Ben Southwood, Head of Research at the Adam Smith Institute, was quoted in a BBC News article on the importance of growth, competitiveness and redistribution:
We can achieve economic growth and equality in an economic strategy, but we have to be very careful about what measures we use.
It does seem that the poorer counties in the world are unequal, whereas the richer countries are more unequal. That doesn’t necessarily mean that reducing inequality lets you get richer.
In fact what we tend to see is first you grow very fast, become more unequal, and then you carry on growing and everybody else catches up.
Redistributing wealth is very important for alleviating poverty but in the long run it has barely lifted anyone out of poverty, compared to the amount economic growth has lifted people out of poverty.
Economic growth has lifted billions of people around the world out of poverty, redistribution has lifted millions of people out of poverty. Redistribution is important but it isn’t nearly as important as growth and we should always be focusing on growth.