Opportunity Zone funding is a federal program created to drive economic development in “distressed” areas across the United States, including in DC. The program has been received with both criticism and excitement, but something’s been missing from the conversation: The potential to use this money for clean energy and green infrastructure projects that benefit both the planet and the people living in these communities.
Investors have been chomping at the bit ever since the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act launched the Opportunity Zone (OZ) program, designed to bring capital to low-income communities by providing tax benefits to investors. What we are quickly seeing is that capital dropped in a community is not the same as capital designated for community benefit.
The US aerospace and defense industry continued building its sales for the eighth-straight year in 2018, growing 4.2 percent from the previous year and topping out at $929 billion, the Aerospace Industries Association announced Sept. 9. Aerospace accounted for $374 billion of US gross domestic product, or 1.8 percent of overall GDP.
Drexel’s Metro Finance Lab director on how innovative Opportunity Zone leadership can bridge the divide between the haves and have-nots.
Hours after China announced retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods on Friday, President Donald Trump ordered U.S. companies to “start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing your companies HOME and making your products in the USA.” The stakes are high: U.S. companies invested a total of $256 billion in China between 1990 and 2017, compared with $140 billion Chinese companies have invested in the United States, according to estimates by the Rhodium Group research institute.
Many consumers no longer make decisions solely based on the product or service they are receiving, but also consider the principles and values of the organizations they are engaging. Companies are now more emboldened than ever to align themselves with social issues, promote partnerships with charities and herald their sustainability practices to differentiate themselves from the competition. While an emphasis on social responsibility is influencing how consumers want to spend their money, it’s also impacting where they invest their money.
In terms of the Midwest, the results of the OZ program have been mixed. In Cleveland, Realogy reports that the city has 14% of its commercial assets in Opportunity Zones, above the national average. Investment share in Opportunity Zones was decreasing until 2018, where it leveled off, leading to a slight increase in the first quarter of this year.
The concentration of wealth is increasing, income gaps are widening, economic growth that doesn't equate to employment growth is seemingly the new norm, ROI in capital and technology usually is better than labor, and future tech can replace much of human physical and mental labor. As a result of these and additional factors, more than 450 futurists and other experts related to future work-technology dynamics from 50 countries shared their views. Jerome Glenn, CEO, The Millennium Project, discusses the three alternative global scenarios.
A common mistake in Washington is thinking about U.S.-China competition through a Cold War mentality that views Beijing as an adversary that we can contain and isolate like the Soviet Union. The United States and China are economically intertwined in a way that America and the Soviet Union never were and that America and Russia are not today. Regardless of presidential tweets saying that "we don't need China" andthatU.S. companies should find alternative markets, decoupling from China in the global economy is simply unrealistic and would be in neither country’s interest.
Underscoring the complexity of the U.S.-China trade relationship, careful observers will notice that there are more than two sides vying for influence at the table as negotiations continue in search of a possible deal. In fact, when it comes to the most important strategic question at the very heart of the dispute--what to do about China’s mercantilist campaign to dominate global markets for key advanced technologies--there are at least three contending positions on the U.S. side alone.