Can Andrew Yang Hijack the Democratic party with his signature universal basic income policy?
Andrew Yang is a long-shot in having a chance to win the Democratic Nomination –– but his UBI policy is intriguing voters from both political parties.
“Even though I’m a Republican, I like some of his policies,” said Joe Hernandez who voted for President Donald Trump in 2016, but is now reconsidering. “Automation taking away jobs; he’s the only one talking about that.”
Yang held his “Humanity First,” campaign in Los Angeles at Pershing square with over 2,000 people in attendance to hear his message.
His UBI proposal, also known as “freedom dividend,” is set to give every American over the age of 18, $1,000 per month.
Yang wants to tax the big tech companies like Amazon and Uber who will benefit from automation in what Yang calls “added value tax,” in order to pay for his UBI policy.
“If we look at other advanced economies around the world they have an added value tax that makes it impossible for companies like Amazon to pay zero in taxes,” said Yang. “If we had this tax on half of the European level, it would generate around 800 billion in new revenue, and it would make that Google, Uber, and Facebook would have to pay into the system.”
Yang recently was interviewed by conservative commentator Ben Shapiro which gave Yang more exposure to those on the right.
“People like to hear that they’re getting cash as opposed to more government programs,” said Lisa Williams who was in attendance for Yang’s rally in Los Angeles even though she voted for Trump in 2016.
Yang could become the first Asian-American president if elected in 2020.
“What happens to the local economies when those trucks don’t stop anymore?” Yang asked his followers in a tweet, referring to automation and the impact that self-driving vehicles will have on truck drivers.
The presidential candidate also supports policies like Medicare for all,
Yang is making more appearances on television and podcasts online. He was guest on the “Joe Rogan Experience,” on Youtube that currently has 2.9 million views, and Yang is scheduled to be interviewed by Bill Maher early in June.
“I think that a lot of people that voted for Donald Trump are looking for someone who actually is addressing the problems that they are seeing in day-to-day lives, in their neighborhoods and communities,” said Yang.
With the 2020 election race heating up only time will tell if Yang can become the new face of the Democratic party.