What We Know:
- Ryan Higa started his YouTube career in 2006 at the age 14. He has been considered one of the OG YouTubers and brought to light the lives of Asian Americans. Right now, he is #45 most subscribed creator on YouTube.
- Throughout the podcast, Yang was able to explain his stances and policies to a different and younger audience than he normally would. Higa eases Yang into the podcast by starting off with the question of if he runs Twitter. Yang quickly responds “yes, with a plus one (sometimes).” This transitions into Andrew’s love for basketball. He’s a Mets, Nets, Jets and Jeremy Lin fan.
- One aspect that Yang prides himself on is that he’s “a normal guy. The things that you like, I probably like too”. Yang also mentions that many people come up to him and tell him that he’s not the “typical” political candidate that they’ve seen before; he attributes this to his entrepreneurial background.
- He adds that he hopes that politics will change. One famous Yang quote is, “Instead of talking about automation in our future including the fact that we automated away 4 million manufacturing jobs. Hundreds of thousands of jobs right here in Michigan. We’re up here with makeup on our faces and our rehearsed attack lines playing roles in this reality tv show. It’s one reason that we elected a reality tv star as our president. We need to be laser-focused on solving the real challenges of today.”
- Just five minutes in, Higa starts asking more difficult and serious questions starting off with what Yang thinks about the doubters who think “I really like Yang, but he isn’t going to win.” Yang admits to liking statistics and numbers to clear the air. He says that polling 3% national and 5% in an early primary vote state is very positive for a candidate that came out of nowhere. It’s also argued that no one thought that Clinton, Trump, Obama would make it, but truly no one knows what is going to happen.
- A transition is made and Higa asks several questions about Yang’s main platform, the Freedom Dividend, a UBI (universal basic income). The premise is that this will be “for every American adult over the age of 18: $1,000 a month, no strings attached, paid for by a new tax on the companies benefiting most from automation.”
- To clarify, as many of us are starting to become aware of the fact that major companies such as Netflix, Google, and Amazon currently pay $0 in taxes, the Freedom Dividend would be coming from the taxes that these large companies would be paying.
- Although many think that this sounds impossible and “incredibly dramatic”, Yang argues that there is a lot of research that supports the success of UBI. Yang clarifies that many people in the past and present approve of this policy. Thomas Paine was the one who came up with this “natural inheritance” while “Martin Luther King Jr. gave his support, alongside over 1,000 economists from over 125 universities who signed a letter to President Nixon requesting income guarantees.” Moving on to today, Mark Zuckerberg, Robert Reich, Elon Musk, Bill Gross, Richard Branson, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Noam Chomsky, and many others support this idea.
- There is hope that with this Freedom Dividend, we can help combat homelessness, start emptying the jails, remove pressure on health-related costs, and allows people to focus on what they want to do. From the podcast, Andrew Yang clearly wants to better the future for the upcoming generations and set them up for success. As Yang says, “Humanity First.”
There were a lot of topics that aren’t addressed in this article covering the hour-long podcast such as Asian Americans and Politics, UBI regulations, Yang’s family & personal life, Lobbyist and Democracy Dollars, Cryptocurrency, Climate Change, Trump and Manufacturing Jobs, and Foreign Policy to just name a few. Click here to view the full podcast.