenerate into a dysfunctional mess!

        3. For those of us who have worked with UNIFEM and/or NGOs involved with women and children, we already know that money given to men is (in most cases) spent significantly on drugs, alcohol and prostitution, whereas money given to women is spent on food, shelter, and education for their children.  And yet, even taking the cost of those “vices” into account, that still doesn’t explain away the lack of access to all the building blocks of economic success.
          Education being key, of course.  For example, you can’t understand the consequences of your purchases if you aren’t competent in math.Legally-enforceable contracts is another crucial aspect.  Where you live, work and shop all need to have the power of impartial regulations protecting those basic needs.  And there can’t be one set of laws for the Haves and a different set for the Have Nots.

          Which segues into: there has to be a clear path in sight.  If you can see that no one gets too far ahead without being whacked down by The Man in some way, you know it’s not worth the effort.

          Growing up wealthy has made this woman incapable of understanding how hard it is for the majority of people who don’t have access to these fundamentals.

    1. The best baker in the world will never be a millionaire, because we just don’t pay bakers that well.  If you’re lucky enough to be good at something well-paid, you might get rich.  Or you could inherit it.

        1. The guy who actually does the baking will just have a different employer. Or more likely, be laid off.

      1. I suspect some people might use best to mean the baker who doesn’t scruple to adulterate their product for mass consumption.

      2. Hm… be a real German or French baker in Hong Kong or Japan and you’ll make excellent money; be a bit entrepreneurial and you’ll have a very decent shot at becoming a millionaire. Also, experienced French chefs in Japan get salaries and expat packages that would make some executives jealous.

  2. Ironically if I have to slave away for 100+ hours a week to become a millionaire I’m not sure it’s worth it.  What about spending time with family and friends?  Some people put a pretty high value on such time.  I mean sure, I’d like to be baller and spend time with all of them on my private yacht, but not if it means that I have to be conducting business at the same time.  Guess I’m not cut out to be CEO material.

      1. Already am…but with the cost of the US medical system there isn’t likely much to be left over. (Not that my parents are loaded anyway.)

      2. That boat already sailed. I put in 168 hours a week for 23 years and got a lousy $800.

        1. My mom knows what that’s like.  After 48 years of doing the same, she inherited  a 2-gallon glass jar full of pennies.  Stepfather #7 insisted on removing the nickels, dimes, and quarters first, while Nana’s church got the real estate.

          On my dad’s side, he and his two sisters inherited diddly-squat when their father left the family ranch to his new girlfriend.

          My parents are great, but their parents were not.

          1. Don”t relatives get any legal protection? In the UK you are required to divide your estate according to certain percentages to the benefit of surviving relatives. The will is contestable if strict rules are not followed.

          2. If the family is nothing more than a collection of related individuals who may or may not live together, yes. If it is a unit with responsibilities for one another, not necessarily.
            I think the real reason is to prevent manipulation of vulnerable people (and we are all more or less vulnerable at different times) to make a will in any one person’s favour and to the detriment of others. Family dynamics are constantly shifting and what you perceive as your will at any one point in time may not be your true will over a period of time. Should the state protect you and those around you from your own (momentary?) errors is a different question.

          3. Protecting a spouse seems reasonable, but I don’t think that parents owe anything to their grown children. The idea that someone’s nasty children could rake back the money that was meant to go to charity is unpleasant.

            To be clear – this has nothing to do with this case. This woman does seem to be trying to steal/control money to which her children have a legitimate claim.

          4. (And I’m a nasty child who wants to deprive charities of much needed income by persuading my mother to spend all her money travelling before she dies.)

          5. That’s fine, too. I’m thinking of the children who pay no attention to their parents except to daydream about their inheritance.

    1. Ms Rinehart knows bugger all about Family, her kids are currently sueing her over control of their trust funds.

  3. Rhinehart, it should be noted, inherited her wealth.

    I was going to play devil’s advocate until I saw that. That, incidentally, is also my biggest problem with Dagny Taggart. I can’t understand why, when Ayn Rand could have given her main character any backstory imaginable, she decided to make her an heiress.

    1.  Rand believed that some people were just better than others.  It therefore follows that they were born from people who are better than other people.  In her fantasy land, everyone gets exactly what they earn.  Therefore, it is internally inconsistent for a rich person not to have rich parents.

      1. Wait, so the Prosperity Gospel applies to birth as well?  That’s… well, it’s internally consistent, in a juvenile way.  But.  Ew.

    2. Because, for all their bluster about freedom and equality, they believe that they are intrinsically better than other people. It’s like some quasi-genetically-inherited morality that let’s them see the world’s truth and best its challenges. And because they are made of the same stuff as their parents, their parents hard work becomes theirs.

      My father is a millionaire. He came from India and started with a few thousand dollars of debt. I used to think that this made me a better person despite my rather modest successes. Then I grew up.

    3. I was shocked, shocked to learn that she didn’t earn those billions by working the mines herself.

      1. You know, if Dagny Taggart had laid the entire intercontinental railroad herself, that would not only have made for a stronger argument, but also a more interesting story.

        “Dagny Taggart grasped Hank Rearden by the small of his back. He struggled, but she held him fast; her grotesque face, twisted from a life of extreme physical effort, betraying not the slightest strain. She pinned him to the bed with arms like steel girders, flexing her muscles until her tight clothes ripped like tissue paper…”

        You get the idea.

        1.  Oooooo, a Socialist Realist piss-take of Atlas Shrugged, Bored of the Rings style? How angry would the Randroids be (especially if it became a more successful film)? Sign me up.

    4. The key to understanding the “conservative” mind set is to understand that they DON’T think they can compete on a level playing field. Whether it’s in politics or business, it’s all about making sure to never, ever enter a fair fight.

      Sun Tzu would say that’s very wise, I guess. But it does make clear that preserving the privilege of rentiers is the highest priority for them.

      It’s the new hero story:

      William Turner: You didn’t beat me. You ignored the rules of engagement! In a fair fight, I’d kill you!

      Jack Sparrow: Well, that’s not much incentive for me to fight fair then, is it?

        1. It was the first quote that came to mind… the quote fits, the context certainly doesn’t. If I thought for a moment I would have gone to something from a Mamet play.

      1. I think there is a difference between Jack and what you propose. It’s not that Jack THINKs he couldn’t compete on a level playing fields, it is that he doesn’t WANT to compete on a level playing field. And quite frankly anyone who wants a fair fight for anything real (not talking sports here) is an idiot or a liar.

      2. Curious. So a level playing field is one in which a group of typically wealthy men set “rules of engagement” that favor their own (or their financiers) interests and punch in the “2B2F” cheat code when they’re losing?

        However I think your PoTC reference does explain the liberal mindset to a tea: “If we were following the rules that bureaucrats set up rather than using innovation and common sense; I wouldn’t have lost.” So nicely done.

        1. By “innovation and common sense” I presume you mean all the actions taken by the financial world in recent years absent those rules.

  4. Well, she has a point. Remember the time when she was lower-middle class and had to work 9 hours, 6 days a week to barely make it each month, and then she … What? They’re telling me here, she’s actually the daughter of Lang Hancock, the richest man in Australia. 

    Oh, ok. I get it now.

    1. She also spends most of her time nowadays suing family members.  She sounds like a real class act.

      1. She’s had other problems as well. Her PR (largely because of her filial legal problems, but also because of her insistence that rich people shouldn’t pay tax) has been so bad she bought a huge share in Fairfax, one of Australia’s biggest media companies.

        Her plan to control the media was thwarted when Fairfax politely declined her request for a couple of spots on the board of directors. She reacted by selling a large portion of her shares… which no-one would buy.

        Hard work clearly doesn’t get you everywhere.

    1.  If you ever come into a large amount of money, I am willing to take it upon myself to help you keep living your dreams.

    2. Agree.

      I’m a small business owner and have worked hard throughout my life to achieve what I have – but what enticed me to entrepreneurship was shorter hours and more control of me and my time. Taking my life back.

      I didn’t do it to be rich, in fact I took a pay cut.

  5. To be fair, reading this makes me think about how charity organisations in Third World countries apparently give aid money to the women because if they give it to the men it all disappears into booze. 

  6. When I prosper, it is because of my hard work and virtue.  When I suffer, it is an undeserved and unfair tragedy.

    When you prosper, it is an undeserved “lucky break”.  When you suffer, it is due to your laziness and/or failings.

    The fundamental attribution error hard at work.

    1. I think the funny part of this thread, from a psychological standpoint, is that if the quote were given without attribution, we would likely all agree that the advice is reasonable. 

      Instead, since the quote is attributed to someone of inherited wealth, we deride her and say the advice is arrogant and pompous.

        1. What specific part of her quote do you find so offensive? 

          “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”

          Good advice.  I would give this advice to someone who constantly bemoans not having any money.

          “Spend less time drinking or smoking and socializing, and more time working.”

          While certainly an odd mix of behaviors to target, still pretty reasonable advice.

          “Become one of those people who work hard, invest and build, and at the same time create employment and opportunities for others.”

          This pretty much describes what any entrepreneur strives for.  Nothing controversial in my book.

          1.  The fact that it’s pretty much fuckin’ bullshit no matter who says it is what I find offensive.

          2. There are all sorts of arguments up and down the thread you are simply not engaging with. But since you’re a special snowflake and need it broken down just for you:

            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

            First, the implication that all poor people are just “jealous.” Second, the implication that poor people are “just sit[ting] there and complain[ing]. Third, the implication that “doing something” is sufficient to stop being poor.

            Spend less time drinking or smoking and socializing, and more time working.

            The implication that all poor people are only poor because of their “drinking or smoking”. The implication that no one who is poor is already spending all their time working.

            Become one of those people who work hard, invest and build, and at the same time create employment and opportunities for others.

            The implication that working hard is sufficient (again). The implication that “invest[ing] and build[ing]” are avenues to prosperity open to people who didn’t start out life by inheriting a substantial stake it a profitable industry.

          3. “Spend…more time working”

            Time spent working does not necessarily = success.  All those people who work long hours in factories, etc aren’t exactly rolling in cash.

            As for the smoking, drinking and socializing the rich seem to do a lot of that themselves.

          4. If she had said, “Spend less time drinking or smoking and socializing, and more time working” and you’ll have more money, it would be hard to argue with that.  Instead she claims that would make you a millionaire, which is demonstrably untrue and generally just fucking absurd.  Add to that the fact that she inherited her wealth (and therefore has, in fact, absolutely no clue what sort of activity or behavior might lead to accumulating wealth), it becomes obscene as well.

          5.  Yes, put this on an aged photo with a fuzzy waterfall in the back, put it on facebook and wait for all the likes to come your way. Meanwhile back in reality I’ll keep working hard just to pay the rent. I don’t drink by the way.

          6. It’s mostly decent advice in itself. The problem is that it comes from someone who didn’t follow this advice, but inherited all her money.

            Also, she suggests that anyone can become a millionaire through hard work. That’s not true. Hard work will never make you a millionaire; exploitation of other people’s work will. Or maybe luck, or extreme talent that coincidentally happens to be in great demand (talent at kicking a ball, for example).

            But mere hard work in itself is not going to be enough.

          7. It’s fascinating to me how many people first put their own construction on what someone says, and then take offence at it. Why not just cut out the middleman and insult yourself?

      1. Seriously? Wow, you really seem to have no clue how other people think. Because the quote is batshit crazy in and of itself.

      2. There’s a fair bit more to this story. The quote above leaves out two more fun tidbits that were equally offensive.

        First, she claimed in that interview that minimum wage should be much lower. That way, she can afford to employ even more people who will then have a chance to work  even longer in order to feed their families, get drunk or become billionnaires.

        Second, she claimed that the rich people are the ones addressing poverty in Australia. For that reason, she shouldn’t have to pay tax.

        The reason we deride her advice as being arrogant and pompous is because it is.

    2. “The poor are dirty and dumb.  They should just go to a good private school and hire tutors like I did to get into Harvard.”

  7. I don’t believe she was speaking to the “poor” she was speaking to the jealous complainers (of which there are many among the middle class). 

    1. While I’m sure some people are jealous, I rarely see anyone distinguish between people who are jealous and people who complain. I complain about the rich, not because I want to be rich, but because it seems like they have to lose their humanity and compassion to achieve such wealth, or having lost their humanity and compassion helped them in achieving such wealth. I complain about the rich because they make things worse for the rest of us in the world by pretending that they are something to be jealous of and by realigning the priorities of much of the rest of the world by using their money as power. I don’t care if other people are rich as long as they leave the rest of us alone, don’t interfere with democratic processes, and don’t treat the rest of us like we’re inferior just because we have different circumstances. I’m comfortable at my tier of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t complain that some rich people are ruining the world.

    2. You always buzz off after making one crazy comment, but in the vain hopes of you actually replying:

      Why do you admire her for simply being given wealth with no work?

      1. “You always buzz off after making one crazy comment..”

        That’s MY strategy! Don’t go giving it away!

    3. I like how people will dismiss complaining as jealousy as a way of avoiding discussion.  Maybe the rich should pay taxes?  Oh wait, that is jealousy.  My bad.

  8. Well, when you are expelled from mommy’s vag with a solid gold placenta, this is how things look.

  9. If there’s no monopoly on becoming a millionaire, then there shouldn’t be a monopoly on failure, either.  Those who have inherited their fortune should have the chance to lose some or all of it, which would grant them the privilege to earn it all back, thus demonstrating that they have the same talent and work ethic as the deceased family member who bequeathed that fortune to them in the first place.

    1. Who says there is a monopoly on failure?  Failure doesn’t discriminate.  There are plenty of heirs who have squandered considerable amounts of wealth and died poor.

      1.  But there isn’t a single person born poor who worked hard all his or her life and died poor anyway?

        I mentioned the just-world fallacy upthread.  I’m starting to think you may be a victim of that very delusion.

  10. Oh, so the poor don’t have enough bread to eat? Then why don’t they just have cake instead?

    I totally don’t see why not every person on earth can be a millionaire and habve a large industrial empire with thousands of cheap workers and servants and stuff. I mean, why don’t they just do it? What’s keeping them?

      1. Hold the sexism and fat-hating, please. 

        She isn’t an asshole because she is obese or insufficiently pretty. She’s an asshole because she’s an asshole.

        1. Fair enough, except for the sexism label.  I’d have said the same thing if she were an ugly man.  ;)

          1. Because calling a man ugly and calling a woman ugly is the same thing; because both groups are judged by their looks equally often.

          2. I’m not looking for a flame war Quiche, but yes – calling a man ugly and calling a woman ugly is the same thing.  To suggest otherwise smacks of…sexism.

          3. Bullshit. Spend a few hours at Photoshop Disasters and explain why men never seem to have six-inch waists or deleted belly buttons.

          4. Sorry for the sarcasm, didn’t mean to flame either.
            Yeah one shouldn’t really criticize anyone for being ugly. But women are judged far more often and systematically than men by their looks.  Calling a woman ugly is far more hurtful than calling a man such. Calling a woman ugly also perpetuates the reduction of women to their degree of attractiveness.

          5. Kind of replying to Quiche, kind of to Xeni, and kind of to mappo.

            Barring the bit about this person being a women it sounds very much like what I read in almost every BB (or elsewhere) post about Kim Dotcom.

            -abs isn’t exactly sure what he’s implying, but he’s still pretty certain Kim is a guy, an asshole, fat, AND (most importantly) in the right of things when it comes to unjustified persecution by the US Government

        1. Combating sexism and fat-hating by calling it “Lame”: ur doin it rong.

          Is this meant to be irony?  If so, excellent.

          1. I’m not trying to battle political incorrectness. I don’t share your fear of the English language. I just think criticizing someone on the basis of looks is stupid.

            Incidentally, I’ve seen a lot of people who are really concerned about “ableist” slurs toss around the word “idiot” like it wasn’t a thing. Do they not know the history of that word or something?

  11. We can sit here and roll our eyes at how out of touch and arrogant this woman is, but at the end of the day she is still the richest woman in the world, and we are still wage slaves.

      1. Yes, just like Tarzan learned the King’s English by reading books in the jungle. The natural supremacy of our masters will out in all circumstances.

    1.  But at the end of that same day, what has it done for her?  She’s on the outs with her family, she’s publicly mocked, and her lifestyle excesses leave her looking like Baron Harkonnen.  Money has ruined her life.

      1. On the other hand, every night she pulls the heart-plug of something clean-limbed and innocent, whilst floating around in an anti-gravity harness. So there’s that.

  12. Dear Gina Rinehart,

    I’ve been hearing that crap ever since I was at UCLA. I’m out there busting my buns every night. Tell your old man to drag Walton and Lanier up and down the court for 48 minutes.

  13. One doesn’t have to be in the right to be right.  The message is a sound one:  “If you want something, work towards it.”  You may not get to be a billionaire, but you’ll get a lot further than you would just sitting around wishing somebody else didn’t have what they do so that you could have it instead.

    1. It’s a sound message, but the thing is it’s irrelevant. I don’t think anyone is sitting on their hands wishing they were a Rinehart, can’t afford to! I believe the people who don’t have a computer to respond to this are already working way harder than I ever will just to live. My understanding is that the rich are disliked in general for making an already arduous life harder in pursuit of their own security.

    2. “… just sitting around wishing somebody else didn’t have what they do so that you could have it instead.”

      The only people I’ve ever heard actually of doing this are rich people who sit around complaining that their taxes are too high.

  14. To be fair – many (not all) poor people do have screwed up priorities on what they spend their money on. I’ve seen many examples in my life time.

    1. Whereas rich people only spend their money on practical things, like dancing horses and ice scupltures of Michelangelo’s David which pee vodka.

        1.  Ya, I’m sick of seeing all those poor, single mothers spending their money on frivolous things like dancing horses.  It’s their own fault!  They should save that horse money for rent.  Stupid poor people!

          1. Poor people do make a lot of really stupid financial decisions, they just shouldn’t necessarily be blamed for those decisions.

            There are entire industries built around the principle that people will buy 72″ TVs when they can barely afford a stand to put it on. And sofas. The poorer you are the more expensive your sofa. What’s with that?

            I can only speak to the UK, but buying things on credit isn’t only pervasive, it’s actively encouraged by our government. Living within ones means is a concept long forgotten.

            Also this is by no means unique to poor people. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if ‘the middle class’ were the primary credit whores, they’re an aspirational bunch.

            I’ve forgotten what my point was.

          2. Yes, the poor and middle class often overextend themselves on credit. But isn’t that exactly what the wealthy did, causing our last worldwide financial crisis? The only difference is that while the poor and middle are expected to pay the price when they do it, they’re also tasked to pay the price when the rich do it.

    2. To be fair, many rich people spend money lobbying for laws that allow them to keep most of their money out of the hands of the poor.

      Nothing screwed up about that.

    3. Ah yes – the REAL problem is that poor people aren’t miserable enough, and sometimes spend money on things other than necessities. Welfare moms with widescreen TVs, amirite?

        1. In fact, our poor people are so rich they don’t even need the basic medical care that every other industrialized nation provides.

        2. A completely illogical, worthless statement. 

          “Hey homeless guy! You know that the $12 a day you make pan-handling in NYC is gold, solid gold, on the streets of Calcutta! Go live over there, you could live like a king! Why do you keep complaining about having to live on $12 a day?!?”

          1.  Not including the homeless (which is a small, small portion of poor people), our poor live at a comfort level people in Calcutta can only dream about.

            Being poor sucks. I know what gov. cheese tastes like. Most can’t help their position in life – but many could make their lives better if they had better spending habits.

        3. Translation: No matter how foolish I look one minute, I can say something even worse a little further down in a thread.  I am ineducable. 

    4. Most poor people have of course had access to the same role models and influences and opportunities of most middle and upper class people.

      And the best way to motivate and aid them is of course to point out what drunken layabouts they are.

      1. Poor people don’t consume any more booze than middle-class and rich people. And they give a greater percentage of their income to charity.

    5. That’s particularly judge-y. Can I play? I see folks with money make just as many screwed up priority decisions. The difference is they have enough money to work around bad priorities. If you’re poor, you don’t have that luxury, and then it gets used against you later. Heaven forbid you buy a cake, pop, and chips with food stamps for your kids birthday, because here come the judge-y people pointing to that purchase as the reason you ARE on foodstamps. 

      1. I’m talking about more big ticket items, not junk food. One year I deliverd turkey dinners to one of the poorest parts of the Metro area. Most of the cars were newer than mine. Many had custom rims or bodies. I saw a $1000 tv in a house wanting some free turkey. (For sure I saw some truely poor people who were greatful for their turkey dinners. ) Or the time I heard a woman complain not having money for her kids for Chirstmas while getting her hair and nails done (at least a $40 job).

        When my parents were both unemployed for nearly a year in the 80s they still smoked and drank while I had balone sammiches every day for lunch.

        These are just examples of screwed up priorties. It doesn’t apply to everyone.

        1.  I’m surprised you didn’t mention that some of them even have cell phones…  Seems like they weren’t poor in the kind of way that pleased you.

          1. I didn’t see cell phones, but I didn’t look. I imagine many had them (this was long enough ago before EVERYONE got one.) Though there is a difference between the price of a car or $1000 TV and a cell phone (which is more of a neccessity no adays).  Of course some make the decision to invest in a top of the line smart phone – which may not be the best idea.

          2. That cell phone argument is bogus. Can you imagine function in a first world job market competitively if you don’t have a communication device? Talk about not having a level playing field. Not having a phone in todays job market is like not having water in the home 40 years ago.

            You can get a cheap cell for $30 no contract per month. That’s a dollar a day to day. An easy ammount of money to collect in a short time. Try saving a few hundred for months just to get into school or for a dentist and that goal seems less attainable because if you can only save a little a month, it gets exhausting.

          3.  re: “Luckily seeing one tv confirmed your personal views.”

            Actually it changed my view rather dramatically.

        2. It is a good thing that they still had the price tag on the TV so you could tell how much it cost, or this wouldn’t be much of a story!  Also very convenient that you learned that they bought it themselves at full price rather than receiving it as a gift or some other way.  
          [I personally received a $1500 TV as a gift once at a time when I had no job.]

          And regarding the hair / nails: that sounds like something that you would have to do before a job interview.  It is sad that she had to forego buying toys for her kids in order to prepare herself for a job interview, but that part of your story kind of disproves your point, doesn’t it?  

          It sounds to me like you are making a lot of unwarranted assumptions about people about whom you know absolutely nothing.    Could it be that you assume the worst about their decisions because you want to believe the American myth that poor people cause their own poverty?   How would this same story turn out if you assumed the best of them instead of the worst?

          1. re:It is a good thing that they still had the price tag on the TV so you could tell how much it cost, or this wouldn’t be much of a story!  ”

            It was a huge flat screen when they first came out. $1000 was conservative.

            The $40-60,000 NEW SUVs and cars parked outside were probably there for a good reason too. MUCH nicer than my ride at the time (hell, nicer than any car I’ve owned yet.)

            But I guess you can think of a good excuse for anything rather than admit there are stupid people who are poor and buy shit they should not.

          2. Response to Mister44: If the poor can afford $40-60,000 NEW SUVs on their limited income, then clearly they understand how to get by in the world better than you. You’re just resentful because their methods of acquiring wealth are superior to your own.

          3. re: “You’re just resentful because their methods of acquiring wealth are superior to your own.”

            Debt isn’t wealth. It’s the exact opposite.

          4. @ Mister44 If the poor acquire their consumer durables through debt the money doesn’t come from the local loan shark. It comes from financial institutions who benefit much more from lending the poor money than the poor benefit from their TV’s, cars and phones.
            When times get tough they are not afraid to pursue their debtors through the courts to settle their debts. Don’t the financial institutions have some responsibility in choosing how they spend other people’s money?
            Also I suspect if the poor didn’t spend money in trying to maintain the appearance of a normal life you might accuse them of being slobs. They can’t win either way.

        3. How do you know those poor ppl didn’t get those TVs from their families as birthday presents? Maybe the whole family chipped in to buy it so Poor Person X could have one nice thing? Poor people have birthdays too.

          The cars could be loaners from richer relatives. Or ppl visiting? Edited to add: Or social workers?

          What I’m saying is delivering one turkey does not tell you a person’s priorities.

          1. Why shouldn’t poor people have a $1000 TV set? They have as much right to enjoy life as everyone else.

        4. My inlaws are very poor, on SSI, with foodstamps. They have a $700 TV because *I* bought it for them for Xmas. It’s a luxury I could give them so they didn’t have to huddle around an old TV that was going out, and making the picture green. I suppose there are judge-y folks like you that somehow think every poor person lives in a vacuum, and if someone buys them a luxury item to make their (homebound, and physically disabled) existence nicer, then that is some sort of nasty statement on their priorities. That’s okay, we’re used to people like you thinking every single penny they have has to be for the “right” items, and being judged accordingly when it doesn’t line up with that crappy judge-y expectation. 

          1. A few years ago, I was driving a $20,000 car when my annual income was $7,000. Because I bought a decent car, planning to pay off the loan when I sold the house. I didn’t plan on the value of the house going down by $150,000 in a year and leaving me with no cash.

            If you looked at me with no context, you would think that I had bought a car that I couldn’t afford. Assuming that you were so judgmental that you could manage to ignore the global financial meltdown in favor of looking for scapegoats.

        5. Poor people are usually better at managing their money than either middle-class or rich people. That’s the reason they can afford occasional luxuries like $1000 TVs. You’re resentful because they are better at managing money than you are. Poor people, as a general rule, know how to live comfortably on little income. You have to be smart in order to overcome the various challenges of poverty.

        6. Another thing that no one here has mentioned is the fact that human beings have incredibly limited capacity to go against social pressure, and even less capacity to go against economic pressure. Many people have to take on debt to survive: medical bills, student loans, rent/mortgage. And then from birth, in America, you are bombarded with messages that tell you consumption of goods is success, rich people are better than poor people (doesn’t matter how, they just are. Sleeker, smarter, healthier, whatever), and rich people deserve to hoard 80% of the wealth. So saying something like this is tantamount to telling people to transcend both their environment/context AND human psychology. 

        7. I used to think like you.  I worked 60-80 hour weeks and had only a few pieces of furniture (cast offs from others), no car, a 12″ B/W TV, not much of anything really.  How dare other people have big color TVS, and cars, and actual furniture?  No way they’re working harder than I am!

          But then I realized that people are different.  I’m not better just because my TV is smaller.  I have had different privileges and experiences than others.  I can’t know what they’ve had to deal with, or what they’re dealing with right now.

          I guess you could say I finally grew up.

  15. To become a millionaire, all you have to do is be a rugged individualist industrialist, stop drinking, work hard, be smart and lucky, oh and inherit ALL your money from Daddy.

    Then you can be a total condescending, patronizing jerk to the poor.

    To be fair, she ONLY inherited 1,800 MILLION dollars from Daddy and is now worth about 29,000 MILLION dollars. I am sure this has nothing to do with simply the mining boom the last several years, and perhaps the fact that she actively lobbies goverenemnt in anti-tax and anti-enviroment legislation.

    Poor people should just stop being so lazy in otherwords.

  16. I wonder if she’s prepared to lead by example?

    Give away your fortune Gina, cut off all ties to your rich, influential friends, and start from scratch like everyone else has to.

    Show us just what it takes to become a millionaire, be our role-model, inspire us to greatness.

    What’s that you say? You can’t be arsed? Then shut the hell up, you’ve nothing to complain about…

  17. Meanwhile the richest woman in the UK, who actually did work her way up from poverty through dedication and talent, has made anti-poverty programs and other philanthropic endeavors a major part of her day-t0-day life. Contrast Ms. Rinehart’s quote above with what J.K. Rowling said about poverty:

    Nobody who has ever experienced the reality of poverty could say “it’s not the money, it’s the message”. When your flat has been broken into, and you cannot afford a locksmith, it is the money. When you are two pence short of a tin of baked beans, and your child is hungry, it is the money. When you find yourself contemplating shoplifting to get nappies, it is the money.

  18. If you strip away the source of the quote (who, admittedly, is groan-worthy), it’s actually pretty solid advice. 

    Many people I know have never even tried to excel at their job or create a business for themselves.  It’s quite true that, for many people, having a robust social life is more important than wealth creation.  I don’t think that’s good or bad, it just depends on your goals in life.  However, if you want to achieve large and ambitious goals, you have to make sacrifices.

    1.  Pretty easy to find the freedom to start a business when you’re sitting on $75 million.  I’d love to start my own business but unfortunately I need a place to live and food to eat so I’m stuck working at a job for now.

      Also, this should be pretty obvious but it’s very nearly impossible to become rich by excelling at your job — unless your job happens to be “corporate executive” or “investment banker”.  Software engineers are not the highest-paid people in the software industry believe it or not.

      1. So you’re stuck working at a job.  So what?  Does that mean you can’t start a business on the side?  I’m a software developer too. In fact, I learned software development during lunches at my old job. Now I have my own software business that I run full time.  Want to know how much it cost me?  350.00 total.  100 for an Apple developer license, 200 for my SDK license and 50 for a domain and hosting.  The rest was old fashioned sweat equity.  

        1. And now you’re an iPhone app millionaire?

          Let me know when your “sweat equity” gets you to a couple mil and I’ll concede the point.

          1. @boingboing-c2dafa65c8f53bff853713ee40ecfae0:disqus Stop strawmanning.  I never claimed the world owed me anything, I never claimed life was fair.  I never claimed it wasn’t worth starting a business if it didn’t make you a millionaire.  None of these are under discussion in this thread.

            What we’re discussing is what’s required to become a millionaire.  This woman who was born a millionaire claims it just takes hard work, entrepreneurship, investment, etc.  This is false.  I am explaining why it is false.  To point out that these factors are neither necessary nor sufficient to becoming a millionaire is not to make excuses — it is to describe facts about the world in which we live. Since you do not constitute a counterexample, I fail to see how your life story is even relevant.

        2. I think the point isn’t that you shouldn’t start a business, it’s that people should acknowledge that some jobs are paid in a disproportional manner according on the “sweat equity” invested. Your story is an anecdote, and while I’m happy it worked out for you – it’s meaningless to those for which it didn’t.

          Sure, people who work harder should get paid more but are the margins always fair… Especially if you take into account the diminishing marginal returns of an extra dollar at the upper end of the pay bracket.

          What people want to know isn’t – why are people who worked hard awarded appropriately – but, why is an investment banker (example); who is only making a debatable contribution to society, being awarded so much more when other people work hard and despite that end up with nothing?

          Remember someone needs to serve us at restaurants (until they invent serving robots), why not award them for their work too?

        3.  Thank you for letting me unleash this gem I heard today:
          “Data is not the plural of anectode.”

        4. You had lunches with enough time and independence to concentrate on learning a new field?  I don’t think you understand how lunch works for a significant percentage of employees in the US.

          Did you go to public schools?  What about college?  Any time in your childhood when having the police or fire department around is what kept your family from becoming destitute (or dead)?  Ever get a job interview through family friends?  Did you have access to a car when you were starting out, so getting to work on time (and thus not being fired) didn’t require relying on public transportation schedules?
          Imagine living your entire life balanced on a piece of plywood on top of a ball.  The slightest accidental tilt in any direction and you crash to the ground.

    2. Hmmm….interesting point you make Ser iseemtobeaverb. 

      If the quote was coming from you, me, the electrical contractor working on my parent’s house (a  family friend, he makes mid-lower-range 6  figs U.S albeit after 25  yrs in biz), Warren Buffet, Bill Gates or etcetera, I would not disagree. 

      However, this quote was uttered by  Gina Rinehart who was born with a huge advantage and was boosted by inherited wealth. 

      There’s nothing inherently wrong with inherited wealth, except when the inherited wealth creates a disingenuous and mean monster.

    3.  It’s quite true that, for many people, having a robust social life is more important than wealth creation.

      And yet we’re constantly told that to find out about good jobs we need to have a robust social life and constantly be “networking”.

      1. This. And for some, this means in essence: “The first step is to be good at the things you’re bad at. Wait, you’re bad at those things? Well, uh… have you tried not being bad at them? …Well, then, you’re SOL.”

  19. She could be a character from Dickens:

    ‘Why can’t they do as I have done, ma’am? What one person can do, another can do.’

    This, again, was among the fictions of Coketown. Any capitalist there, who had made sixty thousand pounds out of sixpence, always professed to wonder why the sixty thousand nearest Hands didn’t each make sixty thousand pounds out of sixpence, and more or less reproached them every one for not accomplishing the little feat. What I did you can do. Why don’t you go and do it?

    ‘As to their wanting recreations, ma’am,’ said Bitzer, ‘it’s stuff and nonsense. I don’t want recreations. I never did, and I never shall; I don’t like ’em. As to their combining together; there are many of them, I have no doubt, that by watching and informing upon one another could earn a trifle now and then, whether in money or good will, and improve their livelihood. Then, why don’t they improve it, ma’am! It’s the first consideration of a rational creature, and it’s what they pretend to want.’

    ‘Pretend indeed!’ said Mrs. Sparsit.

    ‘I am sure we are constantly hearing, ma’am, till it becomes quite nauseous, concerning their wives and families,’ said Bitzer. ‘Why look at me, ma’am! I don’t want a wife and family. Why should they?’

    ‘Because they are improvident,’ said Mrs. Sparsit.

    ‘Yes, ma’am,’ returned Bitzer, ‘that’s where it is. If they were more provident and less perverse, ma’am, what would they do? They would say, “While my hat covers my family,” or “while my bonnet covers my family,” – as the case might be, ma’am – “I have only one to feed, and that’s the person I most like to feed.”‘

    ‘To be sure,’ assented Mrs. Sparsit, eating muffin.

    1. Ah, yes, Hard Times.  I just read it last winter for the first time.  It’s unnerving how timely a novel written 150+ years ago is today.

    1. The offensive part is the implication that the people living in poverty lack those characteristics.

      Who works harder and sacrifices more: a billionaire mining heiress or a migrant farm worker trying to feed his family? Which of those people is in a better position to channel time and money into “investment and entrepreneurship?”

      1. Those characteristics are what built her family’s wealth to begin with, even if she didn’t do it herself.  You can hate the source, but that doesn’t make it less true.

        1. There is also an element of luck and circumstance. Some people  may work hard and sacrifice without gaining any wealth. At best her ‘wisdom’ is one possible path to wealth, but it is not the only one (not the one she took obviously.)
          Given that there are a lot of hard working, sacrificing people out there today in poverty, suggests that the odds are pretty lousy even with those attributes. 

          1. Some people may work hard and sacrifice without gaining any wealth.

            For virtually the entirety of human history, there has been an inverse relationship between hard work and wealth. The meme that they go together is just propaganda.

        2. Those characteristics are what built her family’s wealth to begin with, even if she didn’t do it herself.

          That’s quite an assumption, but irrelevant in either case. Even if her family did get rich through hard work, it’s a fallacy to assume that people in poverty didn’t work every bit as hard as they did.

          Let’s examine her exact words:

          There is no monopoly on becoming a millionaire. If you’re jealous of those with more money, don’t just sit there and complain. […] Become one of those people who work hard…

          The clear implication is that if you’re not a millionaire, then you’re not “one of those people who work hard.” THAT is downright offensive, especially coming from someone who has no concept of what “working hard” actually means.

          1. @facebook-588655888:disqus :

            Again, hard work is only part of the equation. She also mentions investing, building and providing opportunities for others.

            You can’t “invest” much time or money to start a new business when you’re working double shifts just to get a roof over your head and food on the table. Ms. Rinehart’s concept of “investment” as it relates to the lives of poor people is every bit as out-of-touch as her concept of “hard work.”

            Even in the poorest parts of the world, the people improve their standard of living by applying those principles.

            And for the vast, vast, vast majority of cases they still don’t become millionaires. If you live in one of those places, your best-case scenario is generally “hooray, we’re not starving anymore!”

        3. “Those characteristics are what built her family’s wealth to begin with, even if she didn’t do it herself.”

          Do you have a link or cite for this assertion?  I know it goes against the American mythos, but most rich people I know of got rich at least in part by some version of a ponzi scheme; some version of a good-old-boy network that owes its original wealth to slavery or feudalism; by using political connections to rent-seek government funding; trading on insider information; or through straight-up theft.   None of which have anything to do with hard work or smart investing.

          Absent the sources of wealth I listed above, hard work gets you one thing: less likely to be fired from McDonald’s.  And “smart investing” has been shown repeatedly to not beat index fund investing on the stock market, so it doesn’t get you anything either.  

          So personally, I find it highly unlikely that hard work and smart investing had anything to do with “her family’s wealth to begin with.”  But feel free to prove me wrong.  

        4. If her parents had been Black — to use an obvious example —  working in the same era, do you really think the same amount of effort expended would have resulted in so much wealth?

    2. She’s not wrong.  She was born on third base and thought she hit a triple.  It’s really easy for someone who inherited $75 million from her parents to talk about investment and entrepreneurship.  For those of us who work for a living my “investment” consists of an apartment that keeps me from getting stabbed in my sleep or dying of exposure and food that keeps me from starving to death.  Maintaining that “investment” prevents me from engaging in entrepreneurship — pretty hard to put in the work to start a business when you’re already expending that time and energy on keeping yourself housed and fed.

      Understand the problem yet?

      1. But that’s two different things.  Yes, she was born on third and thinks  she hit a triple. Yes, it’s easy to tell people what they need to do when you’re not in their shoes.

        She’s still kinda right.

        1. You apparently ignored my entire post except for the first sentence.  Since you haven’t rebutted the actual argument I’m simply going to reject your unsupported assertion that “she’s still kinda right.”

          Edit: And I’m not particularly impressed with your “self-made-man” nonsense. I’ve known plenty of people who worked harder than you all their lives and never got rich. What makes you experiences more valid than theirs?

          How about a little more background info. What did your parents do? Where’d you go to college? How did you pay for it? How did you get this job where you work long hours? What’s your side business? I suspect when we get to the bottom of where your “success” comes from it will be largely the work of other people and a large degree of luck. And I bet you’re not even particularly successful.

          1. @facebook-588655888:disqus  It is glib, coming from anyone. Dismissals like “might actually have to apply yourself, stay up a little later” just say that you, like her, have no appreciation for how much work some people do.

    3. Of the type she’s talking about, yes. The road to that is connections. Without them, a poor man or especially woman can work hard, cut out all recreation, and more likely than not will never see a fraction of that wealth.

      Because, you know, very many poor people have tried. And indeed some who don’t, who choose to drink and socialize instead, do so because they’ve noticed the road is closed.

    4. It isn’t an invalid road to wealth. It is an invalid road to extreme wealth. She has a net worth of $27 billion. The GDP per capita (PPP) in Australia is $40,234. This means that if an average Australian worker worked his or her entire life and never spent a cent, it would take tens of thousands of people to equal her wealth.

      She isn’t that smart, unique, awesome, superhuman, etc. She simply started with money in a place where she could exploit the advances of thousands of years of civilization, billions of dollars of infrastructure, and special rules to help the rich. And because of that she thinks she earned it.

      You can earn $100,000 with hard work. You can’t ‘earn’ billions. You can only exploit the system to get such obscene wealth.

      1. This.  “You can earn $100,000 with hard work. You can’t ‘earn’ billions. You can only exploit the system to get such obscene wealth.”

    5. Yeah…she’s wrong. Doesn’t always work out for many people.  That won’t stop us all from hearing it to high-heaven now that the GOP has latched onto the concept as campaign jargon.

      If you think the 1% have looked like elitist twits during the Occupy shenanigans, just wait till the Tea Partiers put on their show.  Hilarity will ensue.

    6.  If it involves exploitation of other people’s labor, then the answer is yes. And great wealth can’t be acquired in any other way.

  20. I’m not particularly jealous of the wealthy, but I am certainly jealous of the expensive wine they bolt down whilst socializing all day.

  21. So rich woman who inherited her wealth makes a statement about the poor needing to create their own wealth with the undertones of  “let them eat cake”……..

    Historically speaking these things don’t tend to go over well. 

  22. I don’t see the fuss. Her comment in its entirety (which you quote, to your credit) is not offensive. Heck, it actually makes a lot of sense. And this has nothing to do with how she got her money (unless one is jealous).

    1. Her comment in its entirety (which you quote, to your credit) is not offensive.

      I actually find it more offensive.

      Characteristics of rich people:
      • Work hard 
      • Invest 
      • Create opportunities and employment for others

      Characteristics of non-rich people:
      • Jealous
      • Don’t work hard 
      • Unwilling to invest
      • Sit around complaining 
      • Spend their time drinking, smoking and socializing

    2. yeah its like someone delivering an anti-drug speech on crack.  she can’t speak on the matter.  she hasn’t worked in a mine and has no idea how good a beer tastes after a ten-hour day slaving in one.  or how necessary it is to see your friends after being violated by authority figures all day.  not bad advice.  just out of her jurisdiction. 

    3.  That is like saying that citizens who struggle to get a democracy are just jealous of the king.

  23. If you’re jealous of those with more money, don’t just sit there and complain.

    Sometimes it is hard not to want to go the Marxist route by sending this woman to a forced labor camp to remind her that the real power comes from the people and that she simply exploited that to gain her riches.

    1. I don’t understand.  Why would I not want that? Seems a waste of valuable effort wrestling with yourself over what is a perfectly fine solution to me…

  24. It is a fair comment that “poor” people in the United States and other first world countries could become far better off if they managed their money better.  Alcohol is very VERY expensive.  I have a friend who makes 60k a year, is single, but is an alcoholic and in debt. (Some of that money is disappearing into other vices like video games and strip clubs).  Also, a survey of Americans showed that even in the poorest families, they’d rather give up food over their cable tv (which can easily total $720-2400 a year depending on service options).  There IS free TV after all.  

    Granted, I’ve worked at Target as an adult and could see how those jobs drive you towards drinking and television watching (or living suicide as I think of it).  

    1.  The problem is that alcohol is not what’s causing debt and inequality in the first world. 

    2. As the daughter of an alcoholic, I can tell you that addiction is not that simple. It is not a choice to spend all your money on alcohol or not. I spent so much time wishing it were like that, mad because I thought that he had a choice and that my dad chose alcohol over his family. 

      People who are mentally ill do not really make choices. They think they do, but their choices aren’t rational. 

    3. Yeah don’t mind that the social pressures/advertising/culture push people to want all this crap they don’t need… And that some people are born with a predisposition to become addicts, and that your example of your friend is a single data-point cherry picked to support your position.

      I’m calling bullshit on the survey. No one who isn’t mentally handicapped would place t.v above food… although I’m not American, so I present that as a dichotomy for you to choose from.

  25. I’m sure she started out in a basement apartment, eating tuna and pasta, using a desk that was really a door propped up on sawhorses.

    No wait… 

  26. Haha, I’ve lost my ability to reply to replies, so I will simply thank you all for the lively debate.  I may be a jerk, but I’m a jerk that worked his ass off just to reach the lower-middle class, and could relate to the quote.

    1. I’m a jerk that worked his ass off just to reach the lower-middle class,

      Ha, I was right.  A dude who is not a millionaire lecturing us all on how to become millionaires.

        1.  No, I’m bashing you for lecturing us all on how we could be millionaires if only we were willing to work a little harder when as it happens all your hard work has been insufficient to make you a millionaire.

          I respect and commend your efforts to make your life better.  But it makes me all the more mystified that you’re trying to defend the sentiments of this *ahem* person who could not possibly identify with what you’ve been through.

          Why you think pointing out that you’re not a millionaire is “ridiculing” you is also beyond me.

          1. “This woman who was born a millionaire claims it just takes hard work, entrepreneurship, investment, etc.  This is false.  I am explaining why it is false.  To point out that these factors are neither necessary nor sufficient to becoming a millionaire is not to make excuses — it is to describe facts about the world in which we live.” – wysinwyg

            For someone with no money, you seem to be quite the expert on what it takes to actually make some.

            Let’s see, I can’t become a millionaire through hard work.  I can’t become a millionaire through entrepreneurship and I can’t become a millionaire through investment. 

            Given these “facts about the world”, could you please enlighten me on how exactly we can become millionaires?  There don’t seem to be many options left.

          2. You can’t become a millionaire merely through hard work, entrepreneurship, or investment.  It also requires a lot of luck.  In fact, hard work, entrepreneurship, and investment aren’t required at all because some people get rich purely through luck.  If you didn’t know this you haven’t been paying attention.

            I know plenty of people with the same SDK and developer’s license you have who worked plenty hard to start their own businesses…and failed.  In fact, the majority of people who try to start businesses…fail.  Even if they work reeeeaaaaally hard.

            My father started his own business, worked 100 hour weeks, and ended up deeply in debt.  But he was in a position to start working his way out of his debt through his business — when he got gigs they paid extremely well.  Then his contacts started drying up because of political struggles internal to the companies with whom he consulted.  And then he had a serious medical emergency.

            Since he owned his own business, he had been paying for his own very expensive insurance policy.  The insurance company decided that despite the huge premiums he had been paying they would take him to court to try to avoid paying for the life-saving care he had received. 

            During his recovery he could not work 100 hour weeks, and so he could not sustain the effort needed to build his business back up — meanwhile, the debt was mounting.  So he went back to working for someone else — it was the only option he had.

            I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

            -Ecclesiastes, 9:11

          3. Oh, and I never said I “have no money”.  As a matter of fact, my childhood, teenage, and college years were extremely comfortable — through no effort on my own part.  Too comfortable.  That’s one reason I know that luck is a major factor.

          4. @boingboing-c2dafa65c8f53bff853713ee40ecfae0:disqus : 
            ” Given these “facts about the world”, could you please enlighten me on how exactly we can become millionaires?  There don’t seem to be many options left.”

            As I said in a comment above: 
            most rich people I know of got rich at least in part by some version of a ponzi scheme; some version of a good-old-boy network that owes its original wealth to slavery or feudalism; by using political connections to rent-seek government funding; trading on insider information; or through straight-up theft.  

            To be clear, by “rich” I don’t mean having $1 mil in assets.  You can do that by working at a tech job for 10 years or even by buying a house and flipping it with the right timing.   But to end up with a net worth of $10 mil, I think options I list above are your best bet.  Hard work is not going to cut it.  

        2. The funny thing is that you are exactly the person Gina is talking about.   You admit you are “lower middle class.”  So by any measure of comparison you are “poor” compared to her.  And she therefore assumes that you spend all your time drinking and socializing and never work hard.  Why do you defend her when she’s slandering you?

  27. Well, I’m glad she cleared this up for me. I’ve long suspected that my six-pack-night habit was getting in the way of my right to be filthy wealthy.   If that’s how the 1% are doing it…I’m cutting down to three beers a night…maybe with the occasional Jack Daniels chaser.

    See you on Wall Street, losers!!!

  28. “Her current net worth is about USD$30 billion.”

    Her current worth is no more than any other person’s. Her property’s worth is. But confusing a person’s property’s value with a person’s value seems like a pretty basic mistake, if an all-too-common mistake.

    So much wealth confers power, and we know what power does. So much wealth hardly ever comes into any one person’s hands either, except through theft, extortion, or the abuses of power.

        1. I bet that you don’t think that bribing puppet governments is really foreign aid, either.

          1. I bet I don’t think The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation means Bill and Melinda are really trying to take over an African nation. I think it’s just charity from an uber-wealthy couple. With some tax considerations. And if they WERE trying to take over a nation, I wouldn’t call it charity. I’d call it influence peddling or, as you say, bribery.

          2. I was thinking of governments that show pictures of starving children to the taxpayers and then hand the money over to local warlords and corruptocrats to keep the oil/ore/etc. flowing.

          3. Re: starving children/corruptocrats. Couldn’t agree w/u more. Roads to nowhere. Food rotting at docks. Hateful fckrs. But I don’t think resource-obtainment drives every foreign contribution. Tho goodhearted altruism still requires grease to function.

    1. “The man was in such deep distress,”
      Said Tom, “that I could do no less
      Than give him good advice.” Said Jim:
      “If less could have been done for him
      I know you well enough, my son,
      To know that’s what you would have done.”

      – Jebel Jocordy via Ambrose Bierce

    1.  Ah but if the poor stop having kids, whose kids are going to walk through 10 miles of snow every morning at 3 to deliver papers, wisely save every penny to invest in the life-saving invention they’ll come up with in their teens, become millionaires and create jobs for the lazier poor kids?

  29. Reminds me of Eric Idle on how the rid the world of all known diseases:

    “Well first of all, become a doctor and discover a marvellous cure for something and then, when the medical world really starts to take notice of you, you can jolly well tell them what to do and make sure they get everything right, so that there’ll never be diseases anymore.”

    This also is sound advice. 

  30. Is it correct that she inherited $75 million but managed to turn it into $30 billion?

    1. She also inherited all the vast infrastructure and connections from her privileged birth as well.  Also, I have to wonder how much she’s profited from all the tax loopholes and corporate welfare she’s inevitably received off the backs of those who work for a living.

      Maybe if you get down on your goddam knees and grovel like this to her feet she’ll throw you a few dimes?

      1. Grovel? Lighten up, captain. I just asked a simple question to see if what I’ve read elsewhere was true.

    2. If you make $25,000 per year, you have just about $0.00 to spend on “investments”. If you inherit $75,000,000, you have just about $75,000,000 to spend on investments.

  31. Further evidence that the world’s richest corporatists are sociopathic idiots.  It’s time to dismantle these evil empires built upon the backs of those who actually work for a living.

  32. This makes my blood boil.  I am a new single mother, freshly divorced from the man that violated my daughter, looking hard for work and hoping to make it back into school so I can provide well for my children and contribute to society.  My kids and I are surviving on $105 per month on food stamps.  Most people drop that on drinks in a weekend.  I worked hard and well when I was childless, we scrimped and sacrificed so I could stay home with them, and then boom!  But apparently, I’m the problem in this equation.  Christ, what an asshole.

  33. The stupidity begins even before this clown starts dispensing advice.  “If you’re jealous of those with more money, don’t just sit there and complain.”  Who is this hypothetical “you” who is “jealous”?  She seems to have no specific idea about what a “complaint” about the rich might be beyond one motivated by individual “jealousy”.  On the other hand, perhaps she has a very clear idea about what a substantive, well-motivated complaint might entail, so creates a fake, weak one to step around the issue.  As others on the thread have commented: straw man.

    At any rate, it makes the argument stupid before it has even gotten off the ground.  “Look, if you don’t *like* the fact that the earth is flat, then you should…”

  34. The money came from her fathers discovery, first of the whitenoom gorge asbestos deposit (in the 30’s, sold to CSR, hence the sugar refining company in midnight oil’s Blue Sky Mining) and then the iron ore deposits in the Pilbara.
    The money came from a royalty deal with rio Tinto.
    Now anyone saying that these were easy feats has never spent time in the Pilbara. 40 degrees plus summers, spinifex (the one thing I don’t miss) and extreme isolation.
    Lang might have been a nutter and arsehole but he earns the money.

  35. I think Xeni forgot to mention Mrs. Rinehart also shared some additional pearls of wisdom, like lowering the minimum wage and the taxes she paid -something she presumably did while keeping a perfectly straight face. Looks like the poor who *do* work are getting too rich too fast.

    As to laying down the booze I’ll have to politely decline: I’m pretty sure my current health plan doesn’t cover delirium tremens.

  36. Someone must have posted this already- “Christ what an asshole”. Advice to Gina- keep your ignoramus comments to yourself and spend a bit less time eating. You and the Donald should be locked in a room together forever.

  37. Ugh, so many idiotic statements here.

    1) That there is “no monopoly” on being a millionaire.
    Basic mathematics proves that our societies can only support a small fraction of the population being ultra wealthy.  If everyone could, it would mean nothing, (or we would all have robot maids… more then likely it would mean psychotic inflation, and it would cost a thousand dollars for a loaf of bread).

    2) That the poor should “invest”.
    THE POOR DON’T HAVE MONEY TO INVEST.  If you make more then you need to live on, you can invest the rest, and have your fortune grow larger and larger.  If you don’t, you DON’T.

    3) That people are poor because they are lazy, and the rich are rich because they are hard working.
    I’ve nearly passed out from over work, and I’m still not a millionaire, (and I’m just one example).

    4) That the poor can just get better jobs, which assumes:
    a) There are better jobs, which for a lot of people, there aren’t.
    b) That people can be trained for these better jobs, (most companies don’t offer entry-level positions any more).
    c) That they will be hired for these better jobs.
    d) That it’s possible for all of the poor to get better jobs, (as if we don’t need tradesmen, labourers, taxi drivers, janitors, grocers, et al.)
    e) That these Better Jobs pay well enough to have a surplus that can be invested.

    5)That they are angry because they are jealous of millionaires.  While I’m sure most people would rather be a millionaire, what most people want is to make enough to cover their basic expenses and some moderate entertainment.  People aren’t working minimum wage jobs to become millionaires, they are just doing it to survive, and that’s what their chief goals are.

    This adds to the usual mantra, 6), that the poor are poor because they spend their time and money drinking, (definite yes for some people, but not most of the population).

  38. I swear one of these days some rich person is just going to go ahead and propose that we deal with poverty by making it illegal to be poor.

  39. Perhaps one day she will realize her fundamental error:

    She THINKS she explained why poor people are poor.

    She did not.

    She DEMONSTRATED why poor people hate the rich. 

    After inheriting wealth in 1992, it took 14 years to reach  1B AU$ in 2006 and 29B AU$ in 2012. Yes, she inherited and benefits from a boom, but clearly she’s not squandering her wealth. Many heirs (or lottery winners) end up poor stewards of their fortune, she didn’t.

    That’s not to say I like what she’s saying or that it would make sense to me, but hey.

  41. _Think and Grow Rich_ by Napoleon Hill is the best advice on the subject. However, having money doesn’t bring happiness, because your expectation of “normal” just increases with your wealth, so you never feel rich. Happiness comes from giving away money, whether it is the homeless man who gives what he can to someone even more down and out them himself, or Bill Gates funding AIDS research.

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