Colley: Yang Gang to the Rescue

Caleb Colley, Lead Copy Editor

The race for the Democratic Party’s Nomination for President of the United States is beginning to shape up with several candidates vying for it. This is in the lead-up to contending with incumbent Republican President Donald Trump.

Included in this ragtag group of both minor and major contenders, Andrew Yang is also taking his shot, focusing forward on issues that will soon show their faces and with current issues. He emphasizes policies of a universal basic income, universal healthcare and “human-centered Capitalism.”

Yang was born in Upstate New York to Taiwanese immigrants who met in graduate school. He graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in 1992, got his Bachelor’s in Economics from Brown University and received his Juris Doctor from Columbia Law School in 1999. He worked briefly as a corporate attorney before beginning to get involved in entrepreneurship. He had several business ventures before founding Venture for America, a non-profit fellowship that seeks to mobilize a new generation of entrepreneurs in areas in bad economic condition. Yang received many awards for his work, including recognition by the Obama Administration as a “Champion of Change” and “Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship.”

With this work experience, Yang is not a career politician, having never held any public office before, but he knows how the economy works as a businessman and has solutions to the coming problems associated with continued automation of the economy.

His most notable proposal that sets him apart from every other candidate in the two major parties is his idea of the “Freedom Dividend,” a form of universal basic income. Under this policy, every American citizen over the age of 18 would receive $1,000 per month or $12,000 per year, no strings attached. This would be paid for by a Value-Added Tax on the corporations and companies benefiting most from automation, particularly the technology industries. VAT would be a new concept for the United States as it is primarily only present in the developed world in Europe; however, this would be enough to fund the program and would grow the economy’s value by $2.5 trillion by 2025 according to the Roosevelt Institute.

Overall, Yang has more than six dozen policy proposals on his campaign site with in-depth explanations of each and every one of them. His proposals range from extending daylight saving time to be all year to legalizing marijuana to making Puerto Rico a State. He even has an entire section of his website dedicated to explaining exactly what UBI is, how it works, how it will be funded in the US, why he wants to implement it in the US and why it won’t have economic downsides but benefits for the average American.

Most importantly, he is well over the individual donor threshold to qualify for the Democratic debates, so he will be on stage with every major candidate vying for the nomination. You can read about him and his policies at https://www.yang2020.com/. Check it out; he’s a good man.

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