The antipoverty charity Oxfam recently published a 76-page report, “Reward Work, Not Wealth,” that advocates taxing the rich to reduce inequality and help the poor. But the report’s conclusions contradict its empirical findings.
Early in the document, the authors write: “Between 1990 and 2010, the number of people living in extreme poverty (i.e. on less than $1.90 a day) halved, and has continued to decline since then.” A few sentences later, they add: “Unless we close the gap between rich and poor, we will miss the goal of eliminating extreme poverty by a wide margin.” It’s a curious assertion, given that the authors just acknowledged 20 years of enormous progress, despite persistent inequality.
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