President Yang's Yin: the UBI Freedom Dividend and Humane Capitalism

Richard Stanley

Future President of the USA (if we survive Trump that is), Andrew Yang, makes powerful arguments for a $1,000 per month Universal Basic Income, aka the Freedom Dividend, to mitigate against the real threat to American workers, that is: further automation. His plan is to easily pay for this by taxing America's tech giants.

Unlike the present fake orangutan in the White House, Yang is a successful, real businessman, made in America, not Russia and China. Yang argues that the modest $1K per month will be used to increase business massively for existing small businessmen, allow individuals to easier contemplate becoming a small businessman or more, and reducing economic desperation that helps lead to crime and such as today's opiate crisis.

He also advocates for Medicare for All, which will reduce national health care costs by about 50%, and deliver better health outcomes. He also argues for what he calls Human-Centered Capitalism:

We need to move to a new form of capitalism – Human Capitalism – that’s geared towards maximizing human well-being and fulfillment. The central tenets of Human Capitalism are:

  1. Humans are more important than money
  2. The unit of a Human Capitalism economy is each person, not each dollar
  3. Markets exist to serve our common goals and values
Here's more about his proposals:

On November 6, 2017, Yang filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to run for President of the United States in 2020.[23] His campaign proposes a $1,000/month "Freedom Dividend" to all U.S. citizens over the age of 18 (a form of universal basic income) and other responses to predictions of mass unemployment from technological automation.[24][25] An article in The New York Times about his campaign described various new policies Yang proposes, such as a department focused on regulating the addictive nature of media, a White House psychologist, making Tax Day a national holiday, and, to stem corruption, increasing the salaries of federal regulators but limiting their private work after they leave public service.[26] Yang's campaign slogan is "Humanity First", which calls attention to his belief that automation of many key industries is one of the biggest threats facing the workforce.[27]
Yang has stated that he became an advocate of a universal basic income after reading American futurist Martin Ford's book Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future, which deals with the impact of automation and artificial intelligence on the job market and economy.[28]

Sam Harris interviews Yang:

Joe Rogan interviews Yang:

Yang on The Breakfast Club:

Joy Reed interviews Yang:

What is very interesting, and even logical, is that Yang is apparently not only getting positive notice from Trump's base of unhappy blue collar folk, but even the alt-Right:
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Richard Stanley

The following excerpt is from an NBC News article about Andrew Yang's UBI proposal and his frequent comparisons to conservative Alaska's 'socialist' Permanent Fund. That article also states that Yang wants to fund the UBI from a VAT, a carbon tax, and rejiggering welfare programs (which would need less money anyways since people are getting $1000 a month from the UBI, and I'm presuming less bureaucratic overhead because of the same).

The historic change is what Yang, 44, a lawyer turned entrepreneur, sees as the coming wave of further automation that will make a number of industries, such as truck driving, obsolete.
Critics like Robert Rector and Mimi Teixeira wrote in 2018 for the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, that the payouts "would decrease work among the poor and increase dependence on government."
But research has shown that the Alaska dividend has not caused people to drop out of the labor market, as critics of Yang's plan have suggested could happen with a national program. Instead, the influx of cash into the hands of Alaskans has led them to spend more and created a larger demand for labor.
Ioana Marinescu, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, and Damon Jones, a professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, studied the effects of the fund on the Alaskan labor market by comparing trends in the state with similar states like Wyoming and Utah.
What they found was that the employment level in Alaska has tracked with the comparable states since 1982, meaning that the dividend had no detectable impact on the Alaskan labor market.
What's notable about their finding is that it conflicts with one of the major criticisms of Yang's "Universal Basic Income" plan: If people are receiving free cash from the government, they're less likely to work.
"We were like, 'Oh wow, this is interesting,'" Marinescu told NBC News. "Not necessarily what we expected because economic theory tells us that when people get money, that should reduce their desire to work. We find that what likely happened here is that receiving all this cash meant that people were spending more at local businesses, and that's stimulating employment."
The stimulation "about exactly balanced out any desire of people to work less," she added. "It comes down to, sure, some people want to work less, but on the other hand, there's more jobs." ...

Richard Stanley

Another article, excerpted below, discussing the rapid rise of Andrew Yang.

A few months ago, Andrew Yang was a relatively unknown venture capitalist and entrepreneur running a longshot campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, with low name recognition and little footprint in the polls.
But thanks to appearances on the Joe Rogan Experience and the Breakfast Club— one a hugely popular podcast and the other a highly-rated radio show, both with diverse audiences — the political newcomer gained traction and a large following across social media, seemingly overnight.
And since then, Yang has made multiple appearances on Fox News and on conservative commentator Ben Shapiro's podcast — neither of which are usually frequented by Democratic presidential contenders.
Those appearances helped expose Yang to audiences who might not have otherwise heard of him, namely, the so-called "meme masters" of Reddit, 4Chan, and other forums.
Searching #YangGang on Twitter, Reddit, or Facebook, you'll see a slew of memes about Yang accompanied by the slogan "secure the bag," which refers to Yang's signature policy proposal of giving every American adult $1,000 a month — a universal basic income program which he's termed the Freedom Dividend.
Some of Yang's loyal base of online support comes from liberals, but also from a sizeable contingent of former Trump supporters who are disappointed in Trump not fulfilling his campaign promise to bring jobs back to economically downtrodden areas, and are now latching on to the Freedom Dividend as the only viable solution any 2020 contenders are presenting to those problems. ...

Richard Stanley

The following is an excerpt of an excerpt of an interview by Vox's Ezra Klein with Rutger Bregman, author of Utopia for Realists, where they discuss the socioeconomic aspects of why such things as a UBI makes better sense (than the overt feudal/slave systems of traditional religious based cultures or the psychotically deranged, inherently excessive extremes of secular laizzez faire economics). The inherent-ness of the latter is due to the gross devaluation of 'labor' in comparison to the disproportionate overvaluation of profit from capital.

My excerpt discusses the term utopia and progressing towards a utopia, in the manner that I have discussed as a proper 'engineering approach', that of making continual improvements and not being bound to tradition for tradition sake. For with the above extremes, there will be winners and either literal or virtual slaves. Those who have been the historical winners, and those aspirants who have bought into this mindset thus always, as they are doing now, propagandically frame the slightest deviance from their profitable extremism as such as totalitarian Communism, convincing their critical mass that there are only binary options available, when in reality there is an almost infinity range of possibilities to achieve more optimum social constructs, if not utopias.

You can stream the whole interview from inside the link above, or via podcast:

Ezra Klein
In Utopia for Realists, you write, “in the past, everything was worse. For roughly 99 percent of the world’s history, 99 percent of humanity was poor, hungry, dirty, afraid, stupid, sick and ugly.”
This is a very Steven Pinker-ish argument, but where he uses that history to push us to value the system we have, you use it to argue for a radical departure of the system we have. So where do you and Pinker differ?
Rutger Bregman
I would say he has a more sanitized view of history. He doesn’t show all the struggles and the fights, and the battles for power that went on [to achieve progress]. It seems quite ironic to me that the Steven Pinkers of today don’t like social justice warriors. The great achievements that they’re so happy about have often been achieved by the social justice warriors of the past.
Ezra Klein
At the beginning of the book, you have this great line, “This book isn’t an attempt to predict the future. It’s an attempt to unlock the future, to fling open the windows of our minds.” Why should we be working backwards from utopia?
Rutger Bregman
We know that every milestone of civilization — the end of slavery, democracy, equal rights for women — were all utopian fantasies in the past. So the point is to come up with new utopias: visions of a radically better society. It was Oscar Wilde who said, “Progress is the realization of utopias.”
My book was an argument against people who view politics as just another form of technocracy or management. I wanted to say, look, I know that there have been horrible utopias in the 20th century, but we shouldn’t throw it all away because progress is all about the realization of utopias.

Richard Stanley

There are growing number of video interviews out there with Andrew Yang. As such I have picked a few more that I have watched recently. His conception of the UBI, aka the Freedom Dividend, is getting more interest as people are learning about it and overcoming the knee-jerk dog whistle response to it as Socialism. No, it's just a different and reformed manner of Capitalism, that takes some of the pressure of the metaphorical boot off of peoples' throats. It's like using fertilizer to help your seedlings grow.

As Yang discusses, immigrants have not destroyed 4 million American jobs in recent years. Automation has, and before that there was offshoring of jobs to foreign slave-wage countries. And, that such automation is only accellerating. The next big shoe to drop is that of truck drivers, the largest number of blue-collar jobs in 29 American states. But that is not all. Meanwhile the likes of Amazon, Facebook, and Google pay little or nothing back into society for their extreme profits, using the public's personal data for free. Meanwhile Katy Perry is having to pay some Christian band millions for allegedly plagiarizing one of their songs.

The first video below is a compilation of various MSNBC clips that demonstrate a clear corporate bias against Andrew Yang:

Is this next one, an interview of Yang with Chuck Todd, the exception that proves the prior rule?

This next is the geek's interview with Yang, via Recode Decode's Kara Swisher:


Richard Stanley

The first video below is a 2 hour interview with Yang by Joe Rogan. They go into more of Yang's broad range of policy proposals, but also, the time allows for a broader discussion of the looming apocalypse [sic] for global, much less American, workers (including many 'professionals', because of automation and AI. And, as they discuss, the American political elites are playing to be completely oblivious to this approaching economic tsunami.

Yang predicts that this will turn violent, if not addressed sufficiently. Maybe this is indeed the reason that he is being shunned by the corporate media (see the second video and first from the prior post)? And view this in light of the recent mass shootings and their misguided motives. As Yang states, Trump is doing everything backwards to properly address the issue.

The DNC sticks its thumb on the scales again, while Yang is gaining traction in the first position under the upper tier of Dem candidates:

The following intersperses clips of Yang interviews with an Fox Business interview with Mark Cuban, where Cuban clearly explains that we must rethink American Capitalism, before its inherent inequality triggers its own collapse. Unfortunately, we will not do so, so take cover.