Reason Podcast

Did Andrew Yang Win Last Night's Democratic Debate?

In the latest primary showdown, Democrats talked health care and trade but left debt and deficits behind.

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Last night's Democratic debate was the first to feature all the major contenders on a single stage. They spent much of the evening sparring over health care issues before moving on to talk about gun control, the environment, immigration and more.

Despite the presence of former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.), and Sen. Kamala Harris (D–Calif.), it was tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang who made the biggest impression. Reason's Austin Bragg, Peter Suderman, and Eric Boehm talk about the evening and what it means in a special post-debate podcast.

Photo credit: Heidi Gutman/ZUMA Press/Newscom

Audio production by Ian Keyser.

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  1. Yang purchased the debate win with $1000/month giveaways.

    All were playing Santa Claus, he was just more direct.

    1. Now we know what Santa is up to the rest of the year.

      “Nobody move, nobody gets hurt. Put the money in the sack or I’ll blow your heads off, ho ho ho. And as long as I’m in a liquor story, how about a bottle of Jack Daniels?”

      1. It’s Santa, everyone know’s he prefers Peppermint Schnapps.

        1. And 3ft tall henchmen

    2. At the risk of being the turd in the punch bowl…isn’t what he did illegal. Candidates can only use campaign funds for specific campaign expenses. Am I missing something? How is this, you know, legal?

      1. Maybe it comes from the market research budget, you can do just about anything with that

  2. So, the richest turd rose to the top?

    1. Howard Schultz hardest hit

  3. Created an account just to say great episode! Andrew Yang showed his brilliance with money. What other candidate could use $120,000 so effectively?

    1. And he can keep on showing his ‘brilliance’ to the tune of 3,960,000,000.000 a year.

      Sayin ‘Make me president and I’ll pay you twelve grand every year.’ isn’t brilliant.

      It’s sad that so many people can’t see this.

      1. By current metrics that’s pretty brilliant compared to the rest of this gang. He’s the only one who was ‘smart’ enough to directly bribe voters instead of promising to pay the bribes later after being elected.

  4. Deficits apparently no longer matter. So why not just lower all the personal and corporate tax rates to zero??

    1. Because taxes are one of the “tools” of “Modern Monetary Theory” that enables the government to suck up excess money out of the economy when they accidentally print too much.

  5. If by “win” you mean embarrass himself with gimmicks, and then slip into his native irrelevance, then yes, yes he did.

    1. Native irrelevance? Is that because he’s not a doctor?

  6. I didn’t watch the 2-hour propaganda session, but from what Suderman et al said on the podcast, Yang has some libertarian instincts.

    Tulsi/Yang would be a ticket that might tempt many libertarians.

    1. …until they heard either’s domestic policies.

      I like Tulsi…but her domestic policy is a shit show. She backs reparations, for example.

      She’s the best of the Dems still.

    2. Well, like, they’re definitely less terrible than others – but to be quite honest, if you’re more concerned with domestic liberty (particularly economic freedoms) or nonintervention abroad, Trump (terrible person though he is) is probably still a better bet.

      And if Trump isn’t sufficiently freedom-oriented for you – he’s not for me – then you’re gonna vote for the libertarian candidate, not a democrat.

  7. I like that tweet about Yang basically becoming the Joker from ’89 Batman throwing cash from the podium.

  8. How did he do? Who gives a fuck, except maybe the Crypto-Liberals, who seem to conducting this podcast.

    Libertarians are “split” on the UBI, are they? Spoken like a true Crypto.

    Newsflash: no, libertarians aren’t split on a UBI because a UBI is a big-state welfare program that requires even larger and more authoritarian government than we already have. See how easy that is to say when you’re not a Crypto?

    1. Anyone who is for UBI is not a libertarian, and more likely is a Marxist.

      1. Indeed. Hence the (I can only guess) Libertarian-Marxist?

        Which kind of fits with Marxist theory that the state will somehow fade away to a state of perfect cooperation. Except it’ll need a state to enforce that cooperation.

    2. I mean, there’s a cadre of “libertarians” who identify as “left libertarians” that are pretty enthusiastic about the UBI, specifically because it’s seen as a way to solve the problem of giving poor people money without distorting their incentives.

      I don’t consider those guys to be libertarians, really, but they use the label so in a very technical sense, there is a group of libertarians who approve of the UBI. But to describe libertarians as split – even if he did describe it in rather weaselly terms as “split at best” – seems pretty disingenuous, given that they’re a tiny fraction of self-identified libertarians.

      I think he could have, far more honestly, described Yang as a democrat who is willing to recognize the conflict between government programs and individual liberties and thinks that it’s worth doing something to prevent the former from crushing the latter. I think it’s reasonable to be excited that literally anyone in the democratic debates is willing to bring up a philosophical point like that, especially given this year’s field. I think it’s bizarre to be in any way excited by his specific policy prescriptions, given that they’re still about expanding the scope of government.

      1. Yang flatters to deceive. If he recognizes the conflict, he wouldn’t be on that stage, and he’d be using his wealth and obvious charm to actually shrink the state and expand wealth for everyone.

        Yang represents that type who appear to understand a problem but don’t want to do away with the fundamental cause of the problem; what they want to do is find a way to have their cake and eat it, too, or in this case, have their big state and their freedom, too.

        He’s as dangerous as any Crypto, perhaps more since his ignorance or his cunning disingenuity makes him seem like a fresh voice when in fact his policies are as corrupt as Sanders’, just dressed up for a new century.

  9. Does Ying come with that Yang?

    1. No. Just a whole lot of Marxism.

  10. I’m sure you need to tighten the use of weapons! Many innocent people die in the streets of the USA!
    Celeb weeks

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