Andrew Yang and the Freedom Dividend


Andrew Yang is one of the Democratic presidential candidates for the 2020 election.

Andrew Yang, a Democratic presidential candidate for the 2020 election, is widely known for having a large, politically diverse following, called the ‘Yang Gang.’

His staunch stance as being very independent and unaffiliated with the other main members of the Democrat and Republican parties has earned him the title “identity killer.”

Candidate Yang’s website details most of his policies, stances, and information, including the policy he is most famous for: the Freedom Dividend, which is a form of Universal Basic Income (UBI) — a policy where every U.S. citizen over the age of 18 would receive $1,000 every month. Yang believes that citizens will have more money to spend and put into the economy.

Yang recently answered some frequently asked questions about the UBI, his most controversial policy.

How would we pay for Universal Basic Income (UBI)?

Yang said that funding for the UBI would come from four sources: current spending, taxes on corporations who benefit from automation, and citizens’ savings due to not having to spend as much of their earned income on healthcare or medical attention. Yang cites the Roosevelt Institute about the benefits of the UBI and how it would grow the economy, saying “that the economy would grow by approximately $2.6 trillion and create 4.6 million new jobs.”

Is there any evidence for UBI?

“Experiments with unconditional cash benefits around the world have proven to be one of the most successful ways of reducing poverty” Yang said. He followed this with multiple sources of these experiments, labeled the Mincome Experiment in Canada, BIG Pilot Project in Namibia, and Give Directly in Kenya. Other sources were also included in a link here.

Wouldn’t that cause inflation?

Yang argues that since the plan for UBI uses money already in the economy, inflation will not rise. “In monetary economics, leading theory states that inflation is based on the changes in the supply of money. Our UBI plan has minimal changes in the supply of money because it is funded by a Value-Added Tax…” He said that even if companies change their prices, competition will keep them in reasonable bounds while technology continues to decrease the price of most goods due to mass production and abundance. “The main inflation we currently experience is in sectors where automation has not been applied… primarily housing, education, and healthcare.”

As of March 12, Yang has achieved above the 65,000 donors needed to participate in the Democrat debates. Only time will tell if Yang’s proposition of the Freedom Dividend will become reality.