Andrew Yang Explains How His Plan For Universal Basic Income Would Work; Complains His Microphone Was ‘Not On’ at Times During Democratic Debate

Andrew Yang, who says he’s running “the nerdiest campaign in presidential history,” made an almost immediate splash when he arrived without a tie on the second night of the first presidential Democratic debate. The former head of Venture for America, a nonprofit that sends entrepreneurs into cities to help revitalize them, Yang brought his passion to the stage on how to deal with economic disruption and a universal basic income for all Americans. This is how he thinks UBI would work in America: “Oh, so it’s difficult to do if you have companies like Amazon, trillion-dollar tech companies, paying literally zero in taxes while they’re closing 30 percent of our stores. We’d save money on things like incarceration, homelessness services, emergency room health care, and just the value gains from having a stronger, healthier, mentally healthier population would increase GDP by $700 billion. Yang thinks his proposals for UBI and a value-added tax will help those at the bottom end of the income spectrum readjust to the changing economy. He added: “We automated away 4 million manufacturing jobs in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, and we are about to do the same thing to millions of retail jobs, call center jobs, fast food jobs, truck-driving jobs and other jobs through the economy,” he said. But the debate did not go as planned for Yang, who complained that there were few times when his mic was not on. He said: “There were also a few times, FYI, where I just started talking, being like, ‘Hey, I want to add something there,’ and my mic was not on,” Yang said while speaking to supporters after the event. “And it’s this sort of thing where, it’s not like if you started talking, it takes over the [conversation]. It’s like I was talking, but nothing was happening. And it was like, ‘Oh f—.’ So that happened a bit too.”

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