ASI comments on Oxfam’s inequality report feature in The Daily Telegraph

The Adam Smith Institute’s comments on Oxfam’s inequality report were referenced in Allister Heath’s article in The Daily Telegraph:

Absurd? Of course, but that is the methodology used in most reports on global wealth inequality. As the Adam Smith Institute points out, it makes no sense to look at net wealth without also examining the incomes people are likely to earn in future from wages, investments and pensions. The shock and oft-cited statistics about the share of total wealth owned by the richest are based on such misleading net wealth figures. If gross wealth were used, or if adjustments were made for disposable income and living standards, the picture would look significantly less unequal. The bottom 80pc may statistically own just 5.5pc of the world’s net wealth, but that is because they have mortgages. They control far more of the world’s assets than such numbers suggest.

Read the full article here.

Ben Southwood debates Oxfam’s inequality report on Sky News and STV’s Scotland Tonight

Head of Research at the Adam Smith Institute, Ben Southwood, debated Oxfam’s latest inequality report – which found that the richest 1 per cent have seen their share of global wealth increase from 44 per cent in 2009 to 48 per cent in 2014 – on Sky News and STV’s Scotland Tonight.

From Sky News:

From STV’s Scotland Tonight:

Ben Southwood discusses Oxfam’s inequality report on BBC World News

Head of Research at the Adam Smith Institute, Ben Southwood, debated Oxfam’s latest inequality report – which found that the richest 1 per cent have seen their share of global wealth increase from 44 per cent in 2009 to 48 per cent in 2014 – on BBC World News.

Ben Southwood’s comments on Oxfam’s inequality report feature in the IBTimes

Comments from the Adam Smith Institute’s Head of Research Ben Southwood on Oxfam’s inequality report – featured in two articles in The International Business Times.

Oxfam’s report into global inequality is “very misleading” and uses an over simplistic methodology, according to the Adam Smith Institute.

Ben Southwood, head of research at the right-leaning thinktank, told IBTimes UK that the research, which claimed by 2016 the richest 1% of people in the world will own over 50% of its wealth, painted a different picture to what is actually happening.

The researcher said by using a measure of net wealth the Oxfam study failed to capture all assets, citing human capital as a missing one.

Read the full article here. 

Instead the focus should be on the bottom and what policies can best lift people out of the kinds of absolute poverty seen in parts of Africa, where some people cannot afford to house or feed themselves.

Ben Southwood, head of research at libertarian thinktank the Adam Smith Institute, said of the Oxfam report that it is “not clear why we should care all that much about rising global wealth inequality, when it has come with unprecedented declines in global poverty”.

“Hundreds of millions have escaped penury in India and China, but it is not just there where global living standards have been rising — African poverty fell 38% between 1990 and 2011,” he said.

Read the full article here.