Andrew Yang: ‘We Need To Build A Trickle-Up Economy’

Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang exits the stage after speaking at the National Action Network's annual convention.
Drew Angerer / Getty Images

In an interview broadcast on Saturday, Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang argued that the United States needs to switch to a “trickle-up economy,” Newsweek reports.

Yang went on MSNBC’s AM Joy to discuss the current state of America, the impending economic downfall he claims will be caused by automation and artificial intelligence, and his own policy proposals.

Yang, considered an outsider, is the only presidential candidate to have entered the race to suggest implementing a Universal Basic Income (UBI) — his campaign refers to this policy proposal as “The Freedom Dividend” — of $1,000.

If Yang wins the presidency, he will make sure that every American receives $12,000 from the government each year, he claims.

Naturally, the candidate has a slew of policy proposals meant to ensure that every American receives their “freedom dividend,” therefore avoiding a fall into poverty caused by the impending automation of the workforce.

“Being a retail worker is the most common job in the United States and 30 percent of malls are going to close in the next four years because of Amazon sucking up another 20 billion in commerce every year. So we have to think much bigger if we’re going to build an economy that works for people.”

It is not undocumented workers that are to blame for the automation and outsourcing of American jobs like President Donald Trump has frequently claimed, according to Yang, the entire American economic system needs to be rebuilt.

According to Yang, the United States needs to make a transition to “trickle-up” economics. The movement is the opposite of so-called trickle-down economics, an economic theory that claims cutting taxes on corporations and the wealthy eventually “trickles down,” benefiting everyone. It was championed by the likes of Ronald Reagan.

“We need to build a trickle-up economy,” he said.

If elected, Yang would also seek to change the economic debate. According to him, using the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as the main metric to measure the health of an economy is wrong, as the GDP does not reflect the actual state of the economy.

“GDP is at record high, even as American’s lives are falling apart, so we need to move our economic measurements to things that are actually meaningful to us and our communities,” he said.

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Yang would, he claims, pay for his policies by implementing a new tax meant to affect corporations such as Amazon, Google, and Facebook, which have benefited the most from using automated technologies.

During his interview on MSNBC’s AM Joy, Yang extensively discussed what is shaping up to be his signature policy: Universal Basic Income.

According to the Democratic presidential candidate, implementing such a policy would not only create more jobs and ensure that those whose jobs have been automated live with dignity, it would also make Americans “stronger, healthier, better educated, mentally healthier.”