Given the fact that there are so many Democratic candidates for president, it is not hard to see why some are embracing extreme, far-left policies in hopes of standing out from the crowd. However, newcomer to the race Andrew Yang truly believes that giving every single adult in the United States $1,000 a month will actually boost the economy.
Yang’s signature proposal has led to Nate Silver recently classifying Mr. Yang as a “major candidate.” He has also qualified for both the first and second Democrat presidential debates, ensuring that millions more will hear about his enthusiasm for universal basic income and other progressive policy proposals.
The 2020 candidate has backed up his proposal to give a $1,000 monthly gift to every adult in the nation by noting that experts predict automation will eliminate millions of jobs in the next ten to fifteen years. He contends that giving everyone money could boost local economies as people would then spend money at local stores and businesses.
Obviously, there are a couple of important facts that Yang fails to take note of when promoting his universal income proposal. While it’s true that automation will claim many jobs, new job opportunities that don’t exist now will be available in the next decade or so. In fact, a McKinsey Report recently noted that companies and governments take measures to boost job creation, then job creation would equal job displacement.
Further complicating matters is an MIT Technology review that reported that there is a plethora of expert analyses on the effects of automation, and they predict consequences ranting from optimistic to downright devastating. At least Yang has a proposal for how to pay for his ambitious Universal Basic Income scheme. However, his idea of raising the VAT (Value Added Tax) to 10% across the nation is sure to have a negative impact on the very people that Yang is trying to help with extra cash. VAT taxes hit the poor and lower-middle class the hardest.
Having the Federal government give out free money to all American adults isn’t the only way that Yang wants to increase government involvement in the lives of ordinary citizens. Yang is also proposing the creation of what he calls a “Legion of Builders and Destroyers” that would have the authority to bypass local zoning regulations in order to build or tear down infrastructure. He also wants to bring back earmarks to entice lawmakers to pass his ambitious agenda.
Universal Basic Income is an idea that hasn’t been tested on a wide scale; thus, no-one really knows what the result will be. What can be said for certain is that such a scheme would cause the government to get more involved in the daily lives of citizens than ever before. The idea that citizens will use the extra cash to prop up local economies is completely theoretical.
In a crowded Democratic field, there is a lot of pressure to stand out. This is why even Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders seems much farther left than he was in 2016. Yang may be no different in this regard, but at the very least we can concede that his is the only campaign that is strictly policy-based. All of his Democratic rivals are campaigning on one thing alone: President Donald Trump is evil, and they are better people than him.