Andrew Yang Promotes “Human-Centered Capitalism” as Antidote to America’s Woes
Candidate: Andrew Yang
State of Residence: New York
Campaign Website: https://www.yang2020.com
Short Bio: Yang was born in upstate New York in 1975. His parents immigrated from Taiwan in the 1960s and met in grad school. Yang’s father was a researcher at IBM—he generated 69 patents over his career—and his mother was the systems administrator at a local university. Yang jokes that he and his brother grew up “pretty nerdy,” but he quickly adds that also grew up believing in the American Dream.
Yang studied economics and political science at Brown and went to law school at Columbia. After a brief stint as a corporate lawyer, he launched a small company in the early days of the internet that didn’t work out, and then worked for a healthcare startup. It was there, he’s said, that he learned how to build a business from more experienced entrepreneurs.
By his thirties, he was running a national education company and had met his wife, Evelyn. After selling his education company, Yang invested his earnings in creating jobs in cities hit hard by the financial crisis. That in turn led to his founding Venture for America, an organization that assists entrepreneurs in creating jobs in cities like Baltimore, Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland.
In its first year, VFA trained 40 Fellows; by 2017, more than 500 VFA Fellows and alumni have launched dozens of companies and helped create over 2,500 jobs across the country. The Obama White House named Yang a Champion of Change in 2012 and a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship in 2015.
Yang has said “VFA resonates with so many people because it’s clear there’s a growing problem in the U.S.: automation is destroying jobs and entire regions are being left behind.
“For years I believed new business formation was the answer—if we could train a new generation of entrepreneurs and create the right jobs in the right places, we could stop the downward spiral of growing income inequality, poverty, unemployment, and hopelessness,” the presidential candidate said.[Official Campaign Bio]
Fun Fact: Andrew Yang founded Venture for America, a nonprofit young entrepreneur fellowship program. [Axios]
On the Issues
Health Care: Medicare for all. Yang has called the Affordable Care Act a good first step but believes the law didn’t do enough to reform the nation’s health care system. He would shift the country toward a single-payer system, with a focus on salaried physicians and holistic medicine.
The entrepreneur’s health care platform also focuses on mental health. He has proposed funding artificial intelligence efforts that could improve mental health services and would create a “White House psychologist corps” that would evaluate and screen administration staff. [PBS]
Jobs/Economy/Taxes: Create a universal basic income. Yang’s campaign is centered on “The Freedom Dividend,” his plan to pay every American — starting at age 18, and regardless of employment — $1,000 per month. He argues the dividend is needed to boost workers losing jobs to automation and other technological change. Yang has said he would pay for this form of universal basic income “by consolidating some welfare programs,” and imposing a 10 percent value-added tax on goods and services, which he estimates would generate up to $800 billion in revenue.
Yang also supports changing how the U.S. measures economic success, by moving away from traditional benchmarks like GDP growth and the stock market and focusing instead on the country’s standard of living, life expectancy and other metrics. He would also develop a new U.S. currency called a “Digital Social Credit” that could be exchanged for real dollars. [PBS]
Yang calls his economic philosophy “human-centered capitalism,” advocating for a system that emphasizes metrics that measure “human well-being and fulfillment,” such as standard of living, health-adjusted life expectancy, childhood success rate and social and economic mobility. He described his plans as a “vision for a trickle-up economy” on ABC’s This Week. [Axios]
In The News
WASHINGTON - Getting a formal concession, finally, might all come down to this. The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of appeals on Monday granted a request from President Donald Trump's campaign to consider, on an expedited basis, an appeal of a mere facet of a federal judge's... Read More
HARRISBURG, Pa. – Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Bookvar certified the results of the 2020 presidential election Tuesday, after all 67 counties in the state certified their individual results late Monday night. A short time later, as required by federal law, Gov. Tom Wolf signed the... Read More
WASHINGTON – Last week, U.S. Reps. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., and Rodney Davis, R-Ill., along with U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., led the bipartisan Illinois Congressional delegation in sending a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. The letter opposes... Read More
WASHINGTON – Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bipartisan measure increasing funding to the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative to help combat corruption and illicit drug trafficking between the United States and Caribbean nations. Introduced by Reps. Adriano Espaillat, D-N.Y., and Francis Rooney, R-Fla.,... Read More
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin's partial presidential recount entered its fourth day Monday, with very few changes in vote totals as President Donald Trump's attorneys appeared to be focused on a legal challenge seeking to toss tens of thousands of ballots, including the one cast by... Read More
More than 100 former national security officials who served in Republican administrations or GOP members of Congress say President Donald Trump’s refusal to concede the election and allow for an orderly transition is a “serious threat” to the homeland and America’s democratic process. In a signed... Read More