B1 Intermediate US 20 Folder Collection
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- Well the Freedom Dividend is a universal basic income plan
where every American adult gets $1,000 a month starting
at age 18 until the day they die.
So every American adult gets $1,000.
And when you get it, you can do whatever you want.
$12,000 a year and it continues until you expire.
Well first, to define the problem a little more thoroughly,
I mean when I did research for my book,
The War on Normal People, I was shocked
at what I found where I studied economics in college.
And if you study economics, you're presented
with relatively positive visions
as to what happens if you, for example,
you get rid of a lot of jobs with technology,
that the workers find new roles,
the economy grows, productivity goes up,
and everyone's pretty much okay.
But then when I was writing my book,
I found that that's not actually what happens on the ground,
that half of the manufacturing workers
that lost their jobs in Michigan
and Indiana left the workforce,
filed for disability, got drunk, died early deaths,
and got addicted to drugs.
I mean none of that was in my economics textbook,
if you know what I mean. - I do.
- So then I was like, oh my gosh!
Like what we did to the manufacturing workers we're
about to do to 8.8 million retail workers,
the 2.5 million call center workers,
and most importantly for you in this audience,
the 3.5 million truck drivers and the five million Americans
who work supporting truck drivers
in facilities and truck stops and motels
and diners around the country.
- You call it a Freedom Dividend.
How does the Freedom Dividend work?
- Well the Freedom Dividend, if you can imagine a country
where everyone's getting $1,000 a month
as a right of citizenship,
it would make our families stronger and healthier.
It would create millions of jobs in our communities.
It would improve our mental health.
It would decrease our stress levels.
Would improve relationships.
To me the best path to create that is
to put economic resources into people's hands
in the form of a Freedom Dividend of $1,000 a month,
which would then allow more people
to do the sort of work that either they want
to do or that their community has a need for.
And the goal is to create jobs.
And putting 1000 bucks a month
into people's hands would create
at least two million new jobs just
because the buying power would just go right back
into local businesses and communities.
Now how many of you own stocks
of public companies that issue dividends?
Many of you do, Verizon, Microsoft, Coca-Cola.
So when these companies reach a certain level
of success and maturation, what do they do?
They return money to shareholders.
I'm going to suggest to you all
that the United States of America is
at the exact same point and that we need
to start issuing a dividend to ourselves,
the owners and shareholders of this country.
And when Coca-Cola and Verizon
and Microsoft issue a dividend,
everyone says great job, great management.
It's time for us to do the same thing
for the American people.
$12,000 a year would be a game changer.
The main thing is that if you look at our history,
this is a deeply American idea.
Thomas Paine was for it at the founding of the country.
He called it the citizens' dividend.
Martin Luther King was for it in the '60s.
He called it guaranteed minimum income
and he championed it in 1967, the year,
until he was killed the next year.
Milton Friedman and 1,000 economists
had this study saying this would be tremendous for America.
It was called the negative income tax.
And it passed the House of Representatives
under Richard Nixon in 1971 twice.
And then it became law 11 years later
in one state, where now in that state,
everyone gets between one and $2,000 a year.
And what state is that?
- [Crowd] Alaska!
- And how do they pay for it?
- [Crowd] Oil.
- [Interviewer] Dividend that would go
to every person in the US would be funded how?
- [Andrew] So the headline cost
of this is $2.4 trillion, which sounds like an awful lot.
For reference, the economy is $19 trillion,
up four trillion in the last 10 years.
And the federal budget is four trillion.
So 2.4 trillion seems like an awfully big slug of money,
but if you break it down, the first big thing is
to implement a value-added tax,
which would harvest the gains from artificial intelligence
and big data from the big tech companies
that are gonna benefit from it the most.
Slice, a sliver, of every Amazon transaction,
every Google search, and because our economy is so vast now
at $19 trillion, a value-added tax
at even half the European level would generate
about 800 billion in value. (ding)
- Now the VAT, VAT is generally considered a progressive tax
'cause it's a tax on consumption and spending.
And if you're low-income, yup,
that's where your money's going.
How much are you taking money back
from the very people you're looking to give it to?
- Well you'd have to consume an awful lot
for a mild VAT to eat up $12,000 in additional income.
And so it is true, in a vacuum,
if you just adopted a mild VAT in the US,
you might make it harder on working families.
But if you are increasing the income
of those working families by $12,000 per individual,
you end up increasing the buying power
of approximately the bottom 92% of the population.
The second source of money is that right now we spend
almost $800 billion on welfare programs.
And many people are receiving more
than $1,000 in current benefits.
So we're gonna leave all the programs alone.
But if you think $1,000 cash would be better
than what you're currently receiving,
then you can opt in and your current benefits disappear.
So that reduces the cost of the Freedom Dividend
by between five and $600 billion.
I'm a Democrat and progressive,
and the last thing I'm running on is
to try and take benefits away from people
that they're relying upon for their,
you know, survival or day-to-day expenses.
So the Freedom Dividend is opt-in.
And so if you decide that your current situation is superior
then you're left untouched and no harm done.
I do talk to people who are on these programs.
And some of them would vastly prefer $1,000 cash
because one there's this constant uncertainty
that they're gonna continue getting the welfare benefits.
'Cause there are generally requirements
that are associated with them.
They like live in fear.
And there are also a lot of reporting requirements
that are associated with them.
So it's not that the existing structures are ideal
for many of the people within them.
But if you prefer your current situation,
then the last thing I would wanna do is take
that away from someone.
Now the great parts are the third and fourth parts.
So if you put $1,000 a month into the hands
of American adults who right now,
57% of Americans can't pay an unexpected $500 bill,
they're gonna spend that $1,000 in their community
on car repairs, tutoring for their kids,
the occasional night out.
It's going to go directly into the consumer economy.
And so if you grow the consumer economy
by 12%, we get 500 billion in new tax revenue. (ding)
And then the last 500 billion or so we get
through a combination of cost savings
on incarceration, homelessness services, healthcare.
Because right now we're spending about a trillion dollars
on people showing up in emergency rooms
and hitting our institutions.
So we have to do what good companies do,
which is invest in our people.
- The point of it really, they say
if you give a man a fish,
if you give a man a fishing rod, he can fish.
If you give him one fish, he'll just eat that fish.
Something like that.
- People like my wife, who's at home
with our two young boys, one of whom is autistic.
And right now the market values her work at zero.
The GDP values her work at zero.
If you start putting resources into our hands,
it actually expands what we think of as work.
- Well, now you're talking about paying women
for doing housework and doing work at home, being mothers.
That's a good idea!
- That is a good idea!
- A game changer for the waitress
at the diner who's getting harassed by her boss.
It's a game changer for the single mom
who's stuck in an abusive relationship.
Like we need to put the economic resources
into people's hands.
- Is not universal basic income though kind of socialism
by other means?
- It's very much not. (laughs)
It's capitalism where income doesn't start at zero.
The socialism capitalism dichotomy is decades out of date
and relatively useless.
And I want to quote a friend of mine,
Eric Weinstein, who said this.
He said we never knew that capitalism was going
to get eaten by its son technology.
That's where we are.
And so when someone's like are you a socialist?
Are you a capitalist?
They're essentially taking 20th century economic frameworks
that never anticipated the economy of today.
- Mass inflation?
- No, it will not.
- Why not?
- Well, I'll give you a couple of data points
on the inflation.
So we printed $4 trillion for the banks during the bailout.
And there was no inflation in consumer goods.
And if you look at what's happening right now
in your own life,
a lot of stuff's getting cheaper and better.
That's electronics, clothing,
cars, media, food for the most part.
All that stuff's staying essentially constant
in price or getting cheaper or more sophisticated.
Now what's going up in price?
What's driving us all crazy?
Housing, education, healthcare.
And those three things are not being driven
by the fact that we have lots of money to spend.
It's not being driven by like purchasing power.
- Universal basic income, you're taking
away that dignity, that respect of having a job.
- Well the Freedom Dividend is actually very pro-work
because putting this money into Americans' hands,
that money would circulate over and over
through their neighborhoods and communities.
It would create more than two million jobs
around the country and would also recognize a lot
of the work that's being done in our families
and communities that is not being recognized
by the market.
The second thing is that,
you know what's really destroying the dignity
of work is people feeling like they have
to do jobs that are somewhat exploitative just
in order to survive and then us selling ourselves
that oh that's actually super dignified.
(laughs) It's actually not dignified
for someone to feel like they have
to do anything under the sun just
in order to make ends meet.
I was looking at AARP.
They tell me it's not an acronym anymore.
But I was going to say that the R is actually in question.
Because half of Americans are never gonna be able to retire.
Just like you where they're saying,
I have to work, work, work just in order to survive.
And I have no interest in living
in a country where I go into a convenience store
or grocery store and there is an elderly American working
just to survive instead of a teenager
who used to that job for beer money.
- Scandinavian countries, but then people don't work enough
or they don't wanna work, they lose ambition.
There is a negative effect to that.
How do you pay for it and how do you ensure
that it doesn't mean people just don't contribute
to society?
- Well when I've looked at all the studies
as to what happened when people got money,
only two groups worked less, new mothers,
who spent more time with their children,
and teenagers, who spent more time
in school and graduated at higher levels.
I don't think any
- This focus on a living minimum wage,
what's your response?
- Well one of my issues with, I'm for a higher minimum wage.
No American should be working and be poor.
But a higher minimum wage does not help people
like my wife, who's at home with our two young boys,
one of whom is autistic.
I mean, what does a higher minimum wage do for her?
What does a higher minimum wage do
for any of the caregivers or people
who are spending time ministering to their loved ones?
Entering an age where being old and poor is going
to be the norm in this country.
And so we have to change that,
and my flagship proposal is the biggest expansion
of Social Security that has been proposed in generations.
- Will it ever replace Social Security for older Americans?
- It would not.
Social Security is here to stay.
This is money that you put away.
Someone described it as a forced annuity.
We don't need 80% of Congress to pass this.
We need 51%.
You get this across the finish line in Congress,
start getting more money into people's hands.
This would become the favorite thing
that our government's ever done in people's lifetimes.
America right now is we do not have the money.
Just remember that.
Do you all remember voting for the $4 trillion bailout
of Wall Street?
I don't remember that because none of us voted for it.
Do you remember anyone looking around
at that point and saying where's the money?
Where's the money?
No, when they needed the money, we found the four trillion.
No, it's time for us.
It's time for the American people
to enjoy the benefits of all the progress we made
over the last number of years.
And that includes veterans.
- But first, I want to thank everyone
who put me on this stage tonight.
I am proof that our democracy still works.
Democrats and Americans around the country have one question
for the nominee
and that is who can beat Donald Trump in 2020?
That is the right question and the right candidate
to beat Donald Trump will be solving the problems
that got Donald Trump elected and will have a vision
of a trickle up economy that is already drawing thousands
of disaffected Trump voters, conservatives,
independents, and libertarians,
as well as Democrats and progressives.
I am that candidate.
I can build a much broader coalition to beat Donald Trump.
It is not left, it is not right, it is forward.
And that is where I will take the country in 2020.
That's why I'm running for president.
I'm not running for president because I fantasized
about ever being president.
I'm running for president because I'm an American
and I'm a parent and I can see the country we will leave
to our children and it is not something
that I am willing to accept.
(applause)
(cheering)
- [Andrew] Thank you all.
(applause)
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The Freedom Dividend, Andrew Yang's Flagship Proposal, UBI, $12,000/y in the hands of every American

20 Folder Collection
王惟惟 published on January 30, 2020
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