Andrew Yang Talks Universal Basic Income, Climate Change, With Undecided Voters | Off Script | NPR

Andrew Yang Talks Universal Basic Income, Climate Change, With Undecided Voters | Off Script | NPR


NOEL KING: All right, everyone. Hello and welcome to Off Script, NPR’s series
of conversations between 2020 Democratic candidates and undecided voters from across the country. I’m Noel King. And today, we are in New York City with Andrew
Yang, who is an entrepreneur and presidential hopeful. Thank you so much for being here. ANDREW YANG: It’s great to be here. Thanks for having me. KING: And I want to introduce our two voters:
Hetal Jani runs a nonprofit here in New York City. It’s focused on education and mentorship. She’s 36 years old, and she’s the daughter
of immigrants from India. Hetal, thanks for being here. YANG: Where’d you grow up, Hetal? HETAL JANI: Here in New York City. YANG: Wow. What part? JANI: Queens. Flushing. YANG: My wife’s from Bayside. JANI: Oh, very cool. KING: And John Zeitler is an attorney for
an insurance company. He lives in northern New Jersey, but like
a lot of people, he commutes into the city for work. He’s 48 years old, and he is the dad of twin
boys who are 11. Is that right? JOHN ZEITLER: Yep. That’s right. KING: Thank you for being here. We really appreciate it. Alright, so we’re in New York’s Flatiron district. We’re in a restaurant called Baodega. YANG: I know. So clever. KING: You picked the place. YANG: Well, I’m very wise, because this place
is delicious. It’s got a very clever name. Yeah, I hope everyone else is enjoying it
as much as I am. Baodega, New York City, 7 West 20th Street. KING: People do seem to be liking the food. How long have you been coming here? YANG: Well, you know, I’ve only been here
once, but enjoyed the food when I was here. And so I need to bring my wife. I actually came here without her. Sort of a problem because my wife’s a huge
foodie. Not a huge foodie. Not like in terms of like consuming excellent
food, consuming food. KING: You owe her a trip. YANG: I do owe her a trip. KING: Alright, before we get to the hard questions,
do either of you guys have any fun stuff you’d like to ask Mr. Yang? JANI: Yes, I saw yesterday an Ask Me Anything
and you ended with a question about anime. YANG: I didn’t end on that. It was somewhere in the middle, but go on. JANI: Oh, sorry about that. What’s your go-to karaoke song? YANG: “Don’t You Forget About Me” by Simple
Minds. The Breakfast Club soundtrack. JANI: Yeah. YANG: And then “When Doves Cry” by Prince
would be a close runner up. KING: Can you give us a couple bars? YANG: [singing] “How can you just leave
me standing alone in a world that’s so cold.” It’s like Prince himself is here singing. JANI: “Purple Rain.” KING: John, how about you? ZEITLER: I noticed you rode your bike to the
restaurant today with the baby seat on the back. YANG: Yeah, like with the baby seat, that’s
what he means. Not like motorbike or something cool. Yes, I did. ZEITLER: Did you always travel around on the
bike? YANG: I do. My younger son is four, so I still bike him
to school. And I relish that because he’s gonna outgrow
it pretty soon. Like my older is turning 7, and he outgrew
the bike seat a couple of years ago. So I ride him to school in the morning any
time I’m in town, if I have the time, and I find it much more fun to get around in New
York City on the bike than sitting in traffic. Better exercise. You know you have to try and get your exercise
where you can. KING: Do you wear a helmet? YANG: I do. KING: Thank you. YANG: I’d be a very bad role model, and my
sons have the little bike helmets too. Very cute. KING: Too many New Yorkers don’t wear helmets,
and it makes me deeply, deeply anxious. YANG: You know, I am running for president;
I have to be a good role model. I can’t have people being like, “Yeah
I think I just saw Andrew Yang come by helmet-less. I guess I don’t need mine.” Just like you don’t need a tie. Just kidding. KING: Alright, I want to start us off by asking
about your signature policy proposal: the thing that has gotten you a lot of attention. Many people will know it as universal basic
income. You call it the freedom dividend. YANG: Yeah. KING: And what it means basically is that
every American adult, if you’re elected, ages 18 to 64, will get one thousand dollars a
month from the government – no strings attached – to do whatever they want with. YANG: Yes. No, it’s actually 18 til death now. KING: It’s 18 til death now. That’s an update. Right. So… YANG: We changed that number months ago. KING: A couple months ago. You think that this is necessary for a reason. Can you spend a couple minutes laying out
why you think this bold proposal is so necessary? YANG: I spent seven years running a nonprofit
that I’d started that helped create jobs in the Midwest and the South primarily… helped
create several thousand jobs. And I saw that we are in the midst of the
greatest economic transformation in our country’s history – what experts are calling the fourth
industrial revolution. I’m convinced that Donald Trump won in 2016
because of the early waves of the fourth industrial revolution where we automated away four million
manufacturing jobs in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Iowa – all the swing states he
needed to win. And now that set of changes is shifting to
retail. Thirty percent of stores and malls are closing
primarily because of Amazon, and being a retail clerk is the most common job in most of the
country. The average retail clerk is a 39-year-old
woman making between nine and ten dollars an hour, so when her store closes there aren’t
a ton of options. We’re getting rid of call center workers,
of which there are two and a half million in the U.S. making 14 dollars an hour. Soon, we will start replacing truck drivers,
and being a trucker is the most common job in many states. There are three and a half million truck drivers,
average age 49. Ninety four percent men. And there another seven million Americans
who work at the truck stops, motels, and diners that serve the truckers. So if we do nothing, we are going to be in
for much worse than Donald Trump’s election unfortunately. The studies have a range of between 20 and
40 percent of American jobs subject to automation in the next 20 to 30 years, which is not that
much time. And that’s a lot of jobs. I’ve seen it in the industries that I’ve worked
in, and we have to get our acts together. If we keep trying to respond to the symptoms
and don’t address the root causes, then our communities will continue to suffer. KING: OK. Hetal, I know that in your job you think a
lot about workforce development. What questions do you have for Mr. Yang about
a universal basic income? JANI: Yes, I mean it’s true that automation
is taking away a lot of jobs. Or I feel that automation is taking away a
lot of jobs, but how does just providing a thousand dollars a month to each individual
solve that problem? YANG: In many ways, it does not solve that
problem, but your nonprofit works with women of what age or children of what age? JANI: High school students. We’re trying to grow up as well. YANG: Yeah, so I ran a nonprofit for a number
of years that I’d started. And do you think that your nonprofit would
have access to more resources if every American was getting an additional 1000 dollars a month
so the money ends up super charging not just existing businesses but also spurs creativity,
entrepreneurship, and risk taking? Because if you feel like your survival is
assured then you have a much higher chance of striking out and trying to do something
on your own. It also supercharges nonprofits, volunteering,
the arts culture. Many… NPR probably. Like many of the things that we value but
the market does not properly value, and I’m willing to say that women and people of color
actually fall into the same category that the market will systematically undervalue. And so if you say and I know this because
I started a nonprofit and worked there for a number of years. Very proud of the work, and it continues to
this day. But you realize that most nonprofits are trying
to address some of the … some of the important issues at the margins. And you would need to fundamentally reconfigure
the way our economy works if you’re going to truly get into the guts of that problem,
and the freedom dividend or universal basic income actually transforms the way of life
for many Americans in a way that would make us more able to solve the real problems. JANI: So I mean how did you come up – I
know your party slogan is “Math” –I mean how did you come up with a thousand dollars? Because a thousand dollars here New York City
or San Francisco is a lot different than anywhere else, so as a nonprofit founder, twelve thousand
a year would go far, but it wouldn’t go that far. YANG: Oh, so twelve thousand dollars is not
my number. It was proposed by a guy named Andy Stern
and then studied by the Roosevelt Institute. So it was another proposal that had been vetted
in various ways. But it does make sense on many levels because
twelve thousand dollars a year is right below the US poverty line, which is approximately
twelve thousand seven hundred seventy dollars a year. So it moves you up to that level. And this is per adult, mind you. So if you have two adults in your household,
it’s twenty four thousand dollars a year. So it moves you up and gets the pressure off,
but it doesn’t serve as a full work replacement. There is virtually no American who is like,
“Oh, I’m gonna quit my job. We got a thousand bucks a month.” But that’s not really true. John here is like, you know, like not ready
to pack it in for a thousand bucks a month because you know you have a family like I
do. I would … I can see over your shoulder so
[inaudible] YANG: So, it’s enough to be a game changer. Would make us stronger, healthier, less stressed
out, mentally healthier, would reduce domestic violence, reduce hospital visits, would dramatically
increase the graduation rate, and many positive social indicators. But it’s not meant to be a full work replacement,
and it’s certainly not meant to solve every problem. I will suggest though that if you extrapolate
like what the second order effects are. If you take a town of 10,000 adults in Missouri
and then they’re each getting 1000 bucks a month, that’s 10 million dollars in additional
buying power every single month in that town, which ends up going to things like car repairs,
daycare, Little League sign ups, local nonprofits. And so then, if you’ve lost your truck driving
job and you’re in that town, there’s a much greater chance that you can plug into existing
opportunities because the local economy is much more robust. ZEITLER: But doesn’t it … I mean it’s funded
by your VAT tax. I mean, why not a wealth tax instead? KING: Actually, do you mind if we just get
a little bit of clarity before we go into it? So I think I’m going to put words in your
mouth here and have you ask the question. But I think what you want to ask is “How
do you plan on paying for this?” And I wondered if, before we get to that,
I can just ask you “Can I ask you to do some quick math for us?” YANG: Sure. KING: OK. How many adults in the United States would
be eligible for this twelve thousand dollars a year? YANG: If you were to take a broad number about
200 million. KING: Two hundred million times twelve thousand
dollars a year. YANG: 2.4 trillion. KING: 2.4 trillion a year, this would cost. OK. John, I know you have a question about that. Please go ahead. ZEITLER: Sure. So I think you said that you’d fund it with
a VAT tax which would, I understand to be, a tax you know broadly across you know consumption
of goods versus a wealth tax which would be a tax on the wealthiest Americans. So you have this great, you know, kind of
an income inequality in the country, and it would make sense, at least superficially,
that you sort of take from those who have the most and even it out in the middle. That would seem to point to a wealth tax so
why that tax instead? KING: And in your answer, I wonder if you
could do this, would you just explain as well what VAT tax is? I think some of our listeners may be unfamiliar
with that. YANG: Sure. I think I said this on the debate stage with
Senator Warren. So a wealth tax makes perfect sense in principle
because you have this winner-take-all economy, you have historic levels of wealth in the
hands of a relatively small number of Americans. And so I endorse the spirit of a wealth tax. The problem is that when they try to tax wealth
in France, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, and a half dozen other countries, they ended up
repealing it because it didn’t generate the revenue they thought it would. And they had massive implementation and compliance
problems. And I believe the same thing would happen
here if anything to a higher degree because the wealthy in America are, I think, even
more extreme in their tax avoidance practices. ZEITLER: But I mean Warren has a 15 percent
avoidance, you know, kind of factored in there. So your assumption, right, that people are
going to avoid their taxes … also our taxes are different than European taxes, and taxes
is just kind of a problem to be solved right. I mean couldn’t you simply change the tax
code? YANG: Or even if you buy everything, like
the amount of money that Senator Warren’s wealth tax projected to raise – even in
the most optimistic – is less than a third than of what like even a mild VAT would raise. Even if you assume that her assumptions are
right. Zeitler: OK. KING: Well, do you buy it? ZEITLER: To raise what amount? I mean you raise the same amount that you’re
suggesting? YANG: Well, her VAT, as I understand it, raises… Or no, her wealth tax is projected to raise
something like like 2.75 trillion over 10 years which is like 275 billion a year. And the VAT I’m suggesting raises about three
times that. ZEITLER: But isn’t a VAT tax essentially regressive
in the sense that everybody is paying the same tax, but if you’re poorer, that dollar
means a whole lot more to, you know, buy food and you know essentials versus a dollar for
someone who’s a millionaire. YANG: So yeah, there are three things, and
you’re a hundred percent right about everything you’re saying. So the three things. Number one: if you want to, you can tailor
that where you can exempt consumer staples and have it fall more heavily on luxury goods
or certain industries. Number two: we all know I’m trying to give
every American a thousand dollars a month, which – even if you assumed a degree of
impact in a VAT– would increase the buying power of the bottom ninety four percent of
Americans. But number three: the fundamental challenge
we have in the U.S. is that we have this tax system that is being gamed to incredible degrees. So you have a trillion dollar tech company
like Amazon that’s now closing 30 percent of America’s stores and malls literally paying
zero in taxes. And so you have to look around and say, “OK,
now that should not be.” Most Americans can agree like you have a messed
up system if that’s the case, and then you look around the world and say, “Well, what
have other developed countries done to prevent that from happening?”. And what they’ve done is they’ve had a VAT
which then gives every American a tiny share of every Amazon sale, every Google search,
every Facebook ad, every robot truck mile. Because we’re in an era of unprecedented technology
and innovation; our data is now worth more than oil, as an example. And we’re seeing none of that. The companies that are seeing that value are
Amazon, Facebook, Google, and these mega tech companies. And they’re experts at not paying taxes in
a current corporate income tax regime. They’re just too smart for it. They’ll say, “It all went through Ireland”
or “I just paid all my executives so much stock that I have no earnings to report.” And so we’re chasing our own tail. What we have to do is we have to actually
get into where the money is, and that’s where the money is going. KING: Let me ask you to define what a value
added tax actually means. There will be people who are just unfamiliar
with this as a concept. So I am used to you know paying taxes on my
salary, payroll taxes at the end of the month, half my money is gone. What is a value added tax and how would it
be different? YANG: So a value added tax – and again not
my idea – it’s in use in over 100 major economies around the world including Canada,
Germany, France, the U.K., Sweden. Most any country that you think of as being
very progressive has a value added tax, and it’s a tax on value transfers which you can
think of, as what John said, consumption, sales. One difference between a VAT and a sales tax
is that it applies to the means of production. So if I built a car for example, I would pay
a VAT on every component of the car. And so it ends up being like oxygen in your
business processes where you can’t escape it. That’s one reason why other countries have
put it into place. And so then if you had an Amazon type firm
there would be no escaping it for them either because they would end up paying it during
every link in the chain, and then we’d end up with hundreds of billions in revenue as
a result. KING: So you … you pay a tax on the steel
that goes into the car. Then you’d pay a tax on the frame that the
car is made out of. Then you would pay a tax on the steering wheel
when it’s added into the car. Then you’d pay a tax on the seats when they
added into the car. You’re saying that this is a tax that applies
all through – YANG: Business process and the supply chain. KING: OK. And to John’s point, and I’m going to put
this in slightly elementary terms, but let’s say I’m a low income American or a middle
income American. Taxes are already killing me, and you’re telling
me there’s this new tax, this VAT tax which you want to institute so that you can pay
for the freedom dividend. And I hear, “Oh God this guy wants another
tax. He wants to tax me more.” If I’m a lower middle income person, are you
saying I’m going to have to pay more taxes on food? On clothing? On … YANG: Well it depends. I mean, if all you do is consume consumer
staples, it’s possible that you don’t have to pay more. KING: Why not? YANG: Because, again, you can tailor a value
added tax so that it falls heavily on certain types of consumption choices and not so heavily
on others like you could exempt diapers. You could exempt a lot of things that I think
Americans would say, you know, that that we need. But the problem right now is that we’re looking
at each other and the biggest myth in American life right now is that we don’t have the money. We’re the richest country in the history of
humanity: over 20 trillion dollars in GDP, up 5 trillion in the last 10 years. And so there is this incredibly untrue narrative. And it’s punishing us all or looking around
and saying like “Where’s the money going? Where is the money going?” The money is going into the hands of a smaller
and smaller number of companies and individuals in this country. And they’re so powerful that they actually
manage to keep real reform off the agenda. And so that’s where we have to fix it. We have to go to it. There’s a saying where it’s like “Why did
I rob the bank? Because that’s where the money was.” That’s what’s going on right now in our society. We have to go where the money is, and it’s
not each other. You know what I mean? It’s not like if I tax the town dentist more
like that’s going to solve the problem like that. The problem is that you have literally trillion
dollar companies paying zero in taxes. KING: You’re promising not to tax the town
dentist more. You’re promising not to tax diapers. What you’re saying is: things would be exempt
and you would figure out what’s exempt. YANG: Well, just any American listening to
this right now is like thinking to themselves – if they know anything about me in the
campaign – they’re like, “Wow, a thousand dollars a month sounds too good to be true. That would be a real game changer.” And if I am a family with two adults – like
twenty four thousand – and then I know my son when they turn 18 or daughter, they get
a thousand dollars a month, the entire thing transforms that idea of citizenship. And the wild thing is that we can totally
make it happen. There’s nothing stopping us from making happen. Alaska has had a dividend for almost 40 years
already where if you go to Alaska you get between one and two thousand dollars a year
automatically for every family member. So John, if you and your family moved to Alaska,
you’d get eight thousand dollars next year. It’s been in effect for 40 years. They love it. Universally popular in a deep red conservative
state passed by a Republican governor, and they fund it with oil money. And what I’m saying to the American people
is technology is the oil of the 21st century. We can fund this dividend, and that will make
us stronger, healthier, mentally healthier. And if we don’t make this kind of move then
we’re going to be stuck looking at each other and wondering “What the heck happened to
our communities?” as the truck driving gets automated, the malls close, the call centers
get replaced, by bots and software, every fast food restaurant you go into by 2021 is
going to have a self-serve kiosk. At least every McDonald’s is going to have
a self-service kiosk, food service and preparation is the third most common job type in the United
States. The fact is we’re already decades behind the
curve; it has brought us Donald Trump. And unless we get our heads up and start solving
the real problems, they’re just going to get worse. ZEITLER: Well, I actually really genuinely
enjoy your clear eyed view of things. You know, you’re not afraid to take risks. YANG: Thanks, John. ZEITLER: You’re not afraid to take a liberal
stance and then kind of make these sort of harder choices at times. But I think you sort of see it as, I don’t
know, maybe this is my question: do you see the world in sort of… Or America, at least, as divided between sort
of winners and losers?” You know the folks for whom, you know, whatever
their privilege is, they wind up you know they have the education and they have the
job and therefore they have access to money and then those who are sort of left out and
you know do you see it that way? And how do you kind of address that? And how do you kind of convince the winners
to see themselves equally with the losers? YANG: That’s so interesting. Well, there certainly are winners and losers
in American life today by our economic measurements, and you can see again we’re in this winner-take-all
economy, where certain classes of Americans, often in certain parts of the country … And
that’s one of the things that blew my mind when I ran Venture for America because I’d
never been to Missouri, Alabama, Louisiana, western Pennsylvania. and all these places. And you go around you’re like, “Wow, I feel
like I’m in a different country.” And the gulf between some of those places
and, frankly, a place like Manhattan – where we are right now – doesn’t feel like a few
time zones, it feels like a different dimension or you know… ZEITLER: I grew up in Wichita. I know exactly what you’re talking about. YANG: Oh, you did? I was wondering where you grew up. So you know what I’m talking about. And so there’s certainly this class divide
that is becoming more pronounced, but I think the regional divide and the urban-rural divide
is becoming much more extreme. And that is threatening to tear us apart,
because rural areas are getting systematically depleted and sucked dry. Like the automation I’m talking about started
in agriculture at the farms. And when you go to many of these farms – like
the notion you might have of this beautiful family farm or whatnot – I mean it’s gotten
replaced by this corporate behemoth that’s like gobbled up like a dozen family farms
and glued them together. So the divide is more extreme, and the worst
part is that we’re being pitted against each other often using various cultural markers
that have nothing to do with economics that actually should unify us all. Because if you have – and you’re an attorney
… I was an attorney for five unhappy months, so you could say it’s like, “Hey, I’m an
attorney so you know I’m, I’m safe from these changes that Andrew’s talking about,”
but you know that artificial intelligence can edit contracts and legal documents better
and more quickly, more accurately, more cheaply … ZEITLER: Or even if it’s not me, it’s you
know, what about my kids? Maybe I’m winning now. But what does the future hold, right? YANG: Yes. So this becomes something where it should
bring us all together if we presented in the right way. It’s not immigrants. It’s technology. And it’s humanity that we have to preserve. KING: Hetal, I’ve seen your eyebrows go up
a couple of times during this exchange, and I just want to ask, based on what you’ve been
hearing, what questions do you still have? JANI: Yes. So, I mean, I had a couple of questions, which
I guess you can choose which to answer. But how do you know that the big companies
are not going to push that cost, the tax that they’re going to be paying, back off onto
the consumers without the freedom dividend? How do you mean … Sure, we don’t have to
necessarily go into you know … we can choose how to spend it. And you should be spending it on necessities,
but you’re going to make people choose, right? You’re also seeking to pay for the freedom
dividend at the cost of other programs. KING: I think we just need to explain that
very briefly, and that’s an important point. If a family currently is getting welfare payments,
SNAP food stamps, WIC, et cetera, and they’re getting seven hundred dollars a month in welfare,
under your system, that would go away. I get that solid thousand dollars, but that
seven hundred dollars in SNAP and food stamps, that’s not mine anymore. So I think what Hetal is asking is, if you’re
taking away people’s welfare payments and replacing it with a thousand dollars, is that
enough? Is that what you’re getting at? JANI: Right. I mean people, you would ideally hope, and
this is again kind of with the vision … the vision is great. I love the vision, right? But do people always make the choices that
we need them to make in order to get to the world that you’re hoping to get to? YANG: I think this is maybe one of the bigger
misconceptions about me and the freedom dividend. As I see it, the freedom dividend is like
a foundation or a floor, and then you don’t stop building a house at the floor. It’s kind of a crummy house, you know? So first, I would not want to get rid of any
existing government programs. I would never be the sort of person that says
like “Hey, there are millions of Americans relying upon something. Let’s pull the rug out from under them.” KING: I would still keep getting my payments? YANG: So there is an opt-in. The freedom dividends are universal and opt-in. And if you do opt into the freedom dividend,
then you do forego benefits that are from certain programs that are cash and cash-like. But if you love your current benefits – or
let’s say you’re receiving eighteen hundred dollars in current benefits – then I would
never touch it. And so that’s one thing. And the other thing is that I’m not someone
who says like “Oh, we don’t need to do all these other things on top of it,” because
a thousand dollars a month is just a foundation. There’s a lot of work to do on top of that
and to the extent that existing programs are doing that work: fantastic. To the extent that we need new programs and
organizations: all the better. You know, what’s driving me is that, to me,
and I feel like – and please don’t let me project something that’s inaccurate on you
– but like I ran a nonprofit for seven years and people were congratulating me and I was
like, “You don’t get it. I’m just like scratching the surface of the
problem I’m trying to tackle.” So to me, we have to do so much more. I would never suggest that a thousand dollars
a month is going to do the work for us. KING: You were hinting at something though
interesting – and I want to make sure that we have that answered – which is, if you
give people a thousand dollars a month cash, they may not make the right decisions. They may make dumb decisions. What do you do about that? YANG: Of course, some people will make decisions
that I personally would disagree with, but one of the things that never happens when
Verizon or coke or Microsoft declares a dividend – which they do all the time – and we
applaud them and say, “Nice job. Like good management!” They never say, “Hey, what are you doing
with that money?” You know what I mean? Like we are the owners and shareholders of
the democracy. If you get the freedom dividend in January
and you buy a big TV, like maybe I wouldn’t have bought that big TV, but you know, it’s
your decision, your resources. And then hopefully you’ll make it – or not
even hopefully – it’s like you might make a different decision in February. The benefit to me of putting this sort of
agency and autonomy in people’s hands far outweigh trying to direct it to very, very
specific expenses. But I will say again that we still need to
do a lot of work to address the real problems in our society on top of anything we’re doing
with the freedom dividend. JANI: And that’s kind of what I want to get
at next is the issue of inequity, right? So if they’re not … we’re not mandating
them, we’re not prescribing how they spend that money. But then again, is a thousand dollars enough
to really address inequities? Or how are you looking to address inequities? Yes, there’s a lot of work to be done. I haven’t heard enough about what that is. So what’s the next work beside freedom dividend. How do you address inequities in education,
health care? How do you actually address it? ZEITLER: Housing. JANI: Yeah. YANG: Which one do you want me to tackle? Really, which? JANI: I’m focused on education, so… YANG: Oh, so first the data shows that two
thirds of our kid’s academic performance is determined by factors outside of the school. So that’s parental time spent with the children,
words read to them when they’re young, stress levels in the household, type of neighborhood. And educators know this where we’re saying
you know, “Teach our kids!” and they’re like, “Hey, I’m responsible.” Or, “I can control about a third because
I know that kid.” “Well you’re a hundred percent accountable!”,
and they’re like “OK”. So number one: if you put resources into the
household, you’re actually getting the kids in a better position to learn and then helping
the teachers be in a better position to teach. So that’s number one. And to me that’s foundational. And that ends up balancing out more aggressively
for communities that are starting in a lower base, which tends to be unfortunately communities
of color in this country. Number two: the data clearly shows that a
good teacher is worth his or her weight in gold. So, we should pay teachers more, and 12000
dollars a year raise would just be a start. We need to retain and enlist better teachers. There are so many teachers who are leaving
the classroom because of burnout and the rest of it. Relatedly, we need more teachers. Data also shows that having individualized
attention: very, very positive for kids. Having lower student teacher ratio is very,
very positive. So we need to staff up. The fourth thing is we need to lighten the
emphasis on standardized tests that right now is making our teachers make these choices
in the classroom where they know that’s not good for the kid but they’re like, “Well,
I’m going to get evaluated on this test, and the kids are getting evaluated on this test,
so let’s head to this direction.” And one of my boys is autistic, and so he’s
neurologically atypical. And while that’s relatively extreme, there
are many atypical kids in our schools today that are just getting beaten over the head
with these standardized tests. And you know … and many of them are having
their self-esteem crushed and their their hopes for the future altered forever. We invented the S.A.T. during World War II
as a means to determine which kids not to send to the front lines, and now we’re using
it every year like it’s wartime. And we’re treating our kids like it’s wartime
every year. So we need to de-emphasize these tests, and
let the teachers actually do their jobs. So that would be enormous. We have to stop pretending that every kid’s
going to go to college. Only a third of Americans are going to graduate
from college, and that’s relatively stable. It hasn’t gone up from 20 to 33 percent or
anything like it. It’s gone like 30, 30, 30, 30 – it’s relatively
stable. So we should stop presenting college as the
end all be all to our high school kids in particular and say, “Look, technical apprenticeship
vocational programs are very, very, very stable careers in many cases.” Only 6 percent of American high school students
are in vocational and technical and apprenticeships right now. In Germany, that’s 59 percent. Think about that gulf. And there are many of those jobs that are
going to stand the test of time. It’s very hard to automate away a plumber
or an HVAC repair person. Imagine having a robot do that. Very, very hard. So, so we need to invest. And as usual, it’s the harder thing. Because even after I’m president, I say, “Alright,
let’s invest in vocational…” you can’t just conjure up like a shop and technical
training in a school. It’s much easier to just have like some textbooks
in that classroom. It’s cheaper, too. So if you try and do the right thing by our
kids, it’s going to be a higher degree of investment, but it’s the right thing to do. So these are some of the things I believe
we should do in education that would help alleviate some of the pervasive inequities. KING: Do you want to go with the last question? JANI: Go ahead. KING: OK, we’re going to shift topics in a
second, but I wanted to ask you both. You both had some very pointed questions about
the freedom dividend, about the thousand dollars a month. Are you convinced? Are you more convinced now than you were when
you walked in here based on what Mr. Yang has said and explained? ZEITLER: I mean, if you’re a little bit more
subtle with a value added tax right and you’re excluding products and that sort of thing,
I think it helps. You know, I mean, I don’t see why you have
to trade … make the decision between SNAPs and getting the dividend. It seems to me it should just… Right because the wealthier person’s – you
know the person who doesn’t need it … I mean in my little community, in suburban New
Jersey, I just imagine that going into, “Well, I can just buy a bigger house.” It’s a thousand dollars a month. I can put into my mortgage, or my rent, or
whatever and housing prices will just go up. In this you know relatively …er you know
a desirable location can further kind of making the price of entry more difficult for people
to attain. So if you can just kind of elaborate on that
a little bit. YANG: Sure. You know what’s great, John, is that, by the
math, a thousand dollars a month makes a much, much bigger difference to people who are coming
from a lower base. ZEITLER: Sure. YANG: So, if I’m making twenty four thousand
dollars a year and you give me twelve thousand dollars additional – like a 50 percent increase. If I’m making two hundred thousand dollars
it’s a six percent increase. So if you’re worried that it’s just going
to exacerbate the incredible inequality in our society, by the math it will actually
diminish it greatly. And if you look at Alaska, where they’re getting
one to two thousand dollars a year for every adult, it’s significantly diminishing. They’re actually technically the least unequal
state in the country, I believe, in large part because the dividend flattens it all
out. KING: Alright, let me ask whether you are
convinced by what you’ve heard today. JANI: Sure. I mean, I guess I just … I’ll sort of follow
up to that. Why not just set a threshold like people below
this income or household income will get a thousand dollars and people above will not? Why not just do that instead of … I mean,
for someone like me, sure it could go a long way, especially for student loans. YANG: I would try and zero out some of those
student loans anyway, by the way. JANI: Perfect. Yes. YANG: So, you get to keep some of that money. JANI: But yeah, I mean it would go directly
to those kinds of costs, right? I’m not going to go buy the next iPhone for
a thousand dollars, but not everybody is going to make that decision. So it may continue to increase or it may further
some inequities right? Not because you want it to, but it just may
happen. Why not just set that? YANG: So there’s definitely a legit argument
for some kind of income threshold. I’ve been convinced that the benefits of universality
are actually enough so we should head that direction. So, just to use the Alaska example again,
everyone gets the oil dividend from the richest Alaskan to the poorest Alaskan. And so what this does is it gets rid of all
stigma attached to it. It makes it much more popular. It seems fair. There’s no rich-to-poor transfer, and there’s
no monitoring requirement, which ends up lightening the bureaucracy. And there’s no incentive to report that you
made less money than you did. So if it was depending upon individual income,
you’d have a lot of people being like, “Hey, you know, like how about let’s … maybe let’s
not get married so that you can get the dividend?” But I’ll let you know that there would be
some game playing, whereas if you just say, “Look: you’re an American. You get it turning age 18.” And my system would end up extracting hundreds
of millions – let’s say billions – from someone like Jeff Bezos. So if we try and send him a thousand bucks
a month to remind him he’s an American, like it’s fine. Like if someone is really at the top of society,
we’re going to be extracting a lot of value from them as it should be. JANI: In that value added tax, that’s the
… YANG: Yeah. Because if you have a significant value added
tax that, let’s say, is even sharper on luxury goods and then you have someone who’s really
wealthy in our society, we’re going to get a ton from them. And then if you say, “Hey, you want your
thousand bucks a month?” You know it’ll be trivial in the scheme of
the value we’re getting. KING: Alright, we have been talking about
the country’s economic future, but I know that both of our voters, John and Hetal, have
some questions about climate change. So you have put forward a very long and detailed
proposal, about 50 pages, on what you would do to solve the problem of climate change
now, the problem of climate change now and in the near future. John, this is something that’s been weighing
pretty heavily on your mind. I wonder if you can tell us why that is and
what you’d like to know from Mr. Yang. ZEITLER: I mean it’s, you know, you hear everybody
talking about it. It’s an existential threat and that’s not
just some little… YANG: Turn of phrase. ZEITLER: Yeah. It’s a reality. KING: You have kids. ZEITLER: It has to be addressed before everything
else because we’re just not going to exist. You’re going to have climate refugees, a kind
of human catastrophe that’s greater than the history of slavery or the holocaust during,
all of the Holocaust during the 20th century. I mean it’s a massive, massive problem. So it weighs on me heavily. Again, I feel like your thinking is very clear-eyed. You know, it’s bold and I appreciate the notion
of moving folks to higher ground because we’re in it … YANG: We already have climate refugees in
this country now. ZEITLER: Yeah. So, you do include nuclear in your plan. You also are interested in investing in thorium
and nuclear fusion, which I think is interesting. KING: And which we’ll have to have you explain. ZEITLER: Yes. So if you can sort of, you know my concern
about nuclear is the long term nuclear waste problem, where it sits around for 10,000 years
it’s sort of hard to … YANG: I’m happy to say that thorium decomposes
faster. ZEITLER: Yeah. No, so I’ve been reading about it and it’s
remarkable, right? I mean that’s more on a human timescale. But why continue to have traditional nuclear
in the portfolio? Why not sunset that very quickly and you know,
move in toward sustainable and thorium research, say? YANG: So first I want to say there is no solving
the problem of climate change. I think that’s what you’d said. Like there is, you can’t turn back time. I mean, it’s with us now. It’s already changing lives and destroying
lives. I was just in New Hampshire running for president. I was just in New Hampshire and hundreds of
coastal houses and buildings are already flooding regularly. They had a multi-million dollar shrimping
business outside of Portsmouth that went to zero because of warming waters. It’s already changing and devastating communities
and ways of life around the country. And we haven’t seen the worst of it. The last four years have been the four warmest
years in recorded history. July was the warmest month in recorded history. I think you probably saw me on the big stage
in Detroit saying, “It’s too late. It’s like worse than you think.” So it’s too late to reverse climate change,
like the Earth will warm. Sea levels will rise. We have to start trying to mitigate some of
the worst effects. So where to begin? I mean I have a long plan, as you said. KING: You have a very long plan. But John is actually really interested in
why are you, why do you want to remain reliant on nuclear energy? And you have proposed something that not a
lot of people have heard, of which is this thing called thorium, which you see as the
way forward on climate and on energy consumption. YANG: It sounds so science fiction-y. KING: It does sound so science fiction-y,
and I guarantee you a lot of our listeners will not have heard of it. Can you briefly just explain, what is thorium? And why does it go part of the way toward
helping with climate change? YANG: So thorium is a next generation fuel
for nuclear reactor[s], and it’s superior to uranium on many levels. One is, it’s not intrinsically radioactive
on its own, so that’s great. Two, you can’t make weapons out of it. KING: Which is true. That’s a real thing. And I mean you said it offhandedly, but I
was researching thorium this morning and yes, it is not used for nuclear weapons, yeah. YANG: It does decompose more quickly, and
so it has many benefits and the energy productivity can be as high or higher. And so, why haven’t we done it? I mean, we need to invest in these next generation
nuclear reactors, and there’s been a lot of angst about proceeding in this direction. To me, if we’re in a crisis, which we are,
then you have to consider every alternative on the table, and thorium and nuclear has
to be at least on the table in my mind. If we get it right, it could be a tremendous
boost in moving us towards more sustainable forms of energy and reducing our reliance
on fossil fuels and things that are speeding up climate change. So I’m excited about the potential. Some of the people I’ve spoken to are also
excited by the potential. And this is the kind of bet that we would
need to make if we’re serious about trying to wean ourselves off of fossil fuels without
frankly dramatically changing the energy consumption in this country, because we consume a lot
of energy. And I think we can get there, but we can only
get there if we’re willing to consider every alternative. ZEITLER: How do you challenge Americans to
consume less energy and more specifically you know, from what I’ve read, it’s the folks
at the top of the economic ladder that actually you know burn the most fuel. YANG: Well, you probably saw that Elon Musk
endorsed me. So I think we need to move to electric cars. We need to try and lower people’s carbon footprint
to just do the things they do in everyday life. So that’s investing in public transportation
and electric cars and buses – things that will enable us to do what we want to do, but
just burn less fuel and make less of an impact. KING: Hetal, I want to allow you to get a
question in here. JANI: How are you gonna… those who don’t
believe in climate change because there’s a lot of … How are you going to reach out
to those people? YANG: I mean you probably know I have a “Math”
hat, so you know I should probably wear a “Science” hat someplace. But I think there’s a growing consensus around
the urgency of climate change, certainly in the Democratic Party. The folks who don’t believe in climate change
– I think many of them have their heads down in part because we’re in a country where
78 percent of us are living paycheck to paycheck and almost half can’t afford an unexpected
400 dollar bill. So if I come to you and say, “Hey, we need
to worry about climate change.” You have your head down, and you’re like,
“I can’t pay next month’s rent.” Like, “Climate change is hokum” or something. So a lot of it is getting Americans’ heads
up. And to me a lot of that is getting the boot
off of people’s throats so that they can actually think more clearly and hopefully optimistically
about the future. Studies have shown that if you can’t pay your
bills, it has the functional impact of decreasing your I.Q. by 13 points or one standard deviation
almost. So if you feel like there are a lot of Americans
who seem more insular and negative and pessimistic and less future-oriented, that’s probably
factually accurate. Because so many of us are just so stressed
out about meeting next month’s rent and living paycheck to paycheck that it’s making us less
rational and less optimistic. JANI: But that’s great for the people. How about reaching across the aisle? How do you do that? YANG: Well I mean, I suppose that’s what I
meant is that, you know … Well so, I’m one of only two Democratic candidates in the field
that 10 percent or more of Donald Trump voters said they would support in the general election,
which makes me the best candidate to take on and beat Donald Trump in 2020. And the folks on the other side of the aisle
– I’m clearly a Democrat. Everyone knows that. But the folks on the other side of the aisle
see that I’m focused on trying to solve problems that affect them and all of us that I’m not
judging anyone. That I’m saying look: the reality is we did
blast away four million manufacturing jobs in these communities many of whom … many
of which were in swing states or used to be swing that went red. And so they see that I’m trying to solve that
set of problems. There’s even a group called “Truckers for
Yang.” Truckers are not really like traditionally
a Democratic-leaning group, but they see that I’m trying to solve their problems because
I think there are problems. You know, if we truly do blast away hundreds
of thousands of trucking jobs, that’s going to be an everyone problem. And so I’m already peeling off disaffected
Trump voters, independents, libertarians, some conservatives. I also talk in terms of numbers and business,
and a lot of conservatives are attracted to that. JANI: Yeah, I mean no. I’m drawing a blank right now. I guess I see… Did you convince me? YANG: Well, that’s the question. I have to say I feel a lot of pressure. KING: On climate change, whether either of
you is worth convincing. So you are concerned about using nuclear as
a form of energy and nuclear replacing coal, for example. Mr. Yang has explained, to some extent, that
he sees nuclear as the way forward, that thorium is even the safer way … YANG: It’s a way forward. KING: A way forward. Are you convinced? ZEITLER: Well, what about what about phasing
out traditional nuclear in a much more expedited pace? YANG: If we succeed in developing these next
generation reactors and traditional reactors aren’t necessary, then I know I’d be thrilled. I mean if you can improve the, let’s say,
the composition of our energy infrastructure, to me that’s not like the lowest hanging fruit
like fossil fuels and fracking and a bunch of other stuff. ZEITLER: Eliminating those first you mean? YANG: Yeah, yeah exactly. ZEITLER: Yeah. No, I’m drawing a blank. KING: Hetal, are you convinced? I mean one thing that I point out, and maybe
I’m throwing a question to you that you can throw to Mr. Yang. But one part of your policy proposal is simply
moving people to higher ground. Hetal, you work with a lot of low income people
who do not have the luxury of saying, “I’m going to pack up my apartment, and I’m simply
going to move inland, upstate to the mountains.” I wonder could you ask Mr. Yang a question
about how this applies to, how moving to higher ground applies to low income people? JANI: Yeah, I mean that’s really the question. But yeah, I guess I see that you’re placing
a lot of importance on climate change. That’s great, but I still don’t see the plan. YANG: So the plan is a five part plan. And you’re right, I didn’t go through the
plan in detail. I just talked about three issues. So one aspect of it is move people to higher
ground and that has at least two major components. So when there’s a natural disaster, who suffers? Poor people, people of color, people who don’t
have the resources to protect themselves. They might not have a car to get into to drive
away. And so first, put a thousand dollars a month
in everyone’s hands. It makes us more able to protect ourselves
if there is like a natural disaster that would be beneficial to have an automobile or something
like that, but then we need to invest tens, hundreds of billions of dollars in making
our communities more resilient to climate change. It’s a situation where if you spend 10 billion
now you might save yourself 50 billion later. That’s not really the American way right now. The American way is to wait until you have
to spend 50 billion, and then I mean, there is one house that we have rebuilt 20 times
as an example. Not in the whole, but like in part, it just
keeps getting damaged or destroyed. And I think most Americans would say, “Hey,
if it makes more sense for us to rebuild that house someplace else and to the owner…” So part of this is that many Americans, do
not want to move. And we as a country are not the types to be
like, “Hey, we’re gonna force you to move.” Like, that’s not really our style. We did already relocate a village in rural
Louisiana that has become uninhabitable because of climate change, and their ocean level rose
to a point where we said, “Hey, this is not working,” and then we move them. So we’re starting to do it, and we need to
do much more of that. There is a lot of value if you can, in some
cases, elevate certain structures or elevate levees or just start preparing for higher
sea levels. So that’s what move people to higher ground
is. It’s not literal, it’s not like everyone is
going to go to the mountains, but it’s let’s try and make our communities genuinely more
resilient and prepare for what we know is coming. JANI: So when you say when you say you move
them to higher ground … we move them to higher ground. Who’s “we”? And then, you also said that if you give them
the freedom dividend, they’d have resources to prepare themselves. YANG: Just every American can at least have
some basic resources, yeah. JANI: So are you expecting them to tap into
their freedom dividend to also prepare themselves or is there money in your plan for this? YANG: Oh, there’s a, there’s a lot of additional
money. So freedom dividends: again a foundation. And then we have literally hundreds of billions
of dollars that we need to funnel to communities to help make them more resilient and direct
them. And in some cases that could be like a town
government coming together and saying, “Hey, the best move might be for us to move this
town.” You know, it’s not like an every person for
themselves sort of situation. The freedom dividend, though I will suggest
that if you give an American a choice say, “Hey, would you rather I send you a thousand
bucks a month to make you safer or there’ll be some government program to make you safer?”,
most of them would be like, “Thousand dollars, please.” Because I’m pretty sure I could be able to
use that to, you know, like put some boards up or like do something that I know is gonna
make me safer. So it’s a both-and. I just want to solve the problem. But you certainly wouldn’t leave people on
their own. KING: I want to … I’m being told that we
only have five or 10 minutes left. YANG: No! That’s terrible. KING: It’s terrible. It is terrible, but there are a couple of
questions that I do need to ask for NPR. YANG: OK. KING: You guys are welcome to follow. One of them is actually yours. But the impeachment inquiry being conducted
by the Democrats – do you think this is the right way to go? Where do you stand on impeachment? YANG: I think impeachment is the right way
to go. But I do not think that we should have any
illusions that it’s necessarily going to be successful. And – KING: In the Senate, you mean? YANG: In the Senate. And when we are talking about Donald Trump,
we are losing to Donald Trump. Even if it’s in the context of talking about
impeaching him, we need to take that opportunity to present a new vision for the country that
Americans can get excited about. That’s how we move the country forward. That’s how we’ll win in 2020. KING: All right, Hetal, I know you had a question
about Mr. Yang’s identity and what it’s meant on the trail. YANG: Oh! So cool. JANI: So you say, “What’s the complete
opposite of [Donald Trump] other than an Asian man who knows math? Right? YANG: Likes math. JANI: Likes math? Knows math? It should be knows math too. [Laughter] But how do you, being a South Asian,
being someone of Indian descent – KING: You are. JANI: Yes, I am. So, you’d be the first Asian-American president. I mean, what does that mean, first of all? And then also Asian-American is such a big
label. YANG: Yeah, that’s true. JANI: You know, not every Asian has the same
opportunities. Vietnamese are different, Pakistanis from
Indians, et cetera. So how do you disaggregate that data. But yeah, within your identity, what are you
going to do to promote “Asian-American”? YANG: I also grew up the child of immigrants,
so I feel like you and I might have a lot in common. I’m certainly very proud to be the first Asian-American
man to run for president as a Democrat. And when I see Asian-Americans around the
country, many seem excited about my candidacy. At the same time, like you said, we’re a very,
very diverse community, with very, very different sets of experiences. And so I would never suggest that you know
I can somehow speak for all Asian-Americans or that my experience is representative. But I do remember what it was like growing
up in this country where I’d just be so pumped to see an Asian of any kind on the TV, where
I jump up and down and like, you know try and get my … [laughter]. I mean, things have changed since then. But it’s given me a lot of joy and pride to
think about an Asian child turning on the Democratic debate and seeing me up on that
stage. And hopefully it gives them a sense that we’re
just as American as anyone else. KING: I wanted to ask you, I wanted to ask
you a question about your candidacy. Nationally you’re polling at about 2 percent. YANG: A little higher than that. KING: A little higher than that. YANG: Come on! [Laughter] KING: John and Hetal, feel free to follow
up on this. I mean, are you running for president to win? Or are you running for president to introduce
ideas into the conversation? Like our jobs are being lost to automation,
and we need to start talking about unheard of things like universal basic income, unusual
things, new things like universal basic income, like using thorium to make energy. Are you running to win? And do you think you can win? YANG: Oh, I hundred percent can win. KING: Yeah? YANG: The prediction markets have me as the
third most likely to be the nominee right now. I raised 10 million dollars in the last quarter,
and all of our measurements are just going through the roof. So you’ll see that we’ll be there competing
at the very highest levels the whole time. One thing I will say is that this is certainly
not a new set of ideas. Martin Luther King championed universal basic
income. KING: So did Richard Nixon for a time. YANG: Yeah, Richard Nixon, Thomas Paine. So it’s been with us for decades. It’s just now more vital than ever. But I’m running to solve the biggest problems
of our time. I’m on the record saying if I thought these
problems would get solved without my being president, I would be pumped. KING: If someone else could pull it off. YANG: But it seems that the most effective
way to make these solutions happen will be for me to win. And that is the plan. KING: John? Hetal? Why don’t you follow up on that? ZEITLER: I don’t know, I just, I still can’t
get around why you’re so averse to a wealth tax? That still sticks. I mean I understand that you, in principle
and philosophically, agree with it. Yeah but the idea that – you’re such a,
you’re a guy who’s like, “Look, let’s solve the problem. You know, let’s come up with some really big
ideas.” And I just don’t feel like, you know, “Well,
the rich are just going to avoid the tax. It’s too hard. We’re not going to do it.” That seems like, that doesn’t seem like you. YANG: Oh, you know, I like to consider myself
very fact- and data-driven. And so if a solution was tried in a host of
other countries that I think of as pretty smart countries, like Denmark and Sweden and
France and Germany, and then they ended up saying like, “This is actually so bad that
we’re going to repeal it.” Like, I take that set of experiences as very
compelling. If you can’t learn from other people’s mistakes,
then you’re kind of putting yourself in a tough spot. But I’m philosophically not opposed to it. And if I was president and it passed Congress
and it’s like, “Hey, it’s wealth tax time,” and I thought it would be somewhat effective,
it’s not that… I just don’t think it’s the best idea. But you know, I see why everyone’s supporting
it. Let’s put it that way. JANI: And I mean you clearly have great ideas. That’s why we’re both here. Love the ideas. YANG: Oh, thank you! I thought maybe you guys got picked out at
random, be like, “Oh, we got stuck with Yang. I was hoping for another candidate!” ALL: [laughter] JANI: No, your ideas are great. Like John said, clear-eyed, it’s great. But in the case that you don’t become president,
how are you going to continue to work on these ideas to make sure that we’re addressing everything
we’ve discussed? YANG: Well these problems are gonna be with
us no matter what. And I’m very confident I’ll have a lot of
work to do, whether it’s as president or in some other capacity. But I’m a parent, like you are John, and I
see the future we’re leaving for our kids. And I find it to be unacceptable. And so I’m going to work my heart out to try
and make it better. KING: As we wrap, I’ll just ask you lastly,
would you be interested in commerce secretary? YANG: No, I’m open to contributing in any
of a range of roles. You know, I’ve spent time with the other candidates,
and there are many people I could work with. KING: I thought you were going to laugh, but
you didn’t. And I like that. Alright, entrepreneur Andrew Yang, thank you
so much. Entrepreneur and presidential candidate Andrew
Yang, thank you so much for being with us today. We really appreciate it. YANG: Thanks. I enjoyed it immensely. KING: And I want to thank our voters, Hetal
Jani and John Zeitler. Thank you both for coming out today. We appreciate it. JANI: Thank you. ZEITLER: Thanks.

100 thoughts on “Andrew Yang Talks Universal Basic Income, Climate Change, With Undecided Voters | Off Script | NPR

  1. The attorney in this video is a pathetic liberal. Every word out of his mouth is “take money from the rich”. Dude. You’re a fucking attorney.

  2. OMG, The Fed is spending 120 billion PER DAY of our money , giving it to their rich friends. We spend trillions on pointless wars every year, so that more money can go into the same greedy pockets. Trillions go missing every year at the Pentagon. Why do people act like its insane to give the money back to THE PEOPLE??

  3. Yang you need to tax those tech companies and not the people. If it’s vat on some goods then most likely those goods are going to be hurting because the tax would upset the price. 1000 dollars seems good but if I’m paying VAT and fed tax along with state tax with SS tax etc… would I get my money’s worth? Dividend is a income so freedom is the investment but how much do I get back when taxes are due? Do I get a tax due for the freedom dividend too? Or is it tax free?

  4. I like Andrew Yang but he is WAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY ahead of the United States' time. He's a candidate that should pop up around 2024 or 2028 when the US has Universal Healthcare already. UBI is a fantastic idea and we NEED it, but Americans are not there yet, unfortunately.

  5. I just want to put this out there, let's say that 100,000,000 (that's a low ball estimate of those 18 and older) americans receive $1000 a month . how will be pay for that? Do the math and calculate the yearly cost . I'm looking for a discussion not a argument . I'm a centralist

  6. Taking money from others to pay people to do nothing is wrong in so many ways. Most Americans can recognize his socialist double-speak: "We don't move people by force… but we need to do more of that." Many socialist leaders are relatable, but they still end up squandering everyone's money.

  7. That comparison to Alaska's $4000 is a good comparison, which I imagine might resonate with a lot of red states. Should be used more often.

  8. It's insane to look at these numbers and then look at the numbers of the other Off Script episodes that they have on here; Yang has a great following behind him it seems.

  9. This was a good interview and the guy looks familiar…I thought I seen him before not regular American people lol and she is an idiot, there she go again trying to give money only to certain people and not the other's as if it will make a freaking difference. Every one need money and whatever they do with the money why she should care? She is not the financial police or babysitter jaja just worry about you and your family.if they do want to buy an iPhone 11 why should I CARE, ITS giving the mobile company business and employment, if I want to buy a big screen tv why should she care? Is giving best buy business and employee jobs and sales.

  10. TL;DR for those that don't make it to the end. 54:00 to see how Yang is really being treated..
    her tone says everything. 55:40 "but why not just a wealth tax?" AY: "sounds good, but it's been tried, tested, and failed multiple times."
    it's like they haven't even listened to him for the last hour.. Sick of interviews with "reporters" that just read attack lines off of note-cards.
    #Yang2020 M.A.T.H.

  11. Re:. UBI
    Currently the US government is running at a very large deficit. And in the wake of the 2008 financial meltdown, we are carrying a national debt of unprecedented dimensions. So, what madness has seized shysters like Yang that they believe today is the ideal time for one more huge entitlement program.

    The challenge this nation faces is financing the retirements of the baby boom generation. And through some combination of economic growth and spending restraint, we need to get our deficit and national debt back under control.

    The solution to stagnant earnings is technological advancement that increases productivity: Factory automation so we don't need to have our goods made overseas. Autonomous trucking and taxi transport. Clean, cheap FUSION energy. Perhaps an upgrade of our rail/highway infrastructure by changeover to a bored tunnel system…an investment that will employ those freed up by factory automation and AI advances. When has there ever been a nation that drove on to prosperity by putting most of it's people on welfare.

  12. He doesn't support MC4A and wants to be Biden's VP! No for me! What the f are you people thinking? He can never win on this platform!

  13. Trump supporters are slowly destroying everything around them . Basic income is the way of the future but to many people still work and live in the past . Her's what I see in 2020 trump will win and things will get much worst only then when most voters realize there mistake . Pride and ego are stealing logical thinking away from people emotions may doom us all . Andrew Yang has the right idea for putting dollars in the hands of the people but most people are not putting trust in a new way of life that can benefit everybody .

  14. "We should pay teachers more"

    Yeah, we tried that. And the unions have ruined the schools. We now need to privitize the schools.

  15. The "freedom dividend". What sort of hocus-pocus is this.

    Paying for UBI with a VAT tax is going to have most of the $1,000 subsidy going to pay the VAT tax.

    Why is it only politicians advancing this idea. Why is there no economist winning a Nobel prize for this new way to create free money. And no one has to suffer a loss to his standard of living. Or surely Yang would have mentioned that.

  16. An educated conservative would mop the floor with Yang's theories. The economy would rapidly absorb the freedom dividend and we would be left with yet more taxation causing a decrease in economic strength and fluidity with a weaker dollar. This individuals are undecided democratic voters. Taxation is theft, the founders of the United States lived by that for a reason.

  17. If the oceans are rising, why did Obama buy a retirement mansion on the east coast that will be under many feet of water according to this global warming theory? I wasn't aware the rich were such dunces.

  18. The world wishes for a more enlightened America and hopes it will not devolve. Make the right choice. Best Wishes from a firend of America.

  19. Yang:. "We need UBI to employ the people that will be thrown out of work by factory automation"

    Factory automation, like farm automation, is not going to come in overnight. By the time the last factories are laying off their last line workers, those workers will be already working on the new jobs of the future. What if farm automation had been greeted by people saying we needed welfare for these people. Would it have speeded the implementation of new technology? UBI is foolishness and greed.

  20. Overpopulation is the root of all our large problems, so when they mentioned climate change, this is where the conversation needs to go. Discuss the 7 year staggered birth rate halt, and then let's talk about geothermal power-plants. Real solutions for real problems

  21. No bs like warren who wanders around the questions since she doesnt know what shes talking about, answers straight since he is able to.

  22. I'm seeking 9 roommates to share a $5k/month lakehouse rental. We will have $5k/month left for food and entertainment.
    Do you see how this will wreck the economy?

  23. UBI is just another pyramid scheme of control by a banking cartel. NO THANKS. It is slightly better than welfare, and will absolutely cause more inflation making the free money completely redundant.

  24. I can't tell if those two people hate the poor or are part of it… It seems like the woman is judging the poor and feeling morally superior for making 'the right choice' while the guy is fake woke as fuck (yeah man like inequality… why not tax the rich more? They totally can't and don't wash their wealth through tax havens)

    Also the 'YEAH?' by the interviewer was hella unprofessional like wtf

  25. Andrew Yang is the real deal. Eloquent, intelligent and a strong leader. He has the vision to bring us Americans into a brighter future. Lets win this, America! @t Vote!!

  26. Make America Think Harder and work harder… then, America will be better or great again. Blaming immigrants and blaming liberals and blaming blaming doesn’t resolve anything. Yang has my vote.

  27. The guy on the right goes from crossing his arms to leaning forward and actively listening to yang… yang just made the guy open up and think harder…

  28. Wow Npr. What kind of interview is this, and that guy stuck on the idea of a wealth tax, i’m guessing he only sees what he wants?

  29. Another town (and one of the first in the US) being relocated because of natural disasters was Soldiers Grove Wisconsin, I find the idea of relocation very interesting

  30. I know he has used these terms already, but he needs to repeat them over and over again so Americans are reminded that they are investors and equity holders of the American Enterprise, that as such they are entitled to a share of its proceeds.

  31. Fund it with user fees on limited resources. Just like property tax is done now. Expand it to radio frequencies, pollution rights, patents etc. highest bidder sets the price and the owner has the choice to sell or pay a higher fee. This will create revenue and put limited resources to better use by human or machine.

  32. I realized across all of the possible exploits the come up because of universal basic income this still offers a very important opportunity for the American people to become more aware of how companies are trying to exploit and take their money and encouraged push back on those things

  33. You have to make a decisions between snap and ubi because we all need to contribute!!!!!!! That’s how we moving forward in a society

  34. People in Ireland used to be able to walk to Germany. Humans do play a part but humans are not the most powerful force on global climate change. As the sun moves through the Galaxy the orbit of the earth is more of a spiral that also is changed by the other planets in the Solar System. Getting our science correct will allow us to be able to more exactly understand what humans can control and where in the world life will be affected. Hyperbolic imaginings is healthy and getting us to talk about problems but hyperbolic reactions makes us respond and unhealthy ways because we can easily overshoot what the problem really is.

  35. You can't compare nature to humans torchering raping starving and caging with machine guns people because of who they are related to and aren't even Jewish according to Jewish law. Research the Holocaust before you compare it to other things.

  36. The two 'voters' in the greater world of America, would be considered wealthy, hence their push-back questioning and appearing to not understand completely, or accept, Andrew's excellent explanations on the overly sensible Freedom Dividend. It would be more beneficial, more fair and possibly more universal, had you included a person who is living on 24,000 a year (probably more than half of the U.S. population) and how they would feel about getting a 50% addition to their income. Take this 'show' on the road, to the thousands of other cities in the other 49 states that are less wealthy than New York City if you want more accuracy.

  37. And again ….the lady on the left is the reason us Democrats lose elections….damn we wanted it all. Yang has real solutions and starting points, but she isnt fully happy…

  38. Trump supporter here, Yall have a good one in YANG, too bad the heads of the democratic party are too socialists to allow him to break through

  39. I wonder how opting into his basic universal income would affect financial aid? I'm a college student and the only reason I'm able to afford to live is through grants and scholarships from my school. Would my school give me less grants and say I no longer qualify for scholarships because I get $1k a month?

  40. the guy who wrote your macroeconomic textbook, Greg Mankiw, is Pro-UBI/FD, and specifically sites Yangs version as being more than Do-able.

    that should full-stop, eliminate any doubt you ever had about the freedom dividend.

  41. 37:40 Did this dumbass motherfucker really just say that climate change is gonna be worse than the HOLOCAUST or SLAVERY??? Holy shit. I didn't like the guy off the bat for that wealth tax shit…now…I hate him. Damn is he ignorant!

  42. Choosing UBI over existing welfare is liberating for welfare dependent families. This is because UBI has no income limits, whereas many existing welfare programs provide disincentives to earn income to improve one’s position or incentives to hide “under-the-table” income.

    UBI is a solid model!

  43. The fact that he said that he could work from a different capacity, tells me he's only interested in solving the issues.

  44. He is the way to make America great again. I will definitely vote for him, and I will make my all friends vote for him all along. Great President!

  45. So, you are going to charge us $2500 per person per month extra in taxes so you can give us $1000 month refund? Sounds like my credit card.

  46. Tax every component in the entire food chain to making a car….That'll be $250,000 for this beautiful little used compact that was only driven by a little old lady on Sunday…yuck yuck yuck…stupid moronic laugh at random things that aren't remotely funny

  47. Microsoft pays a dividend to intelligent shareholders out of profits it makes doing something real….the BS "freedom" dividend is something for nothing. Anytime you see some sales pitch with a patriotic name stuck in front of it…run. Don't walk..run Yuck yuck yuck…inappropriate absurd laugh….

  48. When you compare the viewcount for Andrew vs the other candidates at only 4 days in. Really shows the disconnect between old and new media and audiences.

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