A lot of people I know are talking about Gina Rinehart’s shaking up of Fairfax Media.
Readers who don’t live in Australia (and I thank you all so much for reading…) may not know about Gina Rinehart so I’ll give you a little bit of a heads up. Bullet points are required, I’m afraid –
- daughter of late mining magnate Lang Hancock and heiress of Hancock Prospecting
- shares in 50% of the profits of the Hope Downs Mine owned by Rio Tinto which produces 30 million tonnes of iron ore annually
- with Mineral Resources Ltd she produces 500 million tonnes of manganese annually
- diversified business interests in 2010 and became largest shareholder in Fairfax Media
- Forbes Asia and Business Review Weekly named her as Australia’s wealthiest person in 2011
- Business Review Weekly named her as the world’s richest woman in May 2012
Great achievements, right?
Her personal net worth is estimated to be close to AUD $30 billion and she increases her wealth by a million dollars every thirty minutes. Amazing stats.
Usually I don’t spend much time thinking about Gina Rinehart. Her lifestyle, her persona, are so foreign to me she might as well be a fictional character.
But yesterday, Gabrielle left a comment on Twitter that stayed with me all night and I couldn’t stop thinking about Gina Rinehart and her love of money.
Gina Rinehart’s life is not exactly a fairytale. It would seem her children pretty much despise her (typical poor-little-rich-kids-trust-fund-dispute), her feud with stepmother Rose Porteous is legendary, and she recently pissed off a lot of Australians by importing over 1700 migrant workers to build her new iron ore mine in Western Australia (without the say so of our Prime Minister.)
The headline in today’s The Australian describes her as rich, ruthless and the ruler of a bitter house divided.
30 billion dollars seems like more of a nightmare than a blessing, if you ask me.
Can you get that much money and still be a decent person?
Does the getting of 30 billion mean you have to leave your sense of philanthropy and compassion for humanity at the door? For good? What about your sense of self? Who you are? Do you ever just have a good laugh or sit with your fingers crossed, praying your favourite doesn’t go home on the elimination round of Masterchef?
Normal things. Little things that require no money. Do you lose them when there is a 30 billion dollar price tag on your head?
I was talking to some friends about it and we all agreed that living the life Gina Rinehart does is for the most part unenviable. It would be stressful. You wouldn’t know who to trust. So many people (including the press and politicians) would be out to get you day in, day out.
The philosophical question is are you as spiritually poor with 30 billion as you are with thirty cents? It’s an interesting thing to think about.
Putting up with all that nonsense all day, every day where your motivations are to get more money, more power, gathering it all up before you again and again until your arms are full, until you are crushed beneath the weight of it,until you feel like you are the most powerful person in the world, that no one matters as much as you do; acquiring more and more and more so that your brain is bursting, until your skin is splitting as if you have found yourself in a scene from a Roald Dahl book, until you have no choice but to spontaneously combust……… KERSPLAAAAAAT – it must be a form of masochism. It has to be. As damaging as people who punish themselves for failure.
The nature of money…. I don’t think I’ll ever understand it. It’s a dangerous, insidious thing. Large amounts of it should be kept under glass or in a lead-lined vault; away from us, underlit and dingy so it looks ugly and unappealing. So it doesn’t make us love it more than ourselves or each other.
I’ve done a lot of pondering here. Too deep for a Wednesday afternoon. So it must be time for a bit of fun courtesy of http://www.danilic.com (unlinked for security purposes)
Perhaps this is the future for the Sydney Morning Herald under Gina Rinehart.
(click on image to get a better look)
Hmm…first Rupert and now Gina…what is going on down there? 🙂
I think there are some Aussies who think they can take over the world, slpmartin. But everyone knows the only one who can is Vegemite Man. King of spreads. Fighting evil with one swipe of Vitamin B at a time 😆
This is excellent – love the Roald Dahl imagery 🙂
(NB!! – when I clicked on the Danilic web link I got a blocked virus threat – don’t know how to email you, so have to let you know here)
Thanks for letting me know, Bluebee. I’ve just clicked on the link myself and it seems to be OK but I’ll unlink it for the moment just in case. I appreciate you telling me. 😀
Money is funny in that the more you have the more you crave. It might be true but I see a lot of philanthropic efforts increasing in the last few years by rich people. That gives me hope. If I ever make a few billion, I’ll be sure to help the needy by donating and/or creating opportunities for work. That’s what we can all hope for. But…..
why can’t we live in a Star Trek world where money is obsolete (for humans and the Federation atleast) and no one goes hungry or sick and poverty is a forgotten memory?
It is true, Roshan, that a lot of very wealthy people do share their wealth, but many do not. I guess it all comes down to how much money they feel they need. I think I’d be happy with a few million. I certainly wouldn’t need billions. A Star Trek world would be cool. You’d also get to travel at warp speed. WHOOOOOOSH!
Very interesting times. 🙂
Yes, indeed, Mags. It’s all happening 😉
I didn’t know about this until reading it here. Gee. There is a saying here, “If you want to know what God thinks about money, look at the people he gives it to.”
That is the quote of the day, writingfeemail. So many kinds of awful people have bucketloads of money, don’t they? What is that about? WOW. That quote has really blown me away.
I think it’s unlikely Gina Rinehart cares at all about money any more. She’s chasing something that’s harder to pin down – and I’ve no doubt she can’t stop. Her search has become a compulsion, even if she can’t define it as such. She’s on a treadmill going nowhere, but needing always to go there faster and faster, while growing bigger and bigger. (And by bigger I didn’t mean to refer to body size, though if I were to practise armchair psychology I’d wager that her body mass has some kind of connection with her need to put herself out there and show the rest of the world who’s who!). It’s hard not to feel saddened by her, and for her.
You are so right, Chartreuse. There seems to be some kind of compulsion driving her. I’ve never seen an interview with her where she seemed relaxed. She does look like she could implode at any moment. I also feel slightly saddened by her and for her. In spite of the money, it doesn’t seem like much of a life. Thanks so much for stopping by. Great to see you 😀
Last night I had dinner with my daughters. Smart, thoughtful, capable, kind women. Who regularly make time to be with their mother because they enjoy it. We sat on my apartment’s rooftop on a breezy summer night and had a lovely meal of good food. I am rich beyond imagining.
You truly are rich beyond imagining, Jen. And I am richer for knowing you. What you have just said and the way you look at life is what it’s all about for me. Hear hear ♥
such a great story. i dunno, i think the combo women/power is still uncomfortable when the woman has that much power. that said, she doesnt look healthy, and gleaned from the story, i would diagnose it as “narcissism” more than “masochism” because the narcissist actually doesnt feel the emotions of others, nor of their own. narcissists arent capable of feeling the pain, or the pleasure. they are driven by wiring that is self-replecating. the narcissist doesnt get it that other people matter. people are their fodder.
Oh, definitely, Tipota, Narcissism plays a major part, for sure. When you highlight that the narcissist doesn’t feel the emotions of others I feel sorry for her because that would be such an empty, selfish existence. How does she stand it?
There also is that component of women in power. We are still uncomfortable with it today. It shouldn’t matter, but it does. I wonder if she would be as ruthless if she was a man. Food for thought.
“The philosophical question is are you as spiritually poor with 30 billion as you are with thirty cents? It’s an interesting thing to think about.”
Personally, I believe that excessive money merely amplifies the type of person you are. Whether its good or bad.
WOW. Meleah, your comment has really struck me because it is spot on. I know some people who have made a lot of money and are exactly the same as they were before, whether it be good or bad. Maybe we just are the way we are and the money either makes it better or worse. Thank you for such a meaningful comment!
I wouldn’t live in that family for all the tea in China – power and control and the ‘principal of the thing’ ie, working hard to increase power and control are probably at the centre of it all and she can’t forgive her children for not having the same iron-ore obsession as she has (imagine if they were strident greenies and anti mining 😉 ) – it is very sad for them but many families are dysfunctional – I’m only concerned with the danger of Gina’s influence and she is as dangerous as can be – if she can’t sign the independence of journalism charter as part of News Ltd she needs to pack up and concentrate on mining; and the Govt needs to concentrate on legislation to reign in the influence of the 1% out to destroy the planet.
ps and thanks for the link Selma 😉 pps. Gina needs to take a leaf out of the Bill Gates book – give it all away to good causes but be involved in the process so you enjoy yourself and your kids have no expectations of a life living on a bed of money (and they could be later involved in giving it away and learn all about different charities while they are at it – can’t imagine anything better than that – so Gina if you want to throw a few Million my way, that is what I will do with it, though I will be funding quite a few carbon reduction strategies – haha ;))
Yes, Gabrielle. The overriding issue for me with Gina is her disregard for the environment. I sort of look at her like a Loony Tunes character with an enormous shovel digging everything up until there is nothing left. And when the last tree falls into the pit she has dug she laughs evilly, for ever. She is opposed to the carbon tax etc. etc. because it affects her bottom line. She is completely au fait with the science, the facts of the situation but she doesn’t care because of the money. That’s really why we’re all so worried about her media influence because she will then in turn influence the easily swayed members of society who blindly accept the rhetoric of politicians and corporate tycoons. She is a villian. Possibly a supervillain. We need a hero to take her out…..
I think, if she didn’t have a penny, and was drawing benefits, she’d still be an unpleasant person.
I once had occasion to interview Mr. Leopold de Rothschild (owner of the Exbury Garden Railway) who is one of the richest men in Britain … and one of the kindest, most courteous gentlemen I have ever met.
And, I don’t think he’s a one-off!
I think you’re right, Travelrat. That would have been amazing to interview Mr. de Rothschild. It just goes to show that you don’t need to be a so-and-so when you have money. I don’t think he’s a one-off, either!
I would love to believe that someone could have great wealth and not become poisoned by it. We like to think that having all that you could ever imagine and more would be such a blessing, but just as you note here, I think it would also be the source of much fear and pain. A happy medium would be lovely, but then for many folks “just enough” is never enough!
It’s one of the great questions of life, Josie – when is too much money, enough? Some of these tycoons just don’t seem to know when to stop and their wealth to me seems obscene. I would be ashamed that amassing such personal wealth at the expense of everything else would be the measure of me. Maybe that’s why I’ll always be poor. Oh well. At least I appreciate every cent 😕
Loved the SMH spoof! BUT why was Bolt not the main pic? No way Rinehart would allow the gorgeous Amanda on the front page! Bolt epitomises the dig it up, burn it and fuck the future mentality that seems to be in fashion.
I don’t know whether being super rich changes you, but I’d like to try it and see!
Gina really wants to be Rupert.
If i was super rich I’d challenge Gina Rinehart to a dance off and whoever lost would have to donate half of their fortune to environmental causes. You know I’d be winnin’ that thang coz I got me some boss moves, cuz! LOL. 😆
And Rupert wants to be Gina. It’s a tycoon I wish I was you-fest. And Andrew Bolt wants to be the editor of the SMH so he can publish more of Gina Rinehart’s poetry. ZAP!!!
Ya know, I wonder about this. I
oops new keyboard, musta hit something wrong.
Anyway I wonder about this because I think in one way that if you are a nice caring person, money can’t change that and yet I wonder about the need to be ruthliess and if it turns some peoples brains in the end.
I personally think I couldn’t handle it because I couldn’t be ruthless and not give a damn about people or the environment. Maybe you have to be born a ruthless s.o.b. in order to survive that kind of wealth?
It’s hard to know without going through it ourselves, isn’t it? I’d like to think that we stay the way we are but personally I wouldn’t like to be so wealthy. It’d be a burden just as much as having no money is. As I always say – ‘Put me somewhere in the middle…’ 😀