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Let’s talk about Andrew Yang

jla-x

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=cTsEzmFamZ8

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
Bench

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
jla-x

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).

jla-x

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.

jla-x

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.

jla-x

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 minimalism...no minimalist architect is proposing that we just don’t build anything and sleep outside...that isn’t the ultimate fulfillment of the philosophy.

jla-x

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

tduds

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.

tduds

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
randomised

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
jla-x

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

SneakyPete

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.

tduds

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.

SneakyPete

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.

LEAGUE REFUSES TO "HELP PERPETRATE A FRAUD"

Sean!

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
randomised

"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.

jla-x

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.

jla-x

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.

jla-x

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

jla-x

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.

jla-x

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?

jla-x

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.

Koww

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

Feb 19, 19 8:42 pm
jla-x

Both things can exist in my techno-libertarian utopia.

jla-x

lol :)

randomised

one person's utopia is the other's dystopia

andreawalker

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
Leofingal

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
jla-x

I agree with you on everything except the savings tax. Not really sure I like the idea of taxing savings, because saving is a way to reach long term goals...could create a society of short term impulse buying.

HowardA

Leofingal I agree with much of what you say here, particularly it would be great if the "normal growth" of the money supply could be funneled through the Freedom Dividend.  The money supply grows about $700bil per year, and the gross cost of the FD is about $3 tril.  Currently there appears to be @ a $trillion funding gap in the FD.  There is a lively discussion on Twitter if you want to check it out.  My twitter handle is @Rondout70

Jul 7, 19 5:17 pm
davidbai
tduds

I really tried but I couldn't finish this. Even giving a lot of leeway since I assume English is not your primary language, this was a struggle to make any sense of.

davidbai

I wrote a piece

Oct 16, 19 8:54 pm

... of crap. Ayn Rand was a sociopath and so are her followers.​ Her ideology is the basis for radical conservatism (libertarianism) that promotes the individual above all others. This is the very antithesis of civilized society. You are wasting your time here, you need to hang out at stormfront.org with her other admirers.

Chad Miller

You know the difference between an Ayn Rand novel and Lord of the Rings? One if filled with ridiculous fantasy characters and lands that don't exist. The other has orcs.

jla-x

Libertarianism predates rand.

OneLostArchitect

Andrew Yang is a hack. $1000 a month in basic income? What a joke. Democrats are a sad bunch right now. I do like Gabbard out of all of them... but she wouldn’t stand a chance. Only chance the Dems have left is if they parachute Hillary.

Oct 16, 19 10:40 pm
SneakyPete

How cynical. You fuckers and your "better than Trump isn't good enough, be perfect or we will kill this country" can fuck right off.

b3tadine[sutures]

sNEAKY, marry me.

tduds

Why is it a joke?

OneLostArchitect

Sneaky Pete... triggered?

tduds

Way to dodge the question.

OneLostArchitect

What’s the question?

tduds

Why is it a joke?

SneakyPete

Triggering people who don't agree with you amuses you. Yep. You're a sociopath.

OneLostArchitect

Tduds do the math

jla-x

Gabbard is the best. She will never win. She’s against war. That’s soooo. 2005. Democrats and liberals like war now because they were told to by their cnn overlords and crooked Hillary. .
...baaahhhaaa.

jla-x

Tulsi would completely disrupt the election if she runs as a third party.

tduds

Gabbard is awful.

tduds

In 2017, she revealed she met Syria's brutal dictator Assad without informing top Democrats. She refused to call him a war criminal for years, instead she called US backed groups in Syria “terrorists” 

 In 2015, she sided with Republicans to block virtually all (Muslim) Syrian & Iraqi refugees from coming to the US. However she introduced a resolution calling for US to prioritize religious minorities (Christians) when granting refugee status. 

 She released a video alleging the Mueller Report said Trump did not collude with Russia and it's time to move on. 

She is allegedly anti-war (she isn't) but is fine w/ Russians bombing Syrian civilians. She said she's a hawk when it comes to war against "terrorists" (happens to be Muslims, btw). She hasn't condemned the use of torture 

She supports anti-Muslim extremist Modi, and Egyptian dictator Sisi

tduds

OneLostArchitect "Do the math" doesn't answer the question. Is it too much? Not enough? Are you arguing we can't fund it? Shouldn't? "It's a joke. Do the math" is not a serious argument.

jla-x

One thing is clear...Hillary is a Russian agent.

OneLostArchitect

sneaky Pete... lay off the peace pipe! 

Oct 17, 19 7:22 pm
Koww

Quoth the Yang:

The means to pay for the basic income will come from four sources:

1. Current spending: We currently spend between $500 and $600 billion a year on welfare programs, food stamps, disability and the like. This reduces the cost of the Freedom Dividend because people already receiving benefits would have a choice between keeping their current benefits and the $1,000, and would not receive both.

Why would you give people a choice like this that punishes those who need support in the first place? This makes their condition even worse relative to their abled peers than it already was.



Additionally, we currently spend over 1 trillion dollars on health care, incarceration, homelessness services and the like. We would save $100 – 200+ billion as people would be able to take better care of themselves and avoid the emergency room, jail, and the street and would generally be more functional. The Freedom Dividend would pay for itself by helping people avoid our institutions, which is when our costs shoot up. Some studies have shown that $1 to a poor parent will result in as much as $7 in cost-savings and economic growth.

What is the effect of lost revenues for hospitals, jails, homeless services, etc? Where is it proven that giving people extra money will make them take better care of themselves?



2. A VAT: Our economy is now incredibly vast at $19 trillion, up $4 trillion in the last 10 years alone. A VAT at half the European level would generate $800 billion in new revenue A VAT will become more and more important as technology improves because you cannot collect income tax from robots or software.

A) You may not have an income tax on robots or software but you can tax their use

B) Same as above, either employers or employees will be responsible for VAT. How is this going to increase quality of life for the poor and middle class?



3. New revenue: Putting money into the hands of American consumers would grow the economy. The Roosevelt Institute projected that the economy will grow by approximately $2.5 trillion and create 4.6 million new jobs. This would generate approximately $800 – 900 billion in new revenue from economic growth.

I wouldn't count on the economy growing given problems of climate change, dwindling resources, and foreign conflicts, and increasing inequality. If anything debt will increase further.



4. Taxes on top earners and pollution: By removing the Social Security cap, implementing a financial transactions tax, and ending the favorable tax treatment for capital gains/carried interest, we can decrease financial speculation while also funding the Freedom Dividend. We can add to that a carbon fee that will be partially dedicated to funding the Freedom Dividend, making up the remaining balance required to cover the cost of this program.

This is only part that makes sense... I would add that wealth should be taxed, not only earnings

Oct 17, 19 7:28 pm
jla-x

Punishing success makes no sense. Race to the bottom thinking. The left worships the down and out....and hates the successful...very bad mentality.

tduds

No they don't.

tintt

Real success is different than corrupt, greedy, and exploitative behavior that increases one's monetary situation.

jla-x

I agree tinnt, but that’s a moral argument, and it should be left out of political hands. The liberal morality of recent decades has become a sort of religion...understandable...as they’ve abandoned traditional religion and human need for a belief system kicked in...but we need to keep a separation of that kind of religion from state too imo. Success is subjective and personal.

tduds

You're very good at providing incorrect definitions of things so it's easier for you to argue against them.

tduds

There is no such thing as an amoral politics. We don't live in rhetorical vacuums. Abandoning a 'moral' argument implicitly endorses the immoral alternative. Failing to save lives through political action implicitly kills by political action. Silence in the presence of injustice is injustice.

jla-x

“Silence in the presence of injustice is injustice”. Yes, but no one is calling for immoral citizens. I’m saying that morality is a function of culture and communities not a function of state via coercion of action.

jla-x

Your argument implies that morality is top down, yet at the top we have an concentration of immoral players...a feature of any political rat race...your logic doesn’t jive with reality...

jla-x

I understand the ills of concentrated wealth and power into the hands of a few corporations...what I don’t understand is why that becomes better when we concentrate all the wealth and power into one entity and replace the word corporation with government...the left is good at pointing out problems...which are mostly correct...but really bad at solving them...and the “solutions” they propose are almost always a path towards a much worse outcome. The solution to something flawed isn’t to make it completely terrible.

tduds

"what I don’t understand is why that becomes better when we concentrate all the wealth and power into one entity and replace the word corporation with government." 

Because governments are (When structured correctly) elected by and accountable to the people. Corporations are not. The larger problem is that our structure needs an overhaul. However, that doesn't negate the smaller problem that government action by definition has a moral angle.

I find this frustratingly common thread among the right, wherein *a* solution is deliberately mis-construed as *the entire* solution, and then discarded out of hand without bothering to consider how an approach might fit into a larger systemic reform. In other words: if all we do is replace Donald Trump, we've done nothing to address the failures that created him or put him in power or allowed him to wield such power unaccountably. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't get rid of Trump.


Corporations are accountable (in theory, at least) to shareholders, and their responsibility is to return maximum profit. Labor costs, social costs, environmental concerns, taxes, etc. just get in the way of profit.

jla-x

Tduds, you literally just proved my point. Govt power ought to be limited because as a system/electorate becomes flawed trumps are likely. Your ideology relies on a perfect democracy with a moral and educated electorate. Here’s where the disconnect happens. I agree in principle with a lot of the things you want to do...but understand that flaws are an integral part of humanity. Humans are messy and not capable of concentrated power. The best known system is one that limits and decentralized govt

tduds

I actually believe in representative republicanism, not direct democracy. Democracy is terrible. Power can be decentralized without being weak. This idea is already the underpinning of our structure of government.

The "iron law of oligarchy" states that all forms of organization, regardless of how democratic they may be at the start, will eventually and inevitably develop oligarchic tendencies, thus making true democracy practically and theoretically impossible, especially in large groups and complex organizations. The relative structural fluidity in a small-scale democracy succumbs to "social viscosity" in a large-scale organization. According to the "iron law," democracy and large-scale organization are incompatible. (Wikipedia)

jla-x

Exactly^. Therefore democratic socialism is a myth.

tduds

It doesn't seem fair to drop that quote without also recognizing that Michels famously endorsed fascism as an alternative.

Dokuser

I’d take Sanders over Yang and I don’t even like either of them.

Oct 18, 19 9:25 pm
( o Y o )

Quoth the Koww

What is the effect of lost revenues for hospitals, jails, homeless services, etc? 

Because the sick, homeless, and criminal as profit centers are far more important than correcting these conditions. 

Where is it proven that giving people extra money will make them take better care of themselves?

By the direct inverse relationship of these conditions to wealth.

Same as above, either employers or employees will be responsible for VAT. How is this going to increase quality of life for the poor and middle class?

Demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of VAT as a tax on consumption paid by all consumers (the more you consume the more you pay) as well as the critical necessity to move away from consumption based economies.

I wouldn't count on the economy growing given problems of climate change, dwindling resources, and foreign conflicts, and increasing inequality. If anything debt will increase further.

Demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of economics, fiat money, sovereign currency, and debt. Unrestrained / eternal growth is called cancer.

Oct 21, 19 2:21 pm

I heard Yang on an NPR segment this morning and it was laughably dumb? Either he doesn't understand how things work or he doesn't understand how to explain how things work. My money is on both. He struck me as really just not very smart, but also not very charismatic, so I can't figure out how he's even gotten any attention, frankly.

(Also jlx remember I have you on Ignore so you don't need to spend time responding to me b/c I won't see it.)

Oct 23, 19 9:38 am
b3tadine[sutures]

Oh, he's dumb. When asked to list some of the ways our country has interfered in other countries elections, he couldn't name one. Uhhhh....Iran? I like UBI, but it's not even his idea for god sake.

jla-x

ha. He and Tulsi are the smartest candidates up there...Biden, warren, Harris, etc....big dummies.  





Oct 24, 19 5:15 pm
tduds

That's just, like, your opinion..man.

tintt

This comment got me interested in checking this guy out. (disappointment emoji here)

jla-x

He’s an absolutely terrible sound bite guy...listen to his long form interviews and he doesn’t sound dumb as some people suggest. Dumb 2 minute debate settings make thoughtful people look stupid and stupid people look smart...because it all depends on how well rehearsed those sound bites are...not about actual debate.

tintt

I listened to plenty. Hours. No.

tintt

Shakes head no emoji here

proto

maybe the Gabbard/Yang ticket can go 3rd party & split the GOP vote, since so many republicans & libertari...uh, I mean "independents" love them so much

Oct 25, 19 2:11 pm
jla-x

I hope they do. Best case they win, worst case trump loses...both good outcomes.

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