What the Rich and Powerful Really Think of the Poor

PHOTO: Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice addresses the Republican National Convention in the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
Tom Williams/Getty Images

Recently, Gina Rinehart, an Australian mining tycoon and the world's wealthiest woman, had some choice words for poor people. "If you're jealous of those with more money, don't just sit there and complain," she wrote in Australian Resources and Investment magazine. "Do something to make more money yourself – spend less time drinking or smoking and socializing, and more time working."


Not that Rineheart knows much about working—she inherited $75 million from her father's iron ore company. To be fair, she has since grown that sum to $29 billion. But some would argue that her words are a little, well, hypocritical.

The good news is that she's upfront with her beliefs. And she's not the only wealthy person who's unafraid to voice her true feelings on those with less money. Here are some other insights from the Rich and Influential.

PHOTO: Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice addresses the Republican National Convention in the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
Tom Williams/Getty Images
Condoleezza Rice

"Let's get one thing straight. You are behind the counter because you have to work for minimum wage. I'm on this side asking to see the good jewelry because I make considerably more." -- Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who reportedly said this to a clerk in a jewelry shop.

PHOTO: Donald Trump speaks at the Ritz-Carlton, August 26, 2012 in Sarasota, Florida.
Edward Linsmier/Getty Images
Donald Trump

"Who puts announcements in the paper? Two poor people, a man and a woman with no money. There's announcements in the newspaper?" -- Donald Trump to Bill O'Reilly, on why he doesn't believe President Obama was born in the U.S.

PHOTO: Warren Buffett, speaks during an interview on the sidelines of the Allen & Co. Media and Technology Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, July 13, 2012.
Scott Eells/Getty Images
Warren Buffett

"There's class warfare, all right, but it's my class, the rich class, that's making war, and we're winning."-- Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffet, on why the rich should pay more taxes.

PHOTO: Newt Gingrich, attends the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, Aug. 28, 2012.
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Newt Gingrich

"Really poor children in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and have nobody around them who works. So they literally have no habit of showing up on Monday. They have no habit of staying all day. They have no habit of 'I do this and you give me cash' unless it's illegal."-- Former House Speaker and Wannabe President Newt Gingrich, who said that laws preventing child labor in America were "truly stupid" and that schools should hire working class students to be janitors.

PHOTO: During the final night of  the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum,  presidential nominee Mitt Romney addresses the delegation.
John Tlumacki/Getty Images
Mitt Romney

"I'm not concerned about the very poor; we have a safety net there. If it needs repair, I'll fix it. I'm not concerned about the very rich, they're doing just fine. I'm concerned about the very heart of America, the 90 percent, 95 percent of Americans who right now are struggling, and I'll continue to take that message across the nation." -- GOP Nominee Mitt Romney to CNN's Soledad O'Brien.

PHOTO: Leona Helmsley arrives for dinner at the Four Seasons restaurant in this April 27, 2004 file photo in New York City.
Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images
Leona Helmsley

"Only the little people pay taxes." -- Deceased hotelier and "Queen of Mean" Leona Helmsley, who was found guilty of evading $1.2 million in taxes. She famously left $12 million to her Maltese, Trouble.

PHOTO: Radio talk show host and political commentator Rush Limbaugh looks on from the sideline before a National Football League game.
George Gojkovich/Getty Images
Rush Limbaugh

"We are mere hours away now from Tropical Storm Isaac, which everybody is desperately hoping becomes a hurricane…. [What] Republicans ought to do is send bags of money instead of sand…. Now, this will accomplish much. It will show our compassion, and it will do something else. Once we publicize that we have sent 500 bags of money -- well, whatever number of bags, bags filled with money to shore up the levees, what will happen? The poor of New Orleans will storm the levees and steal the bags, thereby putting themselves at risk for the eventual flooding that will happen once they remove the bags of money."-- Conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh.

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