United States: Andrew Yang steps down from presidential candidacy

United States: Andrew Yang steps down from presidential candidacy

Andrew Yang. Picture credit to: Inquisitr

Andrew Yang, the United States presidential candidate for the 2020 elections who most notoriously pushed (his own version of) a basic income policy to public debate in the country, has dropped out of the campaign for the Democratic Party setup. This has been reported in several news outlets, some of which had allegedly been deliberately underreporting his activities as candidate. On this issue, Scott Santens, a prominent basic income activist, has written on social media (Facebook):

Amazing how the #YangMediaBlackout ended the moment Yang dropped out of the race. Suddenly every media outlet is falling over themselves to cover the candidate they worked so hard for so long to hide. Congrats. You got the outcome you wanted. But this fight is far from over. The #YangGang has awakened.

Thank you to all of you for everything you’ve done, pouring your heart and soul into this campaign which has become a movement. The Yang Gang is incredible and important and we will change the world. I hope you all will continue fighting for the economic justice we all so desperately need.

Fear is a weapon used against us to keep us in line, but hope is a shield.

(…)

It will take the effort we’ve all put in for Andrew Yang and more. It will even require us running for office. Everyone in the YG who runs for office, we will need to support as we have Andrew. What happens next is up to us.

One of my main takeaways from this campaign is every one of us is now equipped for life with the skills to forge a new path. Democracy requires active not passive engagement, and the we just learned everything we need to know. Those tools are now ours to wield. Watch out world.

The Yang Gang is only getting started.

Andrew Yang himself has also written a message on this occasion (transcript from a post by Michael Howard, another long-time basic income activist):

Thank you for your incredible support these past months. You all have uplifted me and inspired me and Evelyn and this campaign at every turn. Your passion and energy. Your donations and hundreds of thousands of hours of calling and volunteering. Your enthusiasm, dedication and commitment.

We have accomplished so much together. We have brought a message of Humanity First and a vision of an economy and society that works for us and our families to millions of our fellow Americans.

We went from a mailing list that started with just my Gmail contact list to receiving donations from over 430,000 people and support from millions more across the country.

One of the things I’m most proud of — we gave $1,000 a month for a year to 13 families across the country.

We highlighted the real problems in our communities as our economy is being transformed before our eyes by technology and automation. We stood on the debate stage and shifted our national conversation to include the fourth industrial revolution, a topic no one wanted to touch.

Our signature proposal, Universal Basic Income, has become part of the mainstream conversation. We increased the popular support for Universal Basic Income to 66% of Democrats and 72% among voters 18-34.

And without a doubt, we accelerated the eradication of poverty in our society by years, perhaps even generations.

And that is thanks to all of YOU!

Though thousands of voters came out for our campaign tonight in New Hampshire, it is not the outcome we fought so hard for. It is bitterly disappointing for many of us.

But it should not be.

Every single day I’ve had supporters say to me:

“Your campaign helped me out of a depression. Thank you.”

“Working on this campaign has made me a better human being.”

“I met my significant other because of you.”

“Your campaign brought my family together. Your campaign got me excited about politics for the first time.”

These are all things that people have said to me in the past days. I’m incredibly proud of this campaign. We have touched and improved millions of lives and moved this country we love so much in the right direction.

And while there is great work left to be done, I am the MATH guy. And it is clear tonight from the numbers that we are not going to win this race. I am not someone who wants to accept donations and support in a race that we will not win.

And so tonight, I am suspending my campaign for president.

This is not an easy decision. Endings are hard and I’ve always intended to stay in this race until the very end. But I have been convinced that the message of this campaign will not be strengthened by my staying in this race any longer.

Endings are hard. But this is not an ending.

This is a beginning.

This is the starting line. This campaign has awakened something fundamental in this country and ourselves.

We’ve outlasted over a dozen senators, governors, and members of Congress and become the most exciting force in this entire race.

The Yang Gang has fundamentally shifted the direction of this country and transformed our politics, and we are only continuing to grow.

My goal when I first started was always to solve the problems that got Donald Trump elected. And I know in order to do that, I will support whoever is the Democratic nominee. That said, I hope this campaign can be a message, and word of caution, to all of my Democratic colleagues.

Donald Trump is not the cause of all of our problems. He is a symptom. We must cure the disease that got him elected, and in order to do that we must address the real problems that affect our people and offer solutions to actually solve them.

Those solutions are bold, and many think they are crazy. But I hope my campaign has made it a little less crazy to think we can lead our country to eradicate poverty. In fact, five candidates in this field have already supported it or expressed openness to supporting Universal Basic Income.

I stand before you today and say that while we did not win this election, we are just getting started.

This is the beginning.

This movement is the future of American politics.

This movement is the future of the Democratic party.

This wave is just beginning and it will continue to build until we rewrite the rules of this economy to work for us, the people of this country.

Thank you to each and every person who made this campaign possible, I love and appreciate you. Being your candidate has been the privilege of my life. We will continue to do the work and move this country forward.

Thank you all. God bless you. And God bless the United States of America.

– Andrew

More information at:

Nick Statt, “Andrew Yang has withdrawn from the 2020 presidential race“, The Verge, February 11th 2020

Daniel Strauss, “Andrew Yang drops out of 2020 presidential race“, The Guardian, February 12th 2020

Jeff Yang, “Thank you, Andrew Yang“, CNN, February 12th 2020

United States: Andrew Yang briefly addresses racial and inequality inquiries

United States: Andrew Yang briefly addresses racial and inequality inquiries

 

In this video from MSNBC, Democratic candidate for the United States presidency Andrew Yang answers some direct questions about racial issues and economic inequality.

 

According to him, racial issues get diluted if communities are economically better off, of course with the Freedom Dividend which is central to Yang’s candidacy. That would be because poverty is one of the greatest causes for racial exclusion, while also a consequence of it, in a social degrading feedback loop. So, the rationale is that with less poverty, people respect each other more, irrespective of their skin colour.

 

On economic inequality, Yang reminds us that 1000 $/month for someone like Jeff Bezos is irrelevant, while crucially significant for millions of people living on the lower end of the income scale. That means that, according to him, the distribution of a Freedom Dividend immediately reduces inequality. Moreover, financing the Dividend might also further reduce inequality, by imposing a 10% Value Added Tax which naturally will weight more on relatively richer people, due to their higher levels of consumption.

Unites States: Andrew Yang reaches milestone: likely to be in a televised debate

Unites States: Andrew Yang reaches milestone: likely to be in a televised debate

Andrew Yang on TV. Picture credit to: WMUR

In a statement issued to supporters, Andrew Yang has announced that his campaign has met the main criteria for appearing in a first round of debates to be organized by the Democratic National Committee (DNC). The latter have said that they will organize debates for candidates who have recruited over 65000 donors before May 15th. Yang’s team announced having reached this goal early on, by stressing the helpfulness of small donations. The campaign has also seen a large increase in social media followers and in funding.

The DNC has said that they will only go with the top twenty candidates, if a larger number reaches the fundraising mark. The organization will decide later on the number of candidates who will debate in September.

Articles on Yang usually include his arguments for a basic income, which he considers a “humane” response to poverty, “disintegration” and “automation”. Yang’s campaign is increasing the number of people who support basic income and who are considering it (judging by the increasing numbers of his followers). Supporters of basic income who admire other candidates are asking hard questions. Some rival candidates have come forward with conditional cash grant proposals and smaller asset-based program like the “baby bond” (proposal by Cory Booker). Many voters are prioritizing ideological affiliations, instead of Party affiliation.

Several polling organizations are still not including Andrew Yang when they survey. Polls continue to favour candidates with more name recognition (e.g.: Joe Biden). A recent poll, by Monmouth University, has Yang at one percent (of voting intentions among Democrats). Mid-level media appearances have a strong pattern of attracting people who are excited by basic income. These people are joining social media pages and posing questions that are familiar to longer-term supporters of basic income. A very robust discussion on economics and poverty is taking shape.

If the rules stay as they are, we can expect to see Andrew Yang in some televised debates. He will push basic income front and centre. Many will be hearing about it for the first time. In a very crowded field, Yang and basic income may end up getting a surprising amount of attention.

Maggie Stults, a volunteer for Yang’s campaign in Texas, said, “I can’t describe how incredible it is, to see the progress of this campaign. To see a platform of a universal basic income gain this kind of momentum, especially in communities that lean conservative, is a clear statement that the people want real answers to economic issues more than anything.”

More information at:

André Coelho, “United States: Andrew Yang is not only talking about basic income: if elected, the idea is to implement it”, Basic Income News, March 15th 2019

Article reviewed by André Coelho

US Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang Unveils Plan to Enter Democratic Debates

US Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang Unveils Plan to Enter Democratic Debates

Presidential candidate Andrew Yang, whose central campaign pillar is “The Freedom Dividend” (a re-branding of Universal Basic Income, where all American citizens ages 18+ receive $1,000 per month), has unveiled his plan to enter the Democratic debates being held this June and July. On February 18th, Yang blasted out a call-to-action newsletter to his supporters, revealing exactly what it will take to get him onto the debate stage.  

“…we are going to leave nothing to chance,” he wrote. “We have to blow through both criteria to make sure we are in the top 20 and have the chance to speak directly to the American people.”

Yang went on to discuss the new criteria released by the DNC. In addition to a candidate’s polling, the committee will prioritize accepting candidates who have shown they can raise grassroots money from individual donors.

In order to qualify for the debates, candidates will need to:

  1. Receive at least 1% in 3 polls, either nationally or in early states (Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina) between January 1 and mid-May
    or
  2. Receive 65,000 individual donations, including at least 200 from 20 different states.

As of February 4th, Andrew Yang is already at 1% in at least one national Monmouth University poll. Yang has revealed that he’s also reached 200 unique donors per state in over 20 US states.

“We’ve received donations from approximately 16,000 people to date,” Yang wrote. “Our new goal is to have 65,000 people donate at least $1 by May 15th. Across our social media platforms, we have over 130,000 followers and friends, so we know we can do this. Simply put—if everyone on this list donates $1 and gets one friend or relative to donate $1, we’re on the debate stage. Period.”

Since the newsletter was released, the Yang2020 campaign has received an additional 4,000 individual donations. However, Yang still needs approximately 45,000 individual donors to meet the 65,000 unique donor mark.

According to the DNC, they are currently preparing for a scenario in which there could be 20 or more qualified Democratic candidates for the first debate. If that is the case, the top 20 candidates will be selected using a method that favors candidates who meet both the polling and donation thresholds, followed by the highest polling average, then the most unique donors.

If you would like to learn more about Andrew Yang’s campaign platform or make a $1 donation, visit his website.