Democrat Andrew Yang knows that most of Americans have no clue who he is. But according to the newcomer, he has plans of riding the political path right to the White House, just like President Trump did. Yang is an entrepreneur who is making his presence known with his signature proposal for universal basic income. Because of this, Yang is sort of depending on his high-profile appearance on the Democratic debate stage later this year to spread his word.
On Tuesday, the 44-year-old Democrat made his first appearance on the campaign trail in the early voting state of Nevada. There were at least 300 people who showed up to see Yang. While the candidate was speaking about his ranking among the other contenders, audience members were waving signs that said “Math” and “Yang Gang.”
Similar to Trump, Yang said that he’s going to break away from the pack by talking about issues that no other candidate will touch. For example, his plan to give money to almost every single American. “I hate to say it, but the Democratic Party is in need of some new ideas,” he said.
In 2016, Trump won the presidential election because he was able to identify and speak about the current economic issues. According to Yang, Trump’s solutions were wrong, racially divisive, and they ignored the real problem at hand: increased automation. “This campaign is about showing America that it’s not immigrants that are causing these economic problems, it is technology,” he said.
According to Yang’s plan, every American adult will receive $1,000 a month with no strings attached. The program would receive its money from a 10 percent value-added tax that is estimated to generate $800 billion in revenue.
Yang also predicts that there will be savings by streamlining existing social programs like food stamps and welfare. He believes that most people would choose to get rid of the social programs in favor of universal basic income.
Those that are in disagreement with guaranteed income plans say that these plans make people less productive, causing them to be less likely to work. Yang believes that the only people who are likely to work less are teenagers and new mothers.
Yang has said that once he’s president, Democrats will surely get on board with his proposal. He also believes that the Republicans would find it unwise to oppose a plan that would put money into everybody’s pockets.
On Yang’s website, he lists more than 100 of his policy positions. For example, he speaks about “Medicare for All,” a proposal to restore and repurpose forgotten shopping malls as well as free or heavily subsidized marriage counseling for all Americans. He also has plans for a text-line that people can use to report abusive robocalls.
Yang is a New York native, but his parents are Taiwanese immigrants. While attending Brown, Yang studied economics and political science. He also studied law at Columbia University. Before he announced his running in the election, he was working as a corporate lawyer, ran a test preparation company and created Venture for America, a program that helps to cultivate entrepreneurs.