Is this the Candidate who picks up where Bernie Sanders left off?

I've been following the 2020 Presidential campaign of Andrew Yang fairly closely because he has a political vision that solves so many of America's problems. He delivers on all of Bernie's inspiring promises and puts the country on a constructive path. Like Bernie, he too will be running on the Democratic Party ticket, however, his political philosophy transcends their neoliberal corruption. If you're not familiar with Andrew Yang, this is how the New York Times describes him:

Among the many, many Democrats who will seek the party’s presidential nomination in 2020, most probably agree on a handful of core issues: protecting DACA, rejoining the Paris climate agreement, unraveling President Trump’s tax breaks for the wealthy.

Only one of them will be focused on the robot apocalypse.

That candidate is Andrew Yang, a well-connected New York businessman who is mounting a longer-than-long-shot bid for the White House. Mr. Yang, a former tech executive who started the nonprofit organization Venture for America, believes that automation and advanced artificial intelligence will soon make millions of jobs obsolete — yours, mine, those of our accountants and radiologists and grocery store cashiers. He says America needs to take radical steps to prevent Great Depression-level unemployment and a total societal meltdown, including handing out trillions of dollars in cash.

“All you need is self-driving cars to destabilize society,” Mr. Yang, 43, said over lunch at a Thai restaurant in Manhattan last month, in his first interview about his campaign. In just a few years, he said, “we’re going to have a million truck drivers out of work who are 94 percent male, with an average level of education of high school or one year of college.”

“That one innovation,” he continued, “will be enough to create riots in the street. And we’re about to do the same thing to retail workers, call center workers, fast-food workers, insurance companies, accounting firms.”

To fend off the coming robots, Mr. Yang is pushing what he calls a “Freedom Dividend,” a monthly check for $1,000 that would be sent to every American from age 18 to 64, regardless of income or employment status. These payments, he says, would bring everyone in America up to approximately the poverty line, even if they were directly hit by automation. Medicare and Medicaid would be unaffected under Mr. Yang’s plan, but people receiving government benefits such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program could choose to continue receiving those benefits, or take the $1,000 monthly payments instead.

There will be a fairly long earning curve on Wang's proposal, just as there was on all of Bernie's "socialist" ideas, so he's getting started early. But once the People understand what they are hearing (and what they are facing, otherwise) there may be a populist groundswell. Americans are being robbed of their rightful inheritance of this civilization. It was left to all of us by all the people who put their hard work into building it. They did not leave to corporations and politicians to asset strip and privatize its value, and then charge us again for something that was already paid for. Where is our profit sharing? Where are our dividends? Meanwhile, I suspect that the elites may like it even more because it rescues capitalism (and them). “I’m a capitalist,” says Yang, “and I believe that universal basic income is necessary for capitalism to continue.”

Yang, who is also an author, has up-branded Universal Basic Income, a policy that is being vigorously debated, discussed, and defended in academic circles, think-tank, and newspapers. It's an old idea that has finally arrived, gaining great favor among the Silicon Valley technologists. Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Andrew Ng, Pierre Omidyar, and Ray Kurzwell are among the many early adopters that are expressing support for the idea of a universal basic income. Y Combinator, the influential start-up incubator, is currently running basic income experiments with 3,000 participants in two states.

Andrew Yang points out that these payments would bring everyone in America up to the poverty line, at least. I see it a little differently. The payments would allow all American to purchase the basic Human Rights that are denied them in the US, such as the right to affordable housing and freedom from hunger. Once they have the necessary Human Rights to secure their day-to-day survival, they can stop scrambling for the next meal and spend time exploring their ambitions and dreams and developing a fulfilling life for themselves.

Because the top question here and elsewhere is invariably "How will we pay for it?" I've added a short interview where Andrew Yang explains it. That part of the puzzle has always been a happy story. See for yourself:

This is something we can do.

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Comments

@Strife Delivery
John Henry got lapped years ago. All that talk about "rewarding work" is good, but in this case a self serving pipe dream.

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3 users have voted.

A PROUD Hillary hater since 1993

@Strife Delivery
Maybe ultimately down to ten hours a week for ten years. There is some minimum below which the work is unproductive.

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2 users have voted.
Strife Delivery's picture

Yeah, I'm already skeptical of this guy.

1) A Democrat
2) A capitalist

The capitalist part is the most frightening, considering that he coined yet another term to describe all of capitalism - Human Capitalism (what the hell is that?)

Capitalism is capitalism. It seems that individuals continue to invent modifiers to put in front of capitalism to distinguish it from each other. We have predatory capitalism, crony capitalism, now human capitalism. Please, capitalism is capitalism, it all depends on what gets the smiley-face sticker on it or not.

While the eventual automation and destruction of jobs is actually something that needs to not only be discussed, but faced head on, I'm just not feeling this guy. It feels like he's trying to save his own ass once everything hits the fan.

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12 users have voted.

@Strife Delivery

A Democrat and a capitalist are enough to make me not trust him. Besides, a good idea soon gets bought and amended into just one more power grab. Without wresting power from the greedy ruling class first, nothing good can or will happen. Physics requires a catastrophe and ashes from which the future of humanity, if any, will rise. We could all return to swinging on trees.

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9 users have voted.

"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

@Strife Delivery bull-shit.

Kind of like 'new democrat' and 'hope and change.'

Another purty suit with purty words to distract everyone and serve the top 9% just like Obama did.

Anyone who suggests that $1,000 per month would be workable is simply crazy.

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12 users have voted.

dfarrah

@dfarrah seemed to work pretty good once way back.

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1 user has voted.

May we be united and strong -- laurel

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Strife Delivery Why are we trying to save capitalism?

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Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal are predicated on some assumptions that I simply don't agree with.

As long as those assumptions aren't challenged, I don't see improvement.

For example, why allow private drug companies to exist at all? The government should nationalize drug research and production. Why do we have to pay for the internet? Didn't the government invent the internet? Didn't we already pay for it?

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dfarrah

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@dfarrah That was Aaron Swartz's point about scientific research. Apparently, that point is radical enough to cost one's life.

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7 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Strife Delivery's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

Why are we trying to save capitalism?

Is that directed to me? I don't want to save capitalism.

Sadly though, our best chance to kill capitalism was during the early 20th century.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Strife Delivery Actually, SD, I was asking a question about the article; apparently this guy thinks his ideas will save capitalism.

All this seems so outdated that it's almost hilarious that he is proposing himself as cutting-edge. I guess he's cutting edge because he talks about robots; it sure ain't his political thinking that's cutting-edge. If people can't get out of the mid-century American and European Communism vs Capitalism frame, there ain't nothing much new going on.

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1 user has voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness That seems a peculiarly mid-twentieth-century response. Communism vs Capitalism, like Republicans vs Democrats--these binaries seem to exist in order to eradicate any thinking outside those boxes.

It's particularly unhelpful because "Communism," I'm assuming, refers to what started with Lenin reached a triumphant crescendo with Stalin, and died in the 80s. The idea that that "Communism" is the totality of what socialism can be is just wrong; it's an argument that depends on ignoring every other instance of socialism in the world ever, or reinterpreting all of them as a piece of a united Soviet imperialism.

And that begs the question of: What if there are other alternatives to capitalism than socialism? Why should we be limited to the thinking of Ike Eisenhower and Harry Truman?

Beyond all that, I am at a loss to understand how anything could work worse than capitalism, seeing as how it's going to end in around an 80% extinction rate for all life on this planet.

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1 user has voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

it seems to me this is a substantial step down even from a Social Democrat.

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7 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal
I could criticize Bernie by saying that he's trapped in the past, that his vision has no workable answer to the coming universal unemployment, but this silver spoon, born on 3rd base 5 year old? He thinks he can change the apocolypse to maintain his privilage.
A Real UBI/UMI - not this snake oil.

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A PROUD Hillary hater since 1993

detroitmechworks's picture

out of the way.

Detroit's Top Ten Excuses for Why this Liberal Hero couldn't do anything he promised.

1. Don't let the Perfect be the Enemy of the Good.
2. You want a Pony.
3. It's all because he doesn't have both houses of congress.
4. The Republicans obstructed him.
5. You're Racist.
6. I have a list of his successes.
7. He's playing the long game, and he HAS to wait till his second term, then he'll be free to save us.
8. Technically he ended a war.
9. We need to look forward, and not concentrate on the mistakes of the past.
10. You just hatehate dislike are biased aren't giving him a fair chance.

/snark

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9 users have voted.

I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

Anyone else having the page flip up to the top of the page, after a lengthy wait to link to anything, every time they rec a comment?

That started happening about to me half-way down the page and eventually I stopped reccing... such a lot of excellent comments, too!

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2 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

@Ellen North
sorry 'bout that, should be back to normal now.

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@JtC

for being The Best!

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2 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

hecate's picture

French presidential candidate Benoit Hamon proposed UBI and a tax on robots. Eminently sensible: both. But people laughed and called him names—the mockers of course including dodderers here at this old folks' home—and Hamon received fewer votes than did the she-Nazi, with her comforting call for a return to the halcyon days of the 12th Century. Yeehaw.

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Lookout's picture

@hecate

I enjoy your perspective. All the best!

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4 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@hecate Happy to hear you hecate.

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3 users have voted.

May we be united and strong -- laurel

EdMass's picture

Only one of them will be focused on the robot apocalypse.

Really?

Michio Kaku on a recent podcast with Ray Kurzweil agreed (http://mkaku.org) that the science is way out of scope and if you want to worry about something try what Melania or Ivanka is wearing today.

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3 users have voted.

Prof: Nancy! I’m going to Greece!
Nancy: And swim the English Channel?
Prof: No. No. To ancient Greece where burning Sapho stood beside the wine dark sea. Wa de do da! Nancy, I’ve invented a time machine!

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