Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang is running a campaign that centers on the effects of automation on the current economy, its connection to the election of President Donald Trump, and his proposed solution: a universal basic income (UBI), or “Freedom Dividend,” of $1,000 a month for every American citizen over the age of 18.
A recent poll by Echelon Insights examined support for Yang’s UBI, as well as other Big Tech political issues, such as Elizabeth Warren’s proposed breakup of large technology companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon.
The survey uses Echelon Insights‘ verified voter omnibus from a representative sample of 1,000 registered voters — in this case, 1,006 to be exact — to gain political insights.
As posted by UBI advocate and Yang supporter Scott Santens on Twitter, the data reveals that among the sample of individuals polled, Yang’s UBI has 40 percent support and 43 percent opposition. In the case of this poll, support is defined as an answer of “strongly/somewhat favor” and opposition a response of “strongly/somewhat oppose.”
But digging deeper reveals that much of the support for Yang’s UBI comes from younger, Democratic voters that make the least amount of money. As age increases with wealth, and political affiliation moving to the right, support for Yang’s UBI declines.
When it comes to political affiliation, Democrats showed 53 percent support and 26 percent opposition for UBI, while Independents and Republicans were unsupportive overall. But Independents were much less strongly opposed, with 40 percent supporting it and 44 percent opposing it, compared to Republicans’ 22 percent support and 67 percent opposition.
Breaking down the numbers by age reveals that the younger population is much more supportive of UBI, and this support declines with age from 18 to 49. From 50 and up, respondents were unsupportive. Among the 18 to 29 group, 57 percent were supportive and 28 percent were opposed, while the 30 to 39 group showed 53 percent support and 26 percent opposition — a slight change. But the 40 to 49 age group is more split, with 44 percent supportive of the proposal and 33 percent opposed.
Within the 50 to 64 age group is when support turns to opposition, with 36 percent supportive and 42 percent opposed. Among respondents 65 and older, just 19 percent were supportive of UBI, and 68 percent were opposed.
In terms of salary, respondents earning under $50,000 are supportive of UBI, while those making over this number are unsupportive. Interestingly, the most robust support — 58 percent compared to 32 percent opposition — comes from people making $30,000 to $49,000. This support is slightly more than respondents making less than $30,000, who showed 52 percent support and 23 percent opposition. The lowest support was among people making more than $125,000, who showed just 21 percent support and 61 percent opposition.