The disconnect the ultra rich demonstrate between their own position and that of the workers who often pay their wages – while earning virtually nothing for themselves – is immeasurable. Whether it was incredible ignorance or outright contempt which led Gina Rinehart to make her remarks regarding African workers being willing to work for $2 a day – a few months after they were massacred by security forces to demanding $1500 a month – is perhaps irrelevant; what is clear from her statement is that it is the low-paid masses who should take the hit so she can preserve her billionaire lifestyle.
Rinehart is among the world’s richest people who, according to Oxfam, could end world poverty. Jeremy Hobbs, an executive director at Oxfam, said, “Concentration of resources in the hands of the top one per cent depresses economic activity and makes life harder for everyone else – particularly those at the bottom of the economic ladder. In a world where even basic resources such as land and water are increasingly scarce, we cannot afford to concentrate assets in the hands of a few and leave the many to struggle over what’s left.”
Rinehart would disagree.