Democratic presidential hopeful Andrew Yang stopped by The Breakfast Club to break down his platform for the 2020 election and explain why he's the best candidate for the job. While many of Yang's fellow democratic contenders are running strong anti-Trump campaigns, Yang lans on doing things differently. He believes Trump is not America's problem: he's simply a symptom of the real problem.
So, if Trump isn't the problem, then what is it? "The reason Donald Trump won the election. There are a lot of reasons. There are a bunch of them. But one of the big ones is that we automated away 4 million manufacturing jobs in Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Iowa, all the swing states he needed to win...and what happened to the manufacturing workers is now going to happen to the retail workers, the call center workers, the fast food workers, the truck drivers and on and on through the economy."
When Yang, an entrepreneur who served in the Obama administration, asked fellow Democrats what they were going to do about this problem, he didn't find any of their answers satisfactory, which prompted his presidential run.
One of the major ways Yang plans to combat growing economic instability due to the rise of automation in this country is by implementing Universal Basic Income (UBI). The UBI he proposes for the United States is a set of guaranteed payments of $1,000 per month, or $12,000 per year, to all U.S. citizens starting at the age of 18.
"Martin Luther King Jr. championed this plan and principle in 1967. He called it a guarantee minimum income. Thomas Paine was for it at the founding of the country. This is a very American idea. So, it seems far out to us now. But we've been talking about this for decades. And it came this close to being law in 1971. It actually passed through the House of Representatives twice under Richard Nixon," Yang explained.
While this idea may seem far-fetched to some people, Yang points to Alaska as a prime example. Every Alaskan family is awarded $1,000 - $2,000 a year, no questions asked, from the petroleum dividend. It was passed 37 years ago by a republican governor, according to Yang. "It's wildly popular, has created thousands of jobs, improved children's health and what I'm going around the country saying is 'look, what Alaska is doing with oil money, we can do for the entire country with technology money,;" Yang said.
Big tech companies, such as Amazon and Netflix, were not taxed at all in 2018 despite record profits. Yang plans to taxes from those big tech companies and return them to the American people through his Freedom Dividend.
For more from Andrew Yang, watch his full interview below: