Presidential hopeful Andrew Yang is running on a platform of a universal basic income (UBI) of $1,000 per month for every United States citizen over the age of 18. He is already piloting this UBI — which he has branded the “Freedom Dividend” — with a couple in Iowa and New Hampshire. He will be testing it on another American that wins his Twitter contest when it ends July 4, as The Inquisitr previously reported.
It appears Yang’s vision is rubbing off on his supporters. Also known as the Yang Gang, they have taken to Twitter to give away their own money and commit acts of generosity to others. One user named Noah has been giving out “mini UBI’s” of $50 via PayPal, which inspired another — fittingly named Andrew Yang’s Hologram — to do the same. Others, like Tuan Phan, are showing similar support in their own unique way — Phan claims to have approached a couple in Taco Bell and taken care of their bill with one condition: they Google Andrew Yang.
The unique activism inspired by Yang’s campaign can be seen across Twitter. Many people post photos of their generous tips — sometimes $20.20 for the 2020 presidential election — along with notes encouraging people to look up Yang. Many of these notes are marked with the Yang campaign’s signature hashtags: “#HumanityFirst,” “#Yang2020,” and “#FreedomDividend.”
— Noah (@gurtsgardenia) June 25, 2019
Tell ya what, #YangGang … this morning, I've been inspired by another awesome member of the community (@gurtsgardenia). He's giving out $50 for some RT that he picks. All you have to do is RT and say what you will use it for.
I'll do the same.https://t.co/ZPZq7iT6a3
— Andrew Yang's Hologram ???????????? (@yang_hologram) June 25, 2019
I saw a couple in taco bell at the kiosk.
Me- hey guys, if I take care of this bill for u, can u do me a favor by googling @AndrewYang ?
Guy- alright but who's AY?
Me- he's running for president and he wants to gives everyone 1000 a month
Guy-alright I'll check himout#yanggang
— Tuan A Phan (@TuanAPhan1) June 25, 2019
While the money donated by Yang and his supporters is coming out of their own pockets, Yang’s plan for presidency hopes to pay for U.S. citizens in another way.
When speaking to George Stephanopoulos on ABC News’ This Week, Yang suggested a value-added tax (VAT) “that would fall on the Amazons of the world, and because our economy is now so vast at $20 trillion, up $5 trillion in the last 12 years, a value-added tax at even half the European level would generate over $800 billion in new revenue.”
— Gareth (@GarethUBI) April 12, 2019
Some critics of UBI point to Yang’s plan as a free handout. Brian Kilmeade’s reaction to Yang’s UBI during a Fox & Friends appearance is a perfect example of this reaction. But Big Think reports that in his book The War on Normal People, Yang goes deeper into his reasoning and why he went with the name “Freedom Dividend.”
“It’s analogous to a company giving dividends or money to its shareholders. No one regards that as a waste of money, because the shareholders theoretically are the owners of the company. Are we not, as the citizens of the United States, the owners of this country?”