AI News, 6 banking questions for the next Democratic debate

Andrew Yang

Initially considered a long-shot candidate, he gained significant momentum in early 2019 following appearances on several popular shows and podcasts.

His signature policy is what he calls the 'Freedom Dividend', a form of universal basic income (UBI) of $1,000 a month for every American adult over age 18.

Following the acquisition of Manhattan Prep in late 2009, Yang began to work on creating a new nonprofit fellowship program, Venture for America (VFA), which he founded in 2011 with the mission 'to create economic opportunity in American cities by mobilizing the next generation of entrepreneurs and equipping them with the skills and resources they need to create jobs'.[10][17][18][19]

VFA's strategy was to recruit the nation's top college graduates into a two-year fellowship program in which they would work for and apprentice at promising startups in developing cities across the United States.

Yang's book Smart People Should Build Things argues that the top universities in the country cherry-pick the smartest kids out of small towns and funnel them into the same corporate jobs in the same big cities.[21]

His campaign supporters, known informally as the 'Yang Gang', have brought attention to his campaign on Reddit, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media platforms, through the use of memes and viral campaigning.[39][40]

Central to Yang's campaign is the proposal of a monthly $1,000 'Freedom Dividend' to all U.S. citizens over the age of 18 (a form of universal basic income, or UBI) in response to worker displacement driven by technological automation.[43][44]

He argues that the problem of automation-driven job displacement is the main reason Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election, stating that based on data, 'There's a straight line up between the adoption of industrial robots in a community and the movement towards Donald Trump.'[47]

Yang has said that he became an advocate of a UBI after reading American futurist Martin Ford's book Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future, which deals with the impact of automation and artificial intelligence on the job market and economy.[48]

He believes UBI is a more viable policy than job retraining programs, citing studies that job retraining of displaced manufacturing workers in the Midwest had success rates of 0–15%.[49]

He supports legislation banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and has pledged to appoint pro-choice judges.[55]

An article in The New York Times described various new policies Yang proposes, such as a department focused on regulating the addictive nature of media, a White House psychologist, making Election Day a national holiday, and, to stem corruption, increasing the salaries of federal regulators but limiting their private work after they leave public service.[56]

On March 11, 2019, Yang announced that he surpassed the fundraising threshold of 65,000 donors, qualifying him to participate in the first round of Democratic primary debates.[78]

As of June 28, 2019, Yang had received donations from more than 130,000 individual donors across at least 20 U.S. states, thereby meeting at least one of the requirements to be included in the first and second rounds of the debates for Democratic presidential primary candidates, as well as the donor requirement for the third and fourth rounds of debates.[83]

During the second debate in Detroit on July 31, Yang answered questions on topics including civil rights, healthcare, immigration, party strategy, climate, and the economy.[90][91]

Instead of talking about automation and our future, including the fact that we automated away 4 million manufacturing jobs—hundreds of thousands right here in Michigan—we're up here with makeup on our faces and our rehearsed attack lines, playing roles in this reality TV show.

On August 8, Yang received 2% support in the fourth qualifying poll, thus meeting both qualification criteria for the third debate, which will be held in Houston in September.[98]

He has spoken about his older son being autistic, saying, 'I'm very proud of my son and anyone who has someone on the spectrum in their family feels the exact same way.'[101]

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