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Andrew Yang's popularity is clearly on the
rise, but I'm not going to lie to you.

His odds for 2020 are long.
Still struggling to show up at 1% in the polls,
he faces a steep uphill battle.

He is competing with a large field of experienced

That field is currently topped by Bernie Sanders—probably
the most influential progressive in the country,

with decades of experience, and a powerful
movement behind him.

And were he some how able to beat Sanders,
to become President, Yang would still have

to topple Trump: an incumbent president running
on a strong economy, and backed by an astoundingly

loyal following.
Facing all this, Andrew Yang has few assets
in his arsenal.

He's not a career politician, or a famous

He doesn't have the name-recognition, the
donors, the staff, or the popular movement

required to become president—at least not

What he does have is an idea.
One that is so interesting it's gotten far
more attention than a fringe candidate is

likely to expect.
One that has gotten him enough support that
he will likely make past the DNC threshold

to appear in the democratic primary debates.
Yeah, and I'm going to be on the debate stage
in June and July

The DNC has already reached out to my team.
Andrew Yang hopes his idea will be enough
to make him the next president of the United

Can he do it?
(#YangGang starts cheering)
Andrew Yang's platform includes support for
medicare for all and changing our measures

for determining the health of the economy.
We need to get healthcare off the backs of
businesses and families

And move to a single payer system
Medicare for all

We have a series of bad numbers

GDP is one
I'm going to update the numbers so that--
Otherwise we can't (voice cracks) make wise

Our life expectancy has declined for the last
three years for the first time in 100 years

because of a surge in self-bang-bang and oopsie

How can you say an economy is healthy, when
our people are not living?

It makes no--

(Yang doesn't like to hear that)
But the focus of his campaign is what he calls
the Freedom Dividend.

It's his own spin on a Universal Basic Income.
The idea is simple: to give every American
over the age of 18, regardless of income,

and without any kind of work requirement or
other test, a thousand dollars per month.

Anyone can opt into the program.
The only exception being that those who are
currently on welfare programs, food stamps

or disability would have to chose to lose
their enrolment in those programs, or have

the costs of those benefits deducted from
the 1000 dollars they would otherwise receive.

The idea of UBI may seem simple, but it's
seductively positioned to maximize appeal

across the political spectrum.
The left can easily support the idea as a
simple method to directly alleviate poverty.

The fact that it is given to everyone means
the program will be resilient, and will not

stigmatize the poor.
But it's also hard to challenge for the right.
UBI does not really expand the size of government.
It has no risk of creating a bloated public

The payout is lower than a full time job at
minimum wage, and unlike many other government

assistance programs, there is no disincentive
for those enrolled to work.

So, UBI is unlikely to create so-called 'welfare

UBI is also not a form of socialism, as Yang
has argued:

“UBI is capitalism where income does not
start at zero.”

Yang has also answered the dreaded “how
will you pay for it?” question.

Partly, the spending will come from the 500-600
billion we already spend on welfare and other

poverty alleviation programs—the ones that
whose recipients would lose the costs of those

benefits from their 1000 per month.
Yang also expects to generate the same amount
from new revue driven by economic growth as

a result of instituting the program.
He got this figure based on The Roosevelt
Institute's numbers, which suggest the program

would grow the economy by 2.5 trillion.
Yang expects to tax about 500-600 billion
from that.

Next, Yang expects that the program will cut
100-200 billion dollars in government spending

on issues like health care, incarceration
and homelessness services, as some studies

have shown that poverty is a major driver
of crime and illness (both physical and mental).

I think we can all agree that studies don't
need to show that poverty is also a major

driver of homelessness.
Finally, Yang expects to collect around 800
billion dollars from a Value Added Tax, a

form of corporate tax that is particularly
difficult for large businesses to avoid paying.

The tax is specifically aimed at corporations
like Amazon, one that frequently avoids paying

taxes, but is expected to be a major beneficiary
of automation, which many, including Yang,

consider to be a key reason why a UBI is necessary.
According to Yang's website:
“Andrew Yang wants Universal Basic Income
because we are experiencing the greatest technological

shift the world has ever seen.
By 2015, automation had already destroyed
four million manufacturing jobs, and the smartest

people in the world now predict that a third
of all working Americans will lose their job

to automation in the next 12 years.
Our current policies are not equipped to handle
this crisis.

Even our most forward-thinking politicians
are unprepared.

As technology improves, workers will be able
to stop doing the most dangerous, repetitive,

and boring jobs.
This should excite us, but if Americans have
no source of income—no ability to pay for

groceries, buy homes, save for education,
or start families with confidence—then the

future could be very dark.
Our labor participation rate now is only 62.7%
– lower than it has been in decades, with

1 out of 5 working-age men currently out of
the workforce.

This will get much worse as self-driving cars
and other technologies come online.”

UBI is often tied to automation, and embraced
by the likes of Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk,

but the idea is by no means new.
The idea has gone by many different names
over the years--basic income, guaranteed income,

negative income tax, mincome, and unconditional
free money—but its been advocated for, as

far back as the 60's by the likes of Martin
Luther King and Richard Nixon.

The idea has, in fact, been tested in a variety
of ways throughout the world.

Alaskans began receiving about ten percent
of total petroleum revenues in 1976 through

the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend.
Finland did a pilot test of UBI with about
2,000 unemployed citizens.

A city in Manitoba, Canada gave its 8,000
residents a minimum income in the mid-1970s.

The city of Stockton, California is currently
giving residents 500 dollars per month.

Several experiments have been conducted throughout
the developing world, and there are plenty

of examples I haven't listed here.
So far, the signals are generally positive.
The Finnish test group self-reported higher
levels of health and happiness, although,

partly because of how the government muddled
the parameters of the experiment, the pilot

test did not indicate a statistically significant
increase in employment for those on UBI, compared

to other government assistance programs.
The more substantial, but older Manitoba test
indicated that the basic income could completely

eliminate poverty without creating a work

Several experiments found reductions in hospitalizations
and crime.

On the whole, I think its reasonable to expect
that UBI would alleviate poverty, increase

happiness, reduce crime, create better health
outcomes, and be, at worst, neutral when it

comes to employment rates.
Still, none of the experiments I have mentioned
have been sufficient to establish specific,

definitive expectations of how a basic income
would impact the US economy.

Compared to a program like Single Payer Health
care, UBI is still relatively untested throughout

the world.
It seems reasonable to me to pick away a bit
at the figures Andrew Yang gives for how he's

going to pay for the program through increased
economic activity and decreased healthcare

and incarceration costs.
His numbers are fairly precise, and he supports
them with just one evaluation: the Roosevelt

Institute's projections.
UBI could end up underperforming when it comes
to these general economic changes.

At the same time, it could exceed all expectations.
The one thing that I think requires no grand
economic evaluation or pilot test to conclude

is that Yang's freedom dividend would reduce
inequality, as it's design directly redistributes

money from the wealthiest corporations through
a VAT, and puts that money into the pockets

of everyday Americans.
That, in and of itself, may be enough to convince
millions of Americans to support the program.

The idea has been polled, somewhat, with the
American people.

A data for progress poll from the summer of
2018 found UBI to have net positive support

among people of color and the white working

Support for the program was shown to be high
amongst young people but quite low amongst

older folks, for an overall negative support
of -2% overall.

A poll from the fall of 2017, conducted by
Northeastern University and Gallup, with about

double the sample size, found similar results,
with a net support of negative -4%.

However, the support was a solid 65% amongst

It should be noted of course, these polls
were done before Andrew Yang began advocating

for the idea in the media, independent and
establishment, progressive and conservative.

The reason Trump is president is because we
automated away four million manufacturing

...with Amazon sucking up 20 billion dollars
of commerce every year, 30 percent of main

street stores are closing...
People talking about retraining coal miners
to be software engineers

That makes no sense
My question is do we have to sit back and
let this happen to the country?

Well, that's why I'm running for president
Under my plan everyone will receive a thousand

It's the sweet spot bc it's enough to be impactful,
but it's not so much that it will push people

out of the labor market
I don't know how much...
I can't do math...
(flabbergasted, but still condescending)
Do you have an agenda for black people?
...It overlaps with my main one...
(Still UBI)
If his appearances have been effective, its

quite likely support for UBI has gained traction.
If its is an idea you would like to support,
however, it may seem hopeless, since the ascendency

of Yang to the white house remains an improbability,
at least when it comes to 2020.

That said, electing a President Yang is not
the only way to move toward UBI.

--If enough Americans support his campaign,
and Yang gains a serious voice in the democratic

primaries, his central policy will no doubt
become a significant point of discussion.

Americans would have a chance to consider
the proposal seriously, and likely be polled

on the subject again and again.
Should polling indicate growing, majority
approval, major candidates may be moved to

adopt it into their platform.
Think about the impact Bernie Sanders had
on the 2016 Democratic platform, despite losing

the primary.
The truth is, I'm sure Yang would love to
be president, but he's stated that he would

consider it a victory just to get the idea
in front of the American people.

To accomplish his real objective, making UBI
a mainstream idea, Yang only really needs

to get other candidates to adopt the idea
into their platforms.

When it comes to this far more modest goal,
Yang supporters are not likely to have a hopeless

answer to this question:
Can he do it?
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ANDREW YANG - UBI and the 2020 Election

225 Folder Collection
王惟惟 published on April 29, 2019
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