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2020: Andrew Yang on the universal basic income and why he hates the penny


Tommy talks to Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang about why he feels a universal basic income is necessary as more jobs are automated, how he'd get his agenda through Congress, and why he feels America needs to leave the penny behind.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Welcome to POD save America. This is Tommy Vietor thanks for tuning in to the latest of our interview series with the two thousand and twenty presidential candidates. Today's discussion is with. Entrepreneur philanthropist Andrew Yang, he stopped medical media studios on Wednesday we spell about an hour talking about his proposal for a universal basic income talked about a whole bunch of people Questions that were going on and because It is my obsession. We did some foreign policy at the end he's of thoughtful good guy. He wore a hat. Said math on it. For the duration such got the video he actually gave we assigned version of the math hat, which I believe love it is wearing around the office thanks for tuning in give this one a listen! If you haven't subscribed pod save the world, I just I don't know wrong with you. I need you to need you to pause the app
drive to pod. Save the world, go back to parts of America listen to enter Yang? That's all I need. If you're a member of the Yang Gang- and you are angry at anything in this interview- please tweet at John Lovett- ok, here's a conversation. I would like to welcome to crooked media h, Q, Andrew Yang, a entrepreneur running for president, the democratic nomination in twenty two, great to have you here, it's great to be here, Tommy thanks! So much for having me uh straight from Iowa or you've, been here a couple days um, but I've been in L a for about a day, okay, cool! What's good to have you um, let's jump right into it! So Your kennessee is really been like laser focus on a big central idea, which is the need for universal basic income um and I want to get to that in detail, but I was hoping we could start with how you arrived at the need. For U B, I threw your work adventure for America. Can you talk to us about what that was and what you
yeah very much so so I started my career as an unhappy corporate attorney and then worked. Startups. I started my own business that flopped and then I worked at another startup and software and then became the head of an education company that well and was bought by a bigger company in two thousand and nine and in the wake of the financial crisis, I thought why we have so many talented people doing the same things in the same place is Wall Street Silicon Valley Consulting and I thought well- we need more people generating jobs and businesses in places like Detroit Cleveland, St Louis ham New Orleans. So I spent last seven years, helping hundreds of entrepreneurs create jobs in those cities as this organization, I started venture for America and It was during my time in these cities that I realized that we were automating away jobs much more quickly than we were creating them, particularly where the midwest the
we are concerned, and if you look at two thousand and sixteen when Donald Trump became President he won: Michigan Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Missouri, the Iowa, all states that weed automated away, four million manufacturing jobs in and working. Technology, you know that we're going to do the same thing to millions of retail jobs, call center jobs, fast, food jobs, truck driving jobs. So when you you, realize that we're in the midst of the greatest economic and technological transformation in the history of our country and the third inning. What is Donald Trump, then you think? Okay, what can we do about that? What's the what's the what's a realistic countermeasure and when I have a dog in it universal basic income was the most powerful response that we could adopt. And really universal basic income. The reason I'm running for president, so I listen to a ton of your interviews in preparation for this. Everyone includes a part where you just
the shit out of everybody about automation, is coming, I'm good at that. Can we can we just let rip on that? I want to hear all here. I want to see in person sure so the the five most common job categories. United States are administrative and clerical retail food service and food prep truck driving in transportation and manufacturing. Those five jobs comprise about half of all american jobs, they're all going to shrink very, very fast thirty percent of american malls and stores going to close in the next four years because of Amazon sucking up twenty billion dollars in business than the average retail were there's a thirty nine year old woman making ten dollars an hour. So if you think about her mall or store Closing. What's her next move going to be driving it? mark is the most common job in twenty nine states. In this country there are three one: slash: two million truck drivers, average age, four thousand nine hundred and ninety four percent male, and so, if robot trucks are hitting the highways in five to ten year,
what does that mean for them, as well as the over seven million Americans work working truck, stops motels diners in retail stablishment that rely on the truckers getting out and eating Google, just recently demo'd ai, that can do the work of an average call center worker and there two and one slash: two million million call center workers, United States. They make fourteen bucks an hour average and in high school. So when you start digging in you realize that we're going to automate away the most common jobs in our society and we're only in the of doing so I economics, and when you look in a textbook, what happens? What it to four million manufacturing workers who lose their jobs the but says they get retrained, rescaled, find new jobs and all is well yeah, but in real life, almost half of those workers,
left. The workforce never worked again and of that group about half file for disability, and then you saw surges and suicides and drug overdoses in those communities to the point where it's brought down America's life expectancy for the last three years in a row, which is unheard of the last time. American life expectancy declined for three years in a row was the spanish flu of one thousand. Nine hundred and eighteen It's been a hundred years and it's highly unusual for life expectancy in a developed country to decline even one year, let alone three. So if that's what happened? The manufacturing workers, it's clear that that's what's gonna happen to the retail workers, call center workers and on and on, and it's not just blue collar workers, bookkeepers accountants, insurance agents, financial visors pharmacists. There, many white collar jobs will also be upended by ai and you're. Already seeing this in many organizations, I spoke at at a group of ceos in New York, and I asked them how many are looking at having a I replace thousands of back office workers and out of seventy ceos. Seventy hands went up so this
not just an US versus them thing. This is a human thing and we need to wake up to the fact that is not immigrants. It is technology and then have meaningful solutions that will actually help America. This transition yeah. So was that scary didn't work, that's yeah! That's pretty scary, and it's also, you know, I think people may be here. Ok, robot truck coming. I mean it wasn't one of the first companies that uber acquired was a auto automate. Yes right so like this is something people are putting big money into oh yeah, the savings behind automating freight are estimated to be one hundred six create eight billion dollars per year and that's not just labor savings. That's fuel efficiency of moment utilization, because a robot truck never needs to stop a human truck driver has to get out for fourteen hours and go to sleep, the robot truck. Need to stop it would also save about four thousand lives a year, because that's how many people die in accidents with human truck drivers right now so
If you have one hundred and sixty eight billion dollars a year in potential savings, then that would justify investing tens of billions a year to try and make it happen right right. Ok, so, let's go just with a question like what is the universal basic income plan, you're, proposing the freedom dividend, well. The freedom dividend is a universal basic income plan where every american adult gets one thousand dollars a month, starting at age. Eighteen until the day they die, every american adult gives one thousand dollars, and then you get it. You can do whatever you want one thousand dollars a year and it continues until you expire. So I want to start by saying, like I really respected but the fact that you aren't you aren't just naming the problem of automation because I think every candidate out there is like automation is coming. People are going to be displaced, then we pivot back to so we need more retraining and all the things you've recommended that failed. I have some questions about the way the Freedom dividend works. If you don't mind indulging me could lay I'm I'm learning about this on the fly. So let's say I'm a truck driver. I make fifty Grand a year
here I get laid off because of automation. Yep I get a freedom dividend worth twelve thousand dollars a year. Aren't I still in a pretty tough spot? Economically, oh yeah, but right now so I'm running for president. I become president twenty twenty one. The dividends go out in two thousand and twenty two and then the truck driver looks up and says, wow. Apparently my job is going to disappear. Pretty soon it's not gone right now. So then I go twelve thousand dollars a year- but I haven't lost my job yet so, maybe not being a total see it like. You know President Yang's, like hey your job, going to disappear. You get one thousand two hundred year doesn't right right, so I save it and then, when my job does disappear. Three or four years later, I've got fifty thousand in savings. President Yang is appointed a trucker transitions are to take some of that one hundred and sixty eight dollars a year and put it towards new resources and opportunities for me and when I go home, having lost my job at Lee
now it's not an existential threat like it's, not that I'm going to fear for my very existence. I'm not going to take my gun and riot because tens of thousands of truckers are ex military and right now, if you said, look you're about to lose your life savings and you're being fifty thousand and going to go to zero, then then you'd expect some very terrible. Catastrophic of reaction to that, whereas like a militia for so what do you mean Ex military really talking about? Well, things of truckers in Indianapolis protested months ago. By doing something called a slow roll, so they started driving their truck slowly and gummed up traffic. That's the tire highway starts going forty five miles an hour now. What they were protesting was the digital monitoring of their driving time. They didn't like to pick up a timer, so if you take three and a half million truckers who in many cases suck their life savings into
a small fleet of trucks and then you say: hey you're, now competing against robot trucks that don't need to stop, then to me. It's entirely reasonable that some of those truckers will park their trucks on the highway in a place that that's going to really screw things up or even worse, though, like park, their truck, bring their guns out and say you know, the robot truck should not be allowed because in this case they feel like their very existence, might be at stake, so we're thinking like a post, automation, mad MAX trucker scenario, I mean like you're, worried about like actual violence, not just people losing their jobs. It sounds like yeah and you can see right now that again, you've had these wreck. Levels of suicides and drug overdoses in response to the decimation of acting jobs. It's only
at a before some of that despair ends up becoming externalized, and that would include violence. If you look at the first industrial revolution at the turn of the century, there were mass riots that killed dozens of people and is the equivalent of billions of dollars worth of damage, and this industrial revolution is projected to be two to three times faster and more other than that one. So if you were into history and you say: ok, this is what happened last time and this time will be two to three times worse than it would almost be surprising if there were not some form of violence another question I had about the freedom dividend so my standing is. It doesn't come on top of other welfare programs. To sort choose one or the other give to opt in so if you're getting social security ability insurance, insurance, food, food stamps, you a choice between the existing welfare state and the freedom, dividend guess question is why wouldn't you want to help the poorest people more like why structure this so Jeff Bezos gets the same
money as a homeless guy. So the lessons we took was from Alaska, which is had this petroleum dividend in effect for almost forty years and it's not means tested, everyone in Alaska just gets between one and two thousand dollars a year and no questions asked and because of that, it's politically popular um, and everyone sees it as just like something that they get has an alaskan? And so, if you want to get people in America excited about the dividend than having it be distributed across the board to every citizen seems like something I would become universally popular, I'm all for taking steps to try and see it to those who have a greater need in different ways and the freedom dividends not intended to solve all problems. You know it would channel. Tens of of dollars into the hands of american every day and anyone listening to this, you know one thousand dollars a month would be a huge difference maker in many many people's lives, but
To me, there are other things that we should do to help those who need frankly been more than any amount of money. I mean there are certain programs that you need to have in place money, Carol, but this to me is that the best way to the floor for everyone, and then we can attacking some of the other systemic issues of poverty in different ways. You ways, but wouldn't there's some argument for just sort of like finding some tearing say it cuts off after two hundred and fifty thousand dollars a year or five hundred thousand dollars. I mean I, I hear what you're saying in that. If you make a benefit universal, everyone gets it they're less likely to resent it, but I feel like you could maybe manage the cost. 'cause I've heard you about a costing, maybe two trillion or one dot. Eight trillion a year for the freedom dividend yet fully implemented mean it's that's pretty significant right. Insignificant, though you know- and you know I know this- is that, unfortunately, there aren't even that many rich Americans such that it doesn't even bring the cost down because of the way our incomes distributor, but one
The great things about not having means testing is that you destigmatize it. So it's not like. Oh I get it you don't. You know. You're gay to me somehow there's no rich to poor transp So it's truly universal. That's truly says something that everyone enjoys. Then you get rid of stigma and you also get rid of any monitoring requirement or need to try and under report your income or change in circumstances. Then there's no issue around timing of payments. So I love the I t c. The I t c is been created, fighting poverty, but thirty percent of families that should get the I t c, don't get it because of various in many. Straight of hurdles and there's also this massive timing of payments problem, because if I lose my job this year, maybe the tc will give me some extra money next year when it's tax time, but like I needed the money right now right now, yeah, so my understanding is the primary way you finance the freedom dividend this through a value added tax on tech companies like say Amazon, but a vat tax. So
sacks. They tend to be the really the most regressive form of taxation. Companies tend to pass those costs along to consumers. I mean those costs are likely to disproportionately hurt people who are poorer. So I asked my wife finance it that way. So in a vacuum like a value added tax does tend to be regressive because poor people to spend a higher proportion of buying power on consumer staples, and there are things you can do where you can tailor you can exempt certain consumer staples. You can have the that be higher on luxury goods in this case, because we're taking every dollar from the value added tax and putting it direct, do Americans hands and then adding another two dollars on top of it. Then it would be the opposite of regressive. It would increase the buying power for approximately the bottom, like ninety percent of Americans, who aren't making an sp
hundreds of thousands of dollars if you're the bottom. Ninety percent, in let's say you're you're, on welfare, you're, getting food stamps, so you're not taking the freedom dividend and then there's a vat on a whole bunch of things you buy, isn't gonna hurt you yeah, like uh in in certain situations. We have to do more to the easiest thing to do would be to take, and so I have a physician principle of do no harm. Last thing I want to do is stick it to someone who's, relying upon benefits or a fixed income, and so that the easiest thing to do is just to say: hey if you're on one of these programs or benefits we're just going toe scale up your benefits to a point where the that is immaterial to you. So I guess here is probably the important question I have is I mean? How do you think you can get this passed because I think not to be cynical, but you've been a government for bombing mission, a mission, a very cynical guy, he's got his wife like cutting deals for him and contest bad day, and I know I couldn't believe that it's just crazy, but so you know a lot of problems today. This is well
where is socialism? Whatever I mean? What's your plan to get this through? I guess you're also talking about proposing Medicare. For all I mean the cost of both is going to give people some sticker shock. Now so This is the the fun part of it is that when I'm present twenty twenty one. The Democrats, thanks to you all thank you, POD save America will be so pumped to have gotten Donald Trump out of there will be dancing a jig. You know in in DC and so every will be super excited about the dividend, because it's going to get more money into the hands of everyday Americans and make families and children stronger and healthy, and then on the conservative side, they're going to look at this and be like wait a minute. This is actually a big win for rural areas in red states that have been decimated by automation and a lot of their constituents will say what I don't like is government making my decisions, but this is actually the freedom dividend. This is
pro economic freedom, and so there will be at least some conservatives who will look at this and say well Alaska, past. Something just like this in Alaska is a deep red conservative state that was a republican governor. There there's some um native appeal on the conservative side because it feels like it's somehow in increasing people's economic autonomy. Now, that's not going to work on everyone, I mean obviously they'll be some Republicans were like I hate this. It's like a you know, massive government handouts, etc, but we don't need eighty. One percent of Congress really need fifty one percent, because this is just a bill like any other and so the dividend goes out. Then Americans be so pumped that the government did something that actually changes people's lives in such a direct, concrete way. That then, we'll be able to hopefully get some other big things done too. I mean I feel, like you're a
thoughtful, logical, rational human beings, Tronics man trying to apply those principles to a party that is lost it's mind. They are likely to call this like the death panel dividend right like they did with Obamacare Mitch, Mcconnell prioritized defeating Brock Obama in the reelection above saving the economy, giving people like Teoh, that's where my cynicism comes from is like I, I just wonder how we will get Republicans change their mind or, if you thought through, like what it would take politically to try to bring people over well. One thing I found is that cash is hard to demonize. It's like like, if you say, hey, I'm going to change your health care like oh death panels. Doctor is like it's gonna screw it up, but The asian man wants to give you money, a will trigger to be like. Oh, the money is going to kill you it's like food. Today I could have been demonized right and stigmatized. They I've been, and that's one reason why the dividends so powerful is because the food stamps
like it's like something for other people like you go to folks in various that countries, like so they're, getting something they're pulling one over on you this time. It's like everyone gets it chill out. It's going to be great and I'm already getting people from you know the like conservative end of the spectrum and libertarians and independence. It's in Iowa in Ohio have said to me that they actually hope getting someone like me when they voted for Donald Trump, which I take is like a very mixed bag is a part of it is like, oh no, but that part of it was like. Oh well, you're, going to vote for me. That's a win all right, I'm going to move from B. I if that's okay, no! talk about UBS die. I'm too high me look in topic. I learned a lot about it, so you you were at the I would Democratic Party Hall of Fame dinner this weekend along with yes, I'm well enough, your best candidate friends, I notice you kind of do you think Biden for missing the dinner you
He did that criticism in a tweet today. I guess he was at his granddaughter's high school graduation. Is that sort of like a weird thing, to attack him for well s o? When I I first did it and you look at the quote on quote attack. It was like you know, a joke. It was like. I guess Joe Biden really doesn't like to travel right, um and it just fuck me is really jarring that they were literally nineteen candidates there and everyone, but the front runner right sure and it was something of like this elephant in the room. So I just said like you know- hey like I guess your body- doesn't really like to travel very much and then and then you know from there. He said something about how, like he has values of a different kind that led him to attend his and I wouldn't begrudge anyone like making a choice not to attend an event. But there was like this implication yeah that was like he had somehow like. Made this decision that the other nineteen candidates like had not made, and so I pointed out, I was like look. Nineteen can
it's like nineteen candidates, have families like we all are going to miss stuff, and so it's fine. If you decide to miss stuff too, but you know it's like making, it seem like it was a a value judgment on his part that other people were making. I thought was like You know a little bit unfortunate. Truly. We have seen recently that abortion rights, which has been under assault by the Trump administration by the courts by States- Have you thought about how you would ensure that reproductive rights are protected predicted across the country? I think it's crazy that in two thousand and nineteen we have states passing laws that are bring us back to the stone age in terms of women's reproductive, so I want to protect women's reproductive rights, the highest possible levels and nothing in the constitution about the number of Supreme Court Justices. I think we should. Very, very much consider, increasing the number of justices, past nine and appointing justices that would protect women's reproductive rights. There
nothing off the table when it comes to protecting women's reproductive rights. For me, sir you're, the primary goal be to really think about packing the courts as soon as possible and and and preserving row or preventing it from being overturned in that way, yeah Yeah, that's right, and what about the sort of in training bro in legislation? Is that something you think we should pursue yeah? I I think that that's the the right move to, and you know I mean I understand that Americans have different feelings on this. I'm very much pro women's reproductive rights. I do not think it's the role of government to be pod. Save America brought you by simply get this guy's a,
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and in the culture agree, is available everywhere. Books are sold. I'm going to check this out gives it's wild that a couple of novels had this much impact in a negative way on our politics. I don't know what this is about me, probably nothing, but when I read the Fountainhead in high school, I did not know that it was a book about selfishness, greed. Right wing idea- I don't know any of the cutting Social serve just did. I was like it's a guy, it's an arc, it's about some architect when you were sitting around when you were sitting around the keg you weren't thinking about cutting social is not there very happy that, unlike alright that I had finished that book in ninth grade anyway, Paul Ryan The Trump administration talks relentlessly about immigration, if you're the nominee, I imagine that will be the attack every day. There'll be some caravan had it to your house or the border or whatever you know, whatever bullshit they make up.
But like that aside, you know there is also a massive surge of migrants coming to the: U S from so called central triangle: countries: um El Salvador, Guatemala. What do you would you do to reduce the flow of asylum seekers and fix that? I think people in both parties have you to be a broken system yeah, so the first thing to do is try and adequately resource the system we have, because if you go, if you go near the process, you see that we have a massive shortage of not just judges to administer asylum cases but case managers and facilities, and and border officers there. There was one thing I saw where there something like hundreds of unfilled job openings, because it's just hard for them to hire at in these stations. So one. If you have a process, you have to adequately try and resource and implement it, but the big thing are there, and this is one reason why cutting back international aid was so so destructive. It's like, obviously, if you're going to try and get people to migrate. Less of
even area. Then you try and support the the existing government and way of life so that people feel like they don't to migrate, hundreds of miles over dangerous conditions? for another opportunity that they have an opportunity closer to them. So you think about it. Using foreign aid as part of an immigration policy, yeah yeah. I think that would be the right thing to do. I've noticed like, as I was prepping for this. I I your voices in my head for our most of the time I was. It was magnificent frankly, but I've you've done a lot of outlets. Nontraditional stops in the democratic primary circuit like Joe Rogan Ben Shapiro, Dave Rubin, so there have been some reports that are unrelated to you and your candidacy that suggested that some of those guys are a gateway via Youtube to more radical fringe outlets like,
for wars or like worse um. Does that? Were you at all that that some of these guys, like the bench puros ah, could provide a way for people to find that kind of content? Or is that Youtube's problem? How do you think about it? You know But it's it's a really profound question and it's becoming all the more pressing in an age where right now socialism, and tribalism are surging into very. You know like, like tragic a murderous behaviors. And there's a guy named Jaron Lanier is one of the pioneers of the internet, and he said something that stuck with me. He said that the internet is more powerful at conducting negative ideas and sentiments than it is good ones so the Youtube controversy and clamping down. I mean it's so core, because if you have toxic ideas that are out there, they they can spread like wildfire and end up like leading people to. Ideologies. The conversations I had with various thinkers
as you say, it's like. I mean one of the things I'm how to do- and this also being very candid start hang out there weren't a lot of mainstream press outlets that were having someone like it was. The strategy is like actually, my strat is just to try and reach Americans and and if there was like someone who- to have me on. I do think that it's important if you're going to try and win a general election to try and reach people at different points in the political spectrum, I certainly would never go on a program where it was where I thought it was like a direct gateway to hateful ideologies. But this is one of the most pressing problems of our time- is to figure out how we can manage freedom of speech and first amendment rights with the fact that, unfortunately, the internet is highly conductive for toxic and poisonous ideologies. Yeah, so I mean I I
I think I've read that you don't agree with. I think Elizabeth Warren's proposal, for example, to break up some of the biggest technology companies, the books, Why is that? Am I right first in? Why is it you're generally right and This is not to say, I'm against breaking up tech companies can some of them. You should break up certain parts, their businesses and has gone really haywire in Silicon Valley, where the primary business model is to get bought by one of the behemoths. Now it's not like build a company for years, and you know, stand the test of time yeah, just like hey. If I become enough of a pest, then someone for some money at me and I'll get like they absorbed into the the Borg, innovation competition, it's best right, yeah yeah, so there are massive, is we should have some of these companies get quote unquote broken up in some respects? The problem is that, assuming that, if I break up, Amazon before many amazons that then competition will take hold that will improve. The situation, doesn't take into account some of the dynamics of technology market places, so the comparison
make. Is that no one wants to use the fourth best navigation app and no one is being anything. I was banging your name all weekend. Well, then you're the only way I on the day, I don't like what you see being is like. Who is the ceo? I don't I don't know it's. I think it's still division like okay got it so saying like hey it like. Are there quasi monopolies that need to be curbed. Yes, if I break them up into four mini versions of themselves, it probably does not solve the problem and what The problems that eyesight is that right now, our young people are in a mental health crisis with the anxiety and depression coincident with smartphone adoption and social media apps and my friend Tristan Harris says that we have the smartest engineers in the country turning super computers into slot machines and dopamine delivery devices for teenagers
Now, if you say hey now, Facebook and what's happened, Instagram have separate ownership structures. Does that make our kids less depressed, probably no impact, and so the the pre up so to me is not necessarily digging in solving the true problems that technology is causing, sometimes break up, breaking them up. Having them divest parts of business would be the right solution, but other cases you want to adopt different types of approaches. All right. I'm gonna ask Jeeves that answer later and see if it's right but like you know you look at her facebook right, they acquired Instagram, they acquired whatsapp. So suddenly they are by some major order of magnitude, the biggest messaging platform on the planet. Do you thanks a company like that. Well, let me ask this differently: do you think we should update our antitrust laws, yeah yeah, yeah yeah, so prices the wrong framework for antitrust, because a lot stuff there like
gouged you, like? I wouldn't dream of it might fight. That's give it to you to like absorb all your data and of it so so? Certainly, we need an updated framework and what I've been saying is we can't have 20th century solutions to 21st century problems and having a price. Competition framework is a 20th century solution and those are not the problems we face. Why you hate the penny. Because someone threw on at me when I was a kid and I swore I would get all the pennies out of the world now it's it's there's actually like there so economic and environmental rationale is to get rid of the penny like we, We spend more than one cent per penny on its production. Yeah we lose. I think it's something in the order order magnitude, maybe like, like twenty five million dollars a year and making pennies. What's the argument against getting rid of the penny, then It's one of the greatest things that's happening in this country is that inertia is taking over a lot of things where, like. Why do
lifetime appointments for Supreme Court justices when that clearly makes no sense anymore, like we should eighteen year term limits? Why haven't we inertia so why we are pennies inertia? And you know one of the themes of my campaign is that we have to examine things and say: look we can improve that. We totally should. Also, please about the environment because extracting copper like it it it. You know it did cost energy yeah. Well, if you hate inertia, you're going to hate the government I thanks for the heads up. There's like there's no more knowing question say you say: why do we do this and the answer is because that's how we've always just like come on? Well you know I I admire you and your team. So much when you did, you fought the fight. You know you spent time in Iowa and and like helping you get Obama elected and served in government, and you got a sense like I have friends who work the Administration of Administration,
and they saw what was going on in DC and and they're like holy cow, like the best of them were frustrated. You know and like I'm definitely ready to enter the frustration zone. You know when I become president with the knowledge that a lot of the stuff that we're gonna try and get done, it's going to be like a massive challenge because of the nature, the institutions of the um all right on the clothes of some foreign policy, if that's all right sure, so, President Trump um, it's fantastic president he's done a number on. Basically every alliance we have since taking office he's called into question, of NATO, we wouldn't reaffirm article five. You undercut the japanese and South Koreans and negotiations with N Korea have you thought how you would undo that damage. Is there like one hundred day plan to try to fix some of the damage has been done well.
The fourth candidate after burning Elizabeth Warren and one other to sign the end, the forever WAR pledge, which is that we need to try and push the power to declare war back to Congress, where it belongs in the constitute and having that is, like my one of my first acts, yes, the world be like. Oh, I get it. This president is different than the last one that I'm going to kind of the opposite, and so the second thing I Do is then go to our long standing partners and say America is open for business again that that guy's gonna to this guy and this guy wants to work with. You wants to rebuild long standing relationships and make it seem that we're reliable will be here for the the test of time. One of the things I said is that our foreign policy reflects how we're doing at home to me Donald Trump's, our president, because our way of life has been disintegrating for years. You know let life expectancy of incoming affordability, mental health crisis, like there's so much
despair and suffering and anger anger in this country, so much so that we ended up with this guy is president and then he's going on breaking partnerships and alliances around the world and everyone's like what the heck going on on with us. So my goal is to be opposite of Donald Trump. The opposite of Donald Trump is an asian man who likes math. Is it on your hat? It does say out of my hat and then it doesn't say that entire phrase. That would be a very long long crazy about that. But then the rest of the world, if you can imagine President Yang coming in like the rest, the world would be like wow, like America, has a very different leadership style and they'll find that I'm someone that they can work with. Would you repeal the AO math? Yes, I would that's one of the things that to me has been such like a concession of power in the part of Congress, and so it should be in is hand whether or not we go to war have any sort of military intervention and one pipe human mind, I know this one going to be tough. Not only do I want Congress to have the ability to declare war,
we also want one adult child of Congress to have to participate in whatever military action. We take because to me, though, something fundamental that, if you're going to send, because young men and women to into battle at least one one of your kids should also be going knowing that you want to return that authority to where it belongs, to Congress, wondering when you think it's appropriate to use military force, because, but forget Obama used military force in Libya to prevent what he thought would be like a catastrophic loss of civilian life in Benghazi that I think the near term rejected was achieved with a long term. Situation would be as a mass. He was criticized for not responding fast enough in Syria, after Saudis weapons, the so called red line debate I mean like how do you view when it's appropriate for the US to use military force to intervene,
this is one of the reasons why I think it's so important to have Congress actively involved with this. Is that if the people of United States and the Congress agree that it's the right do to to intervene militarily than that to me is like a huge source of popular judgment like in a way that's to me more powerful than if If an individual, even the present United States, thinks that it's the right thing to do in terms of principles, if you can avoid catastrophic loss of life and in a way that doesn't bog us down for years on end with an indeterminate timeline than that to me is like a more appealing use of military force, but even then I would push it to Congress and say look guys. This is what I think we should do like do. I have the go ahead because that's the way the constitution set it up, but I mean Congress is a bunch of cowards who don't want to take votes that are Diff
the population writ large is understandably and rightly reticent to get involved. World war one World war, two, if there's not presidential leadership, we're probably not entering those wars right I mean like they're, going to look to you, regardless of efforts to restore their authority. You know what I don't know if you, if you, if there's a conflict in recent history, you think that was just that made sense. That was appropriate, you know to me the times I get most excited about. It is, if you feel like you, can help maintain the integrity of society in some way or if there is it's not quite like humanitarian intervention 'cause. I know we're talking about military action, but it will mean, you know you could debate to sorry. No! No! I like that, if there is
the way that we can essentially prevent like a collapsing society or failed state? Those are the situations I'm most drawn to and I would be very happy to champion that cause in Congress and say: look if we do this. We can help preserve the integrity of this society in a way that's going to end up being very positive, not just for them, but for american interests over the long term or globally. I would love to make that case. So when I hit, when I imagine a near term failed state, I think Venezuela yeah is that an example of some place where you think it might be appropriate, particularly if there is a constituency in Venezuela that welcomes, you know that that sort of move
If I got you know unilaterally, I would not want to do it because I do not think it's the United States place to decide. You know the countries of other countries at all at all being that sort of outside force, but if there was a group in Venezuela which there may well be that says, look we do actually welcome welcome intervention because we need to try and have some sort of infrastructure. While we establish our new government or something along those lines that I would love to work with them on that there is anything about diplomacy I mean. Do you who are you sort of in I'll talk to anyone anywhere camp Obama was I mean? Let me say this way: do you think Trump's negotiations with North Korea, I've been appropriate or successful? I don't think his exact negotiations have been the way it go about it, but I do agree with the principle that it's very hard to get things done. If you're not willing to talk to someone
change them, and I also not a disorder who thinks if you talk to someone you're somehow endorsing their government or their approach to things. So my my first position would be. We should be engaging directly even with people that we might consider adversaries. So if you, if you win, would you re engage in those talks with I'm going on in North Korea, I mean clearly, the problem he's trying to solve is very real. In fact, it's gotten considerably worse, since he took office because the DIA estimates are making a new Nuka month. So something is going to come to a head at some point, just curious how you would approach what past presidents have. Is really like an existential threat to the US yeah and, like my sister in laws in Seoul right now I mean this is something where you know it's like. I have some personal to me. A lot of these actors are going to do whatever they think is in their best interest, and what we have to avoid is we have to avoid a situation where they think stockpiling nuclear weapons and acting erratically is in their best. Intro
and the best way to show them that it's in their best interest to scale down and possibly give up some of these weapons is to engage with them and say: look what's it going to take. You know right, because right now, unfortunately, some of them think if I don't have these weapons, the? U S would come in and oust me tomorrow on and you know, if that's the situation there, and then it gets more dangerous. Last question: um the New York Times wrote a piece suggesting you are too nice to be president or to run presidents was hoping you would roast me or somebody in the room just say something really shitty pick your poison. There's like eight people over there you could can go for. I don't like the look of that one No, what do you make of it? What do you make of a political process so cynical that someone could be could be too nice to run for president Well, I mean I appreciated the headline I was like wow, I'm a nice guy, because the the I have the campaign, and in life is just like: we have to
solve the problems that are making people's lives. Miserable and, in this case, had threatened to tear us apart, and so I don't particularly like to demonize people, I don't find it to be helpful or more productive, but no one runs for president in less. They have a deep fighting spirit. I would say you've been on the trail. You know what I mean like you have to go out there and make the case every day. Plus. I think a bigger asshole than than that particular journalist thought okay. So it's like I'd love for them to if they just saw me, you know like like, like a in other circumstances they might be like. I take it back. Alright, well we'll find a chance to correct them and again, thank you so much for being here. I really appreciate you taking the time. Oh thank you for the opportunity to me.
Transcript generated on 2019-09-21.