In a CNN opinion piece published on Friday, former presidential candidate Andrew Yang called for the Democratic Party to “embrace and champion” a universal basic income (UBI), the proposal that his outsider 2020 campaign centered around.
“$2,000 a month for the remainder of this pandemic would be a good place to start,” he wrote. “Universal basic income — a guaranteed, unconditional recurring payment for every American — is our future, and one that the Democratic Party should embrace and champion.”
Yang pointed to a recent IPSOS/Reuters poll that showed widespread support — three-quarters of Americans — for stimulus checks to aid the country during the coronavirus crisis. The 45-year-old entrepreneur argued that such financial aid would “enable” millions of Americans and begin the process of humanizing the current economy, which he has frequently argued is working against the benefit of many American citizens via automation.
The Humanity Forward founder also expressed his belief that Democrats have been losing support from working-class people who believe that the party has become overtaken by the “educated elite.” This direction, Yang opined, has driven many to lose faith in the United States government and its ability to address the needs of average citizens.
“The Democratic Party needs new solutions.” Yang wrote.
As reported by MarketWatch, the COVID-19 pandemic has fueled the push for UBI, which was previously viewed by many as a fringe idea that only gained attention following Yang’s presidential run. Ioana Marinescu, a University of Pennsylvania economics professor who has studied UBI, said that the pandemic has thrown many people “on the brink” due to factors outside of their control, which she believes has made it more evident that such situations can happen to anyone.
Stockton, California mayor and UBI advocate Michael Tubbs is currently running a year-long experiment that provides 125 people making under $46,000 per month with a $500-per-month payment.
“COVID-19 has not only exposed the economic fragility of most American households but has also disproportionately impacted Black and brown folks — some of the most vulnerable individuals in our communities.”
Tubbs claimed that UBI is a “critical first step” to providing Americans with economic security via a stable income floor.
As The Inquisitr reported, Yang is running similar experiments of his own using his non-profit, Humanity Forward, which was created to promote many of the proposals that his campaign pushed throughout its duration. Back in March, the organization doled out $1,000,000 in cash payments to 1,000 Bronx, New York City households, which was well-received by recipients.