One of Australia’s wealthiest men Tim Gurner has triggered a global backlash over his let them eat cake comment suggesting that unemployment should double to humble arrogant employees. Tim Gurner, a former gym owner and real estate magnate, stated, “We need to see pain in the economy.”
He has previously suggested that young people cannot afford residences due to excessive avocado toast consumption. The video of his remarks has gone viral, garnering over 23 million views and fierce online criticism.
This week at a property summit, the 41-year-old stated that the Covid-19 pandemic had altered the attitudes and work ethics of employees for the worse, citing constructors as an example.
He asserted that this transition is affecting productivity in the industry, which, in conjunction with stricter regulations, is contributing to Australia’s housing shortage.
He proposed the country’s present unemployment rate of 3.7% should rise by 40-50% to reduce “arrogance in the employment market”. This would result in the loss of over 200,000 employment.
Mr. Gurner stated, “There has been a systematic shift in which employees believe their employer is extremely fortunate to have them.”
“We need to remind people that they work for their employer, not the other way around.”
His remarks come at a moment when many businesses are in conflict with their employees over issues such as remote work and compensation.
Changing attitudes towards employment are also a topic of widespread discussion on social media, giving rise to hashtags such as “quiet quitting,” which refers to the decision to stop going above and beyond for supervisors, and “lazy-girl jobs,” which refers to well-paying, flexible positions that provide a better work-life balance.
Mr. Gurner’s remarks, which were shared by the Australian Financial Review (AFR), which hosted the summit, have drawn criticism on social media platforms such as X (previously Twitter), TikTok, and LinkedIn.
They have also been condemned by politicians of all political stripes in Australia. Jerome Laxale, a member of the Labour Party, described them as “comments you’d expect from a cartoon supervillain,” while Keith Wolahan, a member of the Liberal Party, said they “could not be more out of touch.”
“The loss of an employment is not quantifiable. It results in individuals living on the streets and relying on food banks, Mr. Wolahan told the AFR. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a US lawmaker, also criticised the property magnate.
“Reminder that major CEOs have skyrocketed their own pay so much that the ratio of CEO-to-worker pay is now at some of the highest levels ever recorded,” she wrote on X.
Others, such as the chairman of the Minerals Council of Australia, Andrew Michelmore, have defended him.
Mr. Michelmore told the AFR, “Employees have become accustomed to earning the same amount of money but not working the same number of hours.”
Tim Gurner is an Australian property developer and entrepreneur. He gained widespread media attention and controversy in 2017 for his comments about millennials and homeownership.
In an interview with “60 Minutes,” Gurner suggested that millennials could afford to buy homes if they stopped spending money on things like avocado toast and expensive coffee. His comments sparked a debate about the challenges that millennials face in the housing market, student loan debt, and the changing economic landscape.
Gurner himself is a prominent figure in the real estate industry in Australia. He founded Gurner™, a property development company known for luxury apartment buildings and developments. His success in real estate has made him a wealthy individual, and he has been involved in various high-profile property projects in Australia.
While Gurner is known for his controversial comments about millennials and homeownership, his career primarily revolves around property development and entrepreneurship in the real estate sector.