Andrew Yang aka #YangGang

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Ward
Andrew Yang aka #YangGang

Any thoughts on this phenomenon?

Aristotleded24

Since you asked about Yang specifically, I'll repost my thoughts that I had in the Democratic nominee forum:

Andrew Yang is an entrepreneur, so he knows how to sell his product and interview very well. Of course he's saying things that are popular with people because he knows what is popular. Does he have the actual internal strength to push through on this? We don't know, he hasn't been around long enough nor faced any serious tests to know what his level of integrity he has. Even if you move past the sales pitch, on substance, there is often not much there or in the case of his signature policy, UBI, very serious red flags. Michael Brooks has repeatedly documented Yang's desire that UBI will replace other government support programs. For example, let's say you just give everyone UBI while eliminating disability benefits. That means that someone with a disaiblity may be spending all of their UBI on their disability (for example, a wheelchair) which leaves none left over. He has also floated the idea of a value added tax, which is regressive and also part of EU austerity packages that send people in those countries into the streets to protest.

Misfit Misfit's picture

I wasn’t impressed with him.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Not a fan either.

Misfit Misfit's picture

Actually, I was really impressed with Cory Booker. I hope he rises in the polls, and Bernie, of course.

Ward

I find the passionate followers of him to be very convincing 

https://youtu.be/oKwWyqBkB7A

 

Aristotleded24

Ward wrote:
I find the passionate followers of him to be very convincing 

">https://youtu.be/oKwWyqBkB7A

Donald Trump also have followers who are very passionate about him. How does that prove anything?

Ward

Passion about "Building a wall"  vs  " Instituting  a Universal Basic Income "... I guess one picks their poison. 

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

His policy of paying every American a cheque for $1000 a month (as much as I approve of a welfare sstate is totally unrealistic.

When pressed about UBI by reporters he double downed on the idea of paying every American $1000 (regardless-of income) would be a bad idea.

This is the wrong answer to $1000 a month UBI. Maybe something a little more realistic if UBI garanteed income of as thousand dollars a month.  Like everybody earning an income of  $0 to $50 000. His UBI plan is massevly unrealistic.

But let's look at his UBI plan for those already collecting social assistane,

The bottom 10% would lose their health care insurance and evey other benefit they may be collecting.

A family of 3 could never live on $1000 a month his plan Probably lose any other program they rely on

And millionaires would collect $1000 a month as well (WTF?)

The plan is a terrible idea as accrording to Yang's vision. He sounds like a Rhino Party leader in interviews explaining his big platform promise. His take on it is not plausiable. It's a wet dream but a dream that would make the poor even more miserable.

So I give Mr. Yang 3 thumbs down.

Aristotleded24

Thanks alan for going into the details about the issues with Yang's UBI. UBI can be progressive or not depending on how it is done. While he has put the topic on the national stage, Yang's approach to it is not.

Ward

I disagree...it both makes mathematical and humanitarian sense

Ken Burch

Ward wrote:

I disagree...it both makes mathematical and humanitarian sense

How does it make humanitarian sense to strip the poorest of the poor of health coverage?

Aristotleded24

Ward wrote:
I disagree...it both makes mathematical and humanitarian sense

Alan posted in great detail why UBI as proposed by Andrew Yang hurts people at the bottom end of the income distribution. What do you disagree with? Saying you disagree with something isn't a serious argument.

Ward

Many of the neediest tend to resist means tested welfare as they suspect it will force themselves into a cycle of government dependence that punishes (reduces basic needs) should they discover an incrementally finacially improving path towards a future they desire.

Ward

..and Andtew Yang is all for universal health care.

Aristotleded24

Ward wrote:
..and Andtew Yang is all for universal health care.

No he's not

Aristotleded24

Why Yang's position on Medicare for All is problematic:

Quote:
if you really believe automation is causing and will continue to cause massive job loss, disrupting the job market in a 4th industrial revolution, few things are more critical to addressing that problem than making sure every person has good healthcare and shifting away from our outdated and nonsensical employer-based system. One of the things that I really like about the freedom dividend is well, the freedom part. The idea that it puts power in the hands of every American to say screw you to an abusive employer or soul crushing job. Not that $1,000 a month is a panacea but it's a little bit of a cushion, a little bit of a rebalancing of the scales so that people can feel emboldened to pursue work they actually find meaningful rather than just the work that is most likely to keep them from starving.

Andrew clearly understands that in a wealthy society like ours, scarcity is a myth, poverty is a societal choice, and it's used as a tool for social control. If people are terrified of being homeless and hungry, they'll put up with a schedule that has them closing the store at 1 am and then coming back to open it up at 5 am all with barely any notice. They'll put up with a corporate overlord that treats them as disposable cogs rather than living breathing humans with lives and hopes and dreams. They'll put up with the wage theft that plagues the overwhelming majority of working class non-union jobs. They'll be too afraid of the retribution that will come if they try to organize their fellow workers in a union. As far as I can tell, Andrew's whole campaign is based around reducing that terror of poverty so that workers have more power and control over their own lives. Well nothing would be more powerful in giving service workers, blue collar workers, and white collar workers alike the power to say, "F you" to an awful situation than knowing that they and their family have good healthcare, not tied to their employer, and not dependent on a predatory market, no matter what they do. This is in fact one of the core reasons i'm so passionate about Medicare-for-All because of what it means for worker power.

I mean, today, how many people do you know who are working in a particular job when they would otherwise retire or do something entrepreneurial or creative or stay home with their kids, just so they can have the health insurance? I personally know quite a few. There's nothing about that dynamic that I want to preserve or prolong.

Why Andrew Yang's candidacy is overall problematic:

Quote:
Andrew Yang correctly identifies many social issues stemming from capitalism and wealth inequality. Poor citizens face worse health outcomes, negotiation positions with employers, educational attainment, a sense of personal fulfillment, and other problems. He acknowledges that capitalism is the problem.

But his policy responses to this fact won’t even substantially reform capitalism, much less upend it. Yang gives a vision of “human-centered capitalism” that will prioritize the well-being of average people and maximize social welfare. But his version of UBI does nothing to weaken capitalists’ power.

Yang himself often points out that $12,000 a year is not enough to survive; recipients will obviously need additional income. That’s not necessarily an argument against UBI in any form. But he seeks to fund his program in part by carving out social-welfare programs, leaving beneficiaries to fend for themselves with just their UBI stipend. This problem is compounded by his plan to implement a value-added tax (VAT), a consumption tax that is regressive at its worse and reduces UBI’s efficacy at its best.

Andrew Yang’s philosophical approach to UBI mirrors Milton Friedman’s thinking: individuals are better suited to fund their personal needs than the government. This version of UBI abandons a society-wide effort to address large-scale social issues, relying instead on individual, personal choices that play out in a free market. His program reduces the power of the state to intervene in the market and thus its ability to curb the deleterious effects of capitalism.

Capitalism is a banal, dispassionate evil. Instead of some personal desire to hurt or antagonize workers, the owning class’s actions are systemically compelled by the market’s demand for owners to outcompete their rivals. These social relations are ingrained within capitalism. Yang himself alludes to this fact in his book, The War on Normal People, writing, “There’s no malice in [replacing workers with automation]. The market rewards business leaders for making things more efficient. Efficiency doesn’t love normal people.”

Yang understands that the economic displacement of the working class is simply what happens when capitalism is functioning — not the unique result of a twenty-first-century blend of robots, automated intelligence, and automation. But his proposals don’t get at the root causes of those problems. Yang isn’t proposing redistribution of private property, land ownership, or other resources used to exploit workers, and his version of UBI does not alter the imbalance of power in capitalism. Instead, Andrew Yang believes in UBI because he believes in the benefits of capitalist social relations. He identifies the problems that are inherent to capitalism, yet somehow believes that the same market forces that create those problems can also fix them.

Ward

https://www.yang2020.com/policies/medicare-for-all/

Yangs Medicare policy 

1 of his 3  policy pillars 

Aristotleded24

Ward wrote:
https://www.yang2020.com/policies/medicare-for-all/

Yangs Medicare policy 

1 of his 3  policy pillars

And he is lying through his teeth on that one:

Quote:

"So you're adopting the label, but not the bill," Bash said.  

"That's correct," Yang responded.  

Sanders' Medicare for All plan does not ban private insurers, but it leaves them only a tiny slice of the market to cover. Under Medicare for All, insurers could not cover services that would be included in the government-run plan, which would offer very comprehensive benefits, including doctors' visits, emergency care, hospitalization, mental health, maternity, rehabilitation, prescription drugs, vision, dental and hearing aids. Carriers could still sell policies that covered non-medically necessary procedures, such as cosmetic surgery.

Yang's goal, he said, is to "demonstrate to the American people that private insurance is not what you need" and that the Medicare plan is "superior to your current insurance." He would do that, he said, "without pulling the rug out from under you and saying that the insurance no longer exists."

He condemned the private insurance business model, saying it is "ratcheting up prices, year after year" and hurting families and businesses. But, he said, a majority of Americans are content with many aspects of their current coverage. "You can't completely upend an existing system that tens of millions of Americans rely upon, in my view," he said. 

Proponents of Medicare for All want to create a single, government-run health insurance program. Yang echoed other Democratic candidates and said he regards health care as a basic human right, and that under his plan every American would have coverage.

Aristotleded24
Ward

The theory being ...it would primarily hurt start up small businesses and  does nothing for those that are out of the work force 

+ $1000 a month adds up to more

Aristotleded24

Ward wrote:

The theory being ...it would primarily hurt start up small businesses and  does nothing for those that are out of the work force 

+ $1000 a month adds up to more

Most of the businesses that are paying minimum wages are big businesses like Wal-Mart, Dollarama, and Amazon that can more than afford to pay their employees a living wage. Small business lobby groups are actually more destructive in lobbying against labour standards than big businesses, because people feel bad for the "small business owner" who is struggling to get by. In reality, when there is more spending power in the economy, small businesses benefit from people spending more money. Finally, on a philosophical level, why should the government top up people's wages instead of making profitable companies pay their workers more?

This is the problem with the reasoning that Yang supporters use. It's true that Yang has started a national conversation around UBI, I'll give him that. The problem is that there are so many complex problems we have to address, and their general response to any critique of Yang is, "but the Freedom Dividend!" The reason he is doing so well is that as an entrepreneur, he knows how to market his ideas, and thanks to UBI, he has marketed himself very well as an agent for change. If you take away UBI, you're left with the same platitudes and feel-good warm-fuzzy talk that any Establishment Democrat could run on.

Ward

With out a doubt Yang is wittingly or otherwise an anti establishment  candidate his promotion of UBI has somehow touched a  receptive nerve and brought in millions of interested citizens wanting to discuss the ramifications of such an institution. Which in my opinion is a conversation worth having...the so called yanggang is actively promoting and critiquing the idea...its very interesting.

Ward

I'm often confused how a Virtua signalling blogger is able to keep a roof over their head versus the fella that was rummaging through my recycling bin.

Ward
Aristotleded24

Ward wrote:
Btw it's not a Sanders copyright 

">https://www.healthcare-now.org/legislation/medicare-for-all-act-kennedy-...

Sanders will mandate that essential medical services are all covered under a public health care system without private health insurance companies being able to make money off them. Yang will not.

Aristotleded24

Mike Figuredo of the Humanist Report goes into detail about why Bernie Sanders is the only candidate to take on The Establishment. As part of this video he notes many red flags with Andrew Yang.

Ward

And from the Yanggang echo chamber 

https://youtu.be/1tgWSw_7Y6A

Cody87

Ward, I like Yang (he's in my top 2 for sure) but my advice is if you're going to link a video that is 80 minutes, provide some context and a timestamp. Eg "Yang supporter addresses criticisms of UBI's effect on disability recipients from 15:30 to 19:45". This way people are more likely to watch. If they like what they see, maybe they watch more, but you need a hook.

Ward

Point taken... for an introduction to yangs campaign one should start back several months ago...

https://youtu.be/cTsEzmFamZ8

 

 

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Current Affairs magazine has an interesting article about Yang and his campaign. The author, like Yang, is a son of  professional class Taiwanese immigrants to the U.S., but unlike Yang, is a socialist.

Ward

Michael M
Cool Article
But American voters will decide what they would rather have ....
$1000 / month Universal Basic Income or...
A Guaranteed Government Job or...
Donald Trump

Aristotleded24

Ward wrote:
Michael M Cool Article But American voters will decide what they would rather have .... $1000 / month Universal Basic Income or... A Guaranteed Government Job or... Donald Trump

Yang is nowhere near in contention to become the Democratic nominee. I know the Internet is a major part of organizing, but the Internet is not real life. Yang does not have near enough the name recognition, support, public opinion polling, or organizational strength to be a serious contender.

As for the big argument that it having a basic income would provide a floor where people could quit their horrible jobs and not have to worry? Do you really think anyone is going to quit his/her job and take the paycut to live on $1000 a month, especially in expensive cities like New York, Seattle, or Los Angeles?

Ward

Hey Aristotled

Its surprising how passionate yangs supporters are. Constantly asking these same questions and constantly coming up with improved answers that the yang campaign listens to and includes in the message.

Aristotleded24

Ward wrote:
Hey Aristotled Its surprising how passionate yangs supporters are. Constantly asking these same questions and constantly coming up with improved answers that the yang campaign listens to and includes in the message.

That's because Yang has marketed himself quite effectively. When you move past the marketing job and look at the substance, there's not much there.

Aristotleded24

Michael Moriarity wrote:
Current Affairs magazine has an interesting article about Yang and his campaign. The author, like Yang, is a son of  professional class Taiwanese immigrants to the U.S., but unlike Yang, is a socialist.

Here is the most pertinent part:

Quote:

The Freedom Dividend reveals a core aspect of Yang’s politics: He knows capitalism is in crisis, and seeks a capitalism with a “floor that people cannot fall beneath.” As he is quick to emphasize, Yang prefers a “human-centered” capitalism. He brags on his campaign website that the Freedom Dividend represents neither socialism nor communism, adding that the Freedom Dividend “actually fits seamlessly into capitalism.” But Yang knows his proposed income floor of $12,000 a year is not enough to live on (as Nathan J. Robinson wrote in this publication). Instead of implementing a more direct jobs guarantee to counter job automation, Yang would rather inject cash into the economy via UBI and allow the market to operate as before.

Yang is very opposed to a federal jobs guarantee, which he claims will “lea[d] to armies of dystopian laborers forced to do make-work to survive amid a growing mass of bureaucrats.” He also says a jobs guarantee, unlike a UBI, would not compensate the care work done by parents. However, Yang shows his hand when he cites his concern that a jobs guarantee would result in “an inability to transition into private employment afterwards.” In short, he doesn’t like the fact that under a government jobs guarantee, the private sector would no longer have a large pool of surplus workers to exploit, which means they could no longer drive down wages. The Freedom Dividend is not meant to replace employment, and workers would still be forced to sell their labor to capitalists. All it means is that the current system will be tweaked to mitigate some of the worst harms of capitalism. Yang’s plan is an instrument of ruling class power that preserves the class system. It is a dole to appease the people without surrendering elite control over the means of production.

This makes sense—Yang is the elite. The Freedom Dividend merely reflects the vision of a man protecting the interests of his class. For instance, though Yang has offered nominal criticism of Jeff Bezos for paying too little in taxes, he does not extend his critique to the fact that Bezos has amassed obscene wealth by exploiting the labor of thousands of workers. Along with his tech mogul pals, Yang is fine with the existence of billionaires (Elon Musk endorsed him). Despite his promises to give Americans a free 1,000 a month, Yang is no friend to the working class.

Ward

Aristotled
I agree the yang campaign has been a story of a start up entrepreneur applying those lessons of failures and success to a presidential campaign ( that's part of the charm)... but I disagree that there is not much there...in fact it's the policies that are really firing folks up... especially with the young folks

Aristotleded24

Ward wrote:
Aristotled I agree the yang campaign has been a story of a start up entrepreneur applying those lessons of failures and success to a presidential campaign ( that's part of the charm)... but I disagree that there is not much there...in fact it's the policies that are really firing folks up... especially with the young folks

Which policy other than his discredited Freedom Dividend (which alan did a good job of eviscerating upthread) is firing people up? When I've heard his supporters talk, its as if they expect the simple Freedom Dividend to solve all the nation's problems.

Trump's policies also fired up his people. Does that mean they were good?

Ward

Aristotled, just re-read Alan's comment. (Some of his math is off)
But, you're right most of yangs disapproval seems to come from the pro-establishment types.

Ward
Aristotleded24

Ward wrote:
Aristotled, just re-read Alan's comment. (Some of his math is off)

Then please post the correct math. Saying that the math is off doesn't automatically make it so.

Ward wrote:
But, you're right most of yangs disapproval seems to come from the pro-establishment types.

Which is why his plan is backed by billionaire Elon Musk?

Ward

Aristotled, I was referring to this math in Alan's post
"A family of 3 could never live on $1000 a month his plan Probably lose any other program they rely on"

The way the ubi is structured is that every adult over 18 receives $1000/ month...so a family of 3 would receive $3000/ month (if say the child is over 18)

Ward

The other cool thing about Yang's Freedom Dividend (UBI) is that it is not means tested, so there is no disincentive to seek additional income

Aristotleded24

Ward wrote:
Aristotled, I was referring to this math in Alan's post "A family of 3 could never live on $1000 a month his plan Probably lose any other program they rely on" The way the ubi is structured is that every adult over 18 receives $1000/ month...so a family of 3 would receive $3000/ month (if say the child is over 18)

And $24, 000 to $36, 000 a year is enough for this family to live off of?

Ward wrote:
The other cool thing about Yang's Freedom Dividend (UBI) is that it is not means tested, so there is no disincentive to seek additional income

What incentive is there for employers to pay people decent wages in this scenario? Speaking of which, here's another article outlining the lack of substance behind Yang's proposals. Among the problems with it is that the UBI could easily be eaten up by rent increase and increased costs of drugs and health insurance. Speaking of health care, now that he is rising and coming under some scrutiny, some are starting to call him out for lying about Medicare for All.

Ward

Aristotled, quick answers to your post.
$24 -36k /yr is darn close to enough to live of (add to that a gig here and there and I say not bad at all)
Inflation tends to happen when new money is printed (no new money is being printed)...competitive market forces would control price gouging.
$1000 ubi gives workers a bargaining chip...employers would more than likely feel the need to sweeten their offers (not to mention boosting the minimum wage adds up to less than $1000/month UBI)
Medicare for all is 1st of all a matter of semantics...Yang wants to reach the same conclusion as Bernie, just a different path...(1st clean up the corruption and profiteering in the system...then move it public)

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Ward wrote:
<snip>...competitive market forces would control price gouging.<snip>

Do you also believe in the tooth fairy?

Ward

Michael, ha. No I don't. But there are many jurisdictions that have some form of rent increase controls...and I do believe free market competition still exists otherwise I'd demand $800/ hr for my carpentry services and get it.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Price competition exists and has always existed between individual trades persons or artisans offering their services to individual customers. Giant (and even moderately large) corporations are quite another matter. Freedom of contract only works when the parties have roughly equal bargaining power.

faustus

I'm interested in Yang and believe people here are being too critical of his policies here.  One thing that has not been mentioned is how his UBI would create opportunities to make livable communities outside or large urban centres and instead in smaller more affordable cities and rural areas.  It also makes more opportunities in co-op and Non-Profit Societies to create liveable jobs for people.  In addition it imbues status to a lower income 'live simply' life style that has an appeal to many.

Ward

Doug Ford's curtailment of the Ontario UBI trials also served as a bit of a red flag.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

UBI is an interesting and potentially useful idea, but there are good ways to do it (letting it be on top of existing social assistance programs) and bad ways (taking away people's disability benefits in return for their UBI). Yang's version appears to be one of the bad ways as far as I can see.

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