Michelle Rodriguez Says Andrew Yang Is Onto Something With UBI

Actress Michelle Rodriguez and Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang.
Theo Wargo / Scott Olson / Getty Images

Actress Michelle Rodriguez last waded into politics when she came back from a long Instagram break and appeared to attack Donald Trump and throw her support behind then-Special Counsel Robert Mueller before he was set to testify before House panels. On Sunday, she again talked politics, but this time lent her support to Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang and his campaign’s signature proposal: a universal basic income (UBI) of $1,000 per month for every American adult.

“It’s an intriguing concept, not the socialist idea I grew up hearing about at all. After reading this I realize this system forces capitalism’s evolutionary process because gives people choice where there wasn’t any,” she tweeted, adding that Yang is “onto to [sic] something.”

Rodriguez’s tweet referenced Guy Standings’ book, Basic Income: A Guide for the Open-Minded. Yang himself wrote a book called The War on Normal People that laid the foundation for his campaign and explored his belief that UBI is necessary to combat the increasingly automated American economy. He highlights the automation of the manufacturing industry, the failure of retraining programs, and the many Americans that went on disability following the shift. According to Yang, this same shift will hit truck drivers, call center workers, retail workers and fast food workers, and he believes the effects will be devastating.

“In places where jobs disappear, society falls apart. The public sector and civic institutions are poorly equipped to do much about it. When a community truly disintegrates, knitting it back together becomes a herculean, perhaps impossible task. Virtue, trust, and cohesion — the stuff of civilization — are difficult to restore. If anything, it’s striking how public corruption seems to often arrive hand-in-hand with economic hardship.”

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Yang’s campaign has gained success for its unique focus and his push behind UBI appears to be resonating with many Americans. Whether he will continue to see the same success remains to be seen — he is currently in sixth place with 3.3 percent support and still has a long way to go to break into the frontrunners. Regardless, he has experienced a steady surge in support and is set to appear in the October debate. In addition, he needs to gain just three percent or higher in one more DNC-approved poll to qualify for the November debate.

Recently, businessman Dan Price, the CEO of Gravity Payments who provides each of his employees with a minimum salary of $70,000 at the expense of his own, praised Yang and called on his fellow Democratic presidential candidates — Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Pete Buttigieg — to support UBI.