Debates 2020

Andrew Yang Is the Anti–Elizabeth Warren

A progressive who wants to empower the little guy instead of big government

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Andrew Yang got the least amount of speaking time of any candidate on the Democratic primary debate stage last night—less than half of Joe Biden's. But this son of Taiwanese immigrants still managed to distinguish himself as a New New Democrat who broadly shares his party's progressive goals but doesn't always endorse its big-government solutions. A lawyer turned entrepreneur, Yang seems to understand intuitively that good public policy involves not Elizabeth Warren–style 10-point programs that empower bureaucrats and technocrats—or Bernie Sanders–style hostility to private industry—but devolving power to individuals.

He kicked off in a decidedly un-Kennedyesque spirit by extolling the primacy of the individual over the collective. "We have to get our country working for us again, not the other way around," he declared. "We have to see ourselves as the owners and shareholders of this democracy rather than inputs into a giant machine."

That doesn't make him a libertarian. But as my colleague Christian Britschgi points out, he made probably the most libertarian pitch possible for his universal basic income scheme last night when he announced that his campaign would hand a "freedom dividend" of $1,000 a month to 10 American families for the whole year. To qualify, they'd have to go to his website and explain how "you can solve your own problems better than any politician."

It is not surprising, then, that Yang is no fan of the public school monopoly (whose backers he has accused in the past of being in "bed with teachers unions") and is a supporter of charter schools. This is increasingly becoming hate speech in Democratic circles, which is why he pulled his punches last night, declaring that he was "pro–good school." Still, he seemed to suggest that the solution to the poor education in the country was not necessarily "putting money into schools" but "more directly into the families and neighborhoods."

Where Yang is most disappointing is on health care. Given his preference for putting more money in Americans' own pockets to let them solve their problems, you might think he'd be friendly to expanding medical coverage through more health savings accounts (IRA-style accounts that allow individuals to set aside a certain amount of money tax-free to buy coverage and pay deductibles)—or, better still, giving individuals the same tax breaks to purchase coverage that employers currently get. Instead, he backs Medicare for All, the biggest of big-government health care solutions. If there is a silver lining, it is that he does still want to improve incentives for physicians and providers to lower costs by avoiding redundant testing and procedures.

Yang has by far the best framing on immigration. Julian Castro's bold-ish proposal to decriminalize immigration changed the terms of the debate in the Democratic field: He went beyond vague generalities and suggested a very specific reform—scrapping the Immigration and Nationality Act's Section 1325, which makes illegal entry into the U.S. a federal crime and set the stage for Donald Trump's border crackdown and draconian child separation policies. But that change still doesn't make immigrants sound like the assets they are. Yang, on the other hand, pointed out last night that America's ability to attract "human capital" has been "integral to its continued success." Immigrants or their children, he noted, founded almost half of America's Fortune 500 companies. In vocabulary that should warm the hearts of market enthusiasts, he noted that "we have to compete for this talent." This is a fundamentally positive, Reaganeseque vision of both America and immigrants that no other candidate is espousing.

Yang isn't any kind of limited-government constitutionalist. But he isn't a big government liberal either. He comes across as the anti-Warren. She likes top-down solutions where powerful bureaucrats ride on their white horse to smash big business and protect the little guy. (Think of the all-powerful Consumer Financial Protection Agency that she pushed President Barack Obama to create.) He likes bottom-up approaches that empower the little guy. She is a bureaucrat with "a plan." He is a scrappy entrepreneur who speaks the language of ordinary people who've never been within shouting distance of a wonk.

He is a different kind of progressive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  1. Looks like Reason is part of #YANGGANG2020.

    1. LOL….certainly Ms. Dalmia sounds like a future YingYang2020. 🙂

      Yang intrigues me. At a conceptual level, I have a hard time saying how his UBI proposal is terribly different than the negative income tax proposal put forward by Milton Friedman. I listened to his interview on the JRE podcast.

      I just don’t see the Progtard wing of Team D ever endorsing him.

      1. Even if it isn’t – the negative income tax is still a bad idea. Its still stealing money from productive people to give to other people.

        1. Agam….In a perfect libertarian paradise, we would have no income taxes, I get that. But we don’t live in that world, and honestly, in light of the 16th amendment, I just don’t see income taxes going away. I don’t read anything in the MSM (or Reason) telling me about the big push to repeal the 16th amendment. 🙂

          That being said, trading the welfare state (administered inefficiently by a government bureaucracy) for an individual payment funded by a negative income tax is a trade-off that should at least be discussed and debated.

          Mr. Yang has a somewhat different funding vehicle than a negative income tax, but isn’t he essentially asking for the same kind of trade-off?

          1. We already have negative income tax for poor people, it is called earned income tax credit.

            1. Yes, to an extent, but it doesn’t apply to a lot low-income tax payers, and being part of a hopelessly complex tax and welfare system, it’s rather more difficult to assess it actual, real-world worth. Friedman argued for the EIC, I think as a step in the right direction, but the negative income tax was designed to REPLACE other forms of support and the programs needed to finance them, entirely, not just to be to added to the mix.

          2. You’ve seen how the welfare state has grown through the actions of people who are rewarded by increasing the number of people on the welfare rolls. There is a whole class of people who benefit from administering these schemes.

            Even if we got lucky any this program replaced Welfare, that would be a temporary reprieve as all these people worked hard to institute one welfare program after another – think of the children!

            Finally, Yang’s proposal of $1000/adult comes out to 13% of GDP. That’s just the money being redistributed. The Federal government currently spends around a trillion on 80 welfare programs. This would double that expenditure – *if* we got rid of the other welfare programs, otherwise we’re now spending 3 times what we currently are. That’s not counting the costs of administering that.

            Business investment is 18% of GDP. That would basically eat all business investment.

            Government is 17% of GDP. That’s redistributing a sum of money nearly as large as the US government spends *for everything*.

            Maybe I’m wrong – no one else ever mentions this sum. But no one ever comes back with an explanation of how the US economy could absorb that.

            And, unlike a negative tax credit, the poor don’t have to enter the workforce to get it. Its just free money. $1000/mo to lay around if you want.

            1. The welfare industrial complex is worse than the military industrial complex

              1. Much, much worse-plenty of people emerge from an enlistment with marketable skills-how often does that happen with the welfare system?

        2. “Even if it isn’t – the negative income tax is still a bad idea. Its still stealing money from productive people to give to other people.”

          This is true. But the negative income tax, which, and this is the idea, would replace virtually all federal social-support programs, including, eventually, Social Security, is a much more efficient system, seeing as how the cost to the taxpayer to provide the same level of support to the poor would go down by about 25%.

          Not ideal, but, all in all, not a bad “first step.” Of course, that isn’t likely to happen, because as much as the government likes trying to tell the average person what we can buy, they LOVE making the poor spend their money on what the government wants. Because, you know, they can. In short: the negative income tax is a step in the right direction, not the ultimate goal.

          1. They’re not going to cut back in anything. The democrats fought tooth and nail to prevent any cuts in unemployment funding, even though unemployment is way down.

      2. As a replacement for welfare the UBI is a fine idea. As a supplement to welfare the UBI is a terrible idea. The negative income tax is a universally terrible idea either as a replacement for or as a supplement to existing welfare, since it presupposes the colossal administrative state and obliteration of privacy necessary to collect an individual income tax. The government should be funded by consumption taxes.


        1. As a replacement for welfare the UBI is a fine idea.

          It is not. It just spreads all the negative consequences of welfare across the entire nation and/or multiplies those consequences.

          1. All federal welfare is spread across the entire nation you drooling fucking idiot. The only difference is that UBI has practically no administrative overhead costs and requires no invasive bureaucracy to administer. The ONLY possible reason you would support the current system over a UBI is because you’re a nettling control freak who thinks poor people need you to tell them how to spend their money.

            1. A UBI is universal, it’s right there in the name. This means everyone gets it regardless of income. So, no, it’s not ‘already’ spread across the entire nation I.E. every single person in the United States.

              If your plan somehow diverges from what is commonly known as a Universal Basic Income, please divulge how it is different.

              1. Jesus fucking Christ you retarded prick, if you have no idea what you’re talking about why do you want to argue about it?

                The UBI payments made to the middle class and wealthy would easily be recouped through taxation. In a consumption tax world it would be recouped because wealthier people spend more money. In our current system it would be recouped because we have a progressive income tax (that means a tax with multiple brackets where higher incomes pay a higher marginal rate since you’re obviously completely fucking clueless about taxes or tax policy).

                And the COSTS of our current welfare system are indeed spread over the entire population – just not the benefits. For less than you currently pay in taxes to have somewhere in the neighborhood of 300,000 bureaucrats distribute confiscated income to the poor you could just cut them a check from the treasury that would be a greater net benefit. You just don’t get to patronize the poor by telling them how they can spend their money. It’s a good deal for people who want to alleviate poverty and spend less money, but it’s hard to put a price on whacking your paternalism boner.


                1. The UBI payments made to the middle class and wealthy would easily be recouped through taxation.

                  Through that 10% VAT tax on…all economic activity. As just one of his funding vehicles. Yeah, sure.

                2. The UBI payments made to the middle class and wealthy would easily be recouped through taxation.

                  Oh wow. This is the brilliant fucking plan come up with by the drooling idiot.

                  Yeah, that won’t require a large and invasive bureaucracy to manage. Now we’ll need a whole ream of new ‘Top Men’ to decide exactly how much extra to tax people on a year by year basis to ‘recoup’ the UBI. Every year they’ll be changing the fucking tax brackets due to political special interest group lobbying, you jerkoff.

                  Which also, defeats the point of a UBI. Its not income if you’re just going to tax it right back. Its a scheme whereby you rob Peter, pocket 20 dollars, give Paul 80, tax Paul 80 dollars, and then pocket it all.

                3. Haha. You think bureaucrats will ever be reduced? And you’re calling people retarded? Too funny.

                  Don’t change a thing, lefty. You do you, dawg!

                  Haha.

                  1. All these plans are a way to avoid the reality of our situation. Entitlements are killing us. Period. They need to be reduced/eliminated. Period.

                    This will eventually happen. Legislatively, or at the business end of a gun barrel. As our current welfare state cannot endure forever.

              2. “A UBI is universal, it’s right there in the name. This means everyone gets it regardless of income. So, no, it’s not ‘already’ spread across the entire nation I.E. every single person in the United States.”

                The UBI takes many forms, and the one you describe is absolutely the worst idea I have heard of. A negative income tax, which helps guarantee a “universal minimum income,” based on need, is an entirely different animal.

            2. You mean spend other people’s money

              1. You’re right we should keep the current system that doesn’t do that.

                1. Phil, you strike me as the kind of idiot that liked New Coke just because it had ‘New’ in the name.

                  Just because a UBI is different doesn’t mean it’s superior, even to a fucked up patchwork of bad policy. The fact it isn’t clearly superior to that fucked up patchwork by any serious study conducted on it should be a clue.

                2. I’d rather keep the current system that only spends half of what Yang wants to.

            3. that UBI has practically no administrative overhead costs and requires no invasive bureaucracy

              Are you serious you drooling fucking idiot. How moronic do you have to be to believe that there doesn’t have to be a really strong anti-fraud system in place? Otherwise anyone could claim the credit. What a maroon. Christ, the government can’t even get e-Verify to work right and you think – with all the money on the line – that there won’t be a large and invasive bureaucracy to administer it. FFS, a driver’s license is simple and single purpose and there’s a large and invasive bureaucracy administering running those programs.

              See? Not pleasant when people shit on you is it? You just want ot lash out at people because you think they’ve made a mistake then watch out for your own.

          2. BYODB…..It just spreads all the negative consequences of welfare across the entire nation and/or multiplies those consequences; minus the layer of inefficient government bureaucracy (which carries a huge cost).

            1. So you’re just pretending a UBI won’t have a gigantic administrative arm to oversee it, seems reasonable. Even if that’s true, how do you plan on dealing with the social consequences like fewer people working and paying into the taxation that fuels it?

              A UBI will either be too low to survive from the start, or it will create a system where it is too low to survive in the end.

              1. Just think of all that ink and paper you’d have to buy to write those checks! An insurmountable sum next to an army of literally hundreds of thousands of permanent bureaucrats receiving an average of about 52 grand a piece in wages and benefits to make sure poor people don’t do naughty things with their charity.

                1. Nice to see you have no answer for the economic realities of a UBI. It really shows you know nothing about economics whatsoever, which tracks with most people who support a UBI.

                  1. Do your own research and stop getting offended by people on the internet. There are many misconceptions. UBI of 12K/year is not a livable wage and does not result in less people working. In nearly all studies, the only decrease in work hours was among mothers with newborns and college students (both groups should be focusing on other things in life anyway). What it does is increase economic mobility – enable people to move if their rent increases, enable people to say no to a low wage, enable people to find a new job if their old one was automated away, and enable people to cut ties with abusive friends and family.

                    UBI does not spread the negative consequences of welfare, it eliminates them. UBI replacement of welfare programs would eliminate the welfare trap, because more unemployed people can and will seek work without fear of losing benefits. If someone receives $750 in welfare now and find a $2000 job, they end up with $2K when they stop receiving welfare. If someone received $1000 instead, they’d have a much greater incentive to work and end up with $3K.

                    It also reduces the negative stigma around welfare, thus aiding the 13 million Americans living in poverty who refuse to apply to welfare due to the long and painful bureaucratic process and the negative stigma.

                    1. Read the whole thread and you’ll be caught up on the arguments people are actually making.

                    2. Ok, first thing. If it’s not a ‘livable wage’ what is the point? What keeps it from being raised to a ‘livable wage’ in the future due to political pressure since there will no doubt be horror stories to tout. (Grandma spent her UBI on lottery tickets again, how do we help her with supplemental income she can’t spend on lottery tickets?!) Also, to note, it’s usually touted specifically as a basic livable wage.

                      Second thing, it IS a livable wage in, say, rural Texas. It’s not in San Francisco. So…do you make people move to rural Texas to live, or what? Geographic price issues exist, you know. Yang isn’t apparently aware of that, nor does he care.

                      Third thing, if you participate in a temporary UBI experiment are you going to quit your job when you know for a fact the experiment has an end date? Do you think that factors into the end results?

                    3. If it’s not a ‘livable wage’ what is the point?

                      Exactly – it’s being sold as “what to do when the robots are making everything and there are no jobs anymore.”

                      Why would you pay less than a living wage?

                      And to your second point, why wouldn’t I quit my job and move to Manhattan?

                    4. This message may appear weird in the thread, my browser isn’t liking Reason today.


                      And to your second point, why wouldn’t I quit my job and move to Manhattan?

                      If the wage adjusted to geographic price signals, exactly. Why wouldn’t you? Conversely, if it didn’t adjust to geographic price signals, why wouldn’t you move somewhere with the lowest cost of living?

                      It’s just insane. Libertarians didn’t realize that the UBI is one of the worst things you can have: total nationalization of an economy through the backdoor. It provides endless opportunity for government meddling in your day-to-day life. Just think creatively, like a Stalin, for five minutes on the subject and people might see what I mean.

                    5. As one example of a thing that could happen under a UBI:

                      Social conservatives come into power, and decide to track what people spend their UBI money on since it’s of public interest. (easy argument to make, honestly.)

                      All purchases with UBI become tracked.

                      Social conservatives find out you’re spending money on, say, a vape habit.

                      Social conservatives decide you can no longer purchase vape products with UBI funds.

                      Your main income is UBI, what do you do?

                      It’s endless, really, and make no mistake I only use social conservatives in the example so leftists can see the problem. I find that helps. Plus we all know they’d use it just as much as the Progressives in an endless social tug of war.

                    6. does not result in less people working.

                      enable people to say no to a low wage

                      You’re, uh, contradicting yourself there.

                      UBI of 12K/year is not a livable wage

                      And yet people are living on less than that.

                      It also reduces the negative stigma around welfare,

                      That’s not a plus. We *want* a negative stigma around welfare. We *want* you to want to support yourself. We *don’t* want you to feel entitled to take stuff from other people because you can’t be bothered to earn it yourself. We want you to avoid charity unless you really need it.

                      Why would anyone – anyone sane, or at least anyone not trying to enslave their fellows – want living off of the work of other people to be normalized?

                    7. “(Both groups should be focusing on other things in life anyway)”.

                      Haha. Yeah, I wanna support people “focusing” on their own choices so I can subsidize their pesky living expenses.

                      I’ll just join in instead. My house and cars are paid for, but I still have a couple decades till retirement. I don’t need much of other people’s money to get by, and I won’t have to work! Count me in!

                      This is a great plan! Haha.

                    8. “Do your own research and stop getting offended by people on the internet.”

                      No.
                      You’re the one making fantastic claims: YOU do ‘the research’ and provide cites.

              2. It is possible that the UBI would be too low at any given point. That is true with any given government program — note the very first cuts made in CA when a recession starts it mental health programs.

                The monies generated from a negative income tax would be distributed directly from the government to the recipient, removing perhaps as much as eighty-five percent of the over 4,000,000 of those in the the social assistance subsector of the economy, since nearly all these positions are federally subsidized. This bureaucracy alone, in the cost of wages, benefits, etc, consumes somewhere around 30% of the monies allotted to these programs — that an “efficiency” of 70%. Writing checks, as we do with Social Security, runs somewhere around 97% efficiency.

              3. BYODB….There will certainly be some administrative overhead. Someone actually has to be present to take a phone call, I suppose.

                My only point: Philosophically, I am having a tough time seeing the difference between a libertarian ‘flavor’ [negative income tax] of redistribution of income and what Mr. Yang proposes.

                Don’t get me wrong. It is not like I am going to run out and vote for Yang. Not happening. But his arguments for UBI are worthy of debate and discussion. The essence of Yang’s argument, as I am understanding it, is to downsize/dismantle the entitlement infrastructure (government bureaucracy) as a trade-off to receiving a guaranteed government payment.

                Is that an acceptable trade-off? Maybe. I think that is what I am sorting out in my mind – theoretically, is it a good trade-off or not?


                1. Philosophically, I am having a tough time seeing the difference between a libertarian ‘flavor’ [negative income tax] of redistribution of income and what Mr. Yang proposes.

                  That’s because it’s still redistribution of income, which is actually pretty unlibertarian generally speaking. There are differences, I’ll say that, but at best it’s a ‘most libertarian option’ not the actual libertarian option. That’s probably why it seems out of place. It’s comparing being shot to being stabbed.

                2. Did mr yang actually say anything about “downsize/dismantle the entitlement infrastructure”? If he did, I suspect he’s lying.

        2. “The government should be funded by consumption taxes.”

          While I like the idea (notice I said “idea”) of a negative income tax, I am not opposed to a consumption tax, assuming, of course, some level of a tax-relief credit for the lowest income bracket, sort of like the EIC. Again, like the Negative Income Tax, much more efficient that the current system, which is definitely a step in the right direction.

          Unfortunately, such a tax, like virtually any system, would likely fall prey to things like… “but we can’t tax DIAPERS,” or, “we can’t tax MILK,” or whatever the feel-good cause is at the moment. That possible reality, should not, of course, keep a consumption tax off the the table when it comes to tax reform.

          1. I’m willing to accept a carbon tax (basically a consumption tax) on that basis–IF IF IF they’re willing to get rid of every more socialist tax at the same time.

            Eliminate the income tax, the tax on corporate profits, and the capital gains tax–all of which are as socialist as you can get–and, yeah, I’ll sign on to your carbon tax.

            When I put it to progressive like that, however, suddenly they aren’t interested in saving the planet from global warming anymore. Funny how that works, isn’t it?

        3. All consumption taxes are income taxes too.

          1. And property taxes are all wealth taxes. There WILL be taxes. As much as we would like to think otherwise, they cannot be eliminated. This does not mean they can’t be gutted by 75%, however, at least on the federal level.

      3. Intriguing? I dismiss him out of hand. His ideas are terrible, and he is bad on almost everything. And since progs don’t consider Asians to be real minorities, he has no chance to be nominated.

    2. My Whole month’s on-line monetary profit is $2287. i’m right now prepared to satisfy my fantasies basically and live home with my family moreover. I work only for two hours every day. everyone will utilize this home benefit framework by this link……… =============>>http://2cashpin.com

    3. “If there is a silver lining, it is that he does still want to improve incentives for physicians and providers to lower costs by avoiding redundant testing and procedures.”

      As a doctor in an evil socialistic medical system, I kinda find this gratuitous… I don’t personally benefit for ordering redundant testing, whereas doctors in the US (sometimes) definitely do. For example, a doctor that pesrcibes an MRI and recommends a place that sends him a cutback.

      Plus, the evidence that the US system is more efficient just isn’t there. Billing expenses run 15% of US Health Care Costs. Here, it’s around 2%.

      Free market health care is an oxymoron and an illusion.

      You mention private savings plans, but that simply no longer reflects the reality of medicine. A single “real illness” (cancer, transplant, heart operation) is in the 300,000$-500,000$ range. No one can plan or save for that.

      Honestly, it’s simpler to just have to government pay it all (bigger insurance pool is more efficient after all)

    1. But… But will Yang free us all from getting prescriptions before we are allowed to blow on cheap plastic flutes? Inquiring minds want to KNOW, dammit!

      Perhaps (just MAYBE) more importantly… If ANYTHING can be more important than cheap-plastic-flutes freedoms!… Will Yang-Dang help us all get some Sweet Poontang?! “UPI”, Universal Poontang Incoming! Get ready; this will ROCK YER WORLD!

  2. This article is impressively stupid. Yang is basically the archetype of the naive technocrat. Doubly naive, actually, since he suffers from both the fatal conceit and the less fundamental ignorance of the facts.

    1. Shriek-a Dalmia is a typically sub-average IQ Indian immigrant so an above-average IQ SE Asian seems like fucking Solomon to her.

      1. You don’t know too many Indian immigrants, do you, you little racist.

          1. In fact, “Mickel” means “great” or “big.” He’s only the son, though, so he’s probably not that big.

        1. Sure do. To be fair to the typical sub-average IQ Indian H1B, they are at least a standard deviation smarter than you are, so I can see why you might be confused.

          1. Which, I’m sure is at least twice as smart as you.
            Nit sure which piece of shit has adopted a new sock, but it’s a scumbag.

      2. Dalmia didn’t secure an immigrant visa for herself, she rode in on the coattails of her husband. Even by the already low immigration standards of 2019, she would probably not have made it on her own.

        1. She truly is a big dope. Why Reason employs this total fucking zero is beyond me. A monk interpreting vibrations from a fart has more insight.

    2. It’s actually impressive how a mindset of scarcity can brainwash an entire population into talking themselves out of a Universal Basic Income. Lol.

      1. a mindset of scarcity can brainwash an entire population

        ?

        Is this some kind of “Modern Monetary Theory” thing?

      2. Lol. I want mine, too. I don’t need it, I just wanna play guitar and smoke a lot o pot. This will help.

        After all, there’s no “scarcity”, right?

        Haha. Virtue signalers crack me up.

      3. You’re welcome to adopt a “mindset of abundance”, as long as you don’t take my money to pay for it.

        1. Clearly, this mindset of abundance tells him that he has to divvy up other people’s wealth because there’s only so much wealth in the world and he can’t get out there and create any for himself.

          1. The guy founded a multi-million dollar company….

            He literally created a start up, that created start ups.

            He is a millionaire in his forties.

            Unless you have a realllly impressive career, you’re just an angry little man…

            1. Yang has a net worth of a couple of million dollars; given his educational background (Brown undergrad, JD from Columbia), that is basically a complete failure.

      4. TahaK
        September.13.2019 at 6:45 pm
        “It’s actually impressive how a mindset of scarcity…”

        Idiot lefties coming up with new names for “reality” is more impressive.

  3. Immigrants or their children, he noted, founded almost half of America’s Fortune 500 companies.

    Way to turn Democrats against immigrants, Yang.

    1. Democrats demonizing business is on them. Capitalism is superior to communism.

  4. Tulsi/Yang ticket could tempt libertarians.

    More probable is Biden/Warren that will cement a Trump re-election by 150 electoral votes.

    1. If you seriously think there is any chance that the eventual nominee will not have a cunt and not have mocha-or-darker skin you’re delusional.

      1. So you are certain it will be Harris? Wanna put your money where your mouth is?

        1. I do have money in a prediction market, thanks for asking.

          1. And your money is on Harris?

        2. Does Harris actually meet either of the stated criteria?

    2. Although Biden is far from my first choice, I guarantee he would beat Drumpf easily regardless of his running mate.

  5. “A progressive who wants to empower the little guy instead of Big Government”

    Is that before or after he gives everyone free money for doing nothing?

    1. I think Andrew Yang’s heart is in the right place. I can’t say that for almost every other Democratic candidate– especially not the front runners. And of course Beto O’Rourke has gone completely off the rails, so the back runners aren’t great either.

      Disclaimer: Yes, I’m aware that your heart being in the right place is thin gruel when you’re talking about fucking up the economy.

      1. His proposals would fuck up the economy a whole hell of a lot less than an army of hundreds of thousands of permanent bureaucrats distributed across the state and federal system, but then paternalistic assholes like you and Ken wouldn’t get the satisfaction of being able to wield a sword of damocles over poor people to make them dance to your tune.

        1. His proposals would fuck up the economy a whole hell of a lot less than an army of hundreds of thousands of permanent bureaucrats distributed across the state and federal system

          You understand, right, that Yang is both not proposing doing away with existing welfare and is also proposing a means-tested UBI?

          1. Mean’s tested UBI, eh? So, not a UBI at all.

            1. Yeah. One might call it “welfare,” if one were being honest.

              1. Exactly. I wondered about his proposal for a UBI and how he could remotely think it’s a good idea, and you’ve solved the riddle for me.

                It’s simply not a UBI as anyone understands a UBI.

                1. It’s been the general theme for the Dems of late – take ideas that are 80-90 years old, rename them, and present them as fresh bold innovations.

                  It makes me think of the “Free College” movement. We’ve had “free college” in California since the 1960s. The “free” UCs cost in-state residents $11k per year, $26k for out-of-state, and receive enormous subsidies from the state government on top of that.


                  1. It makes me think of the “Free College” movement. We’ve had “free college” in California since the 1960s. The “free” UCs cost in-state residents $11k per year, $26k for out-of-state, and receive enormous subsidies from the state government on top of that.

                    Indeed, somehow people can never learn the lesson that there is no such thing as ‘free’ outside of outright theft.

                    Wonder why we don’t hear stories of massive successes in New Yorks ‘universal’ college tuition program?

                    Wasn’t doing so hot in 2018.

                    And even in that story, they blame government messaging not the unsustainablility of the program itself. Especially amusing is reading the litany of other programs overlapping each other on top of the new Excelsior program.

                    Final note in that vein: Those students using this program still haven’t graduated to find themselves locked into in-state employment. I’m interested to see what happens then.

                  2. “and receive enormous subsidies from the state government on top of that.”
                    The bigger the subsidies, the higher the tuition is raised. Technically most universities get enough in grants and subsidies that tuition should be close to zero, if they weren’t all squandering them on building massive administrations.

          2. You understand, right, that Yang is both not proposing doing away with existing welfare and is also proposing a means-tested UBI?

            You’re wrong, of course, but what else is new.

            Andrew Yang is running for president as a Democrat in 2020 to implement a guaranteed income. This form of basic income that he is proposing for the United States is a set of guaranteed payments of $1,000 per month, or $12,000 per year, to all U.S. citizens over the age of 18. Yes, that means you and everyone you know would get $1,000/month every month from the U.S. government, no questions asked.

            1. That’s not what he’s been saying when pressed in interviews.

              Look outside the campaign literature.

              And note how you 100% dodged the point about him not proposing eliminating any existing programs.

              1. He is not proposing to eliminate any existing programs. He’s counting on people to be incentivized to switch to UBI. The programs will naturally shrink. It is still there for those who somehow get more than 1K/mo.

            2. The vast majority would have to see their taxes increase by more than $12k, or it’s not feasible. so it’s a net loss to most people.
              How is taking more of people’s money giving them income?

          3. We already have a “means tested UBI”, it’s called the EITC. It’s been around for decades.

        2. So, you have no idea what the Sword of Damocles is. I mean, people get that one wrong all the time. But I’ve never seen anyone get it that wrong.

          1. Yeah – I’m wracking my brain trying to see how the analogy works, and I just can’t get there.

            1. Well you’re both pretty stupid so I’m not surprised.

              See, in the same way that Damocles got to taste the opulence of the king in exchange for having a sword dangled over his head putting him in constant peril of his life, the poor get a taste of opulence in the form of your welfare in exchange for adopting a lifestyle in compliance with your rules at the peril of their lives.

              1. So . . . let me see if I get this.

                “The Poor” are in role of Damocles, and Ken is the king. The Poor currently envy Ken’s position of power, and so Ken giving them welfare (something Ken doesn’t actually even support, anyway, but we’ll set that aside) is Ken giving them a taste of his power while he tries to get them to realize the danger and uneasiness that goes along with that by . . . it being possible that he stops giving them welfare?

                And UBI is different because the government will just have no choice and so Damocles gets to sit on the throne without the sword hanging over his head?

                I guess I see your point now, but yeah – that was one shitty analogy. You could have done much better.

                Oh – and your point is still dumb, to boot.

                1. Fuck that “sword of Damocles” bullshit.

                  EVERYTHING IS SO TERRIBLE AND UNFAIR!!!!!!

                  No analogy necessary. Just grievance. 2019, brah!

                  Haha.

              2. OK, so I guess you do know what it is, you are just terrible at using it in a metaphor.

                1. And your grasp of what it means is pretty weak.

              3. You’re right. The poor should be given nothing. Then they won’t have to dance to the slavers tune. About time somebody said it.

                Haha,

          2. We are all worse off for having read that guy’s comments

        3. “His proposals would fuck up the economy a whole hell of a lot less than an army of hundreds of thousands of permanent bureaucrats distributed across the state and federal system, but then paternalistic assholes like you and Ken wouldn’t get the satisfaction of being able to wield a sword of damocles over poor people to make them dance to your tune.”

          Point 1) If I were wielding a sword, it wouldn’t be hanging over anyone’s head by a thread. And it wouldn’t be the Sword of Damocles. It would be the Sword of Shultz.

          Incidentally, the Sword of Damocles is about the precarious nature of holding power, where the threat of being assassinated, deposed, and executed is always hanging over your head by a thread. It doesn’t have anything to do with whatever strange point you’re making.

          “His proposals would fuck up the economy a whole hell of a lot less than an army of hundreds of thousands of permanent bureaucrats distributed across the state and federal system”

          I’m not sure what you’re talking about here, but I think you’re making a reference to Universal Basic Income as a libertarian solution to the welfare state. I can see the good in that as far as a theory goes, but that libertarian solution depends on something important: eliminating the welfare state.

          I’ve watched Yang talk about this on Bloomberg, and he refused to say whether he would eliminate the welfare state. When he’s talking about Universal Basic Income, he’s mostly talking about how unskilled workers are about to become obsolete in the face of AI and automation. He’s saying that our productive capacity is about to increase geometrically and make work as we know it obsolete. The workers who are displaced by this will still need to eat, and it’s better to make them consumers than it is to expand the welfare state to accommodate them.

          That is far different from a libertarian introducing UBI as we eliminate the welfare state. What he’s advocating is the taking the welfare state we have now–and adding UBI to it!

          Fuck that noise. That’s from each according to their ability to each according to their need. That isn’t a means by which libertarians can destroy the welfare state and turn those people from parasites into consumers. That’s a plan to redistribute income to people simply because they’re U.S. citizens. I repeat. Fuck. That. Noise.

          Oh, in addition, there aren’t any Democrats in Congress who are about to vote to eliminate SNAP, Medicaid, rent assistance, etc. because President Yang also wants to give everyone $12,000 in cash, too. I’d like to get rid of the income tax, but that’s not about to make me support nationalizing the entire economy and having employers provide everyone with housing, food, clothing, etc. directly either. Do they have a capital gains tax in North Korea? I may want to get rid of the capital gains tax, but that doesn’t mean I’ll support become an authoritarian communist state like North Korea.

          And you shouldn’t fall for Yang’s UBI bullshit either just because you want to get rid of the welfare state either.

          1. I addressed all of your bullshit above when it was stated more succinctly by others.

            1. https://www.yang2020.com/what-is-freedom-dividend-faq/

              You’re going to have to quote where it says that Yang’s UBI means we’re eliminating food stamps, rent subsidies, Medicaid, etc. because I don’t see where it says that at your link–anywhere.

              Additionally, you’re missing the fact that exactly zero Democrats in Congress will support slashing a penny from any of those programs–even if they are in favor of sending us all cash in addition to keeping welfare.

              1. Reading through Yangs site, he does claim that part of what makes his version ‘work’ is the elimination of those programs. Which, as you note, will never happen.

                Democrats will never agree to cut a $1000 a month payment to Billionaires as well as minority single mothers. They just won’t.

                Which is actually a bit fortunate, since I believe a UBI is inherently misguided policy that’s worse than means-tested welfare. It also doesn’t have the same level of market distortions that would necessarily be a part of a UBI.

                Oh, and make note that Yangs UBI also includes a 10% VAT. Oh, good, because those have no downsides.

                1. I dug for it on your recommendation, and here’s what it says:

                  “Andrew proposes funding the Freedom Dividend by consolidating some welfare programs and implementing a Value Added Tax of 10 percent. Current welfare and social program beneficiaries would be given a choice between their current benefits or $1,000 cash unconditionally – most would prefer cash with no restriction.”

                  —-“How would we pay for the Freedom Dividend?”

                  1) There’s a VAT of 10% we have to pay on everything?

                  He’s giving people $12,000 a year and then taking back $1,200 in VAT?

                  2) The idea that the average “welfare” beneficiary gets less than $12,000 a year in benefits is hogwash.

                  If you’re on a government rent subsidy program, and you live in San Diego, Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, or Miami, you’re getting far more than $12,000 a year in rent subsidies alone. We haven’t even started talking about Medicaid for you and your kids, SNAP benefits, etc.

                  I’ll provide a link to a study by the Cato Institute of the cash value of welfare benefits by state below. It’s from 2013, so the value of those benefits has obviously gone up since then–especially when we’re talking about rent subsidies. Here are a few state statistics:

                  California: $35,287 per year.
                  Massachusetts: $42,515 per year.
                  Mississippi: $16,984 per year.
                  New York: $38,004 per year.

                  https://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/the_work_versus_welfare_trade-off_2013_wp.pdf

                  I put some of the most populous states up there because they have more welfare cases. The chances that any of those welfare recipients are about to give up as much as $40,000 in benefits a year in order to benefit from Yang’s $12,000 a year are extremely low.

                  The reason I put Mississippi on the list is because the cash value of their benefits are the lowest of any state, and even in Mississippi–even in Mississippi!–the welfare beneficiaries would do better to tun down Yang’s $12,000 a year and remain on welfare.

                  1. 1) There’s a VAT of 10% we have to pay on everything?

                    He’s giving people $12,000 a year and then taking back $1,200 in VAT?

                    I think it’s worse, even – my understanding is that his VAT would be on every stage of manufacturing. Take worm excretions and turn it into raw silk? 10% VAT. Weave that silk into cloth? 10% VAT. Sew that cloth into a shirt-shape? 10% VAT. Sew buttons on? 10% VAT.

                    I suspect the end result, especially on complex products that have a lot of hands involved, is going to be way over 10% by the time it gets to the consumer.

                    And to your second point, and I believe Welch honed in on this when he interviewed Yang, there’s going to need to be a big bureaucracy to administrate this choice between UBI and existing welfare, and to keep track of it all.

                    The way Yang formulates it, it’s really only compounding the existing problems with the welfare system.


                    1. I suspect the end result, especially on complex products that have a lot of hands involved, is going to be way over 10% by the time it gets to the consumer.

                      Yes, and it’s a common issue with VAT taxes. Governments like them because they’re huge back-end taxes that you’ll never see itemized on a receipt, and you can blame ‘billionaires’ for overcharging when in reality it’s the price of the taxes.

          2. “I cannot help but think that the Sword of Damocles hangs ominously over the Savoy Theater!”

        4. “His proposals would fuck up the economy a whole hell of a lot less than an army of hundreds of thousands of permanent bureaucrats distributed across the state and federal system, but then paternalistic assholes like you and Ken wouldn’t get the satisfaction of being able to wield a sword of damocles over poor people to make them dance to your tune.”

          I’m all in favor of slashing the size of the federal government and its vast bureaucracy today. I’ve never been opposed to it. I’ve also never opposed slashing Medicaid, food stamps, rent subsidies, or any other form of welfare–ever. I’m all in favor of eliminating those programs entirely right now.

          In other words, your attempt to inextricably link opposition to giving people free income with support for a vast and powerful government bureaucracy is a miserable failure. It’s entirely possible to be opposed to both of them at the same time.

          1. Ken….Just so I am clear here.

            You would make the trade: dismantle entitlement infrastructure in exchange for UBI. But from a practical standpoint, it is bullshit because there is no way the politicians will ever do it.

            1. Because I wouldn’t trust politicians, now or in the future, to slash welfare–and keep it slashed–I probably wouldn’t support a UBI.

              I also wouldn’t support a UBI–even as a vehicle to eliminate welfare in the future–because I wouldn’t trust politicians to get rid of UBI once welfare was completely obliterated.

              We can oppose welfare right now. The only reason welfare isn’t even more generous now is because of those of us who oppose making it more generous. In the middle of an “obesity epidemic” that’s largely centered on the poor, about one in three Californians are on food stamps. Let’s cut that shit off right now.

              We export food to the rest of the world because we’re so good at doing it cheaply. The reason other countries don’t want to open their borders to trade with us is because the cost of the food we grow is so cheap–and they can’t compete. Hardly anyone in the world pays a lower share of their income for food than in the U.S.

              One in three Californians!?

              Why is it necessary to give so many people free food?

              1. Ken….Thanks for the reply. Practically speaking, I think you’re right about not trusting politicians to keep welfare slashed, post UBI implementation. The temptation is just too great, and it would be too easy.

                1. Thanks for the exchange guys.

                  UBI would have to be in exchange for slashing all the other stuff. The problem is that politicians would then loose a lot of control over people…

        5. His proposals would fuck up the economy a whole hell of a lot less than…

          So you agree Yang’s proposal would fuck up the economy, but whenever anyone challenges you on it your response is to resort to name-calling.

          Maybe you could, I dunno, advocate for something that doesn’t fuck up the economy?

      2. All these plans are a way to avoid the reality of our situation. Entitlements are killing us. Period. They need to be reduced/eliminated. Period.

        This will eventually happen. Legislatively, or at the business end of a gun barrel. As our current welfare state cannot endure forever.

    2. Why not?

      We already have a bazillion programs that do just that. Just give people money and let them decide instead of hiring beauraucrats to decide for them.

  6. He wants empower the little guy by giving them other people’s resources for merely existing, and he will not or cannot explain how to fund his scheme.

    Don’t go weak in the knees because there is a Democrst who says might like you, after a fashion.

    1. he will not or cannot explain how to fund his scheme

      From what I’ve heard it’s the typical “it will pay for itself with all the added economic activity it will generate.”

      1. Well, it is certainly true that consumer goods prices will go up as demand goes up with temporary purchasing power.

        That is, until labor shortages result in consumer goods shortages. Then, the UBI will need to go up to keep up with prices which will probably reduce labor even more.

        Rinse, wash, and repeat.

        1. Well, we’ll just need to cap prices, then, won’t we?

          1. You broke the code!

          2. I’m sure the resulting shortages will just be caused by “a mindset of scarcity.”

        2. Not sure how you jumped from consumer good prices going up to labour shortages…

      2. “it will pay for itself with all the added economic activity it will generate.”

        So it’s a Ponzi scheme.

    2. Sorry, I should probably just not bother, but come on. A short piece which tepidly praises a few aspects of a candidate’s platform and criticizes many others is hardly “going weak in the knees”.

      1. I think they do give Yang more credit than he deserves, but my reading of it is more of a “least offensive guy in a crop of spectacularly, history-makingly bad candidates” than that they are particularly infatuated with him.

        1. After reading some more of the discussion above, I agree that they are making more of him than he deserves. I know very little about the guy. But they are hardly endorsing any of the D candidates.

          1. Reason praises with faint damns. It’s supposedly a libertarian magazine, so they can’t vociferously support the Dems when a Libertarian party exists.

    3. Like, gag me with a chopstick.

    4. He is not proposing to eliminate any existing programs. He’s counting on people to be incentivized to switch to UBI. The programs will naturally shrink. It is still there for those who somehow get more than 1K/mo.

      Also check out yanglinks.com for FAQ in video form.

  7. This piece certainly makes me rethink my rankings of 2020 Democrats. I honestly hadn’t given Yang much consideration, beyond the obvious fact that he’s better than Russian stooge Tulsi Gabbard. But he has never been near my top tier candidates like Harris or Warren.

    However, if Yang “wants to empower the little guy” by implementing Charles Koch’s immigration agenda, he deserves a second look.

    #ImmigrationAboveAll
    #OpenBorders
    #(EmpowersTheLittleGuy)

  8. Hey, why not just cut poor people’s taxes by $1000 every month? Wouldn’t that accomplish the same thing?

    1. That would starve the government of the funding it needs to stimulate the economy so that it could collect enough taxes to pay for the UBI.

    2. Do you want Social Security to go bankrupt? Because currently it’s perfectly viable despite all the right-wing fake news.

      /obligatory sarcasm tag

    3. “Hey, why not just cut poor people’s taxes by $1000 every month? Wouldn’t that accomplish the same thing?”

      In all seriousness, the purpose of Yang’s UBI is to offset the coming employment crisis caused by AI and automation.

      There simply won’t be work in the future, and what are we going to do then?

      So, in all seriousness, when you look at the problem he’s trying to address, no, cutting everyone’s taxes by $1,000 a month won’t solve the problem if the problem is that there soon won’t be any work. How much of a tax break is a cut in income taxes if your income is zero?

      1. Re-reading my comment, I hope no one misconstrues this as support for Yang’s solution. I’m not even sure this is a real “problem”. It seems to me that if our productivity increases at such a high rate to the point that work becomes unnecessary, redistributing wealth will only be a “problem” in so far as formerly poor people will need to figure out what to do with all their newly found wealth.

        To put it succinctly, since when have huge increases in productivity ever correlated with anything but wealth creation? Things are far more automated now than they were in the past, and yet, nowadays, there’s an obesity problem with poor people–and they all seem to have smart phones! If there’s a future waiting for us where automation and AI make us so productive (and wealthy) that it’s no longer necessary for people to work anymore, the sort of thing that’s likely to push that beautiful future further away is socialist redistribution schemes like the one Yang is pushing.

        Isn’t it almost always the case that government “solutions” to our economic problems prove to be worse than the problem they’re trying to solve? It may always be the case when the “problem” that needs to be solved is of an economic nature–like technology driven productivity and creative destruction. Tell Yang to go fuck a duck.

        1. Yes = Isn’t it almost always the case that government “solutions” to our economic problems prove to be worse than the problem they’re trying to solve?

        2. I think the problem with your argument is that you assume that everyone will find increased productivity in the new AI world.

          I hope so. But honestly, current trends will continue, and 35-40% of society will become increasingly educated and productive, while the rest will struggle to remain relevant.

          No the 1,000$ won’t solve the problem IF AI is an issue (assuming for argument), but it will keep people warm, fed and in basic dignity.

          1. “I think the problem with your argument is that you assume that everyone will find increased productivity in the new AI world.”

            To the extent that farming, home construction, transportation, manufacturing, etc. is driven by productivity gains associated with AI and automation, it’s reasonable to assume that people who eat food, live in homes, use transportation, and consumer manufactured products will benefit from that increase in productivity.

            Again, being able to buy more and better of these things for less and less cost is what we’re talking about when we’re talking about productivity–and it’s also what we’re talking about when we’re talking about increases in the standard of living. I understand people’s anxiety about change, but I do not fear the outcome of increased productivity.

      2. The idea that there “soon won’t be any work” is about as idiotic as any of the nonsense that comes out of Warren, Sanders, or Yang.

        1. NOYB2….I don’t think that is what Yang is saying = no work.

          What I do think Yang is saying is that the velocity of technology change will creatively destroy more jobs than the number of people who have the skills to take the new jobs. In short, they get left behind because they don’t have the new skills needed because their old skills got obsoleted. I actually think this is a certainty with AI.

        2. The idea that automation and AI will wipe out the need for unskilled labor shouldn’t be disputed on a strict denial basis.
          Automation obviating the need for the work of human beings has been a demonstrated fact (and source of anxiety) since before John Henry was a steel driving man.

          “According to legend, John Henry’s prowess as a steel-driver was measured in a race against a steam-powered rock drilling machine, a race that he won only to die in victory with hammer in hand as his heart gave out from stress.”

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Henry_(folklore)

          The problem with the Luddites of the 19th century wasn’t only their willingness to destroy their employers’ property in order to protect the need for human labor. It was also their belief that if automation obviated the need for human labor, this would mean the impoverishment of society generally. That was bullshit. Our living standards have improved dramatically since then–largely because of the productivity that comes with automation by way of technology.

          It is true that the grossly overpaid individuals who are displaced by automation will and do suffer as a result of automation. If you’re paid $65 an hour to screw in lug nuts at a UAW plant in Michigan and they replace you with a machine that screws in more lug nuts than you can at one-tenth of the cost, then you are not better off for being replaced by automation–not even if, like the rest of society, you also get to benefit from cheaper and better cars made by way of automation. You can rejoin the unskilled workforce at market rates, say $15 an hour, but then you’re making $50 an hour less than before.

          That being said, the idea that the government should step in and protect your industry from foreign competition or automation–just so you can get overpaid to screw in lug nuts is awful and stupid.
          The reason the Soviet Union failed at that certainly isn’t because they didn’t have such laws in place or didn’t try hard enough to enforce them. And, in effect, what you’re doing is protecting the rest of society from the stand of living improvements that come with increases in productivity.

          Yang’s plan is even worse than what the Soviet Union did in regards to job protection in its own way. Where automation will take people who are paid more than their labor is worth on the market and repurpose them to an occupation where their pay is more commensurate with the market value of their labor, Yang’s plan would take those displaced people and pay them to be unproductive on a permanent basis.

          Another way to look at it. Standards of living improve because of productivity gains largely attributed to things like international trade and technology. The reason even poor people can afford gigantic televisions and carry around more processing power on their phones than NASA (at great expense) used to land someone on the moon is largely because of international trade and productivity gains that come with automation. That’s what makes our standard of living rise.

          Our standard of living does not improve because more and more people are paid $65 an hour to screw in lug nuts. That may improve the life of the lazy, stupid fuck at the UAW plant–but it comes at the cost of the standard of living of everyone else in society who participates in consumer markets. You get more and more people like that, and, eventually, the place turns into Venezuela or the Soviet Union. Yang’s plan to pay people to do–absolutely nothing–is even worse than paying them $65 an hour to screw in lug nuts because at least in the UAW case, consumers and society are getting the benefit of screwed in lug nuts.

          1. I just want to say that Ken is my favorite commenter and often the only thing left worth reading on this site.

            1. I agree Ken is worth reading. Beyond that, you’re an idiot. The entire democrat party should burn for oh so many reasons.

            2. Yards….I enjoy Ken’s posts too. A lot.

          2. While I agree with your overall point, just because the Luddites were wrong doesn’t necessarily mean that Yáng is. A key theme seems to be the speed of change, as in a laid of 55 year old will have a hard time finding a second career. Before, families changed jobs of second generation, now its more every decade.

            1. There’s no doubt that creative destruction is especially hard on older workers.

              There is also no doubt that creative destruction is the means to economic growth and rising standards of living. Again, standards of living rise when people can afford to buy more and better things for less and less money. People can afford to buy more and better things for less and less money when people are free to buy things by cheaper production methods and less labor.

              Please note three points:

              1) Creative destruction is inevitable. As the Soviet Union demonstrated during the 20th century, you can pit the entire military and police apparatus against the forces of creative destruction, and creative destruction will still kick your ass in the end. Why would lesser efforts succeed? The only thing the Soviet Union managed to accomplish by staving off the forces of creative destruction with protectionism and regulation was to leave their industries so vulnerable and so noncompetitive that when the dam eventually burst, the workers there were far more vulnerable to foreign trade and automation than they would have been otherwise. Russia has lots of natural resources. 30 years after the wall came down, is anyone afraid of competition from a Russian company that isn’t centered on selling natural resources?

              2) Stable jobs are built on industries that have grown in the midst of whatever market forces have thrown against it. Its seems too obvious to mention and yet it’s such an important point: The 55 year olds who work at thriving American companies are working at companies that have thrived because they’ve adapted to the forces of international trade and automation.

              If you’re a leasing agent for an American heavy construction equipment manufacturer whose backhoes are cheaper than the competition because the parts that aren’t automated are manufactured in China, then the extent to which your job is secure, it is secure because of international trade and automation. Like water seeking a path to its lowest point, the cost of backhoes will eventually drop to whatever level international trade and automation will take it to anyway. Over the long run, cutting Caterpillar off from international trade and automation doesn’t protect the jobs of 55 years olds. Over the long run, cutting off trade and automation makes it more likely that Caterpillar can’t compete internationally and that their business will shrink or fail.

              3) The regulation and trade barriers that “protect” the jobs of 55 year-olds actually suppress economic growth–and growing economies are what’s needed to help 55 year-olds find another job after they’ve been displaced by trade or automation.

              We’ve seen this happen during the course of the Trump administration, where, like him or not, his deregulation has unleashed a tremendous demand for unskilled workers. Employment rates and wage growth, in the rust belt, are better now than they’ve been since the 1960s. The labor participation rate is rising–they’re drawing people into the workforce who stopped telling the surveys they were looking for work because they’d given up.

              It’s possible that the positive forces of deregulation and tax cuts can overcome the negative impact of things like trade wars and regulation against automation over x number of quarters, but over the long run, doing things that make it harder for the economy to grow by way of trade and automation makes it harder for 55 year olds who’ve been displaced by automation or trade to find new work. If you’re 55 and you’ve been displaced, you should want a growing, deregulated economy.

          3. The idea that automation and AI will wipe out the need for unskilled labor shouldn’t be disputed on a strict denial basis.

            I don’t know what that is even supposed to mean. Robots require capital investments and maintenance and they’ll simply compete with people, potentially lowering wages. But then the same robots also lower prices. Why would anybody be worse off?

            Furthermore, a lot of blue collar jobs are very hard to automate with robots at any price. Robots don’t deal well with dirt, with mess, with squishy things. Robots don’t interact well with people and don’t inspire people. Bossing robots around doesn’t give people the same kind of power trip as bossing people around. Jobs like folding laundry, weeding, removing rocks, watching the kids, walking the dog, caring for the elderly, septic tank cleaning, cooking, construction, serving, and sex work just won’t be taken over by robots any time soon. Furthermore, try finding good, affordable workers in those kinds of jobs: it’s hard.

            The only thing automation will do is free up some labor to take over tasks that many people would like to pay others to do but currently can’t hire anybody for.

            1. “The idea that automation and AI will wipe out the need for unskilled labor shouldn’t be disputed on a strict denial basis.”

              Because we understand that automation is desirable doesn’t mean we need to pretend that robots don’t displace the work the people who are doing those tasks now.

              Jane Fonda Syndrome is when we feel like it’s necessary to pretend that the North Vietnamese never tortured American POWs because we oppose the Vietnam War.

              Just because we understand that creative destruction is an essential and necessary part of what makes economies grow, that doesn’t mean we have to pretend that robots don’t displace workers or that the displaced workers will necessarily be the same ones who are better off–for having been displaced.

              Their anxiety about being displaced by AI and automation is based on something very real. Just as real is the fact that their future security and prosperity depends on the government keeping its grubby hands out of the way. Very real is the fact that to whatever extent creative destruction displaces them, government intervention will always and necessarily make it worse for the entire economy–even if it helps a small number of displaced workers to some small extent.

    4. Most people don’t pay any tax a month.

  9. Democrats don’t want Asians as their nominees. They just want their donations.

    If 2016 is any indication, they don’t even want Asians doing their IT.

    1. Baizuo are gonna baizuo.

  10. I would say that Rand Paul is closer to an antiWarren

    I remember when this rag didn’t fluff for Democrats

    1. I think that the anti-Warren has to be another democrat, in the same way that an antimatter particle is the same class of particle as the corresponding matter particle.

      Discussing which ones might be less bad than the others is hardly fluffing.

      1. And how would you even begin to determine which one is “less bad”? You do realize that none of them would govern anything like what they are talking about now.

  11. “I would say that Rand Paul is closer to an antiWarren”

    This might have been true before he sold his soul to President Trump. Rand would spent as much money just on different things and he supports big government if Trump leads it. Maybe Ron Paul is the antiWarren, although they might agree on drug policy and foreign entanglements.

    1. “This might have been true before he sold his soul to President Trump.”
      Seek help.

    2. Rand recognizes, like most sensible people do, that (1) Trump is pretty middle of the road politically, and (2) the Democrats have gone batshit crazy. If that’s “selling your soul to Trump”, then guilty as charged.

      1. Trump is middle of the road? Trump is all over the road. If you don’t like his position just wait an day and he will likely change it. President Trump is a salesman, he will tell you whatever he needs to say to make the deal. Rand Paul did profess to have some ideals and to stand for something. Now he does what the President wants. I not asking Rand to support the Democrats. I am asking him to be consistent to the values he has espoused in the past.

    3. Rand Paul had a soul?

      1. Yes, and you’re lacking a brain.

    4. Christ you’re an idiot. Yeah, fighting Trump tooth and nail will get Rand everything he wants? Unlike the democrats, who probably could have gotten some f the stuff they wanted out of Trump, Rand figured out its easier to work with him and maybe get something good done, undo something bad.

  12. Shikha gets dumber by the day, its like watching mold grow

    1. I thought this was one of her less dumb moments.

  13. Anyone with the sense that God gave a rock is the Anti-Warren.

  14. ” the most libertarian pitch possible for his universal basic income scheme last night when he announced that his campaign would hand a “freedom dividend” of $1,000 a month to 10 American families for the whole year.”

    Mr. Yang, please meet Mr. Sachs. I’m sure you two have a lot to discuss:

    “Development economists aren’t usually compared to rock stars. Then there’s Jeffrey Sachs. The wildly influential author of The End of Poverty is an international celebrity, like his friend Bono. He is consulted by heads of state, and advises the UN. He has helped inspire a generation of bright young people to go forth and save the world.
    Nina Munk admired him, too. In 2006, she was commissioned by Vanity Fair to write a profile of him. She shadowed him for months as he launched the Millennium Villages Project, a bold experiment that would use a handful of African villages as his test cases. She was so inspired that she even thought of giving up journalism to join the cause. Instead she decided to write a book. “I wanted to write about Africans who live in extreme poverty,” she explains. “I wanted their stories to be heard.” Above all, she told her publisher, she wanted to write a story of hope.
    The story she wound up writing is quite different. The Idealist: Jeffrey Sachs and the Quest to End Poverty is a devastating takedown of Mr. Sachs’s technocratic fantasies. It is essential reading for anyone who thinks that brilliant people with the right interventions can save the world.
    https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/how-jeffrey-sachs-failed-to-save-africa/article14436055/

    1. So another story of a white savior and white man’s burden disguised as philanthropy.

      1. And another story of a lefty idiot who thinks handing out free shit helps anything.

        1. Actually curious, would you support free vaccine (paid for by the state)?

          1. The whole premise of your question is preposterous.

            Are you seriously unfamiliar with the statement, “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch”?

            Things are not free because they’re “paid for by the state”.

            That money is coming out of my paychecks eventually. That’s money I earned! “Paid for by the state”?! You think the government makes a profit? Haven’t you ever had a job? Do you really not know where the government gets its money?! Jesus Christ, you want to rob me blind, give all the money away, and tell people it’s “free”? That’s my money! Go earn your own money and give it to whomever you want. Why are you stealing my money for your purposes and giving it away “for free”, you thieving parasite?

  15. As a proud recipient of the yearly Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) since I was born in Alaska, let me tell everyone here a few facts about it since Yang keeps comparing his UBI to a PFD.

    1) Alaskans don’t pay taxes that are redistributed in the form of a PFD. The PFD is solely based on royalties oil/mining earnings. Oil/mining currently pays exorbitant corporate taxes that subsidize an average of 85% of Alaska’s yearly $1 billion+ government budget (for less than 750,000 people).

    2) We don’t automatically get a PFD just for existing. We have to apply for it yearly, and there are requirements, like you have to have lived here at least 2 years (or be born here), you can’t leave the state more than 90 days/year (unless medical or military), and if you owe any debt to the State (child support, restitution, fines), the State will keep your PFD. It’s not means testing based on income but based solely on where you live to ensure you’re an Alaskan and living in the state. And if someone doesn’t want their PFD, all they have to do is not apply for it every year.

    3) When the PFD was started back in the 1970s, a government bureaucracy had to be created to monitor and distribute it. The yearly amount of the PFD check depends on royalties oil/mining earned. And the yearly amount also depends on our (fucking stupid) legislature who always has their greedy hands it.

    4) Every year, when we get our PFD in mid Oct, every single store has huge blowout “sales” and gimmicks to draw us in to spend our money. We also get an increase in drunk driving incidents, overdoses, rapes, and even homicides. There is also a lot of 18+ year old kids suing their parents for spending their little kids’ PFDs on crap instead of saving it. We have lawyers who specialize in this. At least Yang’s UBI won’t have this problem if his truly only applies to 18+ year olds and not kids, too.

    5) Every single year, the amount the PFD check will be is probably the most contentious issue in Alaska, even more contentious than oil and mining development. The folks who want to continually expand government and other forms of welfare want to use the PFD earnings so that Alaskans end up with a much smaller PFD check (especially public unions who have yearly rallies outside the State Capital when it’s time to pass a State budget). For those who oppose bigger government, they fight to keep their full PFD amount and hold rallies against our legislature and public unions.

    I’m one of those who oppose our State’s continued increasing government expansion and debt, and it royally pisses off us Alaskan libertarians when our legislature uses the PFD royalties for anything other than PFD checks for us. This could potentially be an issue for Yang’s UBI. When Alaska’s big government lovers need more money (100% of democrats but a lot of republicans, too), they automatically look at the PFD’s earnings. I can see the federal politicians eyeing taxes supposedly to be used only for an UBI getting “redistributed” to whatever their current pet project is so the UBI gets lower to $750, or $500, or whatever. Or changing the tax brackets. Alaska’s politicians are pretty inventive on how to work around the laws and using the PFD earnings. Federal politicians are no different.

    6) Yang needs to quit comparing his UBI to Alaska’s PFD. It’s a false comparison unless Yang is going to only give us an UBI based on corporate royalties. They are like apples and oranges…very little in common other than the fact they’re both fruit, and at the end, they’re both giant pots of gold for politicians who need more money.

  16. Oh, in addition, there aren’t any Democrats in Congress who are about to vote to eliminate SNAP, Medicaid, rent assistance, etc. because President Yang also wants to give everyone $12,000 in cash, too.

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    1. SNAP shouldn’t be eliminated it’s mainly funded thru inflated exports and for every $1 that goes into SNAP $1.70 goes back into our economy as a result, it keeps people nourished, employed, and stores open! Yangs UBI is in addition to Medicaid but not other social safety net programs like social security, SSI, ect for these programs you are given a either or option, and you can’t live outside the us and Collect UBI either, a primary motive with UBI is for the money to go back into our economy and thus boost the economy like a perpetual stimulus!

      1. “SNAP shouldn’t be eliminated it’s mainly funded thru inflated exports and for every $1 that goes into SNAP $1.70 goes back into our economy as a result”

        Money is fungible.

        https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fungible

        Our government is financed through deficit spending, and that means that the money for SNAP is ultimately coming out of our future paychecks.

        Meanwhile, the inability of people to feed their own children is nature’s way of telling them not to procreate. If you wish to create a perverse incentive for people who shouldn’t have children to do so of your own free will, you should be free to do so. Why drag me into it? I’m living my life for me.

        1. “Meanwhile, the inability of people to feed their own children [themselves] is nature’s way of telling them not to procreate.”

          —-Ken Shultz

          Fixed!

    2. For anyone who cares to notice, that link isn’t refuting what I wrote–by linking to a Democrat in Congress who says we should eliminate welfare so that we can implement UBI.

      It’s just a spammer linking to a gambling site.

  17. I’m a little nervous about a candidate who has a policy proposal titled “Making Taxes Fun”.

  18. Alaska has had UBI for 40 years now, Hawaii just passed it, and New York just had filing for a test program for UBI, let’s make no mistake about this, UBI is the solution! it will allow people time to innovate, or relax, either is fine! Automaton will erase 120 million jobs that exist right now over the next 3 years! UBI will be seen as a imperative, I only hope America wakes up b4 it’s to late! oh and how is it paid for? thru the VAT so essentially the automation that is putting our people out of work! prison guards have told use it would be cheaper to pay inmates to stay out of jail! UBI is cheaper! and you can’t get UBI while incarcerated thus it will lower our criminal justice and prison costs as well! UBI solves to many problems for me to dig into here right now!

    1. “Automaton will erase 120 million jobs that exist right now over the next 3 years!”

      I dare you to link to the supporting evidence for that statistic.

    2. Read my above post about Alaska’s “UBI”. Our Permanent Fud Dividend IS NOT based on taxpayers. It is 100% funded by oil/mining royalties. Alaskan voters, in the 1970s, passed the deal to give up any and all mining interests found on land we own, and in return, we get a yearly check. Alaska’s PFD and Yang’s UBI is only similar in their name “dividend”. Please quit comparing them without learning the facts!

    3. “Automaton will erase 120 million jobs that exist right now over the next 3 years!”

      You.
      Are.
      Full
      Of.
      Shit.

      1. Yeah, I’m still waiting for the link to the supporting evidence for that stat.

        It’s one thing to fall for a noble lie. Quite another to fall for a noble prediction.

        Anyone who wants us to support spending trillions of dollars on paying people to do nothing based on the belief that 120 million jobs will be eliminated over the next three years should at least show us what investments they’ve made, personally, to profit from this expected outcome.

        If they haven’t gone on margin to short this or go long on that, then at the very best, they’re incredibly gullible. At worst, they’re charlatans. There’s certainly no reason for even ignorant people to support squandering all that money if the people making these predictions can’t show that they really believe this shit themselves.

        1. “It’s one thing to fall for a noble lie. Quite another to fall for a noble prediction.”
          You are more tolerant than I to even presume there is any ‘nobility’ involved, disregarding the historic nature of the use of the term.
          I will simply state that this is a claim made of a combination of ignorance and greed; JC is a scumbag hoping to avoid producing anything to receive same, and searching about in the hopes of justifying that.
          JC? Prove me wrong. Put up, or fuck off.

          “Anyone who wants us to support spending trillions of dollars on paying people to do nothing based on the belief that 120 million jobs will be eliminated over the next three years should at least show us what investments they’ve made, personally, to profit from this expected outcome.
          If they haven’t gone on margin to short this or go long on that, then at the very best, they’re incredibly gullible. At worst, they’re charlatans. There’s certainly no reason for even ignorant people to support squandering all that money if the people making these predictions can’t show that they really believe this shit themselves.”
          Further, regardless of JC being that rent-seeking scum, we who are bright enough to be concerned with economic results, should be seeing the market discounting that sort of massive delta and be making some money off of it; none is obvious and JC has nothing other than a watermelon claim to make the point.
          Similarly, the H-wood watermelons; seen any short sales on Malibu beach-front properties? Didn’t think so.

    4. Jamie, are you a parody account, or do you believe the inane bullshit you post?

  19. I don’t know how to feel about a universal income. How about we try something first. Let’s defund the military and split the proceeds between those of us who don’t want to kill a poor peasant in the Middle East or build a wall on the US border. Let’s see~800 billion dollars split between 300 million people. Hey, that’s $2500 bucks for every person in the country— kids included! Wow!

    1. Or we could cut medicare and give everyone ~$3500. Better yet, since there is no reason for the government to be involved in the medical market at all.

      1. Those Victorian really had health care,

        Really wish I could go back to that.

      2. Yes there is. The Constitution provides for enacting legislation that promotes the “general welfare.” And of course, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of obamacare.

  20. Libertarians for Yang? Yikes.
    Here’s how Yang’s Basic Cash Transfer plan works:
    200 million Americans get 12K a year each, for a total cost of 2.4 trillion dollars.
    100 million Americans pay 24K a year more in taxes.
    As a taxpayer, no thanks.

    1. I don’t know where Yang stands on immigration, but if Shikha Dalmia is on board with Yang, I suspect he’s somewhere to the left of Nancy Pelosi on that issue.

      Shikha Dalmia for Yang, maybe, rather than libertarians. Most of the libertarians I see, here in this thread, are dismantling him.

      1. There are libertarians here? Where?

        1. You showing up reduced the count by one.

  21. Here’s my tax plan:
    Add up all the proposed federal spending, say 4 trillion dollars.
    Divide by the number of American adults, say 200 million.
    Everyone owes their fair share, roughly 20,000 dollars a year.
    Now let’s see how popular new spending proposals are.

  22. And why only 12,000 dollars a year for a basic income? That’s only 6 bucks an hour for a 40-hour per week job. We’ve heard all along that people need 15 bucks an hour for a “living wage”. Either the UBI should be upped to 30,000 dollars a year (2500 a month), or the minimum wage could be cut to 6.00.

  23. Yang bent the knee to identity politics. He’s completely irrelevant.

  24. Amazing!
    Catching a YT vid, lead ad has two women having coffee and one woman saying to the other “I can’t wait until we have real communism in this country”. The second woman turns to the camera and stares in disbelief. Stop action.
    Guy shows up pitching Epoch News (news to me, also), but I’ve never seen a vid ad which simply states communism is horrible.

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  26. A progressive who wants to empower the little guy instead of big government

    You know who else “wanted to empower the little guy”? Mussolini. Stalin. Hitler. Empowering the little guy is what fascism and socialism are all about. This is often framed as ‘government needs to address he power imbalance between big corporations/capitalists and indviduals”. Of course, Shika believes this b.s. and parrots it as if it were something new.

    In practice, if you give government the power to compel the most wealthy and powerful in society to do the government’s bidding, the little guy doesn’t stand a chance and totalitarianism is assured.

  27. Reason’s promotion of open borders is despicable.

  28. Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while.

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