Press Release: Oxfam's wealth inequality stats are deeply misleading

For further comments or to arrange an interview, contact Head of Communications Kate Andrews: | 07584 778207.

Commenting on Oxfam's latest inequality report (An Economy For the 1%), Head of Research at the Adam Smith Institute, Ben Southwood, said:

Oxfam is once again misleading everyone with its punchy wealth inequality stats.

By Oxfam's measures, the poorest people in the world are recent Harvard graduates with student debt piles. The bottom 2bn don't have zero wealth, but rather about $500bn of negative wealth. The poorest person in the world is richer than the next 30% put together. Having negative wealth may actually be a sign of prosperity, since only people with prospects can secure loans.

But there is a bigger issue with the narrative: more meaningful measures show greater equality. Those in the middle and bottom of the world income distribution have all got pay rises of around 40% between 1988-2008. Global inequality of life expectancy and height are narrowing too—showing better nutrition and better healthcare where it matters most.

What we should care about is the welfare of the poor, not the wealth of the rich."

Notes to Editors:

The Adam Smith Institute is a free market, libertarian think tank based in London. It advocates classically liberal public policies to create a richer, freer world.

Sam Bowman's letter regarding CEO pay features in the Independent

Executive Director of the ASI, Sam Bowman, has had his letter discussing CEO pay featured in the Independent.

It simply does not make sense to compare the rate of growth in CEO pay and firm value, as Ben Chu does ("Think the market is always right when it comes to top pay? Think again", 11 January).

A CEO on an annual salary of £1m could be given an extra £1m pay rise after raising her firm's value by £1bn, from £100bn to £101bn. Comparing the 100 percent growth rate in her salary with the 1 per cent growth rate in the firms value will not tell us anything useful about whether she is being paid fairly.

Has Obama proved a failure as President? | Kate Andrews argues YES in City AM

Head of Communications and research associate at the ASI, Kate Andrews, took part in a debate piece for City AM on whether Obama has been successful or not in his role as president. Kate argues that his failures regarding healthcare and his numerous foreign policy blunders are two of the main reasons he has not been successful.

As a senator, Obama promised “hope” and “change” on the campaign trail in 2007. But as President, he has presided over some of the worst gridlock Washington has seen. His pledge to unite the parties was quickly voided when he pushed through the Affordable Care Act in a direct attempt to avoid any deal with Republican leaders.

Eight years later, Americans look to elect a new leader to solve the problems Obama failed to address, and to fix the problems he has created.

Read the full debate here.

New ASI paper "Sound Money" features on CapX and CNBC

The latest ASI paper "Sound Money" has featured on CapX and CNBC. From CapX:

The paper which “applies a free market approach to monetary theory to critically assess recent UK monetary policy” was published by the Adam Smith Institute today.

In particular, it advocates reforms that allow: i) Punitive but open access market operations (OMO) ii) A NGDP average growth target of 2%, and iii) Free banking.

Although each of these proposals is progressively less feasible (both politically and technically), Evans argues that they are progressively more desirable.

And from CNBC:

The Bank of England (BoE) should scrap its rate-setting committee and use quantitative easing as its main monetary tool — before losing its monetary powers altogether, according to a new study.

The bank should also cease targeting inflation and instead focus on nominal (non-inflation adjusted) gross domestic product, "dissident" economist, Anthony Evans, added in the report. This was published on Monday by the Adam Smith Institute (ASI), a U.K. free-market think tank.

Read the full CapX article here.

Read the full CNBC article here.

The time is right for sound money | Anthony J Evans writes for Conservative Home

Anthony J Evans, a senior fellow of the Adam Smith Institute, has written for Conservative Home on his latest paper Sound Money.

Should we expect policymakers to be any more successful at planning the monetary system than they are at planning other parts of the economy?

Many economists fail to consider this question, so it should be little surprise that elected MPs, civil servants, and the general public have a blind spot on the issue. But the 2008 financial crisis has made matters of monetary policy highly pertinent, and there is plenty of room for improvement.

Today the Adam Smith Institute have published my new policy paper, “Sound Money: An Austrian proposal for free banking, NGDP targets, and OMO reforms. It is a comprehensive plea for more radical thinking at the Bank of England.

Read the full article here.