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America’s third president, Thomas Jefferson, once said, “An informed citizenry is at the heart of a dynamic democracy,” and in light of that, it’s time to become informed about 2020 presidential candidate, Andrew Yang, as well as some of the policies he stands for.
Andrew Yang is a Democrat, born in 1975 in upstate New York. He studied economics and political science at Brown, as well as studying law at Columbia. He even founded Venture for America that created over 2,500 jobs country-wide in only its first year. Yang has also received awards such as Champion of Change in 2012 and Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship in 2015. In preparation for his appearances in the DNC Primary Debates during June and July, the public can tune into his CNN Town Hall on April 14th at 8 PM—or watch his previous appearances with Joy Reid on MSNBC, Ben Shapiro on his Sunday special, and several more as well as reading into his many policies.
Yang has three major policies he stands by: Universal Basic Income (UBI), Medicare for All, and Human-Centered Capitalism.
UBI, also referred to as “The Freedom Dividend," aims to end poverty by giving the people money and, therefore, allowing them to “switch jobs, move, innovate, and contribute to society." The basis of this policy is to give $1,000 per month ($12,000 per year) to every American over the age of 18, regardless of an individual’s work status or any other factor for that matter. Thanks to the extra cash, the economy is estimated to permanently grow by 12.56 to 13.10 percent (almost $2.5 trillion) by 2025 and increase the labor force by 4.5 to 4.7 million. Although it may sound foreign and outlandish, it’s been spoken about throughout history by individuals such as Thomas Paine in 1796, to Martin Luther King Jr. in 1967, and even Bill Gates in 2017. In 1970 and 1971, it almost became law having passed the House of Representatives twice before eventually stalling in the Senate. Despite its failure in the USA, it has several trials currently running in Oakland, Canada, Finland, and India. After passing this law, it would require a constitutional amendment to change it and it would be illegal to lend or borrow against the dividend.
His second policy, Medicare for All, will remedy the fact that not all citizens are guaranteed medicine, as well as incentives for healthcare providers not being aligned with providing quality, efficient care. By making healthcare available for all, employees will no longer fall victim to job lock explained by economists as staying with a job that doesn’t further an employee’s career or life due to a need to keep a decent healthcare plan. Another part of his policy currently being tested at Cleveland Clinic includes a flat salary for doctors, therefore, allowing a lower physician turnover and minimizing redundant and often unnecessary tests. This also gives doctors freedom to focus wholeheartedly on their patients as people, and even look into more holistic approaches such as treating obesity while also treating the underlying mental issues causing it.
Lastly, Human-Capitalism centers around three tenants in order to make the economy work for Americans—instead of the reverse—and adjusted towards maximizing human fulfillment and wellbeing. These are that “humans are more important than money,” the unit of a Human Capitalism economy is each person and not each dollar, and that “markets exist to serve our common goals and values.” Yang hopes to grow the nation by reevaluating the metric of which we measure the economy by looking more towards factors such as median income, childhood success rates, and more. This policy would help remodel our values and progress measurements to a way that makes people’s lives better.
Yang’s other policies include an 18-year term limit for Supreme Court Justices, legalizing marijuana, and ensuring that every cop gets a camera. For those wanting to learn more about Yang, feel free to look more into his 80-plus policies at Yang 2020, donate, and even volunteer in campaigning events across the country. Remember, “An informed citizenry is at the heart of a dynamic democracy.”