Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Fitzgerald and Rinehart.

F. Scott Fitzgerald (1937),
by Carl van Vechten. [A]
F. Scott Fitzgerald: "Let me tell you about the very rich..."

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Today Australia's richest person, Gina Rinehart, became the centre of national attention after selections of one of her regular columns from Australian Resources and Investment magazine were published by the Murdoch press. (See here)

These are some of the statements attributed to Rinehart:
"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."

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Rinehart, who has appeared every year in the BRW Rich 200 since 1992, when her father died, owns a personal fortune variously estimated between USD29 and 18 billion. In 2012, her wealth doubled its previous year's estimates, due to then rising international prices of coal and iron ore.

It's unknown how Rinehart's hard work contributed to those price increases, how many metric tonnes did she personally dig from her mines, or the relationship between commodity prices and "drinking, smoking or socialising", but her advise to would-be self-made people is clear cut: work hard, invest and build.

To help us become wealthier, Rinehart proposes to cut our minimum wages (currently at the astronomical level of AUD606.40 per week) and cut her taxes.

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This is the rest of Fitzgerald's quotation:

..."They are different from you and me.  They possess and enjoy early, and it does something to them, makes them soft where we are hard, and cynical where we are trustful, in a way that, unless you were born rich, it is very difficult to understand.  They think, deep in their hearts, that they are better than we are because we had to discover the compensations and refuges of life for ourselves."

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So, this is how the rich see us: envious, lazy, drunk. So very different from them. They see themselves as so much better and deserving than us: that's what Fitzgerald says in the quote above.

And that's not the worse you can read and hear.

This is what their toadies think of us:
"Most people on the minimum wage are there because they're too lazy to study and learn new skills. (...) If I own a business and need someone to do something a monkey could do then I should be able to hire someone as useful as a monkey and pay them banana's.
"
(...) anyone who puts themselves in that position as an adult through their own lazy/irresponsible behavior only has themselves to blame. All the people I know who are on minimum wage as adults are there because of their own laziness. Eg, I'd rather jig school/uni/work and smoke fags then learn something so I can pull my own weight in society." (JamesM, Aug 30, 2012, 11:22AM. See here, you may have to click on "More comments")
This is class warfare. They started it and they are shooting at you. If they win, don't expect much mercy or understanding. And, let me tell you, they are winning.

You've been warned, repeatedly, here and elsewhere. You can't say nobody told you. If you're poor, you have two options: either you pretend you didn't read this, grab your banana and pray they'll take you prisoner, or  do something about it.

Your choice.

Image Credits:
[A] F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1937, June 4. Photo by Carl Van Vechten (1880–1964). Wikimedia.

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