My Response to Some Critiques of Andrew Yang

With Andrew Yang continuing to persist and gain support on the campaign trail, many Democrats are now starting to take him seriously as a threat. It has been pretty obvious since the beginning that those known as “establishment Democrats” wanted to make sure Yang was ignored. Now that he cannot so easily be ignored, they are firing up the engines of tribal infighting to attack him—unconcerned with whether their critiques are valid or not.

One criticism leveled at him is that he is a “tech insider,” and that he and his tech buddies are trying to automate jobs away. What his buddies are doing, however, is not malicious; it is instead simply the usual continuation of tech and industrial progress that has always occurred. Sometimes technology does eliminate jobs, but are my fellow liberals suggesting we go about things like the fanatical Luddites and destroy improvements in technology just to save some antiquated jobs? That would be doing the same thing Trump is trying to do with coal jobs.

Such a response would of course be quite absurd and counterproductive for society. Yang’s tech friend merely see the writing on the wall, and are supporting him in his effort to shield people from the economic ruin they see coming for some people while at the same time accepting new and beneficial technology.

Another criticism left-wing opponents level at Yang is that his proposed universal basic income (UBI) would be meant to replace welfare instead of being stacked on top of it. Perhaps I am just not liberal enough, but I feel like there is a point at which the safety net is too small and a point at which it is too unfeasibly large. If allowed to keep all forms of their welfare and get $1,000 a month on top of that, it seems to me that we would be entering into the realm of infeasibility. I could be wrong though.

Regardless, Yang was not planning on eliminating welfare after the establishment of the Freedom Dividend; he planned to leave it where a person on welfare could opt in or out. If their welfare all added up to more than $1,000 dollars, they can keep it. If $1,000 would be more than their welfare, they could opt into the dividend instead.

“Yang doesn’t raise minimum wage.” The Freedom Dividend would essentially fix the minimum wage problem with much fewer unintended consequences than simply raising the minimum wage. A person’s monthly income will increase by $1,000 each month, and since it is not coming out of the employers’ pockets, it takes all the steam out of the anti-minimum wage argument that employers will have to raise prices to pay their employees more.

“Yang is all doom and gloom.” Yang is a realist who is more interested in admitting the problems we have and meeting them head-on rather than pretending they don’t exist or pretending they have easy solutions. Some truths are unpleasant, but they don’t disappear because you ignore them. Yang’s painfully honest approach is exactly what is conducive of good public policy.

Importantly, unlike the current president, Yang doesn’t introduce doom and gloom in areas where there isn’t actually a problem. Trump does that very thing in order to fear-monger and scare people into making reckless and self-destructive decisions.

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