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Opportunity Zones, Built to Fight Poverty, Aid the Rich Instead

Nov. 11, 2021, 1:00 PM

The topic of economic development tax incentives tends to be pretty dry, but things get more interesting when you throw in a hard-charging Silicon Valley billionaire.

After stepping away from his role as Facebook’s president, Napster founder Sean Parker was on a trip to Tanzania in 2007 when he hit on the idea of tapping the capital gains of rich people to fund new investments in impoverished communities, where they would spur economic growth. Or so he predicted.

Parker turned that kernel into a full-fledged proposal for “Opportunity Zones” within the U.S., launching a think tank called the Economic ...

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