Andrew Yang on Universal Basic Income and Measuring Our Economic Health

Andrew Yang on Universal Basic Income and Measuring Our Economic Health

-Thanks for making
the time for us. So, you are —
You’re in this thing. You’re polling higher than
some governors, some congressmen, senators. And a lot of people,
I think it’s safe to say, did not know who you were
a very short time ago. -Yes, that’s fair to say. -And you’re running on this idea
of a universal basic income, which is giving every American
$1,000 a month. And are you worried that,
because you’re polling higher that as other candidates
get desperate, they’ll start
offering $1,100 a month? -Well, that would be
a version of victory, Seth. I’ve said for a while that I’m
either going to win or the other candidates are
going to sound a lot like me. -Well, that’s a very good way
of looking at it. I do want to talk — Because I’m fascinated by
this idea of a Freedom Dividend. Before we do that, it does seem
like you’re having fun out there, and I think
that’s really important. I believe this is all just in
the last week or two. -Let’s see it. -Here’s a montage we’ve made
of you enjoying yourself on the campaign trail. ♪♪ -We need some more. [ Cheers and applause ]
♪♪ -You’re having
a good time out there. -Yes.
[ Cheers and applause ] Yeah. -So, I think one
of the reasons, again, people are happy to see you,
they’re happy to hear you, is you have this idea of,
“I’m going to give you $1,000 a month
if I win this thing.” Now, obviously, Democrats
who are onstage with you — a lot of them have big ideas for
healthcare, education. They think that your plan is
maybe going a little too far. So explain, really quickly, this
universal-basic-income idea. Like, why you think it is
the core of what is behind your plan. -First, it’s not my idea at all. It’s been with United States
since our founding. Thomas Paine was for it.
Martin Luther King was for it. And one state has had a dividend
for almost 40 years, where everyone in Alaska
gets between $1,000 and $2,000 a year. -Whoo!
-Whoo! -Some Alaskans. And, so, what they’re doing
for Alaska with oil money we can do for everyone
in the country with technology money, because right now, we’re in the
midst of the greatest economic transformation in
the history of our country, and it’s what got
Donald Trump elected. The fact we blasted away
4 million manufacturing jobs in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania,
Wisconsin, Iowa, all the swing
states that he needed to win. So we need to take the bounty of
the 21st century economy and start returning it
to people. And though everyone associates
me with 1,000 bucks a month, it’s really about what
the money would do for us. It’s going to make us stronger,
healthier, mentally healthier. It’s going to improve
our relationships and our way of life. -You talk about how things —
-There isn’t applause? [ Cheers and applause ] -They were all —
They were being quiet because they were jealous of those
two Alaskans with the $1,000 in their pocket. -Yeah. -They’re like,
“They already got it.” You talk about how GDP
and the stock market are bad indicators of exactly
where this country is at, as far as its economic health. And it may seem trite,
but you think that we need to judge economic health
on happiness. Is that an accurate distillation
of the way you think? -It’s not quite happiness,
but that’s essentially right. Where GDP’s at record highs
right now, also at record highs — stress,
financial insecurity, even suicides
and drug overdoses. It’s gotten so bad that
even though our record high GDP, our life expectancy has declined
for three years in a row. The first time in 100 years. So you have to ask yourself,
are the measurements wrong or are we actually prioritizing
this production number over the life-span
of our people? And, to me, it’s obvious
the numbers are wrong, and you need to update them
to include things like our health and well-being,
our mental health, and freedom from
substance abuse, but also things like clean air
and clean water, how our kids are doing — the real measurements
for American success. -You —
[ Cheers and applause ] You talk about the numbers
adding up and I think, you know, it makes sense that a lot of
people would ask how you’d pay for $1,000 a month
to all Americans. You, yourself, I believe,
put the price tag at around $3 trillion. Is that —
-It’s a bit less than that. But if you look around,
who are the big winners from the 21st century economy? It’s a company like Amazon that’s up to $1 trillion
in value. And they have literally
paid zero in taxes, less than everyone here
in this studio. So, of course, you’re going to
struggle to pay for things if you have trillion-dollar
companies paying zero. If we give ourselves our tiny
fair share of every Amazon sale, every Google search,
every Facebook ad, every robot-truck mile,
we can easily afford $1,000 a month
for every American. -You —
[ Cheers and applause ] -Yeah. -You know,
one thing you talk about, which is interesting to me,
is when you say “universal basic income,”
you mean it, that everybody
would get this $1,000. There’s no amount of money you
could make in any given year that would price you out. -You’d get it, too. -Hey, look, trust me, I would
not have had you on the show if I was on the outside looking
in on the Yang plan. But explain —
It’s very interesting, the philosophy behind
the idea of why it’s good that everybody would get it. ‘Cause some people would say, “Why do the wealthy get
this $1,000 a month, as well?” Can you just explain that? -Well, if you look at
the Alaskan experience, everyone’s getting the
oil dividend, from the poorest Alaskan
to the richest. And because of that,
it’s universally popular. There’s no stigma
attached to it. It’s not like I’m paying for it,
you’re getting it. You don’t need to monitor
people’s circumstances. There are no incentives to say, “I’m doing worse
than I really am.” And so because of that, in
a deep-red Conservative state with a Republican governor, the petroleum dividend
is wildly popular. And so if we make this
a true right of citizenship, it will be popular nationwide. -You —
[ Cheers and applause ] You had an idea that I’m —
I’m very behind the idea of how bad a viewing experience the
State of the Union is. This is something
you agree with, yes? -I completely agree. It’s gotten bizarrely
unwatchable. -Yeah.
It’s very performative. It doesn’t feel like you get
a lot of information out of it. What is your idea for how to fix
the State of the Union? -So, my plan is to take
the American scorecard, with the real numbers
of how we’re doing, and then present them to you,
the American people, in a PowerPoint deck. Every year at the
State of the Union, I’ll be the first president
to use PowerPoint. Hopefully that’s a good thing.
[ Cheers and applause ] -I can’t imagine PowerPoints polling quite as well as
$1,000 a month, but I like the — I like
your moxie. Hey, thanks so much
for being here. It’s really interesting having
someone out there who is talking about things
nobody else is. -Thank you, man.
I appreciate it. -Andrew Yang, everybody.


  1. my choice is Bernie-Yang, Yang-Bernie!!! the look forward & positive attitude, and the experience and empathy! This would be such a REAL change (not like Obama who did not do what he promised and slipped towards where the money comes…)

  2. Katherine Hepburn said that one of the requirements for success is energy, in fact, it may be the only one. Yang embodied tons of it!

  3. There’s definitely a positive vibe about this guy. I hope you Americans get this guy in the White House. Even though I’m in Australia I’ve started following Yang and hopefully he wins the 2020 election.

  4. I guess it was inevitable. The people are clamoring to become wards of the state. I try to imagine what our Founding Fathers would think….

  5. "I'm going to win or the other candidates will sound a lot like me." This is the positivity we need, win or lose Yang is good for America.

  6. I caught the flu a few days ago and i know this one will last 2 weeks. 1000 will get me to go see the doctor. My mum has a toothache once in a while, 1000 will let her go see the dentist. I am not poor. But healthcare is a luxury nowadays.

  7. Mercer family took all the stock traders in wall St and replace them computers that buy and sell in fraction of a second. Jobs, jobs jobs, gone gone, gone means a billionaire family, the Mercer's profit from lost of jobs.

  8. Either way Yang or Warren it’s obvious we need our share from these corporate companies not paying a dime and burning out the American people! Please Vote Blue! And vote for one of them!

  9. Yang Gang- Every time you fall down the rabbit hole of watching an endless stream of Andrew Yang videos, don’t forget to like, comment and share so we can increase visibility and spread the love.

  10. Yang 2020!!! Not left, not right… FORWARD!!! Every Trump supporter is really a Yang voter waiting for you to introduce them to the Yang Gang love. Share his policies with every republican you know. Andrew Yang is a once in a generation candidate. If you have even one Trump supporter in your life, open the door for them and show them the glory of a Yang presidency.

  11. Vote out every Republican, please. I cant give you $1000 a month for doing that, but I will quit driving my 4×4 and get a Tesla!

  12. Bouncer: Where you going?!
    Yang: IOU and guaranteed $1k/mon. Worry not about the duration/foreseeable future.
    Bouncer: Right this way good sir. Express elevator on your left!
    Obama: Yup! Promises & charisma make way.

  13. It is almost like Andrew is using

    logic facts and mathematical calculations to solve American problems instead of thought and prayers!

  14. Hey Yang carry your ass back where you came from. Because you don't belong in America Congress anyway now get your ass out of it.

  15. It's funny, because when Yang dances, it just looks like a lighthearted fun loving guy having fun and when Kamala Harris does it I cringe.

  16. Yang is a really unique thinker and a great problem solver but he's lacking knowledge on human psychology. If we advance with the free $1,000/month and no reason to work low paying jobs, the people who are not intellectually capable of striving for a high paying job will be left with extreme nihilism and no meaning to life. "Meaning is found in responsibility" is one of Jordan Peterson's main ideas which I agree with. People who don't have families or intimate relationships will be left with nothing to strive for. They will only be left with video games, drugs, parties and other compulsive pleasures. I'm not a psychologist either but that's my view on Yang's solution.

  17. An extra $1000 a month will allow me to afford better quality crystal meth where the side effects won’t have a detrimental effect on the community

  18. The first President to use powerpoint during the State of the Union! Think about that. It is because he respects us and our intelligence. Its why I'm excited for him!

  19. Really love love love Yang! Even if he doesn’t win the presidential nomination he needs to be brought in as a cabinet member

  20. Socialism works until you run out of other people's money. If these socialist sons of bitches were to get into office it would be the end of the republic.

  21. People these days can’t afford to save their money/ impulsively spend their money. Lower and middle class people NEED IT to pay for their bills. And this’ll help with that definitely

  22. "Look at Him…..He's my Quant…..My Quantitative. His name is Yang!………Yeah, I am sure of the Math!" Jarred Vennett (Ryan Gosling)

  23. The difference between the yang gang and others is that instead of people talking trash about other cantidate they talk good about yang. Super respecful and exciting.

  24. $1k a month could help you: …Pay off school loans, pay child support, buy better food, give to charity, pay down credit card debt, start a small business, start a new hobby, come to visit us here in Memphis, start your own weed business (legalization 100% at federal level per POTUS Yang), some added income for Seniors and their caregivers, get plastic surgery…(not essential for some but for victims of accidents, spousal abuse, burns, etc. quality of life would dramatically increase!) fix your car/house, but a boat. Work only 1 job and spend time with you family and friends, pay fines, restitution, bail. Get addiction recovery treatment….wow! My contribution in making that happen is TWO trips to the ballot box…count me in!

  25. Even if UBI never comes to fruition, the fact that Andrew Yang is out there thinking ahead and coming up with logical solutions to what will eventually be terrible problems is one of the many reasons to vote for him. Not to mention the fact that he always presents himself in a positive and professional way, always brings data to every explanation, doesn't shy away from questions, puts Americans on the forefront of his campaign (the reason Trump won) and has yet to resort to any identity politics.

    This is truly what America needs. There's a reason why he's gaining support from every part of the political spectrum. People are sick of the establishment. That's why Trump won the election. However, Trump was also one of the worst people to ever be considered to represent our country, even though his intentions were good. Yang is what America should have gotten in 2016, not Trump. Luckily, we have him now and he must win in 2020. Please go out there and vote.

  26. i just donated 20 bucks…. love him, and i really would benefit from the 1000 a month. i can take my daughter out more

  27. Yes, we are in the 4th industrial revolution. Andrew Yang is quick, witty & puts humanity first, which no politician could compete.

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