« Freakonomics Radio

362. Why Is This Man Running for President? (Update)

2019-12-18 | 🔗

A year ago, nobody was taking Andrew Yang very seriously. Now he is America’s favorite entrepre-nerd, with a candidacy that keeps gaining momentum. This episode includes our Jan. 2019 conversation with the leader of the Yang Gang and a fresh interview recorded from the campaign trail in Iowa.

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Fr economics. Radio sponsored by progressive insurance were customers save an average of more than seven hundred fifty dollars when they switch and save visit, progressive dot com to get your car insurance quote. It only takes about seven national annual average auto insurance savings by new customers surveyed in twenty nineteen potential savings will very, if you'd like to listen to for economics, radio without ads the place to do that is sticker premium. Five dollars and you can get a free month trial by going to stick your premium dot com and use a promo code freak. You also get access to all our bonus. Episodes and you'll be supporting our show to that sticker premium: dot, com, promo code, freak thanks. either Stephen. Dublin today's show is an update to an episode we ran in January called. Why is this man running for president? It featured our interview with democratic press,
your candidate Andrey Gang who at the time was boarded an anonymous but Yang, has turned out to be one of the biggest surprises of I'm paying out lasting many candid, with bigger names and bigger titles, including, U S, senators, governors and more Yanks Poland, you're still only in the three to five percent range, but he continues to gain momentum and money and he's one of just seven remaining candidates to qualify for the six democratic debate. What you'll here today, our original conversation and then follow up interview. We did just a few days ago of you enjoy Andrew Yang is not famous, not yet at least maybe we'll be someday. But let me tell you a story he's forty four years old, he was born in Schenectady, New York City, long dominated by General Electric, the sort of company that law. dominated the american economy, but which is
likely know, doesn't anymore Yanks parents it both emigrated from Taiwan and mitten. Grad school is much became a systems administrator when his father did researcher IBM got his name on sixty nine patents, their son, Andrew studied economics and political science. At Brown, you got a law degree at Columbia and ultimately became a successful entrepreneurs, the focus on widespread job. Creation in the american dream, sweepstakes Andrew Yang was a pretty big one. But along the way he came to see, For every winner there were thousands upon thousands of losers. The economist Joseph Schumpeter famously described capitalism as an act of cream. destruction with new ideas and technologies, replacing the old with nimble, startup firms replacing outmoded legacy firms all in service of a blanket rise in prosperity. The notion of creative destruction has for decades been
of the economic orthodoxy and its undeniable that global prosperity has risen, not just by a little bit but Yang, like many others who stopped believing in the economic orthodoxy of creative destruction, as he sees, it is just too much destruction and the blanket rise in prosperity isn't covering an people. We are living through. What Yang calls a war on normal people, a war, the Yang fears? getting uglier all the time and that's why he has taken to say this I'm Andrew Yearning and I'm running for President as a Democrat and twenty twenty I can think of a million things that you personally Andrew Yang, with your resources and abilities and so on could have done other than running for President United States. And yet that's the one you ve chosen. So why? so imagine, if you're the guy getting thousand awards for creating jobs around the country and realising that the jobs are about to disappear.
An historic way and all of the solution involve really much more intelligent, activated government. Then you currently have and I went around and talk to various people being hey guys anyone to solve the biggest problem in the history of the world and I cannot identify any one who is going to run and taken up so put your hand up and said. I guess I well down you know. I'm apparent like you are, I got, kids are going in this country and to me believing that we're gonna give them. This show that I think is coming in doing something about it, struck me as really pathetic, today and for economic radio, what Yangtze happening in the middle of the country that coastal wheats don't see. We are blast in communities to dust,
pretending like we're not and pretending like its, therefore pretending that somehow its unreasonable to be upset about your way of life getting destroyed what he fears, will happen as the problem continues to metastasize if, for instance, autonomous trucks three million drivers out of work, this, let's get thirty guys, together with our trucks and our guns, and show up protest, the automation of their jobs and will here Andrew gangs proposed solutions, including this one, colleges in the White House. I'm happy friends, stature and debonnair productions. This is for economics, radio. The path cast explores the hidden side of everything. Here's your host
Stephen Governor The conversation about two here is in many ways a continuation of conversations we ve had in multiple episodes. Over the years, episodes lay is the american dream really dead and is the world ready for a guaranteed basic income? Episodes like yes american economies in a funk, but not for the reasons you think and did China eat a merry jobs you gonna, give those episodes listen for a deeper look at the economics involved, but first who, actually is Andrew Yang years ago, he worked as the life salesman if salesmen cut co, I still no the sales patter with here. You know it's really did This is not a sharp knife. It's a dull knife, because then you start putting elbow
Greece into an that's when accidents happen. So here's how I would thumb nail your story, immigrant kid: Smart got good education, tried a few things in the labour force, including high lawyer than some entrepreneurship. Gonna go the company that was sold soup cash out, then took the nonprofit route to tried it buyer other people to become entrepreneurs in places where there was a lot of drive for that. Already an enduring that process. You got exposed do the way the economy was failing in large parts of America, but then I've just like saying. Well, that's tough, but I got mine and I'm gonna go back to my coastline and led my comfortable even the people who are not leading this life. I wish him well, but I'm out of here you disrupt
did your life in order to do something about it. As an entrepreneur, feel driven to try and solve problems, and this seems like the greatest problem that we face and you think hey if I bust my ass for several years I have a chance to potentially accelerate the eradication of poverty and helping my country manage through the most difficult transition in decades, and I think, if I put my heart and soul into it, I have some chance of making that happen, and then, if you don't do that, You must be a pole when it was twenty. Four Yang landed a job in New York at Davis, poke one of the most prestigious law firms in the world. I was making a hundred five thousand plus a bonus of maybe another twenty five or so, and asian parents, so they were quite pleased with this state of affairs and I thought what really lousy job. When I was growing up as a kid playing donors and drag
I didn't dream about being describe, I jump about going in the woods and killing something which did not happen. Parents feel any better public this is it acquit the firm see? Yes, he quit what many p we might see as dream job. He got involved in an internet start up that combined celebrity in charity, so we called it start giving dot com and we got to the end, fish and MTV in MAGIC Johnson to donate Meetin greets with them as to their nonprofits, the launch of star giving coincided with the bursting of the dot com bubble. The firm lasted just five months may now, very sad, but twenty six or hold still at a hundred thousand law school loans and at parents still My people- I was a liar, even though it was not and so I join another start up and I was very worried that thus going to go under so I started during, parties on the side. As aside hustle- and I also
teaching the GMO on the side for a friend's company, so had three jobs during that time. The job that stuck was the g met. king Gmail. Being the standardized test you take to get into business school, the company was called Manhattan prep and Yang ended up becoming it seo. That's right, so I personally Tommy analyse classes, Mckinsey, Goldman Sachs, J, P, Morgan Morgan, Stanley and so in doing that four six seven years and then seeing the country goodish during their financial crisis and then think by. You know why that is because the markets have been making whilst we beggars and measuring insulted the rest. The country was getting hollowed out two thousand nine gangs company was bought by the testing firm Kaplan, which was by the Washington Post company? We were acquired for low tens of millions, so I walked away with some number in the millions he soon left the Washington Post Company to
nonprofit called venture for America. Mottled on teach for America yeah, so venture for America, takes recent college graduate trains them with various business skills, Then send them to work at a start up early stage growth company in Detroit New Orleans, Cleveland Baltimore, a city that could use the talent. Then you work at that start up for two years: helping it grow and at the end of two years, if you want to start your own business, we have an accelerator and seed fund to help you do so. It's going to create a hundred thousand jobs around the country. We helped create over three thousand jobs to date and dozens of our alarms have started come. is some of which have now raise billions of dollars and generated millions and revenue. So you said you hope to create a hundred thousand jobs, and then you just said you ve created three thousand jobs. That sounds like your little short well create a hundred thousand by a certain date. So when a date so we had twenty twenty five as our target date.
Ok, so we don't need algorithmic growth. I gather what you earned about how the world worked outside of the coastal corridors and outside the Ivy League, and so on was an awakening s die out. It was pressure. What was different in three in Pittsburgh and elsewhere that you went from what you imagined also some of the strong of course in our described this accompany it had a couple of very bright founders the Brown University and they got started improvidence and the company starts. Do well hits it strives doing couple million in revenue and then Silicon Valley says hey, we should come out here and will invest ten twenty million dollars in you, but you should really come here so then. The guy as a well- I guess we have to take that, so that company goes from a hundred employees and problems
I want to see more and I can feel the mayor of Providence and the Governor Rhode Island thinking right now. No, no! No, please do not. Ever there I mean the mare was like their lights and please don't go. I'm gonna go like what you gonna do what's right, your business, and so they went Silicon Valley, and now the company has a hundred poison term just go, and so that big there's really unfortunate dynamic that if you in us her succeeding in a place like Detroit or Providence or Saint Louis. The goal is to get sucked up to the big leagues and wind up in San Francisco, Boston or New York, but the other part is that what we used to think of, as you know, the backbone job of this country that the nature of that is changing really really fast due to technology. In particular automation how much of it
were you starting to see up close and how surprising was that to you Dasso might might thesis. Was that if you started, let's say a tech company in a place like Detroit, that it would create a dish, Jobs in that community that we're not necessarily skill jobs, but what I learned was that these coming, he's in order to be successful did not need to hire huge numbers of people that right now the way Businesses grow is Businesses grow lean in mean, oh they're, not going to hire the thousands of employees that industrial companies used to employ in a place like Detroit or Cleveland or Saint Louis, and it became clear to me that as much as I was excited about I'm proud of the work I was doing it felt like I was pouring water into a bathtub, had a giant whole ripped in the bottom, because, where blasting away, hundreds of thousands of retail jobs call center jobs, food service jobs, eventually
driving jobs, and so my army of entrepreneurs doing incredible work, starting companies that might employ twenty thirty forty people and was not going to be a difference me. you're in a context where that community was going to lose twenty thirty. Forty thousand retail call, center jobs, transportation, jobs, etc, and I was horrified like I was fine by me- Fourth being like what the hell are, we doing. We are black communities to dust. and then pretending like we're not in pretending, like its, therefore pretending that somehow its unreasonable to be upset about your way of life getting destroyed and So it's I had a wake up, call a reckoning, as you said, but then, when Donald Trump became present does sixteen? I was like I'm can Is that the reason why he won the presidency is that we automated away four million manufacturing jobs in Michigan Ohio so Mania, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri and we're about to triple down on that by blast.
your way, millions, a retail jobs calls and our jobs fast, boo jobs, truck driving jobs, It's been tempting, especially from a political viewpoint, to blame all this job loss on global trade, immigrant labour and offshoring, but most economists argued that the much larger driver of job loss is technology and Asian, in particular. Andrea Yang agrees with this diagnosis, but not with the rest of the economic dogma I started economics and, according to my economics textbook, those displaced workers would, yet retrain re skilled, a movement, opportunity is fine. Higher productivity work economy would grow, so everyone wins, the market, invisible hand has done its thing. and I said, ok what actually happened- these four million manufacturing workers, an attorney out that almost half them left the workforce and never worked again and
Half of those that left the workforce then filed for disability, where there are now more Americans on disability than work and construction over twenty percent of working age, adults in some parts of the country, so the form, manufacturing workers, a lot of them are on disability. A lot of them are also especially if their younger men, their spending twenty five to forty years. We playing video games. I also do not say my textbook: half of them believe the workforce, now from again half of them off I'll for disability and another significant percentage will start drinking themselves to death committing suicide at record levels get addicted opiates doable were now it Americans die of opiates every hour, and so when you say I am I for automation and artificial intelligence alleys, fantastic things. Of course I am mean we might be to do things like cure cancer, help manage climate change more effectively, but we also have to be real, that it is going to displace millions of Americans. People are not infinitely,
damnable or resilience or eager to become software engineers or whatever ridiculous solution is being proposed and it's already tearing our country apart by the numbers. Were our life expecting he's decline for the last two years, because of us urgent suicides and drug overdoses around the country None of this was in my text book. But if you look at it, that's exactly what's happening, and so there persists, and they so lazy, and it makes me so angry because, like people who are otherwise educated, dislike literally waved their hands and be like in dust, revolution like twenty years ago been through a before, and it's like man? If someone came into office and pitched you and an investment and accompany based on a fact pattern from a hundred twenty years ago, if we can throw them out of your office, so fast, he does revolution is a textbook example of creative destruction. Old technologies the way to new the rise-
tied, lifting all boats, but history doesn't actually happen that smoothly. Look at the industrial revolution. There was a massive social change. Labour unions were originated in eighteen, eighty six to start protesting for rights. There are met the riots that lead to dozens of death and cause billions of dollars worth of damage. The lead to labor becoming a holiday universal high school implemented in nineteen eleven in response to all of these changes- and it was a tumor- to his time, I mean there's a guy with a revolution, the whole time and end according to being this labour forced displacement. This time the fourth industry revolution is going to be three to four times Faster and more vicious, then that industrial revolution was, Even for those lazy, ass people who are just like we ve been through this before and US revolution be like well, the industrial Lucian was fallacious and it's gonna be three to four times worse accord.
A being, who presumably respect because you know, like they're good at hearing this about me and if you look at government funded retraining programmes. Efficacy level according to independent studies, is between zero and fifteen percent, and only percent of workers would even qualify for these programmes. Anyways we're talking about a solution that will apply to between one and two percent of displaced workers and that's the kind lazy crap that people are putting up as a solution. So if around Lucian happens. How does it star and what's it look like? So to me the rubber hits the road with the truck drivers, the meaner three and a half million truck drivers in this country. Thirteen percent of them are unionized and so out of there being a collective negotiation very low, eighty seven some of them are part of small firms of let's call it. Twenty to thirty truckers in ten percent
on their own trucks, so think about that. If you borrowed tens of thousands of dollars to be our own boss and be an entrepreneur and then your truck cannot compete against a robot truck. They never stops the odds, then, of these truckers, showing up at a state capitol saying this: let's get thirty guys, together with our trucks and our guns and show up and protest, the automation of their jobs. So we're disintegrating by the numbers. You can see it in our political and social dysfunction, and so expecting that this integration process to be gentle would be ignoring. History. Well, even though revolutions do happen and armed violent revolutions obviously have happened. Most bold predictions turn out to be wildly wrong and usually there's a lot less deviants from the past than predictors predict. So what makes you think you're not wrong? This one, I dont know thousands of truck driver
but I do know some and they do not strike me as the sort who just shruggings ok, I guess I was a good run. I'm gonna go home now and figure out what job is. Therefore, someone who's a fifty year old, former truck driver but you also are going to see you call center workers fast food workers. Tell workers- I mean there are eight point: eight million people working in retail in this country, the average retail we're There is a thirty nine year old woman with a high the gray who makes eleven or twelve dollars an hour and so on, thirty percent of malls clothes in the next four years. What is their next opportunity going to be so we have to start being honest about what's happening where the market does not care about unemployed, cashiers or truck driver or fastfood workers, and that the biggest issue to me is that, where measuring economic value in a very narrow, archaic way, we invented GDP, almost a hundred years ago, during the great depression governments looking
around saying, like things are going really badly like we need number for this penance kuznets comes up a gdp and says a few things. He says we not use this as a measurement fur national, being bases really bad for that weakening. food parenthood and motherhood and calculate because it had so much value and we should not include national defence spending and the calculation, because, I remember my history: all three of those were ignored than yes. Yes, yes, yes, we're like that's great Simon, and this house, like our and I'll, be all my wife is at home our two boys right now, I'm one of her As on the autism spectrum, and what is her work valued at my motives, zero air by zero- and I know that you working a harder than I am, and that the work is doing is more important, so your wife doesn't really factor into GDP in factories,
probably kind of a drain on it, really rank ass. She could be out there were there's opportunity, cost of her, not working. She might be able to blight, be a magic insulted somewhere about how a guy like about work, valuable use over so management consultants and the finance industry, financial services, banking, real estate. You argue that many of the most remunerative occupations in America or rent seeking activities rinsing as an economist use it to describe basically extracting value from transactions that really adding value and argue that many of the most beneficial for society, jobs teaching, I'm nurturing carrying creating etc? Are the least remunerative jobs? How can you rail against that disparity, while also wanting to bask in the benefits of the capitalism that set up those incentive
capitalism is a wonderful magical, powerful thing: optimize is for capital efficiency. And capital gains above all else really and at work. well for a long time, because in order for it, efficiency workers needed to benefit consumer economy needed to benefit middle class needed to benefit. Take Henry Ford in his like how can my workers by my heart but were now a point where four does not now those humans have took to build that car and that they can have markets all over the place. They really care. What's going on in their own backyard they're. Just these big changes, a foot The question is how we're gonna manage them as a country and that's what for an answer I'm running for president. coming up after the break when the first things President Yang would do we need to join
every other industrialized country in the world and give the public a slice sliver of every Amazon transaction every Google search conversation continues right after this. fr Economics, radio sponsored by capital, one with no he's or minimums on checking and savings accounts banking with capital. One is the easiest decision in the history of decisions. like choosing to listen to another episode of your favorite podcast and with their top rated app. You can deposit transfer money anytime anywhere, making capital one. and even easier decision. That's banking re imagine What's in your wallet terms, apply cap, but one in a member of the icy
FR. Radio sponsored by Petsmart Petsmart makes it safe and easy for you to care for your pet at Petsmart. The health and safety of employees, pet parents and pets are its most important, which is why they require face coverings, social distancing and stop plexiglas shields and enhanced cleaning to follow CDC recommendations for contact list thing just order online at Petsmart, not com or on the Petsmart app. joy, easy curbside pick up for same day, delivery powered by door dash free through January thirty. First, two thousand twenty one check out: Petsmart dot com for more details, no listening to our interview with Andrey Yang when the most surprising stories of the twenty twenty democratic presidential race. This episode was originally published. Last
January when gang was pretty much an unknown, but we we interviewed him just last week and you'll hear that update toward the end of this episode, until recently Andrew Yang, was running venture for America. A nonprofit that tries to persuade young would be whilst readers to launch start ups and places they Cleveland Baltimore. Detroit and Saint Louis into doesn't fourteen. He published a book about this effort. It was called smart people should build things. While the book pointed out, the me before a dramatic overhaul of the american economy. It was, for the most part, an optimistic book. Last year, Yang published another book. Called the war on normal people, and it is not remotely optimistic He argues that the american economy is failed. Most Americans, the american political class has failed them again by refusing to focus on the underlying fault lines in the economy. This collapse, in
drew Yanks optimism is what led him to run for president, there's. One idea in particular that he's banking on sure. My first big policy is the freedom dividend policy, where every American dont between the age of eighteen, sixty four gets a thousand dollars a month. Frankly, No questions asked so the freedom dividend is you're phrase for what most of us knows a universal basic income? Yes, yeah: it's a re brand of universal basic income because it tests much better with Americans with a word freedom in it. In the actual re as it as nomenclature the ideas, the same area, so universal basic income test great with about half the country and in the other half the country do not like it, because, because you know that it's got welfare connotations, along those lines we tested a bunch of names and then, when you had the word freedom in it, then all of a sudden testing shot up among himself identified. Conservatives they like hated.
Universal basic income, hated prosperity, dividend also, freedom, dividends like thinking what about progressives. Liberals Democrats Grass of Syllables Democrats liked it no matter what the name was, what we the other names that didn't work, those dividend future Evidence and prosper. They dividend we had lotta dividends, I think of it. Dividend as a payer or on an investment. What is it mean in this case, all its powers to ownership and we are the owners and shareholders of this, the most wealthy in advance signing the history the world. So this is a dividend for us and there's nothing having a majority of shareholders, majority of citizens from voting themselves, a dividend then law in Alaska and its wildly popular in a deeply conservative state where republican governor said hey. Who would you rather get the oil money? The guy, you're just gonna screw up. Are you the people of Alaska and so the
people of Alaska now love it wildly popular has created thousands of jobs, improve children's health and nutrition is lower income inequality and its untouchable, through many different regimes. We Alaska dividend, TK from oil revenues from the state, whereas a freedom dividend that would go to every person in the. U S would be funded. How so the headline cost? two point: four trillion dollars, which sounds like an awful lot for reference. Dick enemy is nineteen trillion dollars up for trial in the last ten years, and the federal budget is for train. So two point: four trillion seems like an awfully big cycle money, but if you, break it down. The first big thing is to implement a value added tax, which would harm the gains from artificial intelligence and big data from the big too companies and benefit from the most. So we have to look at what's happening, Big sure where who's gonna be the winners for may I and big data and self driving cars and trucks it's going to be.
A trillion dollar tech companies. Amazon apple, Google, so that big trap wherein right now is that as these technologies take off. The public will see very little in the way of new tax gains from it, because if you look at these big tech companies, Amazon's trick is, They didn't make any money. This quarter, no taxes necessary Google's that is to say in all, went to Ireland, nothing to see here and so Even as these companies and the new technologies soak up more and more value in more and more work, the public is going to go into incur in distress to what we to do as we need to join every other industrialized country in the World and the value added tax which would give the public a slice a sliver of every. Amazon transaction. Every Google search and because Our economy is so vast now at nineteen trillion dollars evaluated. it even half the european level would generate about eight hundred billion in value not at this
again. Source of money is that, right now we spend almost eight hundred billion dollars on welfare programmes, and many people are receiving more than one thousand dollars in current benefit, so we're going to leave all the programs alone. But if you think one thousand dollars cash would be better than what you're currently receiving. Then you can opt in in your current bed, disappear so that reduces the cost of the free never done by between five and six hundred billion dollars. Now the great parts of the third and fourth part, so view put a thousand dollars a month into the hands of american adult So right now fifty percent of Americans campaign. Unexpected five hundred dollar bill they're going to spend that thousand dollars in their community on car repairs. Tutoring for their king it's the occasional light out. It's going to go directly the consumer economy? And so, if you grow consumer economy by twelve percent, we get five hundred billion a new tax revenue and in the law, asked five hundred billion, or so we get.
Through a combination of cost savings, incarceration, homelessness, services, care because right now we're spending about a trillion dollars on people showing up in emergency rooms and hitting our institutions. So we have to do a good companies do which is invested, our people. So what persuades that that number two point four trillion could even be close to justified through the menu savings that you just described. I guess more broadly, Why should someone believed that this democratic inspired version of higher taxes were new taxes with Vietnam, in more income redistribution. Why should some believe that any more than Democrats disbelieve the Republicans idea of lower taxes and trickle down economy, oh man, I mean, if you put a thousand dollars into the hands of a struggling American. It's gonna make em bigger difference not just to that person, but it's also gotta go back into the economy. If you give a wealthy
a thousand dollars they weren't even notice. You could just like slap it into their account and you know repeal get out of it, and so everyone knows that putting money into the hands of people are actually use. It is going to be much more effective at strengthening our economy and society. one easy argument against the EU, be. I is that if you give everyone dividend like you're, proposing a thousand dollars a month per person, All that new money in the economy will cause the kind of inflation that will render that one thousand now much less powerful. What's your argument against that now so I looked into the cause of inflation that are making Americans miserable right. Now and they are not in consumer goods like me, yeah or clothing, or electronics, very strong feeling cheaper, still getting much. She began a lot of that is being made more efficient by technology supply chains in everything else, the three things are
Americans miserable in terms of inflation, are housing, education and health care, in each of those is being driven by something other than purchasing power, things being driven by the fact in some markets, people feel like they need to live in. Let's say New York or Seattle or sentences go to be able access, are certain opportunities and then there's not much flexibility in terms of their ability to commute like a long distance education. It's because college has very, very sadly gun two and a half times more expensive, even though it has not gone two and a half times better animal. It is health care which is dysfunctional because of broken set of incentives and the fact that endeavour those aren't really paying a marketplace. So if you put a thousand I was in the hands of Americans, is actually and help them manage those expenses much better, but it's not going to cause prices to skyrocket because you can't have every event, her colluding with every other vendor to raise prices and they still going to be priced sensitivity among.
free consumer and competition between firms, the idea of the universal basic income has been around for a long time and you might be surprised by the political diversity of its supporters. In the eighteenth century, founding father, Thomas Pain argued for universal. Hey out representing our collective share of America's natural resources in the twentieth century. Economists Milton Friedman pushed for a different version called a negative income tax then- and now there is a common objection. If you just give people enough money to survive on, it will destroy their incentive to work to be produced but the research on the subject in a few cases where it's been tried suggests this isn't necessarily the case a neuroscientist in Seattle said something that we that really stuck with me. He said the give me a universal basic income is the human mind and what he meant by that is that people are programmed,
for resource scarcity, they think Haven, I have to go around you get it don't get it and then, if we all edit. It somehow get harm us and that's what we have to overcome. We have to overcome this knee jerk sense of scarcity that is baked into in many ways the way were trained to perceive value in money. So that's big policy number one. Our aid in wits, big policy. Number two four would be President Yang number two is Digital social credits, which are what digital, socially its are a new way to reward It means that we need more of in society. So, now the monetary market does not recognise things that we know are crucial to humanity like caregiving in raising children, volunteering in the community, arts and creativity, journalism environmentally? The inability and so we're getting lesson
of those things, because the market does not care about them. What I'm proposing as we create a new currency that then maps to various activities that we want to see more of our demand, for instance, of how it would work. Let's pretend that I am a fifty eight year old, led off carpenter me B. You President Yang, already giving me a freedom dividend, which I appreciate to talk to me about what digital social credits would do for me and how it would actually work right. So you get a message on your phone saying: hey a name: has had a shelf break and they could use some help preparing it, and then You click on your phone and say I'll. Do that, then you drive over repair the shelf and then the person thanks. You gives you a hug takes a picture of it and then you can get this digital, social credit, let's say cod three hundred points to you, have these three hundred points and you're like ok, that's good, and then you get another pay.
And saying, hey, your neighbor needs a ride and they don't have a vehicle and you do you, give them a ride, and then you get two more points and then, at the end of the week, you say you know what, if I go to Kabila's, I can try those points in poor, punting gear or camping, I can use it to go to the local ballgame. And then the vendors who are giving their goods or services to you for those social credits. What did they do with social grants? They can take it. the credits and go to the government and the government can exchange for money and what's funding the money for the social credits from the vendors, so I mean that The US government would be backing it or foundations or various companies because of your company. You respond to this and we need kind of enjoy the heck out of it. New drive business tier establishments, but the great thing about this is: you could induce billions of dollars where the social activity at a small fraction of the cost because right now, if I have a hundred thousand American Express points, how much does it cost American Express a thousand dollars?
zero, because I haven't done anything with it yet before redeem it, it costs them nothing. But I love me points, I look at them. They seem to have value. I could try them. Whenever I want. What you'd see as you dare not building up a parallel economy around people doing things for each other. This is based on a practice call time. Banking, that's in effect the hundreds of communities around the country City, banking is one of these ideas. That's been around for a while Now- and it's met with some success in some places, but it certainly never been held up the way that you're talking about what makes you think that its attractive enough for people to want to use it and that it is ultimately scalable time. Banking holds that everyone's time has intrinsic value I do something for you for an hour. I didn't get a time credit than that. I can then give us Let us do something for me for an hour, and everyone can do something. Watch your kids or walk your dog
our moves, him trash or whatever the task happens to be so the obstacle to more widely. the option of time. Banking has been the administration because eat a person in each community who is like tabulating in keeping track of transactions? with technology this sounds like a job for the blockchain. Yes, so you could, you could have a public leisure blockchain I'm you could make this happen much much more easily, much more cost effectively and their p. I am happy to say who are working on technical solutions for this. Andrew Yang, believes that injecting all that undervalued work into the quote real economy would solve a couple problems at once. It would give people says to more the goods and services they need and cant afford and
boost morale by revaluing skills that the market no longer values. Yeah, that's right. I don't mean to be a sceptic or a cynic, but what makes you think that the best overseer of a boy? scaled up time. Banking or digital social currency is the government itself. I don't think so mean one thing I'll say: declare my friend, Andy Stern. The government is too at most things, but it is planet sending large numbers of checks to large numbers of people promptly and reliably and though the government would not be administering this at all mean that the best a garment be doing would be allocating social credits to various communities. Who could then have the credits flow through profits and Ngos and organ nations are closer to the ground and can administer it more effectively, but ultimately win. All those vendors wanted taken there, D, Caesar Digital social currency coins, whatever and Cashman for real cash. Its government. There come it's treasury, they're coming to the US area, so that
I got your government budget allocation, but the government, but allocation would be simply like proportional population and then each commute, it would be doing different things with it because, like something they'll be effective in Mississippi we're not necessary in Montana, Missouri so digital social credits and a universal basic income. These are Andrea thanks to most prominent proposals in its president. campaign. There course, many others, most of which a line with a standard, democratic platform. You can see them all at Yang, twenty twenty dot com IDA His most outlandish position, so most Landis. We we should have a psychologist in the White House, that's looking in the mental health of the executive branch because Does it make any sense to me that have that much power and responsibility without some sort of a mental health problem, No monitoring did you have this idea before the current presidency?
I always thought someone my brothers and psychology, professor, and so I think, would also help d stigmatize health issues and anxiety, depression around the country and to say look, we all have struggles that includes people at the top, the government, another thing, I think, is really important. Is that right now we expect people to be sort of martyrs of the internet government service, and then they turn around and become lobbyists to make a lot of money. So we need to take advantage of the fact that the government can pay much much more and then just require People do not go back to industry afterwards because you're, a human being, and you know your stint is gonna end in two or three years. You don't wanna, be too harsh on the companies, like it not paying you and give you lots of money later so you're you're arguing over four million dollar salary for the Us President yeah, because sure four presidents to mean it. If you're gonna get paid a quarter of a million by some company after you leave
There's just to show up and smooth and give a speech than human nature is like. Maybe I shouldn't be too harsh on this company and also it is raise- can go no effect of the president after me, like. I do not give us how much I get paid by the press, after me should get paid enough, so that we know that there does looking out for us and not gonna, just does speech it up afterwards. You happen to be the the a Craddock entrepreneurs, as would be President who happens to be running after the successful the pain of a republican entrepreneur as President who a lot of people agree his entrepreneurship and see your ship not contributed to a stable presidency or to a businesslike presidency, etc, etc. Does that not strike you as potentially terrible timing? Well reason why Donald Trump in my mind wanna, is hiding the fact that we ve blasted away all these manufacturing jobs that many Americans are desperate for some kind of change agent.
and, if you look at it, there's been a thirst for that not just with Donald Trump, but with Bernie Sanders outside success, even to some extent, with Brok Obama, Winning in await where the isn't that the United States have been casting about for some kind of change, because the You know that our government is failing us, And so Donald Trump is a terrible president, because he's a terrible president she's, not necessarily terrible president, because he was not steeped in our government for decades and joy you and entrepreneurs like myself, I'm a girl, Donald Trump as both marketing charlatan, so he gives us all a bad name. That goal is due to show it. He'll builders and entrepreneurs would do to solve some problems. If you were a bookmaker, What are the odds at your laying off
for Andrea Yang winning the presidency in TWAIN. Twenty, I think, the late I saw were. I was like two hundred one. Let's pretend for just a second that you don't win the presidency, but that you do impressed a lot of people with your energy and ideas and vision, and you are invited to run as weepy on the democratic ticket. One on things are running for president. Is your you spend time with other candidates on the trail? I might have some ideas, but my vision is that there is a set of patriots that are all heading two DC to try and save country. I plan to be in that group and it's as president fantastic if it's as vice president, also fantastic on problems, man problems, man really care the ceding chart you know ones when sentiments Ike hey what, if Joe Biden takes all your ideas, I would say: that's ban freakin task ache, like I'm, not some freaking like you know
is a person who is like measuring the drapes ends. I was sixteen or any of that, as you know like like keep this country too, are there for your kids and mine. In the roughly one year since we had that conversation with Andrew Yang, a lot of people have decided that he is not some crazy per with no good reason to run for president The young gang, as the supporters call themselves, has been steadily. accruing money attention and, like minded voters, we caught up with Yang again last week when he was in cedar falls island. He had just qualified for the next democratic debate to be held December nineteenth. So no disrespect You know that I respect and admire a lot of your ideas and diagnoses and and solutions, but when you started out You honestly think you'd still be around by now. No disrespect taken Stephen Mean,
one word to put money on the Yang campaign. Being One of the last campaign standing when does Nor so so. Senators governors in Congress, people have already left field idiot. I bet so in the roughly one year since we spoke tell me one thing in your platform that youve that's a double down and maybe one that you ve changed your mind or backed off from I've doubled on the freedom dividend of a thousand as a month and its chair, since we spoke last year where I believe at that point it was between eighteen, sixty four with the you're, standing that social security would kick in at sixty five, but after talking to thousands of Americans around the country. I real is that social security is insufficient to help Americans tyre with dignity and we have retiree crisis? We a retirement savings crisis? That's going to get worse for Americans.
of different generations ends oh now the freedom dividend goes eighteen till you expire and thing that convinced me of this is that many women who took time from the workforce to raise kids, have much lower social security benefits than others. Struck me as deeply unfair, so used He qualified for the sixth democratic debate and this one had the toughest qualification yeah and therefore we will also be the smallest, but I have to ask you in all, but one of the previous debates you have come in dead last in speaking time. In one case, it took thirty two minutes before you were asked a single question or got to contribute it also. What's the problem there are you not getting called on enough. I mean plainly you're not, but should you be interrupting? More should do not be so Sink in your answers. No, it's
a constant source of frustration, but where really excited that we're still on the debate stage, given that now the but has shrunk to seven and- yet more and more air time. You have a strategy for this six debate. We do have a strategy, though one thing that I think people of cot onto us Other candidates get rewarded with more air time for using rehearsed attack lines that invoke the name of other candidates, and then you have a tit for tat, spat an egg your airtime up, but at ten irritated alot of voters and servers, and I will say that No I've got less speaking time in some of these debates. We always had a really strong sort of support afterwards, regardless of how much I got to talk and I'm not naturally geared towards fake attacks and other people you have. If I did,
someone should be on the substance of a policy that they actually stand for. I have noticed that in debates especially you really seem to stick to issues rather than people which in politics seems too often fail. Unfortunately, are you saying you're willing to diverge from that a little bit and getting the man I'm willing to fight very hard for our vision of the country but fact is I respect and even environment in the other people on the stage, and even if, My advisers told me that we score political points by pretending that their terrible people- I don't think I could pull it off honestly so that you are a veteran of american electoral politics at the highest level. Let me ask you this. Some people argue that the Democrats and Republicans essentially a duopoly. That concludes really to perpetuate their power at the expense of the average voter. How much I agree with that argument. The two party
you are really is a major problem. At this point, more american self identifies independence than other Democrats are open. begins and as someone who has gone through the nomination process for a number of months now, it's easy to de how many Any candidates could not get through this democratic. Nominating process because they don't have a certain background or their ideas don't fit with the Democrats. Primary voters who may remain I represent Many many Americans I'm for rang choice. Voting in part, so we can have a more robust multiparty system and a man. please, don't fear they're going to court. I quote, throw their vote away if they vote for anyone that doesn't have a deal, our next, your name. A position or two of yours that you feel is most at odds with the current Democratic party unfortunate, I think, putting money into those hands is at odds with the Democratic Party, because the Democrats, a party
has a lot of faith in programmes and institutions where it's more like need a champion something like free college, even though only thirty three percent of us will go to college, then just putting cat in their peoples hands there's a mistrust of people in the day. chronic party that I frankly dont understand, because, I feel like people are the point: where do you think that comes from I think that over the last number of years, Democrats have become the champion. And of programmes and institutions, even as an Fortunately, many Americans have lost faith in Burma I was in institutions It's one reason to me why trump one is that he was saying something: many Americans agreed with, which is that d c est, observing the american people, the feedback mechanism is broken. people in DC will succeed whether the rest of us succeed or fail, and that message really
hit home for many many Americans and unfortunately the democratic response, seems to be this is not a problem. Trump is the problem and then the solutions they recommend seem like more layers of government and I am concerned that, if that's the primary message then we may end up losing the trump yet again in twenty twenty one. You think, is the single worst thing that President Trump has done during his tenure and then I'll ask it. May the single best thing is well among the worst, things he's done is really stoke. This feeling of racial divisiveness and xenophobia and as had real effects on families around the country that I've spoken to the fear is right. Oh and it's totally hateful and necessary the best he's done, is question Washington Orthodoxy around how we can move forward and solve problems. I do not mind the fact that he sat down with dictators
like him, John, and I think that you should have gone much more out of sitting down with them, then just a photo up, but the fact that he is questioning established practices to me is not intrinsically a bad thing. What do you make of this state the China trade negotiations well, I'm here in Iowa and I'll tell you. The farmers here have no idea why their business our being jeopardized by Chinese piracy of intellectual property. That has nothing to do with them. The sad part is that its, clear what really has been gained by this trade war, where get into this tit for tat and resolution. Is that you stop it? Stop it stop elevated maybe go back to what was it square one but then adapt when you have to ask what was the point: as all this damage being done. So when it comes to the american economy. Overall, trumps first term has been marked by record
low unemployment record high stock markets and at least a slight uptake and wages of which is tempered, of course, by a lot of trade uncertainty particular with China. Still trumps mess Judge, whether justified or not, is the economy, is strong and that he had a lot to do with that. So how to counter that claim? Let's imagine in a debate for a moment I would just tell american people the facts. They already know that you have read high levels of corporate profits, but also at record high. The United States of America right now stress anxiety, mental illness depression even suicides and drug overdoses, student loans at record highs and so you have to ask what good are corporate profits if people I literally die earlier, because surges and suicides and drug overdoses and Wendy Trump was running for president. He himself said the headline. Unemployment rate was fake news. It didn't work
Like the fact that millions were dropping out of the workforce but now he's president, somehow the number a real. He was right the first time and when I go around campaigning around the country, I can tell you how many heads, not when I talk about how there lived exe, periods has nothing to do with corporate profits that line unemployment rate or gdp. Data part of it, Stephen, is that we know that a lot of the headline economic numbers are due to the one Five China attacks cut the vast been George of which went to big companies soviet sugar rush because of an irresponsible taxes. you shouldn't be celebrating a mean. Anyone could have predicted that I hear this area for you. What if you continue to surge, but you end up not getting on the democratic ticket, is either prisoner vice president and that some Our trump asks you to run with him as VP. What do you do? I laughed at him? I say thanks, but no thanks, I get by the democratic, be Donald
mission. One is to get him out of office, I'm not going to Anything that increases the chances I'm sticking around for another four years, certainly not help him run. Tell you what, if I did become as VP, would like a w w e style thing? Why over the head with a steel chair? Take off my shirt. Turns out I've gotta, a Democrat Blue Jersey, on underneath the thing that would be hysterical bring me and we'd have a ceremony and animal. he's gloating to the press like taking off wherever Jack I have on, and then I pick up the steel chair in some quadrant of society. You are incredibly popular, for instance, I think if the presidential, some were being held on red it. You would definitely win. So I am curious about the demographics of your support. is what does your internal polling tell you about the areas where your particularly weak, who
voters that are not getting yanked. Yet the more people here about us in their campaign, the more they like us. And somewhere, weakest among voters who have not heard, because that was the kind of obvious and people at home heard from us tend to be older. They turn they be women. They tend to be people aren't getting their information from the internet. So we need to do more in the direction we these ten million dollars last quarter and increments. If only thirty dollars each and now spending that money Tv adds to reach Americans that are not on the internet, or on the EU to channels and monsieur pull numbers rise and rise in the days to come out? We ve been invest a lot of time and energy in Ireland, New Hampshire in particular, like. You should know that this, like three four or five percent, like we have a chance actually
intend and win this thing so before you have to go. Let's have a prediction November. Third, twenty twenty, who really truly in your heart of hearts and in your mind, who's running for president and VP on the d credit to get an who wins the election. This is going to sound like a cop out, but I think we're going to wind up with a very fragmented field at last, all through the spring and there going to be a bunch of us sitting together in a conference room in Milwaukee, trying to answer that very question, so it's very tough Romena forecast how that particular conference room conversation is going to go on, but it gives you a sense of how I think that the campaign is going to go where you have five or six candidates that each have based the support it's going to be very, very hard for anyone to get the fifty one person delegates that you need to be vote
as the nominee and so then Do you decide that's going to be one of them fascinating historic conversations in our country's history, and I planned to be at that table coming up next time. On for economics, radio, Stephen, I have a question angel Duckworth question for you, the author of grit and I sit down to ask each other. Some questions mostly failed to come up with answers, but in the process have a fine time. How many prince Charles is. Can there be in the room right, the thick time on free economics, radio for economics radios produced by stature in Dublin productions? This episode was produced by Harry Huggins, with the update handled by cyclopean ski. Our staff also includes Allison, Craig Little Gregg Ribbon met, Hickey, Cornwallis and Daphne Chan are in turn, is Ben, shame,
our theme song is MR fortune by the hitchhikers. All the other music was composed by Luis Gara. You can subscribe to for economics, and give it a nice rating. If you'd like any podcast app, our entire archive can be found exclusively on the stitched up or for economics, dot com, or we also publish, show, notes and transcripts. We can also on Twitter Facebook and linked in or be email at radio at for economics dot com thanks for listening, Teacher.
Transcript generated on 2021-01-18.