The other day Oxfam claimed via some highly questionable figures that suggest the richest 1 per cent will soon own over 50 per cent of the wealth.
Predictably the left-wing were all over this as some kind of truism that capitalism is inherently evil and the government must act somehow to stop this.
The mere notion that Oxfam puts forward is silly in the first instance and wrong in the second.
Fraser Nelson at the Spectator explains.
The hijacking of Oxfam by the politicised left is nothing short of a tragedy. Itâs heartbreaking to see a charity that has built up so much goodwill from so many people being used by activists as a vehicle for global class war. As a result, OxfamÂ is switching its focus away from global poverty towards something very different: wealth inequality.
It has today come up with some questionable figures suggesting that the richest 1 per cent will soon own over 50 per cent of the wealth. Here is Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam International, with a message she intends to give before she heads off to Davos:
âWe see a concentration of wealth capturing power and leaving ordinary people voiceless and their interests uncared forâŠ The scale of global inequality is quite simply staggering and despite the issues shooting up the global agenda, the gap between the richest and the rest is widening fast.â
She didnât have space, it seems, in her Guardian interview or in the Oxfam research to point out that right now global poverty has beenÂ declining faster than at any point in human history.
Even if Oxfamâs forecastÂ cameÂ true, you have to ask: isnât the charityÂ supposed to be worried about the poor, rather than obsessing about the rich? Its adverts want to you believe that age-old (and laughably incorrect) trope that the poor are poor because the rich are rich: that wealth is a pie, and the powerful are helping themselves to an ever-larger slice. In fact wealth is something that people generate, and on a global basis more of it is being generated than ever before. This ought to be celebrated, because the pie is bigger than ever before –Â this is translating into fewer hungry people than ever before.
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