2020 Democratic presidential candidates laughed after Andrew Yang announced 10 giveaways of $12,000 during Thursday night’s third Democratic primary debate in Houston, Texas.
“My campaign will now give a freedom dividend of $1,000 a month for an entire year to 10 American families — someone watching this at home right now,” Yang said during his opening debate statement. “If you believe that you can solve your own problems better than any politician, go to Yang2020.com and tell us how $1,000 a month will help you do just that.”
“This is how we will get our country working for us again, the American people,” he added.
The announcement highlighted the candidate’s universal basic income (UBI) policy called “the Freedom Dividend,” which is possibly his most popular idea and would give every U.S. citizen over the age of 18 a monthly allowance of $1,000, or yearly allowance of $12,000, to spend on anything.
Yang’s campaign announced the 10 giveaways — open to anyone — on Twitter soon after the debate started, saying, “Yes, you heard me right. We are giving away 10 ‘Freedom Dividends’ of $1,000 a month for a year! Go to Yang2020.com, and tell us how you would spend $1,000 a month, and then if you win, you’ll get the money, and you’ll get a whole lot of social media followers.”
— Andrew Yang (@AndrewYang) September 13, 2019
The allowance would “enable all Americans to pay their bills, educate themselves, start businesses, be more creative, stay healthy, relocate for work, spend time with their children, take care of loved ones, and have a real stake in the future,” according to Yang’s website.
Fellow 2020 candidate Bernie Sanders, who has also expressed interest UBI, is quoted on the entrepreneur’s site, saying, “In my view, every American is entitled to at least a minimum standard of living. … There are different ways to get to that goal, but that’s the goal that we should strive to reach.”
Yang’s website also notes the fact that Alaska already has a UBI policy model to work from. Alaska’s program, which assures that everyone in the state gets between $1,000 and $2,000 a month, is funded by oil. They call this money “oil checks.”
Yang has suggested that his nationwide UBI money would come from technology, or “the oil of the 21st century.”
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