Sunday, March 09, 2014

Gina Rinehart and the reality of entitlement

I want to say this to Gina Rinehart and others who continue to ply this 'tirade of entitlement'. First up, Ms Rinehart, my grandfather knew your father, quite well I believe, and although he did not particularly like the man, I'm told he held him in some regard as someone who had a vision and the balls to solicit substantial government assistance to realise it. I know this because the relationship between the two men was of entrepreneur and government minister responsible. They talked often.


So you need to be aware, Ms Rinehart, that you are the beneficiary of that government largesse that enabled your father and his partner, Peter Wright, to explore and develop and establish relationships that resulted in substantial personal wealth, and modest state wealth. Without it, you would very likely not be in the position of undue influence that you enjoy today. That largesse means that you received the benefit of entitlement, but it doesn't mean you are someone who is any position to dictate what entitlements should be given in a world sixty years on.

Your father, my father, our grandfathers, the fathers of many millions of other Australians and the handful of people who will read this post, all paid taxes. They didn't pay taxes to build a system to enable you to steal labour from Australian workers, or royalties from Australian mineral owners, or the future transport system from our children ... they paid taxes because they wanted to be members of the Australian society, to invest in a future that would be richer than their own in ways well beyond simple fiscal returns.

Our fathers (collectively) paid taxes to invest in our roads and highways, our wharves and seaways, our rail and commuter systems, our scientific and medical superstructures, our internet and telephony, our airlines and space sciences. They invested so we, and our children could reap the benefits of those investments. They didn't invest so that we could allow those fine establishments go to wrack and ruin because you believe you are entitled to keep and multiply the wealth you inherited without contributing your proportionate share. It is your belief in entitlement that is the problem here.

My guess is you are a member of a private club or two, where you can rub shoulders with the elite and powerful and discuss how badly done by you are by workers who want to be paid for the risks they take, the charity seekers who want a donation to fight homelessness, the common people who believe they are also entitled to reap the benefits of their fathers' wise investments. My guess is you have to pay to be a member of those exclusive clubs so that all the things built by those who came before you can be maintained and kept at the standards you and others of your ilk expect. These are the dues you pay. Well, guess what? the dues you pay to be a member of 'Club Australia' is your fair share of tax, not the espousal of your beliefs in your entitlement to be here and lord it over others.

The point is, there is no such thing as a 'self made man'. Every successful businessman or entrepreneur has used the not inconsiderable Australian infrastructure, built by our collective fathers, paid for by the taxpayers, to make his money. Every one. Not one successfully rich businessman made his money alone - not Rupert Murdoch, Not Kerry Packer, certainly not Lang Hancock - he did it with the assistance of the taxpayer-built infrastructure, getting rich on what others did before and alongside him. Don't think for one minute that men like your father alone, out of their own enterprise, built the banking system, the treasury, the departments of trade and industry that facilitate the sale and trade of resources, the judicial system that protects your deals (and allows your own family to challenge your sense of entitlement), the labour markets that are created, maintained and made available by government. No, they were built by the taxpayers of Australia, for the benefit of all Australians, fairly, equitably and with a view to building a better future.

Ms Rinehart, you are not simply 'entitled' to keep and multiply the benefits of the wealth left to you by your father to be used for personal gain through influencing the government of the day. Every time you use your influence to reduce your contribution - the MRRT was such an example - you are exercising your belief that you are entitled, and you are stealing from the Australian people. You and others like you, owe the Australian tax payer a great deal, and you should be paying it back.

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

Kevin, you are brilliant!

Unknown said...

Well said mate.
Shame Abbott is protecting her ilk

Unknown said...

Bravo Kevin. Erudite and classy. My thanks and respect to our forebears, and to you for reviving the truth of those that worked before us to construct a society we, their children and grandchildren, could prosper in.

Lorenzo said...

Excellent, doesn't Gina have several indigenous half siblings? Do they see any money?

Vicki said...

Some people have short memories. Well said, sir.

tony said...

THANK YOU FOR YOUR VIEWS WHICH I CONSIDER WOULD BE THOSE OF MOST ORDINARY AUSTRALIANS AND FEW OF THE PRIVELIDGED ! NOW THIS IS IN NO WAY A POLITICAL COMMENT AS BOTH SIDES ARE TO BLAME ! BUT I ALSO HAVE PAID MY TAXES AND DUES IN THIS COUNTRY SO THAT I MAY HAVE MY MEDICARE AND PENSION (THOUGH NEVER USING SOCIAL BENIFITS OF ANY KIND ) ! ONLY TO DISCOVER THAT BOTH SIDES OF POLITICS HAVE USED ALL THE MONEY WE THE PEOPLE ENTRUSTED THEM WITH ON RORTS PERKS AND CRAZY WAGE PACKETS TO THEMSELVES ! THE ONLY SOLUTION IS IF THEY HAVE ANY INTENTION TO CUT MEDICARE IT SHOULD BE AFTER THEY HAVE DONE A COMPLETE REVIEW OF ALL BENIFITS AND WAGES PENSIONS ETC. PAID TO ALL POLITICIANS OLD AND NEW ( WORKLPACE REVIEW !!) AND SEE IF WE STILL NEED TO CANCEL MEDICARE !!

Kevin Price said...

I think you are right Tony. I think both sides of Politics have raided the 'Social Security' bickie tin. The Libs do it because they believe that only the deserving should receive entitlements - the 'deserving' in their view are those who have 'worked hard to prosper', followed the moral code and acted according to the disciplne of that code. To them, all social programs are evil actions demanded by the underserving to take those entitlements away from those who are deserving. Labor have raided the tin because they want to be like the Libs, rub shoulders with the powerful and elite. They want to win votes, and think they can do it the way the Libs do it, but sadly, they have lost their way. It's a sad state of affairs, I think.

Unknown said...

Nicely put Kevin. It does concern me though that opposition parties don't seem to be able to tell this story. Where is 'this' voice in the political realm? Maybe we need a council of elders from society to act as an influential counterpoint to the predictable political speak coming from Canberra.

Unknown said...

Well said Kevin POLITICIANS must be accountable and Ms Rinehart put your money where your mouth is why don't help Australia yes employ more people and build more houses the old saying money is like horses shit its no good unless spread around to make things grow so start spreading in Australia not over seas

Kevin Price said...

A great question, Eamon. I think part of the problem is, as I said in a prior comment, that those on the Left are so overwhelmed by the success of the arguments by the Right that they fail to argue for the values they should represent. Instead they try to argue for an opposite of the same value, which is untenable.

What is needed is a political voice with a new discourse based on responsibility and care (empathy) rather than self-interest and paternalism. Until the left side of politics recognises that the current conservative values cannot be successfully argued as a right-wrong dichotomy, they will always come off second best.

A good example is the outrage around Thompson's behaviour as corrupt in the theft of money through privilege from the union he worked for, but there is no outrage in the theft of money by Don Randall, Tony Abbott and others through privilege from the Australian taxpayer. The left mistakenly went in to bat for one of its own and got stuck with the mud, but failed to mount an effective retaliation when those in the current government were caught out. This is not because there was no outrage, but because they tried to make the argument without redefining the values.

Bronwen Williams said...

Yes, a council of Elders (both male and frmale!) is waay overdue! !

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

This is the best commentary I've read on Gina's self-indulgent discourse. Her comments really got under my skin, too, and thank you for articulating why.

One of the problems with Labor is that it's not a left-wing party as such, but was set up for the 'worker'. It arose from the unions, and traditionally has looked after workers and their rights. This was, and is, necessary—there are still people around who would exploit their employees by paying them $2 a day.*

These days, though, there are other issues, real left-wing issues, such as caring for the environment and asylum seekers. The workers, and therefore the unions, see these as threatening jobs, so Labor has taken the same stand on these issues as the right.

That's why, I believe, the Greens are the only true left-wing party that have the interests of all at heart.

*I won't say names.

Unknown said...

Thank you Mr Price please keep speaking out about this otherwise people will hook onto her an Pauline H and think they are the new age gospel. Just like Abbott :(

Unknown said...

You're an idiot.

TGIAA said...

Thanks Kevin, for saying it much better than I could. You speak your thoughts much more eloquently than 'peter lindsay'too. Shame he couldn't backup his claim.

I do hope as many people come to read this as do read her outrageous comments about how Australians are all bludgers.

Unknown said...

Thank you Kevin, well said, a voice in the wilderness is better than no voice at all.

Scott Ludlum said a similar thing in his 'Welcome to West Australia Mr. Abbott' speech to an empty house.

I believe we need people like Scott in Parliament to keep some balance, god alone knows we need it.

Unknown said...

First class Kevin, you should form a New Party.

Unknown said...

priceless said in a simple powerful way

Michael Maher said...

This is absolutely brilliant. Congratulations Kevin.

conflict of interest said...

So happy I came across your blog, what a brilliant piece of writing and truth, thank you!

Unknown said...

I do not live in Australia. But are we saying that Ms Rhinehart and her companies do not pay tax?

Unknown said...

I'd join him.

Unknown said...

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. My absolute disgust of this self indulgent, self righteous, narcissist individual has been doing my head in for some time and you have finally said what I have been trying to say for some time. A brilliant piece of writing. God bless you and other Aussies who feel the same. SHARE SHARE SHARE!

Unknown said...

Good on you Pricey, for stating what most of us feel in our hearts. Gina and her ilk are but minnows in a sea of sharks like the Trillionaires Rochefellers and Rothschilds that are somehow overlooked when the 10 richest get listed each year.

Unknown said...

How about this TGIAA. When has an Australian government ever developed a large mineral resource without private enterprise instigating the whole thing? Without entrepreneurs we would dtill be standing on all the mineral wealth that gives you your standard of living.

interested said...

love it well said that would of put her back in her so called hole

Unknown said...

Fair enough Kevin - that's your opinion. But let's get a few facts straight.
The company she inherited from her father was on the verge of bankruptcy. She could have moved on and left it, she didn't, she worked her butt off and turned it around into the one of the largest resource companies in the world.

She didn't set her company up on our infrastructure, she built her own, all those railways that transport the ore, the ports that load it onto ships, the towns that house her employees, the power and service companies that provide electricity, fuel and water she built.

She employs thousands of aussies who house themselves, feed themselves and educate their children because she pays them the highest salaries in the world.

She could take offence to your opinion and shut up shop, close her businesses, sack all her workers and she could move to Africa and mine there - she would make much more money in Africa cos she only has to $2 per hour so clearly greed is not her motivation.

We should be proud of our entrepreneurs like Gina.

just saying...

Unknown said...

Poor Peter L...you've missed the whole point of this piece by the width of Rineharts grip on reality. Your eloquent first response sums you up nicely.

Unknown said...

Hi Tim, John above put eloquently what my thoughts are and what the truth of the matter is. I chose not to waste time typing to an audience that is unable to see the world as it really is. You didn't even try to answer my question in the second post. As per usual, lots of finger pointing and smug self-satisfaction and nothing in the way of factual content.

Curious said...

ELOQUENT? For an old time evangelical tent speaker on a dull fundie sabbath maybe
Needed editing for shatpness and half the length - at most.

David J said...

Bravo! Often what I would like to say streams through my mind in a coherent thread of ideas, well considered points and visionary perception. Then quite as quickly as exactly the right thing to say appeared it evaporates without me managing to express a word of it to others, or write a line on paper. Thank you Kevin Price for capturing the essence of all those collective thoughts in one well written summary!

Unknown said...

Democracy is dead. It's not even a meritocracy. Welcome to the Corporatocracy. What get's me is the hero worship of the mega rich. Are people really that stupid to get sucked in by the smoke and mirrors game that is going on? When did it become okay and even a virtue for people to have THIS MUCH PERSONAL WEALTH! 85 of the worlds richest people (that's INDIVIDUALS) posses as much as the poorest 3.5 billion combined! That's sick man! They should be ashamed of themselves! And yet we put them up on pedestals as if they are our SAVIOURS! Meanwhile they are hiding out in their big fat executive chairs behind company names thinking they can call the shots and dictate social opinion. "They're laughing at us, can't you see, they're laughing at us!" (Mad Max)

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