The case for President Andrew Yang

Agustin Aliaga ’21

As a young voter coming into the 2020 election, one should consider a multitude of things: how do candidates plan to solve the issues most pressing to the nation and your demographic? How do they appeal to the nation? Are their policies responsible? And, most importantly, how do they unify the nation in a time of great divisiveness?

     While Andrew Yang more than answers all of these questions, especially for young voters in the coming elections, his answer to the last question certainly transcends the constant political banter. His platform of Universal Basic Income (UBI), or the Freedom Dividend, is not only a new solution to a problem and its outcomes that has plagued this nation for decades or even centuries, it is also one that is one that can almost unanimously draw support from any point on the political spectrum.

     As you may have read in my article in the September Index, Andrew Yang proposes that each American adult receive one thousand dollars a month, replacing the long-critiqued American welfare system. Not only is this policy one that Democrats would support because it betters a system that has at times been unsuccessful, but it is also one that Republicans would find appealing as it reduces the stigma that comes with how welfare is distributed.

“By giving everyone the Freedom Dividend, the stigma for accepting cash transfers from the government disappears.”

Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang

     As Yang himself puts it, “By giving everyone the Freedom Dividend, the stigma for accepting cash transfers from the government disappears.”

     Additionally, Yang explains, “it removes the incentive for anyone to remain within certain income brackets to receive benefits.”

     Among other things, Yang advocates that UBI encourages people to find work, reduces bureaucracy, increases bargaining power for workers, increases entrepreneurship, improves labor market efficiency, improves physical health, and even decreases crime rates.

     But Yang’s policies go beyond UBI. He has created unique and revolutionary political views that fit young voters perfectly. Not only has Yang proposed the voting age to be reduced to sixteen years of age, he has thought of ways to keep fresh ideas in politics by putting eighteen-year congressional term limits on representatives and senators.

Andrew Yang speaking at a town hall in Newton, Iowa on January 13, 2020 – photo by Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons

     In this regard, Yang has come up with a great system to reduce long-term influence in politics. Alongside his congressional term cap, he has proposed an alternative to the unbeatable power of mega donors in elections with his “democracy dollars” which proposes that every American get a voucher of one hundred federally funded dollars to be given to their candidate of choice. He explains that “These Democracy Dollars would, by the sheer volume of the U.S. population, drown out the influence of mega-donors.”

     Among other policies for voting reform, Yang also proposes making elections a ranked-choice voting system, making voting day a national holiday, and ending gerrymandering.

     For young voters, Yang is the most genuine candidate in the field. His saying about UBI can be applied to his entire campaign: “It’s not left or right. It’s forward.”