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Until Andrew Yang, few, if any, candidates
were talking about the rise of automation,

spiraling birth rates, and historic rates
of addiction and mental illness.

His first appearances such as those on Sam
Harris' podcast didn't generate much buzz.

At that point, he was among the unlikeliest
of candidates for the Democratic nomination.

Like many obscure figures before him, his
appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience caused

a massive boost of public awareness.
But it isn't necessarily the Democratic
base rallying around him, which is far too

busy with the politics of intersectionality.
That much is to be expected when a huge number
of people who discover you come from Joe's

much more centrist podcast.
It's those who have a vague sense that these
issues are on the horizon, many of whom happen

to be on the right.
That a great number of those curious in the
candidacy of Andrew Yang aren't on the left

might come as a surprise to casual onlookers.
After all, his single-issue mission of a universal
basic income sounds a lot more like socialist

redistributionism rather than the blind allegiance
to free markets that overtook the right following

the Reagan Revolution.
Which more or less brings us to the rise of
the #YangGang meme's newfound virality,

and its connected meme of Potato Trump.
Yang is riding a wave similar to that of Tucker
Carlson's following his debate with Ben

Shapiro on these same subjects.
As a candidate, Donald Trump captured the
same mood in a roundabout way, through is

hardline stances on immigration, his pledges
to restore manufacturing industries, and his

efforts to attack the opiate crisis plaguing
those areas of the country.

Yang goes a step further with his pledge to
tackle the opiate crisis even to the point

of prosecuting pharmaceutical executives responsible.
Trump ran on a platform of “only me.”
Repeatedly he would famously tell us that
“only he” could fix any host of problems

which have plagued the country for decades.
Beyond the appointment of judges, he's arguably
done little toward capturing the nostalgia

behind “Making America Great Again.”
At this point in Trump's presidency, especially,
there's a felt sense that the country is

moving away from that vision regardless of
who is elected.

As is well understood, Trump relied upon white
American support and frustrations in order

to coast his way to narrow success.
What makes Yang a unique outlier on the left
is that he's neededly pointed out that among

white Americans deaths now outnumber births
- a clear marker of familial decline.

widespread notion exists in the brainy establishment

ranks of Republicans and libertarians that
so long as we have cheap hamburgers and electronics,

American communities can just be replaced
by new immigrants.

That core communities of Americans can vanish
in the span of a few decades, an unprecedented

development in this country, without vast
social ramifications--such as the ones we're

already witnessing.
The reasons these events are unfolding are
incredibly complex and can be traced to no

one development, but it can be said that this
isn't a viable long-term solution.

These problems can potentially be addressed
through tailored incentive structures to promote

family creation, such as those which have
been promoted by Hungary and Israel.

Trump has spent no time devoted to this subject
for some apparent reason, as though it is

without dignity to address any subset of Americans
experiencing the evaporation of their communities.

For this reason, some of Trump's previously
most devoted followers are questioning their

support of someone who looks a lot more like
George W. Bush than 2015 Donald Trump.

This became glaringly obvious after the Trump
administration's abject failure on his signature

issue, as February marked a 12 year high for
illegal immigration.

Because of a collective sense of social disintegration
and nihilism among the Trump base, the overall

rationale behind the shift to Yang simply
boils down to this: if the country will veer

in that direction anyway, we may as well strive
to not spend our days in economic insecurity--especially

if your political views lean right, which
can literally cost you your job.

But it isn't just economic concerns that
has drawn support to Yang from the right.

In response to a rising tide of technological
censorship, President Donald Trump, who far-leftists

have called to be banned on many social media
platforms--including Twitter-- is fundamentally

uninterested in addressing this issue, only
advising fellow Republicans to “be good.”

In stark contrast, Andrew Yang has gone as
far to say that social media conglomerates

should be trust-busted for their mass-censorship

Where you come down on that debate is besides
the point: it's obviously more favorable

to conservatives who obviously face the brunt
of censorship with no clear solution on the

It's largely for these reasons that pointing
to any one particular left wing policy listed

on Yang's website is viewed as irrelevant
by his right wing supporters.

If even under a firebrand Republican administration
the country moves leftward, spending more

than ever before, receiving more illegal immigrants
than under Obama, and seeing more technological

censorship, why should a candidate willing
to tackle the issues of censorship and job

displacement be written off?
To the people running the meme factories that
have spurred the online appeal of Yang, Trump

has failed to address these issues in any
serious way, while Yang is openly positioning

himself as the one to do it--with the previously
mentioned $1000/mo “Freedom Dividend.”

Roughly speaking, our economy is divided into
a few sectors: raw materials, manufacturing,

and the service industry.
Because America is a highly advanced economy,
it's the service industry which produces

most of our economic output.
Obviously, this has been unprecedentedly disruptive
for communities that have historically relied

upon the first two sectors.
Libertarians cite these developments as being
positive; after all, they say, that signifies

that we don't have to engage in grueling
labor, and can instead focus on enjoying the

fruit of that expanding economic pie.
Materially, this is true.
Regardless of this fact, you still have to
earn those goods by generating economic value.

If we're going to transition away from human
labor at an unprecedented rate, we must find

a new way to manage the social and economic
costs that those displaced in a matter of

years will inevitably bear the cost of.
You could argue, as many do compellingly,
that predictions of massive human replacement

by automation are grossly overestimated.
After all, they point out, people have been
displaced by all sort of innovations (usually

pointed to is the horse and buggy), but that
isn't an argument against improving the

country's well-being as a whole.
After all, people's sense of purpose and
meaning is in large part derived from jobs

and the feeling that they're providing for
their families, not from how cheaply they

can stream a tv show.
And as many are quick to eject out of their
mouths, the rise of automation does mean cheaper

products and services, but what's missed
is the compromise that is made.

The clear compromise is a country where new
jobs that are created are, not only less cognitively

accessible, but more isolated and temporary.
Today, one in five jobs are held by a person
under contract and within a decade, contractors

and freelancers could make up half of the
American workforce.

As a matter of practical reality, the formation
of local bonds, community, and camaraderie

will always be put on the back burner in favor
of market efficiency - the next temporary

Being that the market itself is morally neutral,
and instead merely a means of meeting consumer

demand as efficiently as possible, the disintegration
we are seeing manifested is a result of human

choices as libertarians rush to point out.
While it's not the role of the state to
block this, shaping the incentive structure

in a way where it makes sense for average
people to make choices that foster family

and community would result in a healthier

How that is addressed or implemented is a
question that runs as deep as any.

What's as difficult to address is the reality
that jobs are becoming much, much more complex.

One possible solution put forward to minimize
these effects is that we can begin a massive

job retraining program.
But these already exist, and the results aren't
promising to say the least.

This is a fact Andrew Yang addresses headlong,
correctly citing that the TAA, a federal jobs

retraining program, found that only 37% of
program members were working in the field

for which they were trained.
That doesn't paint an optimistic picture
if libertarian predictions about the state

of the economy in 15 years don't pan out
and it should certainly concern conservatives

who allegedly prioritize the formation of
families above all else.

More hardlined figures in this debate like
Tucker Carlson suggest we halt automation

entirely, which some could potentially view
as far too heavy handed.

Alternatively we can seek out a sophisticated
answer to the most complex issues any society

has had to rise to meet.
If we're to be freed from human labor through
automation to make cheaper products, the consumers

of those free markets have to have a means
by which to pay for them.

In other words, in an economy of humanless
hyperproductivity, one can't simply compete

with machines.
A good thought experiment in favor of various
disruptive and, on paper, terrible technological

innovations is highlighted by the example
a professor gave to his class.

Asking, “if an invention were offered that
would transform the economy and revolutionize

economic efficiency, but in exchange we had
to sacrifice 40,000 lives a year, would politicians

permit it?”
The resounding response of the class was “definitely

The professor then informed them that we do,
and it is, of course, the automobile.

If you are someone who is inclined to reject
the forward trajectory of industry, what you

might take from this is a criticism of cars.
What that presents is the classic observation
by French economist Frederic Bastiat from

his essay “That Which is Seen, and That
Which is Not Seen.”

What we see are the 40,000 deaths directly
taken in consequence of automobiles; what

are not seen and cannot be calculated are
the untold number of lives saved from the

safe and quick transportation of services
such as medicine, emergency medical responses,

and essential goods more broadly.
Knowing where and how to draw this line will
be an eternal problem for humanity, but in

the coming decades it will be like no time
before in human history as the rate of technological

change goes parabolic.
Even if flawed, it's a conversation that
no candidate is having, and Andrew Yang is

a positive inclusion in the culture and Democratic
debates if not for any other reason than this.

Even further, as a strong advocate for vocational
schools, Yang may serve as a voice of reason

in a party that wants to drive every American
through college to receive useless degrees.

Unfortunately, far too many in the establishmentarian
and libertarian wings of the GOP look at any

non-conventional solution to the issue of
cognitive stratification with shock and dismay.

Andrew Yang frequently and correctly cites
Chicago School Economist and libertarian sweetheart

Milton Friedman as a proponent of a UBI, as
well as numerous founding fathers in their

advocacy of a form of it.
Self-identified libertarian scholar, Charles
Murray is a vocal supporter of it, dedicating

an entire book on the subject, titled “In
Our Hands: A Plan to Replace the Welfare State.”

That subtitle, “A Plan to Replace the Welfare
State”, is where some of its support from

the right comes.
It's for this reason that the reflexive
libertarian gesticulation that this is an

example of “socialism!” doesn't hold
water and is simply inadequate.

In theory, people like Friedman and Murray
endorse the UBI or its related proposal, a

negative income tax, as a means of shifting
entitlements that leave vulnerable people

dependent on the state to a form of independence.
There are a variety of problems associated
with this argument.

Even if the numbers added up (a contested
subject), it misses the fact that conservatives

rightly recognize: people derive their primary
source of meaning from gainful and rewarding

The counterargument to this reality is that
at $1k/mo you'd still be beneath the poverty

line, which wouldn't remove the incentive
to work.

It's a fascinating thought experiment, at
a minimum, and that's why so many on the

right on the wide plane of social media have
become Yang-curious.

Even assuming the math worked out, the appeal
of Yang transcends his policy prescriptions.

At least $1000 is an entertaining thought
experiment; what would ensue if people were

totally freed from scarcity--the problem economics
is trying to answer in the first place?

It could solve a number of social issues such
as exploitative relationships or ease the

transition from an unsatisfying job to another

But it doesn't answer many, many more, such
as the spiritual malaise this country is undergoing

that Yang understands.
He identifies the pervasive depression and
disillusionment of the youth.

That harkening to a brighter, more optimistic
past is what offered a lot of young people

a reprieve in Make America Great Again, whatever
it is that you believe it signifies.

At a minimum it is a rebuke of the factual
reality of social suicide we're seeing spike

In the last few decades, there has been a
lot of concern over the societal “Death

of the West” as Patrick Buchanan's book
and Jonah Goldberg's “Suicide of the West”

label it respectively.
In some cases you can judge a book by its

Though Trump and Yang stand in stark contrast
to each other philosophically, to their supporters

they read the writing on the wall, even as
figures and outlets like Human Progress, Steven

Pinker, and Ben Shapiro insist upon impotently
reminding us of how optimistic we should be

as our countrymen sink deeper and deeper into
a spiritual and, increasingly literal, suicide.

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Understanding Yang Gang | 1791

214 Folder Collection
王惟惟 published on June 4, 2019
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