Let’s talk about Andrew Yang


This guy is the real deal.  His personality and policy ideas is exactly what we need right now in the US.  I hope to see him on the ballot.  

Opened this thread because I’d like to discuss his politics, but also the larger trends associated with peak automation (in this field as well as others.)

The jre episode in the link is great, and I hope you guys get a chance to watch it.  

Feb 18, 19 2:50 pm

Honest question - you've self-described as libertarian on this forum (some might say 'extremely' so); how do you square UBI with that outlook? It would seem these are in conflict with each other.

(BTW - I think AY is a great candidate)

Feb 18, 19 3:43 pm

Bench, there is nothing about UBI that goes against libertarianism. Milton Friedman, the libertarian economist, was a huge proponent of UBI. I think many people just don’t understand what libertarianism is. I blame that mostly on bad PR, Ayn Rand, and the libertarian party. Libertarianism as a philosophy is about limited govt, maximum individual autonomy, and prevention of state violence “non aggression principle”. Providing social safety nets is not necessarily anti libertarian so long as it is done in a way that doesn’t redistribute wealth via property seizures back by state threat of violence (prison).


Yang talks about this towards the end of the interview. He is also running as a dem, not a libertarian to be clear...but certainly seems to be leaning libertarian in many areas. He’s really refreshing imho.


Personally, I’ve been preaching about automation and the inevitability of UBI for some time now. I think it is the most humane and doable solution to the rise of automation and AI. I don’t think 1000$ is enough, but it’s a start. On the libertarianism thread I discussed removing the federal reserve and creating a trickle up economy, where money enters the system through UBI, and the amount is itself automatically determined and in flux based on livable wage per person. I just don’t see how a society where 90% of jobs are automated can exist without this change.


And to answer a little further...libertarianism is not about zero govt. it’s not an absolute ideology. It’s about “maximizing” freedom. If there is no feasible market solution, then govt should be used. It’s like minimalist architect is proposing that we just don’t build anything and sleep outside...that isn’t the ultimate fulfillment of the philosophy.


Also bench, I’m often playing to the extremes for the sake of debate.


Good responses. "Trickle Up" is certainly interesting to think about. A lot of this sounds great in theory but in practice I don't understand how it'd work without a large bureaucratic institution. I'm not opposed to large bureaucratic institutions, though.


Never heard of him before. I don't have time right now to listen to that link but I'll try to check it out soon.

Feb 18, 19 5:32 pm

Yang's human capital is a conceptual basis for a good value system but he is clueless about economics as he think taxes limit government spending (how are we going to pay for it?). His positions on foreign policy, war, and military spending are empty platitudes.

Libertarians suffer from a number of fundamental contradictions including the prohibition of violence in any form except economic, such as denying social services, which they view as paid for by theft (taxes). This shows that they are as economically clueless as Yang.

UBI is a great idea that would if properly implemented (along with universal health care [NOT insurance]) eliminate poverty as well as all the needlessly wasteful bureaucratic systems that social services require. It would in theory improve the health and education of society with attendant effects of crime reduction, increased life expectancy, etc.

How would jla-x pay for it?

Feb 18, 19 6:37 pm

I don't get that, non-dems running as dems, or non-rep running as rep...start your own f-ing party, it will either undermine the party (trump) or the party will undermine the candidate (sanders).

Feb 19, 19 1:13 am

I agree. The way it’s set up however makes that very difficult.


We need a reconfiguration of our electoral system AWAY from first past the post. That combined with a useful voice for any minority members in the government beyond obstructionism would go a long way to aligning our leadership with our electorate.


For better or worse, the only way to win (or even be taken seriously) is from within one of the two major parties. This won't change unless the US changes the way we vote.


Which SHOULD happen but won't because we ceded control of our politicians to money and big business.

randomised - The two parties have an ironclad lock on the system. After Ross Perot scared the shit out of them by running as an independent third parties have been banned from debates, media coverage, etc. Green Party candidate Jill Stein was detained in handcuffs just for showing up at a Obama-Romney debate at Hofstra University.

That's why Bernie ran as a Dem, otherwise he would have been completely ignored. The League of Women Voters used to sponsor presidential debates but stopped in 1988. Since then the so-called debates (where no debate actually happens) have been sponsored by The Commission on Presidential Debates, a.k.a. DNC and RNC.

"The League of Women Voters is withdrawing its sponsorship of the presidential debate scheduled for mid-October because the demands of the two campaign organizations would perpetrate a fraud on the American voter," League President Nancy M. Neuman said today.



I heard this guy on Sam Harris awhile back. He's got some interesting ideas. I really like the idea of UBI but when you start to look at the numbers it's hard to see how it would really work without some major updates to the tax code ie some serious income distribution. 

I do think the automation economy is the looming disaster that no one is talking about. Including our illustrious politicians and the media.   

Feb 19, 19 9:50 am

"I really like the idea of UBI but when you start to look at the numbers it's hard to see how it would really work without some major updates to the tax code ie some serious income distribution."

It's not supposed to work without those updates, they are essential.


Banks create 97% of “new money”. It’s all fiat. We can have zero taxes and simply replace the banks ability to create fiat money with a UBI.


The UBI could be some kind of cryptocurrency that automatically adjusts to inflation. We can essentially replace banks with an AI that determines and adjusts the livable wage so that lowest you can fall is always humane, but the highest you can go is always limitless. I’m not going to pretend to know the math, but I think it’s a workable system that allows for the best of both worlds.


we would have to replace the dollar with something else. It’s one of those things that would be politically difficult but technically doable.


In other words the money should be somehow connected to its living power for essentials per person. Housing,eating,etc. that should automatically adjust so that inflationary periods do not lead to political battles and poverty. Rather than a static number the UBI should be a self adjusting rate that guarantees x amount of buying power. That is the key to the UBI thing working imo. The other key is to not make it reliant on income taxation. Instead, taxes should be recirculated through consumption taxes placed on non-essential goods and luxury items. The rich will end up
paying more naturally because they will buy more. Do the numbers work? Idk. Assuming something like this ends up happening, how do people live their daily lives? What will cities look like? What will happen to the cultural and artistic landscape with so many more people with time to produce and consume culture, art, information...? Imo that is the real interesting question.


A system based on income taxation will put the wealthy minority in a position of control, and require an ever expanding state power that will eventually either stunt growth by taking too much, or cause the producing class to up and leave. This is basically what happened in Venuzuela. Rather than class warfare, we can have a system where taxation is based on voluntary transactions.

"A system based on income taxation will put the wealthy minority in a position of control" ...

LOL exactly who do you think is in control right now?


Miles, I’d say they have major influence now, but if a significant portion of the population was being completely supported by the taxes of a small minority it would quickly devolve into a true oligarchy. Like hunger games shit. What we have now on anabolic steroids.

NYC is a good, but moderate example. A huge overhead city that depends on millionaires to finance it...and in return panders to them for dear life. They have an enormous amount of pull because if they leave or stop production the city is fucked.

The system that I am describing would remove this dependency.


i don't want basic income. i want lots of cash and a ferrari.

Feb 19, 19 8:42 pm

Both things can exist in my techno-libertarian utopia.


lol :)


one person's utopia is the other's dystopia


Andrew Yang is running for President of the US as a Democrat in 2020. His platform includes the Freedom Dividend as a strong policy the country must participate in as it transitions through the economic change in the face of huge scale labor automation.

Some of the policies he has worked on 

Feb 26, 19 5:10 am

I am quite excited by Andrew Yang.  His major platform ideas are extremely well aligned with what I think we need to be doing to address the shifts in the economy.  A couple issues I see (which maybe would need to be addressed in the longer run are:

$1k per month is too little(probably needs to be $2k), mostly for the following reasons

Should be a mechanism to replace multiple current programs such as Unemployment benefits, Social Security, Welfare, WIC etc.

In addition to eliminating older systems such as above, it should also eliminate minimum wage.  After all, by providing a real floor to what we consider allowable standard of living, you can make wages unconstrained, and true Free Market style.

I also think that it might make a lot of sense to consider changing the tax code significantly:

Institute a VAT of 10% (tax on all goods regardless of their origin).  Historically, I have considered sales tax or VAT to be a Regressive Tax since it disproportionately hurts the poor, as they spend a higher percentage of their earnings on purchases.  However, by providing a decent base level (UBI) then the regressive nature of VAT is overcome.

And even more radically, I think the income tax should be replaced with a very high savings tax (or perhaps through a digital currency, an expiring monetary system).  The purpose of such a crazy thing would be to increase the velocity of spending, stimulating the economy further.  The leeching of the funds by savings puts a major damping force on the economy. 

By having a reasonably high UBI you can eliminate many of the reasons for saving (retirement risks, rainy day funds, etc.) thus driving higher currency velocity (which gets taxed each transaction).

Andrew's approaches are a little more in line with the current economic structure (much less disruptive), but the more radical approach above has other benefits such as greatly simplifying our safety net systems.

Of course this also requires medicare for all to eliminate the association of medical coverage with employment.  This would also help by making work far more flexible.  I would love to work less hours (and be paid hourly), however full time employment is needed for insurance.  This negatively impacts my likelihood of trying to start up a new business, or moving from corporate to consulting etc.  Employers would be more likely to offer flexible hours if they did not have to have high fixed costs associated with each employee like healthcare.  

None of this has been modeled at this point, but I think there are pretty significant benefits to pumping the money in from the bottom up instead of from the top down.  Happy to get feedback.

May 10, 19 9:02 pm

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