The Phoenix Flyer

This presidential candidate wants to give you $1,000 per month

By: - June 27, 2019 4:23 pm

Andrew Yang, speaking to the media in Miami. Mitch Perry photo

What do you think about the president giving you $1,000 a month?

Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang hopes you like the idea.

Yang, a tech entrepreneur, is among the candidates hoping to break on through in tonight’s Democratic presidential debate.

He calls it a Universal Basic Income or “Freedom Dividend,” which would only be enacted as an amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

At a Miami press conference, the 44-year-old businessman said his universal basic income proposal, which he said Martin Luther King Jr. seriously discussed In the 1960s and is really no different than the monthly dividend that Alaskans receive from oil revenues.

“So that would be a win for us, where people will open their eyes and see what the possibilities for us are with a trickle-up economy,” he said.

Though the plan may seem radical, a version of it has been embraced by conservatives like Milton Friedman and Charles Murray.

Yang said he plans to focus on the loss of manufacturing jobs to automation in places like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri and other states.

“And we’re about to do the same thing with millions of retail jobs, call center jobs, fast food jobs, truck driving jobs,” he says.

Yang says his low profile has put him in a “great position in the debate because nobody’s going to want to take pot shots at me.”

While the rules to qualify for this week’s debates were met by nearly all of the 24 major Democrats running for president, the candidates will need to have 130,000 unique donors and achieve two percent in four polls to qualify for the next round of debates in September.

Yang says he’s already at 128,000 donors.


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Mitch Perry
Mitch Perry

Mitch Perry has spent the past 18 years covering news and politics in the Sunshine State, most recently with He worked for five years as the political editor of Creative Loafing in Tampa, and before that he was the assistant news director at WMNF radio, where he served as creator/anchor/producer of the hour-long WMNF Evening News. A San Francisco native, Mitch began his career at KPFA Radio in Berkeley in the 1990's.