Basic Income




Interview with Andrew Yang about Universal Basic Income and AI

About Andrew Yang

Andrew Yang is an American entrepreneur, author, and philanthropist who is best known as a 2020 presidential candidate and ran for Mayor of New York City. He has proposed the Universal Basic Income (UBI) plan in which every adult would receive $1,000 a month from the government. Additionally, he has focused on issues such as job automation and data privacy.

Before entering politics, Yang worked as an attorney and founded Venture for America, a nonprofit organization that helps create jobs in cities with struggling economies. He also served on the Board of Directors of several companies. As Presidential Candidate, he has promised to create 1 million jobs in the renewable energy sector, expand broadband access to rural areas, and provide debt relief for college graduates. He also currently seeks to introduce political reforms such as ranked choice voting and the elimination of partisan gerrymandering. His policies are focused on promoting economic prosperity, increasing access to healthcare, improving education outcomes, and reducing inequality.

Yang has also written a number of books that share his thoughts, most notably A War on Normal People and his most recent book Forward: Notes on the Future of Our Democracy.

Universal Basic Income

Andrew Yang has been a strong advocate of Universal Basic Income (UBI) since his days as an entrepreneur. He was one of the first people ever to advocate for a basic income and he sparked a nation wide dialog on the topic. He believes that UBI could be used to alleviate poverty and foster economic growth by providing everyone with a basic income regardless of their employment status or financial situation. Yang proposes giving all US citizens over the age of 18 $1,000 each month, and he believes that this could be funded through a combination of taxes on the ultra-wealthy, cutting unnecessary government spending, and instituting a value-added tax.

He argues that UBI would lead to more economic investment in areas such as education and healthcare, which would ultimately benefit society as a whole. Yang also claims that UBI would provide individuals with greater financial stability and freedom to pursue their goals without fear of poverty. By doing so, Yang believes it will create a better quality of life for all Americans. It is clear that Andrew Yang firmly stands behind the concept of Universal Basic Income. He has been vocal about his support for the policy ever since he began his campaign for president in 2019. It remains to be seen, however, if Yang’s UBI plan will gain traction in the coming years.  Ultimately, it is his hope that UBI can be implemented in a way that allows for everyone to benefit from its implementation.

During his Presidential run he proposed The Freedom Dividend, a universal basic income of $1,000/month, $12,000 a year, for every American adult over the age of 18.

"This is independent of one’s work status or any other factor. This would enable all Americans to pay their bills, educate themselves, start businesses, be more creative, stay healthy, relocate for work, spend time with their children, take care of loved ones, and have a real stake in the future.

Other than regular increases to keep up the cost of living, any change to the Freedom Dividend would require a constitutional amendment.

It will be illegal to lend or borrow against one’s Dividend.

A Universal Basic Income at this level would permanently grow the economy by 12.56 to 13.10 percent—or about $2.5 trillion by 2025—and it would increase the labor force by 4.5 to 4.7 million people.  Putting money into people’s hands and keeping it there would be a perpetual boost and support to job growth and the economy."

To read more about his proposal visit

We caught up with Andrew during a Campaign Event in San Francisco for his new initiative "The Forward Party" focused on creating a Third Party. The primary goal of the party is to be recognized as a third party in California.

With the advent of artificial intelligence, is basic income more important than ever?

"AI is real. It's here. It's going to displace millions of American jobs and millions more worldwide. I believe that universal basic income is the exact kind of policy that you need at the time like this. And I hope that we're able to implement it while we're still able to do something."

What do you think is the biggest risk with AI? What is the biggest opportunity?

"I'll start with the opportunities. The biggest opportunity is that we'll make rapid advancement in drug development and sustainable technology will help us prolong our loved ones lives and address climate change.
The negative case is, that we'll wind up in warranted military conflict, have ramped identity theft, And maybe even have species-wide challenges.
So as you can see, it's a very strong force for good, but it also could be quite destructive." -Andrew Yang

On Monday Andrew Yang and Scott Santens (who has written extensively on UBI) is having a longer discussion on Universal Basic Income in the era of ChatGPT and Generative AI.

You can watch or listen to the podcast here: