Andrew Yang on why universal basic income won’t make people lazy


  • 2020 Democratic president candidate Andrew Yang discussed his views on universal basic income with The Fifth Column.
  • Andrew Yang is the only candidate who’s made universal basic income central to his platform.
  • His ‘Freedom Dividend’ plan aims to give every American – no matter their income – $1,000 a month.

A crowded field of 2020 Democratic presidential election candidates has left many executive hopefuls wasting no time trying to distinguish themselves. But while some are focusing on identity issues or a return to pragmatism, Andrew Yang is the only candidate who’s made universal basic income central to his campaign.

The 44-year-old entrepreneur hopes to implement a universal basic income – called ‘The Freedom Dividend’ – that would give every American over the age of 18 a monthly check for $1,000. The plan aims to cushion the damages that automation and technology bring on the American workforce. To Yang, these job losses are part of a disruptive phase that’s both reminiscent of past industrial revolutions and far from over. He says his universal basic income plan would help displaced workers and also:

  • Grow the economy by 12.56 to 13.10 percent—or about $2.5 trillion by 2025.
  • Increase the labor force by 4.5 to 4.7 million people.
  • Allow more Americans to become entrepreneurs.

Yang recently sat down with Kmele Foster, an entrepreneur and media commentator who hosts “The Fifth Column” podcast, to discuss his universal basic income plan. The whole episode is worth a listen, but one of the most interesting bits came when Yang addressed the question: Won’t the Freedom dividend disincentivize work?

Foster mentioned how his mother lost her job at a consulting firm because she’d developed a narrow skill-set that became noncompetitive, and he suggested that she’d be less interested in broadening her skills if she were to receive $12,000 annually from the government. Yang disagreed.

Turning coal miners into coders is not the answer

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Marcela
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Marcela

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COO @oneqube | Angel Investor | Proud mom | Advisor @TheTutuProject | Let's Go #NYRangers
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