It is regrettable to have to pick on two venerable institutions, ennobled as they are by their good intentions and selfless efforts at improving the lives of poor people. But their efforts are largely in vain. To paraphrase Joseph Campbell, they have ascended their respective ladders only to discover that they are propped up against the wrong walls. Neither the British charity Oxfam, nor Jay Naidoo should be upset by being compared to each other; they mean well and they are right about the necessity to alleviate poverty. But they are wrong about equating poverty with inequality. Inequality is an immutable fact, always has been and always will be; poverty is a complex socioeconomic circumstance that can change, and it has changed and will continue to change for the better if we permit everyone equal access to pursue whatever makes them happy, including the creation of wealth. Jay and Oxfam know this. And they should know too that Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who gave us the concept of equa...

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