Markets and Morality

IEA: Oxfam’s obsession with the rich distracts from tackling poverty

Commenting on Oxfam’s latest report ‘Time to Care’, Mark Littlewood, Director General at the Institute of Economic Affairs said:

“Oxfam’s obsession with the top one percent once again distracts from the real issue of poverty.

“If the charity’s goal is to end world poverty, Oxfam should be making the case for ensuring the right institutional frameworks exist to allow free markets to thrive and economic growth to flourish.

“Capitalism has without a doubt the best track record for lifting people out of poverty. Every day 158,000 people escape extreme poverty and this number is increasing. Looking at Sub-Saharan Africa, average incomes in the region have more than doubled in the last twenty years.

“While demonising capitalism might be a fashionable in the affluent West, the past few decades alone have seen hundreds of millions of people benefit from economic growth and the subsequent rises in standards of living.

“Interventionist policies, as advocated by Oxfam, are far more likely to destroy wealth than they are to successfully redistribute it.

“Rather than obsessing with the billionaires, they should focus on poverty relief and that means embracing capitalism.”
Notes to editors:

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For related IEA reseach on inequality, click here and here.