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World’s Richest Woman: Africans Working For $2 A Day An Inspiration
September 5, 2012
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Okay, pop quiz. Any idea who the richest woman in the world is? The Queen? Nope. Oprah? Nope. It's a woman from Australia named Gina Rinehart.

Rinehart runs a huge mining empire, and is said to have $100 billion in assets to her name. As far as her own personal finances, she's said to be worth $30 billion.

So, she's getting by.

Well now, Rinehart is speaking out about the state of Australia's economy. And she's made a 10-minute video to get her point across.

In the video, she says "If we competed at the Olympic Games as sluggishly as we compete economically there would be an outcry."

She then urged Australia to look to Africa for inspiration.

"Africans want to work and its workers are willing to work for less than $2 a day. Such statistics make me worry for this country's future," Rinehart said.

Take a look. The heart of her argument runs from 4:00 to 5:20 and 8:40 to 9:40.

A couple of points - Australia is a wealthy enough country, its people shouldn't have to work for $2 a day. And just because people in Africa work for $2 a day, doesn't mean it's right.

Rinehart says she wants to create jobs in Australia, but foreign competitors, such as those in Africa, offer much cheaper investment opportunities.

Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard had this to say: "It's not the Australian way to toss people $2, a two-dollar gold coin, and then ask them to work for the day. We support proper Australian wages and decent working conditions for Australian people."

Last week, Rinehart wrote a column in the magazine Australian Resource and Investment, criticizing Australia's "socialist" policies, saying they hurt big business.

She said Australia should lower its minimum wage and cut taxes. She also complained about a sense of "entitlement" in poorer Australian states and essentially told Australians if they want to get rich, they need to get off their butts or shut up.

"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 socializing, and more time working," Rinehart said.

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

It's worth nothing Rinehart inherited her family fortune but she said "there is no monopoly on becoming a millionaire." And she considers herself a self-made businesswoman who turned the company around after her father died.

The BBC has a full profile on Rinehart's life and career. It covers everything from her rise in business, her personal feuds, and her early hero (Margaret Thatcher). You can read it here.

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