Meet the math-loving 2020 candidate who wants to give every American adult a monthly 'tech check' - Technical.ly Baltimore

Civic

Feb. 20, 2019 6:23 pm

Meet the math-loving 2020 candidate who wants to give every American adult a monthly ‘tech check’

Speaking in Baltimore, Venture for America founder Andrew Yang said Universal Basic Income — aka $1,000 per month for all — can stave off a coming crisis caused by automation.
2020 presidential candidate Andrew Yang speaks in Baltimore.

2020 presidential candidate Andrew Yang speaks in Baltimore.

(Photo by Stephen Babcock)

Along with barrels and brewing equipment, Charm City Meadworks was dotted with signs on Monday night that said “Math.” Meanwhile, a placard posted behind the stage read, “Humanity First.”

Standing between them, onstage, was Andrew Yang.

“We actually have to rewrite the rules of our economy so they can start working for us, as human beings,” the 44-year-old told the crowd. “We have to create races that we can actually win. Because in the race against the machines, if you keep using capital efficiency as your measuring stick, we do not win.”

The founder of Venture for America (which counts Baltimore among its most active cities) and ambassador of global entrepreneurship during the Obama administration, Yang is now running for president of the United States.

In his remarks at Monday’s rally that his campaign said drew 250 people, the Democrat said he decided to run after finding that leaders in D.C. did not want to address what he called the root causes of President Donald Trump’s election victory in 2016. Among the correlations that he referenced during the evening, Yang pointed out that areas where many manufacturing jobs were lost due to automation were swing states that Trump won. Yang said he wants to be the “opposite” of Trump, but acknowledged that the president understood these issues.

In the near future, he said, the same affects will be felt more acutely in industries likes retail, call centers and truck drivers.

To address this future, Yang has a policy prescription that makes his platform stand out from other Democrats who will vie for the nomination. It’s known as Universal Basic Income (UBI), and Yang calls it the Freedom Dividend and the “tech check.” But the idea is this: Everyone gets $1,000 per month once they turn 18 years old.

Advertisement

The idea is gaining steam in Silicon Valley right now, but Yang said there’s also precedent for at least its exploration, including under President Richard Nixon. He also brought up Alaska, where oil funds are redirected to a permanent fund that pays a dividend each year.

“We can do for Americans around the country what we’re already doing for Alaska with technology gains instead of oil money,” he said.

When it comes to the ROI for society, Yang listed off a number of benefits he sees from the “tech check”: better mental and physical health, increased graduation rates, decreasing domestic violence.

Along with Medicare for All, he’s also in favor of replacing GDP, which he said is at a record high despite a decline in life expectancy over the last three years. Called the “New American Scorecard,” the measure would include areas like health, education and environmental well-being.

While the change would come by executive order, “it ends up being very, very profound because you can drive incredible shifts in behavior based on how you measure progress,” Yang said.

Along with policy ideas, Yang is also doing the math when it comes to his campaign prospects. Last year, the New York Times wrote that the campaign was a “longer-than-long-shot-bid,” so the campaign now counts it as a win that he’s polling at 1 percent.

But the spot where Yang is looking is the debates in June. Democratic Party rules state that a candidate can get a spot on the stage with contributions from 65,000 people. They’re at 20,000 so far. Next up among rallies: stops in rural Ohio, Iowa and New Hampshire.

-30-
CONTRIBUTE TO THE
JOURNALISM FUND

Already a contributor? Sign in here
Connect with companies from the Technical.ly community
New call-to-action

Advertisement

On the Market: Check out tech job openings in Baltimore to start 2020

After an uncharacteristically down fourth quarter, Maryland venture funding totals dipped in 2019

David Hall of Revolution looks beyond New York and Silicon Valley

SPONSORED

Baltimore

How this entrepreneurial-minded lawyer is helping set founders up for long-term growth

Philadelphia, PA

Vistar Media

Software Engineer

Apply Now

Baltimore, MD

SmartLogic

Developer

Apply Now

Philadelphia

Urban Outfitters

Urban Outfitters: Jr. Motion Graphic Designer

Apply Now

How this entrepreneurial-minded lawyer is helping set founders up for long-term growth

Maryland’s Polar Bear Plunge is diving into data in 2020

With a $6.8M raise, Maryland’s Circonus has eyes on making Philly its HQ

SPONSORED

Baltimore

Technology is ever evolving — shouldn’t business education be, too?

Philadelphia

URBN

URBN: User Experience (UX) Designer

Apply Now

Baltimore

14 West

F5 Engineer

Apply Now

Hunt Valley, MD

LawIQ

SOFTWARE ENGINEER – FULL TIME OPPORTUNITY

Apply Now

Sign-up for daily news updates from Technical.ly Baltimore

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!