Fresh Air: Andrew Yang’s 2020 Democratic Candidacy


Written by Timothy Lewis (@MrTeeLew) — March 5th, 2019

“It’s not left or right, it’s forward.”

— Andrew Yang

The rampant extremism on both sides of the political spectrum has given way to an unseemly possibility: The rise of a centrist Democratic candidate with a pragmatic approach to today’s circumstances and tomorrow’s challenges.

Andrew Yang is exactly that and it’s time he becomes a household name. Here’s what you should know:

A Down-to-Earth Fella

I know for a fact he said “dickhead” on Joe Rogan’s podcast. At a time when “relatability” is en vogue, Andrew Yang fits right in. Conversationally he is loose and transparent, remarkably human when communicating his ideas compared to the average sound-byte-robot politician.

He’s said his two goals are, “to create economic opportunity and to stay married.” A dedicated husband and father, Yang and his wife Evelyn live in New York City with their two sons, one of whom is on the autism spectrum.

“I’m the father of two young boys. I know the country my sons will grow up in is going to be very different than the one I grew up in, and I want to look back at my life knowing I did everything in my power to create the kind of future our children deserve — an America of opportunity, freedom, equality, and abundance.

– Andrew Yang, 2020 Presidential Candidate (D)

Furthermore, Andrew Yang is not a career politician or part of some ivory tower establishment. He’s the son of immigrant Taiwanese parents and has forged a path of his own, cultivating a strong understanding of how to succeed in the United States along the way. At 44-years-old, he’s also the ideal age to bridge the generational divide.

Proven Leadership Qualities

Obama drawing inspiration from the Mogul Phenom himself

Despite graduating from Columbia Law School, Yang spent little time practicing. Following this stint, he was hired as vice president of a software start-up called MMF Systems. Later he would join Manhattan Prep, a modest test preparation company, where he would become CEO. In his time with Manhattan Prep, the company expanded from five to 69 locations until acquired by Kaplan in 2009.

Following the acquisition, Yang created a non-profit fellowship Venture for America with the goal of distributing entrepreneurial talent around the country to incentivize economic growth. Starting with a budget of $200,000 and operating in five cities in 2011, the organization grew to a $6 million annual operating budget, spanning 20 cities by 2017.

To re-phrase: Andrew Yang created a non-profit to uplift an economy struggling to deal with modern hurdles by empowering young people to create jobs. That should be on your checklist of desirable qualities for the next president.

Additionally, Yang was named a “Champion of Change” by the Obama White House, and has published two books: The War on Normal People and Smart People Should Build Things.

“The Freedom Dividend”

Universal Basic Income (UBI) has swiftly transformed from a radical socialist idea to a practical economic stimulus. According to McKinsey & Company, 33% of American workers will lose their jobs to automation by 2030.

More than ever, we need a forward-thinking leader who recognizes and confronts this profound challenge in a way that rewards Americans and revitalizes the economy. The federal government is inefficient in its bureaucracy and distribution of tax revenue. As the ones who propel the wealthiest and most advanced nation in the history of the world, we the people deserve a larger share of that prosperity.

Yang’s Freedom Dividend proposes each American citizen receive $1000 per month, with the goal of providing the security and freedom necessary to pursue and create opportunity. If you’re feeling uneasy about this proposition, here are three quotes from three renowned geniuses pertaining to UBI:

Milton Friedman (Nobel-Winning Economist), 1980:

“We should replace the ragbag of specific welfare programs with a single comprehensive program of income supplements in cash — a negative income tax . . . which would do more efficiently and humanely what our present welfare system does so inefficiently and inhumanely.”

Martin Luther King Jr. (Humanitarian, Civil Rights Pioneer), 1967:

“I am now convinced that the simplest approach will prove to be the most effective — the solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed measure: the guaranteed income.”

Stephen Hawking (Super Scientist), July 2015:

“Everyone can enjoy a life of luxurious leisure if the machine-produced wealth is shared, or most people can end up miserably poor if the machine-owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution. So far, the trend seems to be toward the second option, with technology driving ever-increasing inequality.”

Data-Driven Decision Maker

Consider a man whose candidacy is based on the following:

“The reason Donald Trump was elected was that we automated away four million manufacturing jobs in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin,” he said. “If you look at the voter data, it shows that the higher the level of concentration of manufacturing robots in a district, the more that district voted for Trump.”

Reading through Yang’s platform, it’s apparent he’s a clinical thinker. Every stance he takes is data-driven, with clearly illustrated goals and pathways to accomplish them. There’s an abundance of storytelling politicians who float buzzwords to promote hysteria and stimulate audiences. That’s not who Yang is. The Democratic Party leadership in Iowa went so far as to state:

“Mr. Yang has the most detailed and comprehensive set of policy proposals we have ever seen at this stage in the campaign.”

In fact, he has 76 positions outlined on his website, addressing everything from marijuana legislation to abortion and contraception to algorithmic trading and fraud. Anything you could want to know about his political agenda is there in explicit detail.

Andrew Yang is fully transparent because there is no incentive to deviate from his principles of individual liberty and data-driven analysis. He owes nothing to any establishment, Super PAC, or special interest. He’s just a guy with meaningful ideas who is trying to influence the future of our great nation.

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