Media release: Another year, another phony Oxfam “Inequality” Report

Media release
22 January 2019

Another year, another phony Oxfam “Inequality” Report

Oxfam should be renamed Oxscam as they peddle failed ideological propaganda and promote policies that, contrary to their stated goals, maximise poverty and inequality and minimise prosperity. Their hatred of prosperity and obsession with wealth and the gap between the rich and poor portrays the opposite of reality, which is a disinterest in and disregard for the poor,” said FMF executive director Leon Louw. “I’m not denying inequality and poverty exist but I care about the poor not the rich, as do all decent people. Oxscam is obsessed with the rich (except themselves) at the expense of the poor.”

Louw: “Oxfam’s original purpose before it became a scam – large-scale charity for destitute people - no longer exists. They have reinvented themselves as “equality” propagandists and lost their moral compass in the process. Oxfam now fabricates sensational annual reports which misrepresent facts, make shifting and contradictory assertions, and popularise myths to advance a self-interested agenda while posing as champions of the poor”.

Oxscam’s dodgy behaviour includes data manipulation, ignoring sexual misconduct for over 10 years, and rewarding executives with banker-sized benefits and salaries*. Oxfam methodology has been questioned by reputable UK organisations such as the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) and the Adam Smith Institute (ASI). The former called Oxfam data ‘bogus’ because ‘adding assets and subtracting debts to estimate net wealth’ implies that rich credit-worthy people with debt are poor, which is patently absurd. ASI called Oxscam data ‘misleading’ because ‘all meaningful measures show greater equality not inequality’.

In seeking sensationalist headlines of “the rich get richer at the expense of the poor” agenda, Oxfam promotes envy, suspicion and conflict, and legitimises disinformation and calls on global governments to end ‘extreme wealth’. Yet provides no real supporting evidence.

In a dodgy interpretation of data from Credit Suisse and Forbes, in 2017 Oxfam said that the twenty six richest people – the previous year they said eight – in the world are ‘wealthier’ than the poorest 50%. In the 2018 report, their shocking headline was now 42 individuals own the same as the poorest.

The bizarre point is that 42 is higher than 8. But – hidden in the very small print – Oxfam recalculated the 2018 figure from 8 up to 61. Louw: “So tell us Oxfam: which is bad or good? Your previous alarm was that the number is declining; your new alarm is that it is rising. You never explain why either is a problem.”

He continued: “News-hungry media soak inequality propaganda uncritically. The world is in the grip of an inequality frenzy fuelled by extreme claims. Power- and wealth-hungry politicians love it and inequality propagandists with vested interests fund lavish jobs and lifestyles and acquire status and power on the back of Oxscam flimflam.”

The reality is that the combined wealth of the eight wealthiest people is $440bn (Forbes). Credit Suisse estimates the world’s wealth at $300tr, which means that the eight richest individuals have 1/600th of income and 1/600,000th of assets.

Louw said that Oxfam never defines wealth, stating that the richest 1% ‘bagged’ 82% of 2017 wealth and the ‘poorest 50% got nothing’. “This is patently absurd. If they got none of the wealth, by logic they must be dead because they got none of the food while the rich must be awfully fat because they must have eaten it all”.

Humanity’s greatest achievement is that extreme poverty is virtually eliminated, life expectancy has increased from 30 to 65 and literacy from 10% to 90%. There has been an 80% reduction in world ‘poverty’ in only 36 years, from 27% below $1 per day to less than 5%. Welfare spending has risen up from 1% (1900) to 20% today, child labour and illiteracy are both down to zero in rich countries.

Oxfam’s policies are smoke and mirrors designed to deceive and play on global public guilt. Louw said it is time to confront the hypocritical tactics of an extremely wealthy, well-funded organisation staffed by over-paid executives and expose the ugly truth behind the disinformation.


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