What would you say if you were offered a chance to opt-in to a program that would provide you and every participating American $1,000 a month, free and clear? That’s a key issue one Democratic candidate hopes to present to the American public in his bid for the White House in 2020.
Andrew Yang, a businessman from New York, is promoting the Freedom Dividend plan as he seeks the White House in 2020. A child of immigrants, Yang is best known as the founder of Venture for America, an organization that seeks to help entrepreneurs create jobs in cities like Baltimore, Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland. Today, the lawyer-turned-businessman is running a bid for the White House and is starting to gain momentum, speaking in early voting states like Iowa and New Hampshire, with a brand new CNN poll showing 28 percent of potential Iowa Caucus voters are considering Yang as their pick for the Democratic Party’s nomination for president in 2020.
In an interview with the Amarillo Pioneer, Yang says he decided to run for the White House, believing that America is in the midst of a technological revolution, in which American workers need a voice.
“I’m running because I became convinced that we are in the greatest technological revolution,” Yang said. “Donald Trump won because we automated away jobs in Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania. And my friends in Silicon Valley are about to do the same.”
Yang says one of the biggest ways he believes he can represent American workers is by promoting his plan to create a Freedom Dividend. The universal basic income plan would provide $1,000 a month for every American between the ages of 18 and 64. Americans could opt-in to the program, Yang says, which would be completely voluntary, as long as the person’s identity and Social Security number could be confirmed. The plan would work like any other government payment, according to Yang.
“Already about half of Americans receive payments from the government in some form,” Yang says. “We have to wake up to the scope of the changes in our economy and wake up to what it means to be citizens.”
The plan would be paid for by adding a value-added tax of 10 percent to the production of goods and services by businesses, according to Yang. The candidate says this would allow every American to benefit from automation, giving them a “sliver of every Google search and Amazon transaction.”
In all, Yang says he believes the program, if passed, would provide major benefits for Americans across the nation.
“The Freedom Dividend would improve lives of citizens in Amarillo, and Iowa, and New Hampshire,” Yang says.
Outside of the Freedom Dividend plan, Yang says he believes he can bring changes to American politics, by helping restore civility. As a “data-driven person,” Yang says he believes Americans need to see beyond an individual’s party affiliation to look at the facts of issues.
“I think people have let ideology cloud facts,” Yang says. “We need to orient our conversations around facts. I believe I can increase civility and politeness by concentrating on facts. I think many, many people who voted for Trump are great, smart, patriotic Americans. It's not that any political party or person has everything right and wrong.”
Overall, the New York Democrat says if voters are looking for a candidate who understands how to utilize advancing technology to benefit every American, then he might be the right choice.
“If we want to channel the benefits [of technology] to the everyday American, then I will be the right candidate for president,” Yang says.
For more information about Yang and his campaign, please visit www.yang2020.com