Ben Carson appears hellbent on destroying Housing and Urban Development. Now, after critiques about his so-called Opportunity Zones his response is seriously heartless: “Rich people are going to get richer anyway.”
While speaking at the Marriott Hotel in Brooklyn, an area that has been devastated by gentrification, Carson said about the the critiques of Opportunity Zones, “Some people have complained, and said, ‘This is just a mechanism for rich people to get richer.’ Um, news flash, rich people are going to get richer anyway.”
Real estate web site RealDeal.com reported Carson’s comments “drew scattered chuckles from the audience of investors and real estate industry players.” One person in the audience allegedly said, “Can you believe he just said that?”
Opportunity Zones is a supposed plan to revitalize urban neighborhoods. The program has designated more than 8,000 census tracts across the U.S. as “distressed,” RealDeal.com explains. Nonetheless, there are already signs this will only be a bonanza for the wealthy by allowing real estate developers to push out poor people. The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy reports, “This program runs a high risk of displacing low-income people living in communities from which government has historically and systemically disinvested. Low-income communities targeted by Opportunity Zones are overwhelmingly Black.”
Areas for these so-called Opportunity Zones are “63 percent Black and only 28 percent white.”
The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy clearly “Opportunity Zones incent gentrification. Low-income communities can be defined by a comparison of income to the surrounding area and Opportunity Zones can also qualify if they are adjacent to a low-income community. Thus, Opportunities Zones are in communities already vulnerable to gentrification. The program lacks adequate protections to ensure capital investors do not push out current residents or businesses.”
This should be no shocker from Carson. He assumes the worst from people who aren’t wealthy like him. The former doctor thinks Black men sitting on porches in Baltimore are unemployed. He hired a documented racist. He also thinks the answer to affordable housing is throwing everyone in a trailer park.
Ben Carson is clearly making America worse.