Debates 2020

Andrew Yang Makes Pitch to, Uh, Libertarians? 'It's Time To Trust Ourselves More Than Our Politicians'

The entrepreneur and long shot presidential candidate finds a libertarian-sounding way to pitch free money to voters.


Andrew Yang promised he would do something unprecedented at tonight's Democratic debate and he delivered: the former entrepreneur and long shot presidential candidate made a roughly libertarian pitch to voters.

During his opening remarks, Yang told debate watchers that they too could win a $1,000 a month "Freedom Dividend"—the candidate's catchy name for his signature universal basic income (UBI) proposal—by visiting his campaign website and entering their name, email, and ZIP code.

It's an inventive but self-interested ploy to harvest more campaign contacts. The most curious thing about Yang's electoral sweepstakes is the way he pitched it.

"When you donate money to a presidential campaign, what happens? The politician spends the money on TV ads and consultants and you hope it works out," said Yang.  "It's time to trust ourselves more than our politicians."


"We have to see ourselves as owners and shareholders of this democracy rather than inputs into a giant machine," said Yang.

The praise of individual voters' wisdom over that of politicians or government bureaucrats was refreshing. It's something one could only expect from the single candidate in the Democratic primary who gave a shout-out to libertarians on the debate stage.

Indeed, Yang's UBI proposal is a cousin of welfare reform proposals advanced by libertarian-leaning figures like Milton Friedman and Charles Murray.

It's true that the fiscal math Yang employs to justify his UBI doesn't quite work out; it still relies on coercive taxation and redistribution that many libertarians find unpalatable.

It's nevertheless nice to hear at least one candidate argue that individuals, not large bureaucracies, can make the best decisions about how to live their lives and spend their money.

NEXT: New California Bill Says Uber's Drivers Are Employees. Uber Disagrees.

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  2. I think I’m stroking out here, Biden’s actually sounding reasonable. He’s definitely found his balls. I think Castro lost whatever nonexistent chance he had after his little outburst.

    1. That snake-faced La Raza spawn isn’t even liked all that much in his hometown of San Antonio.

  3. Pretty sure yang just bribed voters tonight.

    1. By the way… how many times do we have to watch UBI studies show no benefit before retards stop proposing it? Is this the new socialism?

      1. What was it that Goebbels said? Repeat a lie long enough and even people who know better will believe it?

      2. Studies show that most studies are garbage.

        1. and 78% of statistics are made up.

    2. Yeah, not sure if I should be pissed or impressed at the peak capitalism of it /sarc

    3. Yes, that would be very illegal.

  4. Instead of talking about Yang floundering around, can we chat about Harris basically saying “fuck the constitution” on the stage?

    1. That’s not a controversial position among Democrats.

      1. If I fuck the Constitution, will the Constitution help me out with my political career?

        1. Sure, and then thirty years later, you can say the Constitution raped you and ruin its career.

    2. Wouldn’t be the first time she’s fucked to gain political advantage.

    3. They were all saying “fuck the Constitution” on that stage, Biden just didn’t want to say it clearly.

      But, yes, it is impressive that she’s reached the point where, if you point out that something is unconstitutional, she’ll laugh in your face on live TV. I don’t think the public is quite there yet.

  5. Creating money and giving it away is not redistribution.

    1. It’s devaluation of your savings account.

  6. Yang just elevated himself to the level of Morning Zoo radio sweepstakes to pay your bills.

  7. Indeed, Yang’s UBI proposal is a cousin of welfare reform proposals advanced by libertarian-leaning figures like Milton Friedman

    Ignoring the point that the Reason article you linked to makes the point that they aren’t so much alike…

    Being the inbred, retard, third-cousin twice-removed of the de-contextualized version of Milton Friedman’s second worst idea isn’t high praise.

    1. Same with the Heritage Foundation’s catastrophic health insurance proposal and the ACA.

  8. I’m spending my Freedom Dividen on Victory Gin!

    1. To keep with my theme today.
      I’m spending my freedom dividend on 1000 cups of coffee, a talking tattoo, a jar of stem cells and a burglars kit so I can steal the world’s most expensive cigar.

  9. Off-topic once again: I found this site offering an interpretation of the lyrics to AC/DC’s “Let Me Put My Love Into You.”

    It’s fairly abstruse stuff…

  10. Does anyone else find it interesting that the debate isn’t available in Lost Angles over the air except on 34.1 which is only in Spanish?

    1. Clearly I didn’t pay enough to play.

      1. 他們可以離開

        1. “他們可以離開”

          Has anyone else translated this be sides me ?
          This quote if you can call it that show the 50 cent army do not always read or know where they are posting. The translation came out ” They can leave.”.

    2. I did find it interesting that they kicked it off with appealing to the voters in Mexico City and Managua

  11. The ballot is like a slot machine, put your vote in, and if you’re lucky, money could come pouring out.

    Be sure to bring a couple extra buckets.

    1. Ooh, so close, wanna play again?

    2. Extra buckets. You kulak!!

  12. How does a runner-up in the welfare reform debates of the late 20th century get touted as this radical new idea? “Welfare – Now with 30% less moral hazard!” isn’t a bold new idea.

  13. “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.”
    — R.W. Emerson

  14. Oh yay. More climate change lunacy. Someone should tell them cheap energy based lifted more out of poverty than anything else in history.

    1. And they’ll say that’s a bad thing.

  15. Warren looks like she’s worried she’s about to shit her pants every time she talks.

    1. That’s how she always looks and sounds like she’s about to burst into tears…I’m sure Trump’s fingers are crossed that she’ll be the one he runs against

  16. Now yang is promising 100 democracy dollars every election! More freebies. Continue to lavish us.

  17. Every candidate “we can improve education if we pay teachers more.” Ummm… we’ve tripled spending per pupil, normalized against inflation, since 1979 and students have gotten dumber. It’s not the money dipshits.

    1. And harris wants to give 2 trillion to black colleges only.

    2. “we can improve education if we pay teachers more.”

      And the same people think too much is being spent on health care and we can improve it by paying less. Imagine that.

  18. Cash!?!?! Who cares! We want hummers*!

    *Car dealers need not apply.

    1. We want hummers*!

      For a vote?

      /Kamala Harris

  19. Moderator “Tonight Senator Warren will start the bidding, Senator Warren.”

    Warren 1 Green new deal
    Sanders 2 Green new deal
    O’Rourke dos nuevo acuerdo verde
    Booker 1 backrub for illegals
    Klobuchar 1 No Trump
    Harris Pass (for black)
    Buttigieg 1 Green new deal with lavender hilites
    Yang Money for everyone
    Castro 2 We dont need no steenkin bajes.
    Biden Gin

    Warren 1 wealth tax
    Sanders 3 wealth tax
    Biden UNO
    O’Rourke Dos UNO
    Castro millones de billones UNOS
    Harris Pass (for white)
    Buttigieg 2 No Trump
    Booker 1 raging heterosexual boner
    Booker Can I take back that last bid?
    Yang Taxes for money for everyone.
    Klobuchar Who’s the dummy?

    Sanders 1 free healthcare
    Buttigieg 2 free healtcare
    Klobuchar 3 No Trump
    Biden Your hair smells like potato salad
    Harris Pass (for Indian)
    Warren Pass (for Indian)
    Booker 1 super macho
    Yang confiscation of money for everyone
    O’Rourke dos medica gratuita para ilegales
    Castro tres medica gratuita solo para ilegales

    Warren 1 no fossil fuel
    Sanders 2 no fosil fuel death to fossil fuel exec
    Biden My well is dry
    O’Rourke 1 Caramba dos combustibles fosil
    Booker 1 No fats,no femmes, no bla….er whites.
    Klobuchar 5 No Trump
    Harris Go directly to jail
    Buttigieg 1 bottoms up
    Yang Money for nothin,’ and chicks for free
    Castro Por la raza todo, fuera de la raza nada

    Moderator “Thank you, Good Night”

  20. So from least bad to absolute worst (from a libertarian perspective)-based on what little I watched:



    1. Incomplete list. Where would Satan and Cthulhu fall in your rankings?

      1. I ran out of space at the top of the page…

  21. The Democrat party is a discombobulated and incoherent mess.

    It’s a marvel they have supporters.

    Nut jobs. Full stop.

    1. Nirvana was also a discombobulated and incoherent mess. They had lots of supporters.

  22. *facepalm*

    OK. Where to start?

    It’s true that the fiscal math Yang employs to justify his UBI doesn’t quite work out; it still relies on coercive taxation and redistribution that many libertarians find unpalatable.

    Oh, it doesn’t ‘quite work out’? If it wasn’t for the coercion it would be just fine?

    210,000,000 adults in the United States.

    $12,000/year – not counting the costs of administering this redistribution scheme.


    US GDP is 19 trillion. Just the money redistributed is THIRTEEN FUCKING PERCENT OF THE TOTAL VALUE ADDED TO THE US ECONOMY EACH YEAR! And not from everyone – from ‘technology companies’. So the companies this super-smart moron are depending on creating continual economic growth in order to keep paying out on that redistribution (and, of course, paying the parasite class whose existence will depend on having the power to steal the money, pocket a percentage, and pay off other people) is going to be bled dry. Where are these people going to get the money to fund research and development, expansion, anything, if over 10% of their value is sucked away every year?

    How many companies, Britschi, do you think have 10% of their value in cash?

    ‘The math doesn’t quite work out’. Fuck me, who knew Britschi liked to use British understatement.

    It’s nevertheless nice to hear at least one candidate argue that individuals, not large bureaucracies, can make the best decisions about how to live their lives and spend their money.

    Oh, for fucks sake. Really? *Really*? I read this as the man saying that people absolutely don’t know better how to spend their money than a large bureaucracy. Given that he’s talking about creating a huge new bureaucracy to spend other people’s money for them.

    He’s saying he knows best how to spend that money – by taking it with menaces and giving it to other people.

    Is, is the Reason editorial policy to soft-pedal these people’s policies and write them up in the best possible light? Or is that just you?

  23. Indeed, Yang’s UBI proposal is a cousin of welfare reform proposals advanced by libertarian-leaning figures like Milton Friedman and Charles Murray.

    1. Really? Did you actually read Firedman’s UBI proposal.

    2. You know most libertarians oppose it because its coercive and steals money from productive people.

    3. Friedman came up with withholding. Not even he bats 100.

    1. People who sit on their yacht while their money makes money on itself are not productive.

      And who are you to define productive anyway.

      1. Can you please take that medieval opinion back to the 9th century?

        1. Was that when the raw feudalism you people support was in full swing? I was bad at history.

      2. Tony, have you ever met people who own or run large companies? They tend to be extremely motivated, workaholic types who spend most of their time on their businesses. Yes, there are some who live a life of leisure off of existing wealth. But those people don’t tend to maintain large amounts of wealth. Rich families stop being rich all the time when subsequent generations become useless trust-fund idiots.
        And investment of capital is productive. And absolutely necessary to the amazingly high standard of living that is becoming more and more common in the world.

        1. “Productive” is a subjective term, and as used here a moral judgment.

          Janitors work a lot harder than CEOs and make a lot less money. Tell me more about productivity. Most executives take plenty of nice vacations and none of the janitors I know do.

          1. And yet the CEO’s still create more wealth – not just for themselves but for the world as a whole – than the janitor does.

            So, who’s more productive?

            Oh, wait, I get it. You subscribe to the labor theory of value. Nothing has value except for the human exertion put into it. So the harder you physically labor the more ‘productive’ you are – even if all you’re producing is a hole in the ground.

            But its funny how you insist on creating a definition of ‘productive’ while at the same time you get a hair up your arse if you think someone else is doing so.

            1. So productivity equals “creating wealth.” But for whom? For themselves? Whoopdie fucking do. How does that help me?

              Keep selling trickle-down. Maybe it will not be an obvious spectacular failure one day.

              But you probably don’t even care if it trickles down. You actually think a guy making money by letting money sit and accrue interest is doing something useful for all of society. You are selling an idea that’s meant to be socially productive, are you not?

              So make it work for once.

              1. Entrepreneurs keep around 3% of the total wealth they produce.

                Even if they kept all of it – so what?

                Tony, YOU don’t have an obligation to do anything useful ‘for society’. If YOU do so, its solely for selfish reasons – if you don’t you’ll starve.

                These people – who don’t actually exist by the way – have simply been able to remove themselves from that situation. Instead you want to drag them back into the lobster trap with you.

                1. I just don’t think a society is as productive or wealthy as it can be if it keeps 90% of the people from being able to participate in entrepreneurship and creativity because they’re focusing all their time on feeding themselves and not dying from Lupus.

                  And I want society to be productive and wealthy so that it can maintain a high standard of living for humans. Not some, but as many as possible. It’s a spectrum from Edwardian social stratification to communism. Somewhere in the middle is probably ideal.

      3. And who are you to define productive anyway.

        Says the man who just, the very sentence before, went out and defined ‘productive’.

        And you have a very weird view of how money is made. Jeff Bezos is not sitting on his yacht. Bill Gates didn’t sit on his yacht. George Soros didn’t sit on his yacht. FFS, not even Donald Trump just say on his yacht. Hillary Clinton certainly didn’t.

        1. They could have, and you’d still insist that taxing them was stealing.

          Bill Gates is doing the appropriate thing for the mega-rich. Giving all his money to charity so that we don’t put his head on a pike.

          1. If you’re going to act that way then don’t be surprised when the rich hire private armies, live in walled compounds, and take actual positive measures to directly oppress you.

            1. What makes you think you’d be on the winning side of that and I’d be on the losing side?

              My family has a literal compound, and you can’t find it unless you know how to get there.

              1. And yet they apparently couldn’t afford to send Tony to a university where he could learn about how economies work.

                In free societies, workers are paid a wage that equals their productivity. Productivity is the value of the output in goods and services they produce. People’s productivity has a lot to do with the ideas that other people have had that makes their job easier, as embodied in both their human and the physical capital owned by their employer. The inventors and innovators were compensated by a patent system that lets them capture a part of the wealth they created for society. Kill off the incentives to create wealth and then all productivity growth stops.

                Go read something about economics, in particular economic history. Maybe start with North and Thomas’ “The Rise of the Western World,” or Acemoglu and Johnson’s “Why Nations Fail,” or even McCloskey’s “Bourgeois Dignity.” Then maybe you will be able to get something out of Sowell’s “Basic Economics.”

                1. Again, productivity is a subjective value. Workers are paid the minimum amount their employers can get away with, and it thus behooves employers to favor a system in which desperation is the motivating factor for workers. The people who work the hardest, shittiest jobs get paid the least, so tell me more about “productivity.”

                  Power imbalances have always informed this debate, and people like you have worked hard to get rid of the power of workers by destroying collective bargaining, for no other reason than to give employers more power to exploit them. And if you don’t think workers can be exploited because the magical market automatically values them at their worth, you know nothing about history.

    2. Not even he bats 100.

      As a libertarian. As a working economist amorally doing a job, withholding was a pretty effective idea. Force everyone to give the government a free loan every year and then trick them into thinking they are getting something when they file taxes.

      1. As a libertarian – that was my point. Britschi is saying we should give the proposal serious consideration as to its merits because libertarian icon Friedman once proposed something vaguely similar.

        Friedman had plenty of anti-liberty ideas.

  24. The free cash, no questions asked, thing has been part of libertarianism since its inception (until it gave way to that raggedy old cunt’s philosophy of utter darwinian fascism y’all embrace now).

    I like it because letting people have the freedom to choose happens, in my opinion, to be more pragmatically useful than bureaucracies that dole out government money based on a moral judgment of worthiness.

    Maximum freedom is not always good in every case, of course, as I’m sure the propertarians here will agree to.

    1. Its amusing tony always missed the whole “replacement for all other welfare programs” part of the free cash discussions of the past

      Tony is a fat fuck who thinks taking out the trash is too onerous. Work for your cheeseburgers tony.

      1. That’s just what I endorsed. Get rid of the hodgepodge. I think it makes sense. And call me fat again. See how that works out for your grandchildren.

    2. The free cash, no questions asked, thing has been part of libertarianism since its inception

      1. No it hasn’t.

      2. Only as a total Welfare replacement.

      Some dudes who were sort of libertarian once pointed out that a better solution to *Welfare programs as they are now* would be to institute a UBI. This isn’t a libertarian idea. Its actually pretty anti-libertarian. But as a rational ‘its better than what we’re doing’ scheme, some libertarians have supported it.

      But its never been part of libertarianism – certainly not ‘since the beginning’.

      And who are you to define libertarian?

    3. than bureaucracies that dole out government money based on a moral judgment of worthiness.

      Says the man who supports Wang creating a whole new bureaucracy whose purpose is to redistribute money based on a moral judgement of worthiness.

      1. It’s exactly the opposite. It distributes money without regard to some asshole’s personal moral judgments. That’s the whole goddamn point.

  25. Logically, that means we shouldn’t trust Yang, who is a politician. But at least he’s got libertarian logic down pat.

    This comment not approved by Silicon Valley brain slugs.

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  27. no, he didn’t make a pitch to libertarians, dullard

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