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Yang Gang?

Last updated on August 20, 2020

(Photo Credit: Scott Goldsmith)

Remember, let’s be polite; let’s be respectful, but most of all, let’s be outspoken.

As of November 8th, there are 19 candidates running for president. Among this excessive number is Andrew Yang. Although he is polling at 2.8 percent nationally according to, he is gaining more and more attention.

Yang is an American entrepreneur that founded Venture for America. The organization primarily focuses on helping people find jobs in low-income cities. Aside from being a philanthropist, he has written three books and obtained a law degree from Columbia. After announcing his candidacy in 2017, the New York Times called Yang, “The internet’s favorite candidate.”

Honestly, I can see why. Among other things, he is charismatic, humorous, and intelligent. When he appeared on the Trevor Noah show, Yang said, “The opposite of Donald Trump is an asian man who likes math.”

Using Trump’s MAGA campaign slogan, Yang created the slogan “MATH” or Make America Think Harder. Through these clever phrases and increasing internet base, he was able to gain considerable momentum since his bid in 2017. This is all according to his website.

However, as I said before, he is polling at 2.6 percent. As of today, Warren surpassed Biden at around 26 percent. The 2020 democratic nominee election is a three-candidate race between Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders.

Granted, the election is not for another year, so anything can really happen. Even if Yang loses the election, it would be constructive to look at his three main policies and determine if they are viable solutions for America as a whole.

I am going to split this article into two sections. The first will talk about if Yang would make a good president and the second would be an analysis of his policies.

The largest problem with Yang is his lack of military and political experience.

As the commander in chief of a 700 billion dollar budget army, military experience is needed to successfully conduct foreign policies. Since the president of the largest military has the spotlight on the world stage, a person with military experience is necessary.

However, politicians can gain military experience through foreign affairs. For example, Vice President Joe Biden was in the Situation Room when the Obama administration killed Osama bin Laden.

Another flaw is he has never held public office. This is one of the biggest critiques of Trump when he ran in 2016. Since Hillary and Trump were competing at the highest level of politics, Hillary was believed to be more qualified since she was the Secretary of State. Needless to say, in order to run for the president, some political experience should be a necessity to lead 300 million people.

While he was a part of the Obama Administration, that does not mean he is qualified to become president. Especially in times of great political polarization, we need a strong leader that knows what he is doing.

Yang has proposed major policies; Universal Basic Income, Medicare for All, and human-centered capitalism.

Once the DNC nominates a presidential candidate, then I will talk about Medicare for All. However, as of now, I will primarily talk about Universal Basic Income.

Universal Basic Income (UBI) is Yang’s most unprecedented policy yet. According to his campaign website, Yang describes UBI as

“Andrew would implement the Freedom Dividend, a universal basic income of $1,000/month, $12,000 a year, for every American adult over the age of 18. This is independent of one’s work status or any other factor.”

He makes the pitch that the nation is undergoing a 4th industrial revolution. He states that there is a massive technological shift and people are losing jobs to automation each year. The added 1000 dollars would be a foundation for people while they are in search of a job. Now, giving 1000 dollars per month is obviously an attractive appeal to anyone drowning in debt or suffering from financial problems. At the beginning of the third Democratic debate, he gave 1000 dollars to ten different families. In doing so, he attempted to show his policy was effective.

While it could have benefitted those ten families, he is planning on paying 300 million people 1000 dollars per month. In his website, Yang also addresses his plan to pay such a large sum of money. He says they can pay through a Value Added Tax (VAT). Which is a 10 percent tax that targets larger cooperations such as Apple or Google.

He says welfare programs would cut back on spending because they would have a choice between welfare or 1000 dollars. He expands this contention by saying that people have better financial judgment then politicians.

Yet, what Yang has proposed thus far does not seem plausible. an article titled The important questions about universal basic income haven’t been answered yet by Vox shows why UBI is not economically feasible. In an article titled Can universal basic income actually work? by the World Economic Forum, explains giving 2000 dollars a year would not elevate people out of poverty.

However, the problem goes beyond economics. What insurance does Yang have that the people will spend it to benefit the overall economy or at the very least, be responsible? Also, why does everyone over the age of 18 get 1000 dollars? Yang should say only people below the poverty line or everyone that makes less than 30,000 annually should get 1000 dollars per month. People in upper-middle classes and above do not need 1000 dollars per month.

I agree with the rise of automation, the government needs to take action to make sure the economy is still prosperous. However, as of now, there is not a clear viable solution to poverty. The answer is not capitalism or socialism.

I have always advocated for building a culture of charity and integrity to prevent poverty, but I doubt people have the inclination to become more charitable or honest. As of now, I do not know the best course of action, but I do know handing 1000 dollars to everyone is not the answer.

Like most people, I am torn on this election. We have so many problems on a global and national scale, but so little time to fix it. Who we vote for in this upcoming election is crucial and I hope America makes the best decision.

Remember, let’s be polite; let’s be respectful, but most of all, let’s be outspoken.

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