The Story of Andrew Yang and Why He’s Running for President

Andrew Yang is a tech entrepreneur who has engaged in other pursuits. One example is book-writing, while another example is founding Venture for America, which is a non-profit that exists in helping new graduates find positions at start-ups and vice versa. Now, Yang is planning to participate in the Democratic Party presidential primaries for 2020, which is something that has caught the attention of certain people because of his stated reason for running.

Why Is Andrew Yang Running For President?

In short, Yang is concerned about AI. However, he isn’t concerned about killer robots exterminating their human creators in some kind of conflict right out of science fiction. Instead, he is concerned about the increasing automation that is happening throughout the sectors as machines become more and more intelligent because of the sheer amount of resources that is being poured into the study of machine intelligence as well as related topics. This is a real problem that is concerning a lot of people out there, not least because the consequences of similar trends in the past have been rather painful to say the least.

For an example, look no further than the state of manufacturing in the United States. This isn’t mentioned much, but the sector as a whole is thriving, as shown by its output as well as its economic value. However, this can sound rather strange, seeing as how there is so much news about how the loss of manufacturing jobs has affected entire areas of the United States for the worse. There is no contradiction between these two facts for the simple reason that automation has eliminated a lot of manufacturing jobs that once needed human input, which is why the U.S. manufacturing sector is thriving whereas the towns that once relied on U.S. manufacturing jobs are not.

As a result, there are a lot of people with understandable concerns about what will happen once machines become sophisticated enough to start eating into white collar jobs in the same way that they have been eating into blue collar jobs. This can seem like science fiction, but this is a real thing, as shown by how some businesses are already using what amounts to specialized chatbots to answer common questions in place of human representatives. However, what can be seen now is no more than a small taste of what some people are expecting, seeing as how there are reports that automation could cost the world hundreds of millions of jobs in the coming decade. Theoretically, the new technologies that will make this possible will introduce new jobs as well, but there are two problems with that. One, there is no guarantee that those new technologies will create the same number of jobs that will be lost. Two, change isn’t something that happens without cost, meaning that is going to result in a lot of pain for a lot of people out there.

What Is Andrew Yang’s Platform?

Yang is proposing a number of solutions. First, he wants to introduce universal basic income, which is a kind of welfare program that would provide all of the citizens of a country with a minimum income that will be sufficient for them to live on with no conditions attached. The idea is that universal basic income will free people from having to use all of their time struggling to keep themselves alive, which in turn, will enable them to use that freed-up time to pursue further education so as to secure better jobs with higher incomes. So far, no country has implemented universal basic income, but some countries such as Canada and Finland are testing the idea to see what happens as a result.

Besides this, Yang want to put a tax on tech companies as a way of curbing the enormous power that they are gathering to themselves, which would be redistributed to the citizens of the United States in the form of what he calls a “Freedom Dividend.” Furthermore, Yang wants to set up a new social currency that would be handed out to people who contribute to society in a positive manner, with examples ranging from caring for children and caring for seniors to being environmentally responsible and engaging in scientific research. Said currency would exist for the purpose of incentivizing actions that are not valued by the market. Something that is a long-standing problem, though one can’t help but be skeptical that this would be an effective solution for it.


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