Meet Andrew Yang, a 2020 US presidential hopeful running against the robots

Rashers's picture
Rank: Orangutan | 322

"Andrew Yang doesn't mince his words: He doesn't think the robots are coming; he knows they are already here. And he wants to take his concerns about this all the way to the White House.

"I'm Andrew Yang, and I'm running for President as a Democrat in 2020 because I fear for the future of our country," reads the first sentence of the website for his long-shot campaign.

Yang is worried about a future where the automation of jobs leads to "the disintegration of our society." And he has a very specific solution to stop that from happening. He wants to give every adult US citizen $1,000 a month, no questions asked. He isn't the first presidential hopeful to endorse the idea of a universal basic income (UBI)--even Hillary Clinton is a fan--but he is certainly one of the most outspoken for why we need it.

As a former corporate lawyer and founder of Venture for America, a fellowship program to help entrepreneurs start businesses in cities like Detroit and Cleveland, he brings a jobs-first approach to tackling many of the country's social and economic problems. UBI isn't the only tenet of his campaign. There are more than 70 policy recommendations on his website, including ideas like hiring a White House psychologist to closely monitor the mental health of White House staff and creating a "digital social currency" to reward (and gamify) altruistic behavior.

Yang chatted with Quartz about robots, UBI, and the stakes if we don't take automation seriously. The interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity."

Rest here: https://qz.com/1485345/meet-andrew-yang-a-2020-us-...

Comments (44)

Dec 13, 2018

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Dec 16, 2018

This guy seems chill and all, but how is he going to beat Kanye brah?

thots and prayers

Dec 16, 2018

Only if Kanye fucks up the Iowa state fair by incorrectly holding the hot dog.

Array

Dec 16, 2018

I dislike the idea of universal basic income, digital social currency and automation. Here is why:

-Universal Basic Income, depending on the amount offered, in this case $1,000 might serve an incentive for some to not work at all, especially in places with a low cost of living. Another way to look at it is how people will spend the $1000, some people will use that money to buy or try drugs, which could lead a potential rise in addicts or overdoses. It is simple way of looking at it but you can't expect the majority of the population to spend it wisely.

-Digital Social Currency, even though the government keeps tabs on everyone we shouldn't be rewarding good behavior, the way I look at it, it could lead to possibly trying to game the system for their own benefit. Rather than implementing a digital social currency, I think it would be more productive to implement a country-wide social program catered towards students which shows them the short and long-time impact of their efforts.

-Automation and the rise of robots was bound to happen, what's funny though is that everyone said that this discovery was going to lead to new jobs but everyone is actually concerned of losing their job. So what is it going to be? instead of worrying about automation why not create a program meant for teenagers and adults alike that teaches them to work with robots or tools. Teach them how to become mechanics, electricians or carpenters. Eventually help them go to school to become engineers.

Manufacturing needs to be brought back into the U.S and just import raw materials eventually the services industry will grow with it. I've yet to see a president try to do this. Manufacturing is the reason why China is what it is today.

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Dec 16, 2018
Name Of Profit:

how people will spend the $1000, some people will use that money to buy or try drugs, which could lead a potential rise in addicts or overdoses.

hmmmm really?

https://thumbs.gfycat.com/DecimalShockingHorsemouse-small.gif

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Dec 16, 2018

Start with your last point. Manufacturing jobs done mostly by humans are not coming back to the US. US productivity has actually gone up with the help of technology, so going back is a non-starter. China labor is cheap with 3x the population of the US who demand a much lower standard of living--US cannot replicate China model; well it did with cheap labor called slaves, and that's unlikely to be reinstituted.

You can't effectively be opposed to UBI because you think people will buy drugs. Sure, there might be downsides, but the bet is that most people will do something useful with the income. And, most importantly is that UBI might help prevent a potential social upheaval by taming the catastrophic effects of financial insecurity being experienced by more than half of the American population.

The digital social currency is going to happen despite efforts to prevent it. It's a good way for government to collect debts by denying people certain services until they pay. China has had a few stories of children being denied student visas and college admittances because their parent owes debt.

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Dec 17, 2018

No, just no. If you think digital social currency is a good idea do every sane person a favor and move to china and never return. That shit is a terrible idea and is a 100% sure road to dictatorial tyranny. It is as its absolute base but on a 100% corruptible idea, give the government the power to easily ostracize people and they will. It isn't a maybe, it is a guarantee.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

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Dec 16, 2018

I read his article on Quillete, he sounds like an ok guy.

Dec 16, 2018

"OK" doesn't win presidencies. Extremes do.
Extremely bad: 2016; extremely good: 2008.

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Dec 16, 2018

Listened to this guy on Sam Harris. Not terribly impressive IMO

Dec 16, 2018

He's not going to win because most of the US population at large are still subliminally uncomfortable with foreigners. Obama election was a fluke, and largely an exercise in white guilt. This guy is more likely to end up as a mayor, or in the house of reps in California. Not convinced he can charm flyover country.

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Dec 17, 2018

You are making vast sweeping generalizations, with no real understanding of anything you are talking about.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

Dec 16, 2018

No, no, a thousand times no. We are getting ahead of ourselves by decades, if not centuries. There may come a time in the future when human beings are all but obsolete for the purposes of work, but we aren't even remotely close to that right now. Last I heard, there are 7 million unfilled U.S. jobs. Let's wait to make all Americans slaves to the welfare state until there are no jobs for people to work.

Dec 16, 2018

Work as an index for purpose of life is largely a capitalist creation from the west. Most ancient civilizations in the East had systems in place where work was not the only/major provider of meaning to life. Robots cannot replace humans fast enough--must reach true humanity where life isn't wasted on the mere practicalities, but spent on maximizing human enjoyment of the earth.

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Dec 16, 2018
Rashers:

Work as an index for purpose of life is largely a capitalist creation from the west. Most ancient civilizations in the East had systems in place where work was not the only/major provider of meaning to life. Robots cannot replace humans fast enough--must reach true humanity where life isn't wasted on the mere practicalities, but spent on maximizing human enjoyment of the earth.

What you've just said is insane. The amazing civilizations built in the Eastern world (China, Japan, India, to name a few) were built by brilliant minds and back-breaking labor. Agrarian societies consisted of working from dawn until dusk.

Dec 16, 2018

Oh my fucking God another thread about automation.

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Dec 16, 2018

yes, another thread on automation. you're a closet lover of automation threads and we know that.

Array

Dec 17, 2018

Dude it never ends

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Dec 16, 2018

I have a genuine question about UBI. Do you think people will just increase their own cost of living and continue living paycheck to paycheck? Like when most people get a credit card limit increase they spend more. Do you think UBI of $1,000 a month will make people spend $1,000 (or more) a month?

Genuine question, am not an expert on UBI (though i don't think there's enough hard data on it anyway).

"The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary." - Nassim Taleb

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Dec 17, 2018

Good question. Technology will work in two says. First it will make many things cheaper, thus lowering costs of living. Second, the more integrated technology becomes into peoples lives, the more efficient their lives become and thus making things cost less.

Array

Dec 17, 2018

I agree with your sentiment. But my question was more about people "learning to spend what's in their pocket". Consumerism is a real problem. So will people just be able to afford to buy more wasteful things?

I'm not against UBI. I think the wealth disparity in this country is a big problem. I don't believe in taxing people for being successful, but the way the middle and lower classes struggle to save and therefore cannot invest is really sad.

With that said, I'm not sold on UBI being the solution. Singapore has forced its citizens to save money. I know there's a lot more nuance to it etc. But I think America could use some of that.

"The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary." - Nassim Taleb

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Dec 17, 2018

Wow, why does it seem like more and more socialists are running in the elections each year?

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Dec 17, 2018

Because society in the US is becoming more fractured and political debate moving further to the fringes. It's no suprise extremist groups are now entering the mainstream: antifa and white supremacy; and even count the increase in violent protests. It's a signal of a potential erruption of social order.

Array

Dec 17, 2018

Everything you said in your post is stupid. If you create all this shit for people to step over before anything can happen, we'll be so inefficient that a UBI is the only way people can survive. Someone will need to be exempt from all of that red tape to keep the rest of us from starving.

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Dec 17, 2018

....

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Dec 17, 2018
Rashers:

There's an excess amount of people who have a negative contribution to society. Trimming the excess would be a good use for robots, where only those poppe who can bring value are left on the planet.

Social status is the only reason we have real problems in the first place. If Rockefeller opens additional oil sites and cannibalizes all companies in the area, instead of the government jailing him for his deceitful tactics, they take a pay under the table and slap him on the wrist. That's your social status at play. That isn't the fault of capitalism or money. You eliminate money, the bureaucrats will still be snakes.

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Dec 17, 2018

Never thought I would actively see some argue for genocide on WSO. I hear Hitler is saving you a spot in hell.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

Dec 17, 2018

Nevertheless, automation should put sophisticated tools into ordinary hands. Look at how many idiots can use a computer today. Can any of them actually code? There's a tiny percentage of the share of people using computers and actually know how to use them, to the total sum of people using computers but have no idea how they work. I'm basically one of the latter.

Dec 17, 2018

Cool another automation doomsday thread.

Let me make a few things clear for people thinking automation is the end of the world.

1) Automation won't affect finance, law, business, tech or any other high paying careers for another 40-50 years or so. And even after 100+ years, these jobs will still be around.

2) Automation doesn't completely remove the need for a job, just reduces the number of people needed. The goal of automation isn't to remove the need for a job, it's to make humans more efficient. Working WITH robots instead of robots replacing us is far more likely.

3) Many jobs cannot be automated what so ever. Good luck automating combat roles, litigation lawyers, judges, therapists, comedians, politicians, artists, musicians, or any job that requires face to face interaction. Entrepreneurship is also still an option.

4) If we get to a position where robots could act and think like humans (centuries ahead) humans will have merged with AI and evolved past what our species looks like today. We will move onto far greater things and most likely have different things to occupy our time with. Work will most likely be one of them, obviously, it won't look anything like what "work" is today but work is a basic pillar of human society.
I don't believe there will ever be a time where everyone will earn money while unemployed we are just free to do whatever the hell we want.

5) To think that eventually, the act of working and currency a whole will "disappear" because of robots is simply insane.

Dec 17, 2018

You're quite misguided, it's hopeless to engage you. Automation, for those ill informed, does not mean the replacement of roles based on intrinsic human creativity--which is the only thing robots cannot outsmart, because human creativity is their god.

Array

Dec 17, 2018

I don't see what you're trying to say.

Are you trying to say that only creative jobs are safe or that finance requires creativity?

Dec 17, 2018
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Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

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Dec 17, 2018
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Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne