Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Oxfam:  Wealth Inequality Is Soaring, Due To Tax Havens

Oxfam, An Economy for the 1%: How Privilege and Power in the Economy Drive Extreme Inequality and How This Can be Stopped:

The global inequality crisis is reaching new extremes. The richest 1% now have more wealth than the rest of the world combined. Power and privilege is being used to skew the economic system to increase the gap between the richest and the rest. A global network of tax havens further enables the richest individuals to hide $7.6 trillion. The fight against poverty will not be won until the inequality crisis is tackled.

Oxfam 2

Tax | Permalink


Favoritism is the key to the problem.

Posted by: theyhaveten | Jan 20, 2016 4:00:12 AM

I agree with Michael. The use of tax havens may well be increasing income inequality, but the idea that poverty is a consequence does not stand up to intellectually honest scrutiny. If that were so we would not be seeing a worldwide reduction of poverty simultaneous with a worldwide rise in inequality.

Some people want to eradicate poverty. Others want to ameliorate inequality. The two are not the same and intelligent people understand that policies that address one can exacerbate the other.

Posted by: Mike Petrik | Jan 19, 2016 8:35:09 PM

I'm skeptical of extreme dichotomies like these. I doubt the richest 62 people are getting rich at the expense of the the very poorest. Their worlds are simply too far apart. Money isn't going from the pockets of the world's poor into that of the world's rich. The poor simply have no way to make money to be stolen. What were once people who lived by subsistence farming are now treated as if they were part of a global economy. They're not, which means they can't be robbed.

Nor would tax havens cause such an odd happening. The taxes these very rich people are evading are those in the developed, industrialized states and even the tax havens are part of those same developed countries. It's the increasingly burdened middle class who must pay the taxes to make up for that. And its the collapse of marriage and families along the dismal state of our public schools that creates our growing social burdens.

I've got a principle called "if you care, you think." Given these gaps in Oxfam's thinking, I doubt there's a heck of a lot of thinking going on there. It looks suspiciously like they've simply come up with a rationale that'll be popular with their donors. Blame the super rich does just that.

Posted by: Michael W. Perry | Jan 19, 2016 3:42:01 PM