Society and Culture

Oxfam’s obsession with the rich distracts from their aim of tackling poverty

The IEA reacts to Oxfam's inequality report

Commenting on Oxfam’s Its Public Good or Private Wealth? report on inequality, Associate Director at the Institute of Economic Affairs Kate Andrews said: 

“Oxfam’s findings misrepresent poverty and how it is most commonly understood. Once again, the charity has rolled out headlines that fly in the face of everything else we know about human progress and income improvements.

“Despite being a development charity, Oxfam remains obsessed with the rich. Their determination to address inequality distracts from the issue of poverty; wholly different issues, the latter requires radically different antidotes to the ones that would be used to address the former.

“If the overarching goal is to end world poverty, Oxfam should be making the case for building the right domestic and international frameworks that allow for free-markets to thrive and corruption to be tackled.

“Instead, they advocate a race to the bottom, with interventionist policies that are more likely to destroy wealth than they are to successfully redistribute it.

“Capitalism has the best track record for lifting people out of poverty. The past few decades alone have seen hundreds of millions of people benefit. Demonising capitalism might be a fashionable activity for the affluent but it would be a travesty, especially for the poor, if calls to overthrow it were allowed to succeed.”

Notes to editors:

For media enquiries please contact Kate Andrews, Associate Director –[email protected] 020 7799 8900 | 07476 915 072

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

The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems and seeks to provide analysis in order to improve the public understanding of economics.

The IEA is a registered educational charity and independent of all political parties.