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Oxfam: the criticism of the relationship in the control of the facts



3 points: how critics complain about the rich relationship – and what to think about it

Every year, the Oxfam report on the gap between rich and poor creates a lot of media attention. But even his criticism is not calm. What's behind it – and is it justified?

Poverty in the world is back in focus thanks to Oxfam. Furthermore, the capitalist-critical aid organization calculates exactly how many super-billionaires have the same amount of money as the poorest half of the world's population, just in time for the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Here is the current report:

The report also provides for opposition, especially from liberal market experts. Can the study resist this? A verification of the facts of central criticism.

Oxfam ignores the fact that more and more people all over the world are coming out of terrible poverty.

RATING: Mistaken.

THE FACTS In the reports, Oxfam regularly points out that the most obvious form of poverty in the world as a whole is decreasing – this time: "One of the great successes of the last decades has been the tremendous decline of people living in extreme poverty, estimated by the World Bank in $ 1.90 US Dollars per person per day. "This praises the organization in a statement as" completely true and absolutely great. "However, you criticize that this trend is weakening – referring to the Bank's poverty report. Afterwards, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, "extreme poverty is becoming more and more a problem".

Oxfam claims that more people could have been saved from their worst position if they had benefited in a similar way from the world's richest economic success. Furthermore, it is criticized that many people are no longer extremely poor, but still poor. Oxfam points out that almost half of the world's population lives with a maximum of $ 5.50 a day, because economic success is only marginally there.

The data on poverty are not correctly captured by Oxfam and simplified in a carefree way.

RATING: Imprecise. Distribution numbers are correct. However, comparing the sources of poverty and wealth has some pitfalls.

FACTS: How does Oxfam reach the gap between rich and poor? The resources of the poorest population are based on data from the "Global Wealth Report" of the Swiss bank Credit Suisse, the super-rich are the annual list of billionaires of the magazine "Forbes".

It is at the top of the Forbes list: the founder of Amazon Jeff Bezos. Image: AP / AP

Critics see it, but a comparison between apples and pears. They are particularly interested in the calculation method for the very poor population. In its report, Credit Suisse defines assets as the sum of private financial assets, provisions and properties like real estate – but less debt. Deducing the definition of poverty from this is problematic in his opinion.

An example of calculation: according to the Credit Suisse report, the graduate of a western industrialized country, who has started a lucrative job but still has tens of thousands of euro of student loan debts, would have had less luck than a beggar free from debt in Bangladesh, probably $ 1.50 a day has to make ends meet. Oxfam – therefore the criticisms – the new arrival of work is therefore poorer than the extremely needy people in a developing country. This means that even the poorest will be counted as highly undue people, but not poor.

Oxfam stops. If even the poorest 10th of the world's population were expelled (because perhaps some highly indebted people from countries generally rich in this group would be represented disproportionately), this would not change the basic knowledge. Because the ten percent poorer would have no significant impact on the total assets of 50 percent poorer. Even the violent Oxfam critics find that the unequal distribution of wealth around the world is enormous.

Oxfam prepares numbers quite effectively for the media. According to self-description, the organization of development aid aims to eliminate the social, economic and political causes of poverty – and above all "to listen to the needs and concerns of people living in poverty". So Oxfam is a group of interest that discusses in terms of its clientele.

The phenomenon of poverty has always had different ideas and definitions. For example, there have been repeated criticisms of the use of income or pure assets for "measurement". Development experts also stressed that in addition to absolute poverty – where basic needs can no longer be met – there are also varying degrees of "relative" poverty.

Oxfam is flailing capitalism.

RATING: Right trend, but too short.

THE FACTS: In the mission statement, Oxfam does not define an anti-capitalist organization. Nonetheless, publications and statements repeatedly show that they consider the unequal distribution of wealth as an effect of the free market. Speak against "an extreme form of capitalism".

For example, the Liberal Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) in London, for example, accuses Oxfam of demonizing capitalism. Ignore the fact that "millions of people have escaped poverty for free markets". The IEA argues that reducing the wealth of the wealthy leads not to redistribution, but to its destruction.

Oxfam defends himself: "There is no doubt that capitalism and economic growth can play an important role in helping people to free themselves from poverty". However, the organization wants to make sure that the system is not just for some, but for some it offers added value for all people. (SDA / dpa)

The eight richest men own at least half the world

Video: watson / Lya Saxer

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