Brazil: Building the Nordesfe

Brazil's government is willing to offer most anything to help in the economic development of the country's impoverished Nordeste—or Northeast—area, a territory more than twice the size of Texas where some 26,500,000 people have a per capita average income of $140 a year.

The government itself has spent millions on Nordeste roads, irrigation and other projects. Under Brazilian law, individuals are offered exemptions of up to 50% of their taxable incomes for investments in Nordeste communications, farming and industrial projects. So anxious is the government that corporations are allowed to take half of their tax debts, invest the money in...

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