Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Friday, January 10, 2020

Fifty Reasons Why Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang Appeals to Both Sides of the Aisle (Incomplete)



Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang (NY)






Table of Contents


Part I: Introductions to the Candidate
1. He's Electable and Has What it Takes to Win
2. He's an Ordinary American, He's a Real Person, and He's Likeable


Part II: Yang is a Libertarian Democrat
3. He's “Libertarian-Ish” Because He Wants to Make Many Government Programs Optional or Voluntary
4. He's the Rare Type of Democrat Who Admits That Our Federal Government is Ineffective
5. He Supports Curbing Military Spending and “Ending the Forever Wars”
6. He Wants to End the Failed War on Drugs, Reducing Prison Populations and Enhancing Social Freedom
7. He Wants to “Automatically Sunset Old Laws” and Term-Limit the House and Supreme Court
8. His Presidency Could Result in Democratic-Libertarian Coalition-Building Against Republican Majority

Part III: Andrew Yang on Domestic Issues
9. He Opposes Abolishing the Electoral College, Supporting More Proportional Representation in States Instead
10. He Supports Ranked-Choice Voting, Which Gives Political Minorities an Edge Over the Party Duopoly
11. He Supports Other Radical Election Reforms, Such as Lowering the Voting Age and Democracy Dollars
12. His Approach to States' Rights is Straightforward and Unique: Make More States!
13. He Supports Two Pieces of Gun Control Legislation Which Compensate Gun Owners
14. He Respects the States' Rights to Continue to Make Their Own Open-Carry and Concealed-Carry Laws
15. He Wants People to Be Free to Sue Gun Manufacturers, Which Returns Power to the People
16. He Supports a Moderate Approach to “Medicare for All”, Favoring a Transition, and “M4A But Opt-In”
17. His Opposition to Circumcision Sparks an Important Conversation; and is Personal, Not Political
18. He's Intelligent on Math, Science, & Technology; He Will M.A.T.H. (“Make America Think Harder”)
19. He'd Be an Infrastructure President, Modernizing the Energy Grid and Building a Thorium Reactor

Part IV: The Freedom Dividend
20. He Understands That Revolutions in Automation and A.I. Will Bring Job Losses That We Must Plan For
21. His Understanding of Resource-Based Currencies (and Therefore Hard Money) is Better Than Most
22. The F.D. Will Save Capitalism by Increasing Personal Wealth and Private Property Ownership for All
23. The F.D. Isn't Mainstream Democratic Policy, and Will Show That Democrats Are Open to New Ideas
24. His Policies Will Result in Lower Taxes and Increased Economic Opportunity and Responsibility
25. He Wants to Simplify the Tax Code, Which Libertarians and Conservatives Have Wanted for Decades
26. He Admits That Earned Income Isn't the Best Source of Tax Revenue
27. The Freedom Dividend is Not a Stimulus, Nor a Bailout for the Elite; It's a “Bailout” for We the People
28. The Freedom Dividend is Constitutional Because its Universality Fulfills the General Welfare Clause
29. The Freedom Dividend Will Not Result in Any Net Growth in the Size of the Federal Welfare State
30. The F.D. Isn't Unaffordable; It Won't Result in Net Growth in the Budget of the Federal Government
31. Any Inflation Caused by the Freedom Dividend Will Be Unnoticeable, and Offset by Poverty Reduction
32. The F.D. Would Eliminate the “Poverty Trap in Welfare”, Smoothing the “Welfare to Work” Transition
33. The F.D. Won't Encourage Joblessness; it Will Spur Small Business Creation and Increase Wages
34. The F.D. Will Function as a Replacement and Substitute for Federal Minimum Wage Laws
35. The F.D. Will Increase Financial Stability and Personal Responsibility
36. The F.D. Will Return the Responsibility of Money Management to the People, Making the Dollar Public
37. The F.D. Could Cause Interest Rates to Fall; Perhaps Even with Minimal Government Intervention
38. The F.D. is Not Untested; a Similar Version of Basic Income is Already in Place in Alaska, a Red State
39. The F.D. Resembles Thomas Paine's Proposed Citizens' Dividend / Annual Stipend to All Adult Citizens
40. The F.D. Resembles the “Negative Income Tax”, Once Defended by Economist Milton Friedman
41. Universal Basic Income Has Been Praised by Libertarians Such as Friedrich Hayek and Charles Murray
42. Yang's Candidacy, and the F.D. and Similar U.B.I. Programs, Have Been Endorsed by Many Respectable Figures in Politics and Economics
43. The Freedom Dividend is Similar to the National FairTax's “Prebate”, Endorsed by Gary Johnson
44. The Freedom Dividend isn't “Free Money”; it's a “Refundable Tax Credit”
45. The Freedom Dividend Would Be Funded by a Value-Added Tax, Supported by Many on the Right

Part V: Conclusions
46. Receiving the F.D. is Fully Voluntary, and Paying Taxes to Fund the F.D. is Nearly Fully Voluntary
47. The F.D.'s “Move People to Higher Ground” Plan Would Help the Poor, Increase Economic Dynamism
48. The Freedom Dividend Could Do a Lot to Heal Racial Strife and Immigration- and Gender-Related Tensions
49. His Integrated Approach to Taxes, Big Tech, Data Collection, I.P. Job Loss, Automation, and Immigration, Prove That He Has a Comprehensive Plan to Move America Forward
50. His Presidency Will Usher-In a New Era of Nuanced Political Discourse, Because He's Not Perfect











Content




Part I: Introductions to the Candidate


Reason #1: He's an Ordinary American, He's a Real Person, and He's Likeable

     Andrew Yang is qualified to be president because he is a person to whom every American can relate; and also, just as importantly, agree with on many of the most pressing issues facing the country (such as job losses and lack of disposable income). Just as America is a country of immigrants, Andrew Yang is the child of immigrants from Taiwan. He is a Christian as well.
     Andrew Yang is also funny, fun, and popular. He has an energetic voter base, and represents disaffected Americans and voters from across party lines who are concerned about job losses due to changes in technology.


Yang with his wife Evelyn and sons


Yang with his brother and parents

     Andrew Yang grew up in Somers and Katonah, New York; in Westchester County. His parents are from Taiwan; they came to the United States in the 1960s. Yang is the son of a researcher and a statistician, and he comes from a family of professors.
     Yang's father, Kei Hsiung Yang, is a physicist who did research for I.B.M. and General Electric, generated about seventy patents during his career. Yang's mother, Nancy Yang, has a master's degree in statistics from the University of California at Berkeley, where she met her husband. Nancy Yang worked as a university systems administrator and an artist later in life. (Source: Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Yang)
     Yang has a brother named Lawrence, who is a professor in psychology, and the Yang brothers have at least three other relatives who also became professors. But despite Andrew Yang's and his family's love of knowledge and teaching, the Yang family has much more modest origins (and recent, too). Yang has said of his father and his own candidacy, “My father grew up on a peanut farm in Asia with no floor. And now his son is running for president. That is the immigration story that we have to be able to share with the American people.” (Source: Business Insider).
     Contrary to reports that Yang is from California, Yang still lives in New York State. He and his wife Evelyn have two young sons, one of whom is autistic (an issue which American parents are increasingly facing).
     Yang's pastor is Mark Mast of the Reformed Church of New Paltz, New York. Mast has conducted same-sex marriage ceremonies, and says he wants to lead a “twenty-first century church” and be “proactive” about serving the community.


Mark Mast


     Yang is seen by many as the “internet candidate”, given his appeal to, and popularity among, internet users. This is due to Yang's focus on job losses which he believes are caused by changes in technology. Such problems include the de-industrialization of the American Midwest, the rise of automation and artificial intelligence, and the rise of Big Tech giants who make profits sharing our internet data.
     With pundits and pollsters increasingly observing that non-voters are the biggest potential voting group, the importance of the fact that Andrew Yang's campaign invigorates and gives hope to disaffected Americans (many of whom are affected by these technology-related job losses), should not be underestimated.
     Yang's supporters – known as the “Yang Gang” – may be smaller in number than Bernie Sanders's, but Yang's supporters are every bit as youthful and energetic, if not more so. Yang's base, no doubt, has the energy, the stamina, and the staying power (in terms of continued support and fundraising), which is necessary to compete in a high-stakes campaign with the likes of Biden, Warren, Buttigieg, Klobuchar, etc..




Yang crowd-surfs at a campaign event


     Aside from Yang's viability and staying power, his personality attracts voters as well. He is charismatic and funny, and his campaign rallies have a reputation for being fun. Yang has been known to tell jokes, dance, crowd-surf, and play rap music at his events, and once he even fed his supporters whipped cream straight from the can.
     Yang's supporters have supplied him with endless memes (such as “Secure the Bagg”), Miami Vice -style neo-retro Vaporwave aesthetics and color palettes (rife with purple and gold), and even various hip-hop songs (as well as rap remixes which feature clips of Yang's speeches). Yang also sells hats on his website which feature the phrases “Yang 2020” and “MATH” (which stands for “Make America Think Harder”).




     Yang's sense of humor has been both an asset and a liability, however.
     When it was reported that a Saturday Night Live cast member had used two racial slurs against Yang, Yang refused to take it personally, and instead took the opportunity to criticize “cancel culture”. Most who commented on the story praised Yang for resisting the sometimes overly sensitive culture of political correctness, which many Democrats – and, most noticeably, left-leaning comedians – have joined the right in criticizing more and more in recent years.
     Yang has also been criticized for his whipped cream stunt, and he has been criticized by some Asian-American columnists for promoting stereotypes of Asian-Americans. Yang's use of the slogan “MATH” arguably promotes the “positive stereotype” that all Asians are good at math, and Yang's frequent comment that “The opposite of Donald Trump is an Asian guy who likes math” arguably does the same.
     But on the other hand, Yang has not promoted negative stereotypes of anyone; while positive stereotypes can be harmful, they are not as harmful as negative stereotypes. Moreover, Yang seems to be doing this on purpose; he is acknowledging that “cancel culture”, and being “overly P.C.” might be part of the reason why the left or progressive wing of the Democratic Party seems to be too sensitive about language to get elected, get anything done, and relate to ordinary hard-working American voters.
     This could just be Yang's way to remind people that he is the only viable Asian-American, and the only viable non-white, whom is running for the Democratic presidential nomination. If Yang didn't seem just a little bit “insensitive” about his own background, and about prevailing public perceptions about Asian-Americans, then he could just as easily be accused of promoting solely the interests of Asian-Americans, as he could of being insensitive about Asian stereotypes.
     The only person Yang is encouraging us to laugh at, is himself; he is not encouraging us to laugh at the rest of the Asian-American community. So perhaps it is best that Yang is fine with us laughing about this one “positive stereotype”; the costs of not doing so, could be losing a very intelligent candidate for president, who happens to be Asian-American. Even if it does happen to be one who “promotes harmful positive stereotypes about Asian-Americans” by using intelligence – and applying math, science, and reason - to solve problems.















Reason #2: He's Electable and Has What it Takes to Win

     Andrew Yang is qualified to be president; not only because he is legally and technically eligible, but because he is likeable, personable, candid, intelligent, and is on a trajectory to stay in debates, caucuses, and primaries (and potentially as long as he wants, due to his sizable fundraising numbers). Contrary to what some claim, Yang has known for at least a full year that his candidacy was going to be a viable one.

     According to Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution,

     “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.”

     Andrew Yang meets all of those technical, legal qualifications. He was born on January 13th, 1975, which means that he turns 45 on January 13th, 2020, and will be exactly 46 years and one week old on Inauguration Day 2021.
     Yang is a native born citizen of the United States. Yang was born in Schenectady, New York, and now lives in or near New Paltz, New York. Yang's parents were born in Taiwan, but they immigrated to the United States in the 1960s, at least five years before Yang was born.
     Yang has never admitted to being a dual citizen, nor a foreign national, nor a citizen of Taiwan. Yang has not publicized his birth certificate, nor has he been asked to, nor has he been asked to disclose whether he is a dual citizen of the United States and Taiwan. One right-wing site accused Yang of being a secret dual citizen, mostly due to the frequency with which he visits Taiwan. According to Yang's website, his official policy stance on dual citizenship is that immigrants should be allowed to be dual citizens as long as they have not committed an act of terrorism.
     There are no reports, nor statements by Yang, which would indicate that he has been anything other than a native born citizen of the United States, and a citizen of the United States alone, since birth, and for the last 45 years (as well as, of course, for the fourteen years required).
     Yang's age is, without question, not an obstacle for his candidacy, in terms of his technical and legal eligibility for the office of the president. Unless and until Yang's citizenship status and/or birth certificate are questioned deeper, for all intents and purposes, he is a citizen of the United States, for at least the fourteen years required, and is thus eligible for the presidency.

     Aside from Yang's legal eligibility for the office, he has numerous other qualities which make him electable. His affable personality and the simplicity of his main issues have made him a much more recognizable candidate than if he had stuck to “safer”, more mainstream issues.
     Yang has brought his two very memorable top issues – basic income and automation – from the internet, into the conversation and onto the debate stage. Yang made those issues almost inevitable to talk about; as Elizabeth Warren weighed in on automation, and Marianne Williamson agreed with Yang's call for basic income.
     Yang also has a winning attitude and solid fundraising. The $16.5 million which his campaign brought in, in the fourth quarter of 2019, means that he has the trajectory to stay in the race for months to come. His polling has also been steady, although low; [as of January 11th, 2020] he is currently polling between fifth and seventh place.
     The history of Yang's support levels in polling has been sort of a “tortoise and the hare” scenario; his support is low, as is its rate of growth, but it has never stopped steadily growing (and Iowa is no exception). Now that Amy Klobuchar's campaign has begun to tank in Iowa, and Yang's support numbers in Iowa have begun to “hockey-puck” up (that is, accelerate), it seems likely that Yang could easily become one of the top five candidates (along with Biden, Sanders, Warren, Buttigieg); perhaps even within a month or two [that is, after the publication of this article, on January 11th, 2020].

     Moreover, Yang has the intelligence and problem-solving skills to face America's most pressing issues, as well as the business acumen, the legal smarts, and the economic knowledge which are necessary to deal with the complex, multi-trillion-dollar budgets with which the federal government has to contend every year. As part of his mission to "Make America Think Harder" (M.A.T.H.), he has pledged to become the first president to deliver the State of the Union address as a PowerPoint presentation.
     While Yang likes to promote the idea that “The opposite of Donald Trump is an Asian man who likes math” is the key to beating Trump, I would put it another way. The best way to beat a failed businessman president, “political outsider” (and longtime friend of the Clintons), game show host, who gives out jobs as if they were prizes, and loves to fire people; is to nominate a successful businessman, who's a real political outsider, and brings his own “game show” element to the election by offering the “contestants” (i.e., voters) “free money” at the beginning of the next round of the game? And moreover, whether they decide to do taxable, legitimate work, or not? It's safe to say that most Americans would rather watch Yang's “game show” (i.e., presidency) than go through another four years of The Apprentice: Oval Office.
     I call Trump a “failed businessman”, by the way, because he has resorted to bankruptcy, eminent domain, and likely cronyism with foreign nationals, to make his money. Yang, on the other hand, has spent the majority of his career focusing on providing job training to recent college graduates in struggling cities, and helping entrepreneurs (with his company Venture for America, founded in 2011). Yang has also worked in the fields of health software and education startups. In 2012, Andrew Yang received the Champion of Change award from President Barack Obama, and in 2015, he was named presidential ambassador for global entrepreneurship.
     Now that many progressives' opinion of Obama has begun to sour, the fact that Yang didn't serve in the Obama Administration itself, serves to both distance him enough from the administration to satisfy its critics, and endear him to Obama's supporters enough to be considered a candidate well-acquainted enough with Washington, D.C. to serve in such an important position as the presidency.
     But that is not the extent of Yang's legal and political knowledge; so the fact that Yang has never before sought, nor served in, public office, should not alarm voters. Yang attended Brown University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and political science. He also attended Columbia University School of Law, where he received a J.D. (Juris Doctor degree). Yang also practiced corporate law for five months, before realizing that being an attorney was not for him, and that he wanted to focus on fundraising and startups.
     The fact that Yang has a Juris Doctor degree, means that he is qualified to teach law. This means that not only does Yang come from a family of professors; he could become a professor of law very easily. Most members of the U.S. House of Representatives have received a Juris Doctor; having such a degree is not a requirement for the office, but it has almost become customary. That is why the fact that Yang has a Juris Doctor is so important; it means he has much of the legal knowledge – and many of the political science and economic knowledge, from his earlier education – which will be necessary to handle the most complex and important legal, political, and budgetary issues. Or, at least, it means that he has just as much knowledge about the law as any congressman does, and is therefore qualified to talk about these issues, despite his relative lack of political experience.
     Yang is also the author of two books; Smart People Should Build Things and The War on Normal People.

     Yang, who will be 46 on Inauguration Day, will also have the youth and energy to stay healthy throughout his presidency (should he acquire the office), which voters are increasingly seeing as necessary. Especially so, given Bernie Sanders's recent heart attack, Donald Trump's weight, and the age of those two and Hillary Clinton.
     The candidate who wins this election, will have to be a candidate who excites the youth, and the best way to do that is by nominating a candidate who is likely to be able to live the four to eight years which are necessary to fulfill all the necessary duties of the office and to accomplish their goals.

Polling

Education
http://www.cnn.com/2019/08/28/us/andrew-yang-fast-facts/index.html
http://www.browndailyherald.com/2018/04/13/alum-makes-2020-presidential-bid/





Part II: Yang is a Libertarian Democrat

3. He's “Libertarian-Ish” Because He Wants to Make Many Government Programs Optional or Voluntary


Yang was the second-most right-libertarian-leaning
Democratic candidate who ran for president in 2020
(after Mike Gravel)


     Andrew Yang would make a great president, and a perfect president for this unique moment in time, because he is a libertarian-leaning Democrat. I say this because he wants to make many government programs voluntary or optional (including his own Freedom Dividend, and certain gun control laws). Also, unlike the vast majority of Democrats, Yang opposes the income tax, the federal minimum wage law, and job guarantees. He is also wary of moving to a "Medicare for All" type system too quickly.
     Additionally, Andrew Yang has name-checked Libertarians in the past, even mentioning them by name during one of the debates, when he listed sets of voters whose support his campaign is drawing. Yang joins Tulsi Gabbard as one of the few Democratic candidates to have proudly counted some Libertarians among their supporters.

     Yang's criticism of the federal government, his desire to draw down American military intervention, his stance on ending the War on Drugs, and his stances on limiting the federal government (through term limits and sunset clauses), arguably make him one of the most libertarian-leaning Democrats whom have run for national office in modern times (alongside names such as John F. Kennedy, Russ Feingold, and Mike Gravel).
     Many Democrats fear that posturing too far to the left could lose votes from the middle. That's why Democrats would be remiss not to instead try reaching out to Americans who vote based on a candidate's fidelity to the Bill of Rights and based on their respect of the civil liberties which it acknowledges. This is especially so, given the Democrats' and Libertarians' outrage at the president's flouting of the Constitution and his apparent lack of respect for Amendments II and IV (among others).

     Now that Donald Trump and the Republicans are in charge of the federal government, one way to beat him that should not be ignored, is the possibility of increased cooperation between Democrats and libertarians. Andrew Yang is in the ideal position to unite Libertarians, progressive Democrats, and neo-liberal Democrats against the Republicans, defeating Donald Trump in 2020 with a message of freedom and democracy.



Source

Yang name-checks Libertarians



4. He's the Rare Type of Democrat Who Admits That Our Federal Government is Ineffective

     Andrew Yang has made numerous statements which are very libertarian, or skeptical about government. At an event at Georgetown in February 2019, Yang said, “We have to be honest about what the market can and can't do. There are things that the market is exceptional at, there are things that impact investing can solve for... but most of the major problems of this era, unfortunately, in my mind, are non-market-based problems.” This seems to imply that either government, or technology, or both, is problematic more often than markets are.
     Yang has also said “we're taxing highly inefficiently” and “don't tax things you need more of”, which are notions about taxes that libertarians and conservatives have been promoting for decades. He has also used language such as “get the boot off someone's throat”, and has said that he wants to make every American citizen into an “owner” and “shareholder of this country”.
     Additionally, Yang's statement about going “not left, not right, but forward” is reminiscent of a statement which Ronald Reagan made during his presidency about going “not left, not right, but down” (i.e., towards freedom). So Yang certainly seems to understand tax policy, understand that we need a president who will reach across the aisle, and understand that the spirit of American freedom is about ownership and resisting tyranny.
     Yang has also admitted that government job training has a “very low success rate”, and he says that he questions the “worth” and the value of the government employing large numbers of people. Yang doubts that a “jobs guarantee” will help, but he says he agrees “in spirit” with the proposal, and thinks the Freedom Dividend will work better than a jobs guarantee. His opposition to a jobs guarantee should earn him some clout with the right.
     But Yang is not only skeptical of government; he is practically pessimistic about it. In 2019, Yang admitted during a video interview that he believes that "Government does most things badly". According to Yang, the one thing that the government does right, or best, is "sending a large number of checks to a large number of people". Yang plans to use this "one good thing the government does" to his advantage, enlisting the federal government to send checks to over a hundred million Americans every month (as part of his "Freedom Dividend" proposal).
     Although Yang's admission that government (for the most part) doesn't work, might get him some criticism from those who still believe that our government runs fine whenever Democrats are in charge, his pessimism about the federal government's ability to get things done, arguably makes him one of the most libertarian candidates vying for the Democratic Party's nomination for president.
     

Source

Yang: Markets aren't the problem






5. He Supports Curbing Military Spending and "Ending the Forever Wars"

     Andrew Yang has said on multiple occasions that we need to "End the forever-war". Yang told comedian-turned-political-podcast-host Jimmy Dore, "it's clear to me that we've gotten ourselves entangled in military interventions that have not served clear American interests." Yang has said that we must give the “ability to declare war back to Congress where it belongs”.
     Yang has also stated that "it's not America's place to decide what regime should be in charge of any given country, even if it's a country close to America". Yang believes that military spending is going towards "things that may or may not be making us safer", and he has advocated shifting "a lot of that military spending towards domestic infrastructure projects". Yang has even said that, if elected, he will repeal the A.U.M.F. (Authorization of Use of Military Force) which was enacted after September 11th, 2001. This would end the authorization to continue the (thus far endless) War on Terror.
     According to Yang's website, he wants to reduce military spending by $200 billion, a reduction of 26.7% from the current (approximately) $750 billion Pentagon budget. In 2016, Gary Johnson ran on reducing the military budget by 43%, so Yang's position on military spending could be described as not achieving enough spending cuts as the Libertarians would like to achieve. But on the other hand, some in the Libertarian Party feel that Gary Johnson was too radical, and feel that smaller cuts to the Pentagon could be a more pragmatic approach.



Sources

Military:







6. He Wants to End the Failed War on Drugs, Reducing Prison Populations and Enhancing Social Freedom


     Andrew Yang is one of the few candidates to have noted that America's life expectancy has declined three years in a row, and that that is largely due to suicides and drug overdoses, many of which result from depression, job losses, and mental illness.

     Many of the Democratic presidential candidates in 2020 have addressed a libertarian concern in promising to end the disastrous "War on Drugs", and have even noted that this war has made millions of prisoners out of addicts who belong not behind bars, but in hospitals or psychiatric facilities. However, Yang's attention to the impact of drug overdoses on the average life expectancy, arguably makes him the candidate who understands the problem of drug addiction the most deeply. Moreover, Joe Biden has only paid lip service to ending the War on Drugs, and was in fact one of the biggest "warriors against drugs" in Congress in the early 1990s.


     Andrew Yang's website says exactly what progressives and libertarians want to hear about the drug issue; that we should "legalize marijuana at the federal level". He also wants to remove marijuana from the federal Controlled Substances Act, and from Schedule I.

     Yang has promised to "Expunge the federal convictions of all marijuana-related use or possession offenses", "Identify non-violent drug offenders for probation and potential early release", and even "high-five" people released for marijuana-related offenses on their way out of prison. Yang is not a marijuana user, nor a marijuana promoter, however. He has stated "I don't love marijuana. I'd rather people not use it heavily. But it's vastly safer than people becoming addicted to opiates like heroin."

     Yang has stated that "We should proceed with full legalization of marijuana and pardon those in jail for non-violent marijuana-related offenses. It's a safer, less addictive way to manage pain [than opiates like heroin] for many Americans."
     While an Andrew Yang presidency would likely see marijuana legalized, Yang does not intend marijuana to be untaxed. Yang has said that marijuana could "generate tens of billions of dollars in new revenue based on legal cannabis businesses". He has also said that "unregulated marijuana leads to safety issues and lack of oversight", and has promised to "Provide regulation and oversight of the marijuana industry". So those who aren't satisfied with incremental reform may be disappointed by Yang's intention to tax marijuana to generate government revenue.
     Still, Yang is more "dove-ish" on the War on Drugs than most candidates in the Democratic field. He has stated that he wants to decriminalize not only marijuana, but also the possession of opiates (including fetanyl and heroin) in small amounts. He opposes legalizing the possession of cocaine, because opiates are causing more deaths, and because he believes that addicts need treatment, not jail. Yang would not fully decriminalize the possession of opiates, however; he would not allow addicts to continue to possess heroin if caught. They would be sent to a treatment facility and their heroin would be taken away, but the criminal penalty would be lighter or non-existent because they won't be sent to jail (unless they become violent).

     Yang wants to legalize marijuana as a way of improving "safety" and "social equity", calling criminalization of marijuana "stupid and racist", and noting that "Thousands of Americans, many of them minorities, are in jail for non-violent marijuana-related offenses". Yang thus seems to understand that ending the War on Drugs will result in harm reduction, which is arguably the most important goal in crafting a policy regarding drugs.

     Considering that sending addicts to prison tends to turn them into hardened criminals - and seeing the toll which the War on Drugs has exacted from countless, mostly minority families robbed of their heads of households - not only Democrats, but Republicans as well, are increasingly seeing the drug issue in terms of how we can reduce harm. And considering the high number of overdose-related deaths from opiates in recent years (especially in the heartland, and areas which harshly affected by job losses), drug addiction has lately taken a personal toll on more and more families each year. That is why an Andrew Yang presidency would be good for all of us; right and left, addict and non-addict, alike.






Sources

Drugs:










7. He Wants to “Automatically Sunset Old Laws” and Term-Limit the House and Supreme Court


     Yang has addressed a limited-government-minded concern in stating his desire to enact term limits, and to "automatically sunset old laws". Yang wants to term-limit the U.S. House of Representatives (but not the Senate) as well as the Supreme Court.


     According to Andrew Yang's website, he supports limiting members of the U.S. House to 12 years (the equivalent of six two-year terms). He sees this as a way to "bring fresh ideas to the debate", and notes that "Around 13% of the House will have served for almost 2 decades in 2020", adding "That's too long a tenure". Yang cautions that "With that much time, individuals can amass power that will lead to self-dealing".





     Yang also supports an 18-year term limit for Supreme Court justices. Yang notes that, since 1970, Supreme Court justices have served for an average of 26 years. Yang notes that "at the founding of our country" "Justices would often retire or resign well ahead of their deaths". Yang hopes that term-limiting Supreme Court justices will "return some level of sanity and balance" to the court.
     Yang's call for term limits of federal officials, in two branches of of government, addresses a concern shared not only by self-described libertarians, but by many Americans, going back at least as far as the F.D.R.-Truman era. This issue should especially attract our attention this election season, given the potential that young people will determine the winner. Young people's skepticism about career politicians will likely influence the outcome of the 2020 election to a degree which will be impossible to ignore.


     The "Automatically Sunset Old Laws" section of Andrew Yang's campaign website begins, "Congress is set up to pass laws. They're not set up to remove old laws." That statement (or at least the second half of it) is a quite libertarian statement, considering that most Libertarians are more interested in repealing old laws than passing new ones. But then, of course, passing new ones will be appropriate once we get rid of the old ones, and that is exactly what Yang is interested in doing.
     About the issue of sunsetting old laws directly, Yang's website reads, "There should... be a sunset period defined - a time during which, barring Congressional action, the law will be removed from the books." Yang's website continues, "After the defined period, a Congressional committee could hear testimony about how the law has met its KPIs [Key Performance Indicators] and, if it's still relevant and has achieved its goals, can decide to reenact it for another period of time. If it is no longer relevant, or if it has failed to achieve its defined goals, it should cease to be law." Additionally, one of the goals on Yang's website reads "Automatically sunset harmful, useless, or underperforming laws".

    Yang is not proposing a "Department of Eliminating Redundant Departments Department"; all he is proposing is a new congressional committee, to review old laws which come under consideration for repeal. It will be much less costly to do that, than it would be to try to create a whole new federal department, or a bureaucratic agency lying outside of Congress.
     Thomas Jefferson and Frederic Bastiat believed that if government programs must exist, then they should be temporary. It is obvious to many Americans that the government has become too unwieldy, is trying to do too many things, isn't good at many of them, and is enforcing too many laws (that are nearly impossible to keep count of). Yang's position on sunsetting old laws addresses this limited-government-minded concern.
     There is scarcely a libertarian alive who would call the automatic sunsetting and review of old laws a bad idea. These reasons, and more, are why Yang's idea of establishing a congressional committee to achieve this goal is not only a viable one; it could prove to be the most cost-efficient way to streamline the federal Code.



Sources


Term Limits


Sunsetting Laws







8. His Presidency Could Result in Democratic-Libertarian Coalition-Building Against Republican Majority



     Right now, the Republicans are the incumbents. Whether temporary or not, a coalition between Democrats and Libertarians just makes sense. Democrats and Libertarians have a mutual interest to stop Donald Trump from being re-elected. A coalition between Democrats and Libertarians will increase the chances that Trump will fail to receive a majority of votes in the states, and then in the electoral college (where it counts).
     Even if you end up voting for whomever the Libertarian nominee turns out to be in the general election, Libertarian candidates tend to have much more in common with each other than they do with the candidates in the other parties. Choosing a Libertarian candidate in the primaries will therefore be less likely to have an effect on the outcome of the set of candidates whom we will see on the final presidential debate stage in October, than a vote in one of the major parties' primaries will.
     Think about how different many 2016 primary races would have turned out, if some Trump supporters who knew Trump was certain to win their states, had voted for Bernie against Hillary in the Democratic nomination. Five to ten percent of Trump supporters would have had nothing to lose by doing that; Trump would have still been the G.O.P. nominee, and Hillary would have been defeated. Additionally, the many Trump voters who softly preferred Sanders to Hillary, would have probably gotten to see an in-depth debate on the key issue of trade, between Sanders and Trump, in the final debates.
     This is why - even if you don't think you're going to vote for Andrew Yang in the general election - you should still consider voting for Yang in the primaries, against his most formidable opponents in the Democratic primary. They are all less libertarian than Yang is, and most are less progressive than Yang is. Yang's presence in the Democratic field, and his potential presence on the presidential debate stage, provide a diversity of thought which is sorely needed in modern American politics.
     Finally, Trump is almost certain to be nominated for the presidency in 2020, unless he is defeated by a candidate who promises to run on "the problems that got Donald Trump elected in the first place" (as Yang has said he will do). This is arguably the only realistic way the Democratic Party will convert Trump supporters to Democratic voters.









Part III: Andrew Yang on Domestic Issues



9. He Opposes Abolishing the Electoral College, Supporting More Proportional Representation in States Instead



     Some Democrats, especially progressives and "democratic socialists", have increasingly been calling for changes to America's Electoral College, as well as to the make-up of the legislative branch (such as abolishing the Senate). Yang, however, takes the opposite position, preferring instead to adhere to the traditional approach which the framers of the Constitution intended.
     Andrew Yang has stated that he opposes getting rid of the Electoral College, and opposes replacing it with a popular vote system. He tweeted that replacing the Electoral College with the popular vote would discourage presidential candidates from visiting anywhere but the highest-population areas. This means, for the most part, the highest-population citiesespecially the "Bos-Wash corridor" in the northeastern United States (running from Washington, D.C. to Boston, Massachusetts), and the top 20 or 30 most highly and densely populated urban areas in the country.
     In May 2019, Yang tweeted, "The problem with deciding Presidential elections via popular vote is that candidates would naturally campaign in urban areas with big media markets and their policies would follow suit. Better to have proportional electoral college votes in each state so you campaign everywhere.”
     Yang's endorsement of the Electoral College shows that he understands why the framers of the Constitution laid out the system they did, and Libertarians who appreciate the pragmatism and workability of the Constitution should be able to appreciate that. Additionally, Yang's suggestion that "each state" have "proportional electoral college votes" is a compromise which those on the left (who demand that the Electoral College should at least be reformed, if not abolished) should also be able to appreciate.








Electoral College











10. He Supports Ranked-Choice Voting, Which Gives Political Minorities an Edge Over the Party Duopoly



     Andrew Yang supports enacting Ranked Choice Voting (also called Ranked Preference Voting or Ranked Preferential Voting), a type of instant-runoff election system which relies on simple majorities and a ranking system, rather than a supermajoritarian system or a first-past-the-post system.

     Yang says that, in our current system, "we sometimes wind up with extreme politicians" because "we have a one-round process that does not always reflect people's true preferences". Yang supports Ranked Choice Voting because he says it "would help reward candidates who command broad support and would lead to better results".




     Ranked Choice Voting would afford runners-up and third parties greater chances to get elected. In elections operating under Ranked Choice Voting, Democrats and Republicans whose second choice is a “third party” candidate, can vote for multiple candidates (including the nominee of the Libertarian Party) without any fear that their vote for the third party candidate will make their other votes count any less.
     Ranked Choice Voting would allow anyone who is interested enough to assign L.P. candidates any level of rank, the opportunity to vote for Libertarian candidates without caution, even if only as an afterthought. Thus, nothing about Ranked Choice Voting stands to negatively impact the Libertarian Party, nor any other third party.
     In fact, Ranked Choice Voting would help third parties a great deal; by making it even easier, and less limited, than it is now, for voters to participate in multiple party processes at the same time. Just as nothing stops voters from voting in one major party primary and even multiple third party primaries in the same election cycle, Ranked Choice Voting would give each voter the chance to vote for two parties or more, every time they vote; by ranking the candidates according to how much they support them.




Source

Ranked Choice Voting












11. He Supports Other Radical Election Reforms, Such as Lowering the Voting Age and Democracy Dollars


     Yang's proposal to lower the voting age arguably acknowledges a limited-government-minded desire to expand freedoms for the oldest and most mature among our young adults. Yang's proposal of “Democracy Dollars” also stands to limit the influence of money on our elections, which could potentially serve to limit government.




     In explaining his support for lowering the voting age, Yang has acknowledged that many 16- and 17-year-olds - many of whom are already working - are mature enough to make decisions that affect who decides what laws govern our nation. After all, those laws include labor laws, health insurance laws, financial laws, etc., which affect their relationships with employers, health insurers, student loan agencies, and others.
     Only half of the states in the country allow 17-year-olds to vote in primaries that will affect elections in which those same voters will be 18, and thus old enough to vote, on the General Election Day of that same election. It does not make sense that 17-year-olds should be denied the opportunity to influence the outcome of the election throughout the entire election. If a 17-year-old will be able to choose between the candidates on the final debate stage after they turn 18, then shouldn't that same person be free to participate in the process of choosing which candidate is nominated to appear on that stage in the first place? Why not let 17-year-olds vote?
     If that makes sense, then why not extend that to 16-year-olds as well? Just like 17-year-olds, 16-year-olds drive in all states, and many of them have jobs at that age. Sixteen-year-olds have the right of contract, and even of marriage, in some states. They have to attend public schools, too, and deal with public school teachers, which are paid for with our tax dollars. Shouldn't they have some say how the institutions with which they interact every day are run?
     Strategically, though, the Libertarian Party's support skews young, and it's likely that a large number of 16- and 17-year-olds becoming eligible voters will result in an uptick of enrollment in Libertarian Party membership. For Libertarians to support Yang on this issue can only help libertarians who want to increase political involvement. And for those libertarians who say they advocate increased political involvement among young voters, this is a perfect opportunity to prove that they mean it.
     Andrew Yang has also proposed “that we give every American 100 democracy dollars that you can only give to candidates and causes that you like. This would wash out the lobbyist cash by a factor of 8-1.” Yang hopes that “democracy dollars” will “wash the money out with people-powered money”.
     While limiting donations to political campaigns is not the preferred approach of those who believe that political donations are First-Amendment-protected free expression (as the government recognized in the case of Citizens United v. U.S.), limiting political donations is an overwhelmingly popular position. Furthermore, limiting the influence of money on our elections, could potentially lead to fewer politicians seeking office for the purpose of enriching themselves (which, if successful, small-government-minded people could get behind).




Voting age reform



12. His Approach to States' Rights is Straightforward and Unique: Make More States!


     Libertarians and conservatives are known for, among other things, their tendency to support the Tenth Amendment and “states' rights”. Andrew Yang takes a surprising and unique stance on states' rights, and one which we should have recognized as an obvious potential compromise between left and right a long time ago: Make more states!
     I say this because Yang's campaign published a graphic whose “states' rights” section contained two simple planks: Make Puerto Rico a state, and make the District of Columbia a state.




     On his campaign website, Andrew Yang states, "Puerto Ricans overwhelmingly want to be a state, and we should endorse this and make it happen." And he is right; 61% of Puerto Ricans voted for statehood in a 2012 referendum. Although the 2017 referendum was plagued with low voter turnout (in part due to anti-statehood advocates boycotting the election), a whopping 97% voted to support Puerto Rican statehood in that election.
     According to Yang, "Puerto Rico has been a part of the United States for over a century, and yet its people are still denied many of the rights of the full citizens because it is a commonwealth of the US instead of a full state." Yang is correct again; Puerto Rico has no representation in the U.S. House, only in the Electoral College. Puerto Rico does not even have a non-voting member of the House, like Washington, D.C. does.
     Yang says "Puerto Rico should be a state - they function as one right now without the political rights and bankruptcy protection". Libertarians ought to admire Yang's defense of Puerto Ricans' political rights, and right to self-determination, and representation of Puerto Rico's over three million people in the U.S. House of Representatives and in the Senate.
     If the Constitution remains the same under a Yang presidency, then Puerto Rico becoming a state will not cause the House of Representatives to grow (because the number of voting House reps is fixed at 435), but it will cause the Senate to grow by two seats. Although Libertarians may be concerned about Puerto Rican statehood potentially increasing the number of House members who belong to the Democratic Party, the Senate will grow as well, so the balance laid out in the Connecticut Compromise will still be preserved.
     The costs of two new Senate seats, and the bankruptcy protection which Puerto Rico would receive, may be a concern of fiscally conscious libertarians, but those costs pale in comparison to the benefit we will receive from finally acknowledging Puerto Ricans' full political rights as American citizens. Yang's attention to the issue of Puerto Rican statehood shows that he is thinking about how to help all Americans, regardless of whether they live in the fifty states, or in overseas American territories and commonwealths.

     While most proponents of increased authority for the states over their own affairs, tend to be libertarian or conservative or Republican, most proponents of statehood for Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia tend to be left-leaning and Democrats.
     Yang's proposal to make both territories into states, accomplishes both sides' goals at the same time: 1) giving self-government to underrepresented, majority-minority districts; and 2) augmenting the power of the states (and, in turn, the U.S. Senate) to check the power of the federal government and majority voting blocs.
     Yang's promotion of D.C. and Puerto Rican statehood as "states' rights" potentially even stands to inspire a whole new generation of American voters to consider whether giving states some of their authority back from the federal government could help solve any of our problems.





Puerto Rican Statehood











13. He Supports Two Pieces of Gun Control Legislation Which Compensate Gun Owners


     Statehood for Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia is not the only "states' rights" position which Yang supports. He also supports limited states' rights to make laws concerning the open and concealed carrying of firearms, as well as several other gun control proposals which are arguably optional or voluntary.
     Granted, Yang is in favor of many gun control measures, which could potentially be a sticking point for libertarians, conservatives, Republicans, and other voters who tend to value the Second Amendment. But on the other hand, increased gun control is overwhelmingly popular among voters. 
     So if anyone considering supporting Yang, is an opponent of gun control, but agrees with Yang on most other issues except this one, then they ought to determine whether they take any consolation in the fact that Yang supports gun buyback programs (participation in which would be fully voluntary).


     Yang advocates "responsible gun ownership with reasonable restrictions". Staunch pro-gun libertarians might consider that too onerous already. But at least two of Yang's gun control policies recognize the need to defer to the freedom from takings without just compensation, which is recognized in the Fifth Amendment.
     According to Yang's website, he wants to "Implement a federal buyback program for anyone who wants to voluntarily give up their firearm." This policy fulfills the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment even under the most strict interpretation thereof. It does not amount to unlawful eminent domain takings, because the person who relinquishes his property does so voluntarily, and receives compensation.
     Gun buyback programs are perfectly voluntary, constitutional, and in keeping with the spirit of the clause in the Fifth Amendment, which prohibits takings from private owners, for public use, without just compensation. Not only will those licensed gun owners who relinquish their guns be compensated, the government won't be taking anything from them at all. This is one piece of gun legislation which is participated in on a totally voluntary basis.
     Not only does Yang advocate a gun buyback program that will compensate gun owners, he also supports giving current licensed gun owners in good standing a "tax write-off for the purchase of any equipment required to adhere to the new standards".
     Yang's gun buyback program, and his plan to compensate licensed gun owners for the costs they will incur conforming to other gun restrictions, demonstrate an understanding that the relationship between individual citizens and government is supposed to be mutually beneficial, and that the activities between them should involve exchange of equal value. Libertarians who understand the need for mutually beneficial voluntary exchange, and voluntary governance, should agree with Yang on at least these two gun control policies (even if not on others).



Source

Gun Buyback Program









14. He Respects the States' Rights to Continue to Make Their Own Open-Carry and Concealed-Carry Laws


     Yang supports leaving the issue of open-carry and concealed-carry laws up to the states. As far as admirers of the Constitution are concerned, this is a nod to both the Second and Tenth amendments.
     Yang's deference to just compensation and voluntary participation, as part of his gun control policy, shows that he is thinking much more deeply about the Constitution, and freedom, than most of his primary opponents are. Lovers of liberty should recognize that, despite the fact that he supports gun control, Yang is trying to find areas of compromise, and he is succeeding.



Source

Gun Safety









15. He Wants People to Be Free to Sue Gun Manufacturers, Which Returns Power to the People


     Andrew Yang supports fining gun manufacturers. After the October 2018 shootings in Baltimore, Yang tweeted, “I'd start fining gun manufacturers $1 million for each person killed by their weapons. That would get more companies focused on how to keep guns out of the hands of those who would do others harm.”


     It's certainly fair to say that Yang's proposal to fine gun manufacturers "$1 million for each person killed by their weapons" isn't a very libertarian proposal. But it would not be unreasonable to suggest fining gun manufacturers if they knowingly sell to disreputable gun dealers. It's likely that that's what Yang meant anyway.
     Nor would it be unreasonable to suggest that gun manufacturers potentially be held liable for wrongdoing. Yang did not mention this, but according to 42 U.S. Code Section 1981, "All persons within the jurisdiction of the United States, shall have the same right in every State and Territory to make and enforce contracts, to sue", and other rights. According to iSideWith, Yang supports repealing laws that limit people's freedom to hold gun manufacturers liable, an idea which is completely consistent with libertarian and limited government ideals.
     Libertarians and Republicans should be mindful of this fact, and consider what is more important to them: the government's responsibility to make sure that everyone in the country has access to the justice system, and its responsibility to ensure that people who victimize them be held accountable; or the alleged responsibility of the government to insulate certain companies, and classes of companies, from being held accountable for their crimes.
     Any Libertarian or Republican who believes in our right to sue, and the right of the courts to determine whether gun manufacturers should be held liable, has at least 50% in common with Andrew on this issue. Legislators should not decide who can and can't be sued; Yang needs to understand that presidents shouldn't either, but Libertarians and Republicans need to understand that juries' powers should not be limited unfairly in the name of limiting government power.



Sources

Gun Liability














16. He Supports a Moderate Approach to “Medicare for All”, Favoring a Transition, and “M4A But Opt-In”


     There has been some controversy regarding whether Andrew Yang supports Medicare for All. Several weeks ago, he claimed that there is no such bill as a bill titled “Medicare for All”. Critics and pundits began to ask him whether he supports Medicare for All at all.
     Yang's official position seems to be the same sort of “Medicare for All, But Opt In” (that is, opt into Medicare after losing private insurance through an employer), and a transition to expanded Medicare inclusion. This sort of “middle position” on Medicare for All has been supported by the likes of Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, and Amy Klobuchar, and it has also been derided as supporting a leading line of questioning by Bernie Sanders and his supporters. However, Yang arguably explains this idea better than the other candidates do, which means that a transition to Medicare, alongside making Medicare optional, could still be in the cards.

     In an interview with the Globe Post, Yang said "A robust public option, and move towards a Medicare for All system."
     Progressive Resistance Media (RPM) reported Yang as having said in an interview, "I'm in the 'robust public option' Medicare for All [category], but don't eliminate private health care right off the bat." Yang said this in response to a question about whether he is in the category of "Medicare for All, or bust", or favors some sort of public option.
     Although Yang has been criticized by progressives for being willing to support a public option, and temporarily continuing to allow private insurance to exist legally, these could potentially serve as reasons that entice Libertarians to consider Yang.
     Although progressives might be hesitant to support making Medicare voluntary at first, this will allow a single government health insurance cooperative to compete against private insurers. Thus, people will have the option to buy either Medicare, or to buy from a number of private insurance companies.
     That means that Medicare would be opt-in, and thus, a truly optional "public option". And most importantly, it would stop short of eliminating all competition in the health insurance market altogether, which would provide a market basis for the price competition that government health insurance planners need to refer to in order to make Medicare financially feasible.
     And, as it happens - since maximizing the degree of cooperative pooling of purchasing power is the best way to counter-balance the selling power of large health insurance companies - a Medicare for All system is the most economically efficient way for large numbers of people to purchase health insurance affordably.







Sources

“Medicare for All, But Opt Out”

http://theglobepost.com/2019/03/08/andrew-yang-ubi/









17. His Opposition to Circumcision Sparks an Important Conversation; and is Personal, Not Political



     Andrew Yang's candidacy sparked a small controversy when he came out in opposition to circumcision, and revealed that he and his wife had decided against circumcising their two sons.
     In an interview with the Daily Beast, Andrew Yang said regarding circumcision, "From what I've seen, the evidence on it being a positive health choice for the infant is quite shaky." And that is correct; arguably, circumcision is medically unnecessary, first because it unnecessarily opens the body up to blood-borne infections, and second because it is only necessary when there is medical evidence that the penis is developing, or will develop, abnormally.
     Yang said that he wished to "inform parents that it is entirely up to them whether their infant gets circumcised, and that there are costs and benefits either way." He does not advocate banning circumcision.

     Taken together, Yang's opposition to banning circumcision, and his belief that circumcision should be "entirely up to" the parents, seem to suggest that Yang's opposition to circumcision may be motivated by an intent to make circumcision as voluntary as possible.
     Although he doesn't go as far as to suggest that circumcision should be entirely up to the patient (i.e., the baby), Yang at least acknowledges that parents should be informed that this decision is up to them. Moreover, the American Medical Association stopped recommending routine infant male circumcision more than thirty years ago, and many people are unaware of that fact.
     Yang has said "I'm highly aligned with the intactivists" (the colloquial term for modern anti-circumcision advocates). Even for those who support circumcision, Yang's enthusiastic support for parents' rights on this issue, shows that he understands that it shouldn't be the government's job to either ban anything outright, nor make anything mandatory either. And that seems to be a running trend in his campaign, alongside his other pragmatic center-left proposals.


Circumcision











18. He's Intelligent on Math, Science, & Technology; He Will M.A.T.H. (“Make America Think Harder”)



     As explained, one of Yang's slogans is "Make America Think Harder", abbreviated "M.A.T.H.". Yang's wisdom on scientific and technological issues, and jobs, make his platform what it is; but his intelligence in the fields of math and economics, show that he could do a lot to work towards solving our various budget crises and tax revenue collection crises.

     One thing that sets Libertarians apart from Democrats and Republicans is their understanding of economics. Libertarians pride themselves on having more knowledge of economics and economic history than the two major parties; especially in terms of 20th century American and Austrian economic policy.
     As someone who holds a Bachelor of Arts in economics as well as political science, Yang is proving that he is intelligent enough on economics to tackle things like his approximately $2.4-trillion-dollar universal basic income proposal. Moreover, Yang is probably the only candidate in the Democratic field who can give Bernie Sanders a run for his money when it comes to citing statistics about the economy.

     Libertarians should be able to admire Yang because of his attention to economic issues. The attention he places on economics and math is sure to inspire a lot of future economists attending our schools today. And more people studying economics, means more people studying Austrian economics, which Libertarians should be able to appreciate.





19. He'd Be an Infrastructure President, Modernizing the Energy Grid and Building a Thorium Reactor



     Andrew Yang's attention to science and technology make his potential presidency one full of promise that our nation's crumbling infrastructure will be replaced and developed where needed. Additionally, Yang is well-versed in space-related issues, supporting "space mirrors", and supporting increasing the budget of the space program. Yang also wants to change the way we do geo-engineering.
     Billionaire Elon Musk, the owner of Tesla and the founder of tunnel boring and infrastructure company The Boring Company, has endorsed Andrew Yang's candidacy. With Yang as president, and Musk as someone for him to bounce ideas off of while in office, we will likely see more and more of Yang's and Musk's ideas on technological advancement and infrastructural development during a Yang presidency; both with public spending and without. Perhaps Musk would even be so kind as to volunteer to privately fund some of the expensive projects which a majority of the public doesn't deem worthy to fund through taxation.
     Libertarians and conservatives should take solace in the fact that Yang has admitted that private space exploration has both pros and cons about it; this is a nuanced position that recognizes the need for private alternatives to compete with government alternatives for legitimacy.

     Yang's views on the militarization of space, and thorium reactors, could potentially cause some friction, however. Yang has also said that he supports a Space Force, because it would organize all space-related government functions into a single department. Whether the Space Force is useful is not yet a commonly discussed topic, so it's hard to tell whether Yang is right on this.
     Additionally, Yang has claimed that it will be less expensive to use thorium nuclear reactors instead of the uranium nuclear reactors currently in place, and he has claimed that it is impossible to make nuclear weapons out of thorium. Critics of thorium reactors (and of Yang's position on thorium), on the other hand, caution that there is no evidence that thorium is less expensive, and the byproducts of the thorium fuel cycle can be used to create material for making nuclear weapons. So it might prove difficult for Yang to make the case to the scientific community that thorium is safer and less expensive than the uranium reactors currently in place around the country.
     
     



Sources
Thorium













Part IV: The Freedom Dividend

20. He Understands That Revolutions in Automation and A.I. Will Bring Job Losses That We Must Plan For



     Andrew Yang has succeeded in forcing his big issue, the Freedom Dividend, to the forefront of the Democratic debates, as well as to the forefront of the nation's attention. That is because Americans understand the effect of job loss on our spirit and our morale, as well as our disposable income.

     Although candidates such as Elizabeth Warren have acknowledged the reality of automation, Andrew Yang understands, better than any of his rivals in the Democratic field, how the coming wave of automation will decimate the five most common jobs in America (which include retail and trucking). Yang has even memorized this list of jobs, and can recite them.
     Andrew Yang, unique among candidates for the Democratic Party's nomination for president, understands that even if someone doesn't do work which is taxed and licensed and permitted and legal, they still perform labor which is socially valued. Even taking care of oneself should be socially valued, because the more we take care of ourselves, the less others have to take care of us, and thus the less strain on society.
     Andrew Yang would pay people to do whatever they please, and whatever they see as the most desirable, according to their assessment of their own needs and wants. Taking care of children, taking time off of work to write or create music or art, and putting away small amounts of money for emergencies, all achieve households' goals without transferring any responsibility onto society to make sure they succeed.
     Except, of course, by "bailing them out again and again every month with a thousand dollars", if you'd rather describe it that way than giving people enough access to their national currency to ensure that they and their families will survive the next winter.

     By consciously proposing universal basic income as a solution to the job losses and stagnant job growth which will be associated with the next decade of unavoidable technological changes - and proposing to fund that basic income guarantee by taxing multi-billion- and trillion-dollar companies that sell our data and automate our jobs away - Andrew Yang has provided a very simple and direct solution to what is arguably the nation's biggest problem (a lack of money).
     But just as importantly, Yang is addressing the original problem itself; not the forces which caused the de-industrialization that led to the job losses, but the fact that it is extraordinarily difficult for an American citizen to survive if they don't have enough money (or any money at all). So why not give each American citizen $1,000 each month, just for being a citizen? Maybe even as compensation for being obligated to use the U.S. Dollar?



Sources
Automation







21. His Understanding of Resource-Based Currencies (and Therefore Hard Money) is Better Than Most


     Libertarians want their president to understand monetary policy, and the fact that money has to be backed by something. By proposing to tax billion-dollar tech giants, Yang has found a partial solution.
     Yang is pitching his "Freedom Dividend" in tandem with another idea: the idea of a "Tech Check". By taxing giant technology companies, Yang will increase government revenues, which will help to fill the budget deficit. This will help stabilize the U.S. Dollar, because we will be adding to the deficit less than we are now.
     While pitching the Freedom Dividend as a "Tech Check", Yang has encouraged voters to think of basic income funded by taxing technology companies as a way of taxing "the oil of the twentieth century". Yang says internet data is "the oil of the twentieth century", and he wants to tax "every robot truck mile" to fund the government and the Freedom Dividend.
     The fact that Yang touts Alaska's adoption of a basic income (the Alaska Permanent Fund) as evidence that his Freedom Dividend will be popular, shows that he is thinking about backing our money with truly valuable resources (such as oil and internet data). Yang noted that Alaskans can the income guarantee the "oil check". Yang even joked, during one rally, that "the oil of the twentieth century" is, in fact, marijuana.
     The fact that Yang is thinking about backing our currency up with real resources and real assets, shows that he is more likely to be able to understand the value of "hard money", i.e., backing up our monetary and financial systems with 100% full reserves, instead of the fractional reserve system and fiat currency which are in place today. Yang thus seems more likely than his Democratic rivals to be open to the kinds of hard money reforms for which many Libertarians, and capitalist voters, advocate.





Source

Marijuana-Backed Natural Resource Dividends

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12Bji4FRQ1o (watch starting at 14:55)









22. The F.D. Will Save Capitalism by Increasing Personal Wealth and Private Property Ownership for All

     Andrew Yang is running on what he calls "Human-Centered Capitalism". He says we are in a fight to "put humanity first". He has quoted Eric Weinstein, who said "capitalism is being eaten by its son, technology".
     Andrew Yang is not only the candidate who will save us from automation-related job losses (and maybe even a robot uprising); the Freedom Dividend could potentially save capitalism by restoring faith in that economic system.
     Andrew Yang has said that the Freedom Dividend is not socialism, it's "capitalism where you don't start at zero". So if increasing ownership, savings, disposable income, and consumer spending, is a goal of libertarians and conservatives, then they ought to be able to get behind the Freedom Dividend.




23. The F.D. Isn't Mainstream Democratic Policy, and Will Show That Democrats Are Open to New Ideas


     Universal basic income has not been anywhere near the mainstream of the Democratic Party platform for upwards of fifty years. That's how we know that Yang is not an operative of the neo-liberal wing of the party; universal basic income is too radical an idea to be of any value to the likes of the D.N.C., the New Democratic Coalition, and the D.C.C.C..
     The Freedom Dividend is not a mainstream idea, and that is why it is so appealing to disaffected voters, and voters from across party lines. Although a few progressive Democratic candidates for president have endorsed a basic income or similar proposal, it will be a much tougher sell for the neo-liberal Democrats who are running the party, since they don't understand it as well as Yang does.
     Yang's proposals widen the "Overton Window" of political discourse. His willingness to promote these proposals, demonstrates that he is not a tool of the Democratic National Committee (D.N.C.). His nomination would prove that the Democratic Party is open to new ideas.

24. His Policies Will Result in Lower Taxes and Increased Economic Opportunity and Responsibility


     Andrew Yang's Freedom Dividend would likely result in renewed personal financial responsibility, as well as economic opportunity. That's because, for the first time ever in many of their lives, people will be on a steady stream of income.
     Yang has acknowledged that people make wiser decisions when their income flow is steady; this is because they aren't as likely to be overworked, nor as likely to worry as much about their day-to-day struggles in a way that impairs their ability to make decisions easily and independently.

     It is unfortunate that conservative economists tend to downplay the extent to which tax revenue paid by ordinary people funds our governments; some even say that poor people pay no taxes whatsoever. That is far from the truth.
     Aside from people who hunt and forage to survive, most low-income Americans do not work, but have to pay sales taxes on everything they buy. The same would be true if we had a $1,000/month Freedom Dividend and a 10% Value Added Tax. That means that the highest taxes which would be paid by the poorest Americans, would be no lower than 10% of whatever they can't afford to save and have to spend, and no higher than 10% plus the sales tax rate in the state with the highest such tax (which in 2017 was just under 10%).
     If Andrew Yang becomes president and enacts a 10% Value-Added Tax, then any state that figures out how to eliminate (or significantly reduce) sales taxes, will help the very poor pay a tax rate that is almost as low as it is now. If the poor do not see lower taxes, then at the very least, in many states, they will see roughly the same level of taxes.

     But then, of course, if someone deems those taxes too high, then they can opt into receiving the Freedom Dividend for a little relief. What is a cash payment (or "subsidy"), but a "negative tax"? If you think in these terms, about the total amount of money changing hands between the consumer and the government, you realize that the effective tax rate for the very poor is lower (after the subsidy).
     By providing direct monetary relief payments to the poor, their effective tax rate will decline. The more the poor earn - with the opportunity to work, take the Freedom Dividend, or both - then the more the responsibility to provide for the poor's needs will fall to the poor themselves. Not only does this help the poor "pick themselves up by their bootstraps", it helps them afford to do so in the first place. And when they're done helping themselves, they'll help others, and invest in the community that invested in them long enough to become independent.
     The people in the best position to help the poor, are the poor themselves. Not because it's easy for them to do a lot of things, and afford what they need; it certainly isn't. The poor are in the best position to help themselves, because they know what they need the most, and know what they need to buy on a day to day basis better than a bureaucrat in Washington does.
     Andrew Yang understands that his plan will restore autonomy to people who have spent years navigating through complicated government assistance systems. His Freedom Dividend and Value Added Tax will put homeless people and very poor people back in the game, giving them the cash relief they urgently need to even have a chance to become healthy and well-equipped enough to work - and thus independent - in the first place.
     With the poorest Americans rehabilitated, and restored to a higher standard of living, the societal costs of taking care of the poor will be significantly reduced, leading to lower tax bills for the middle class. Thus, Yang's policies will usher in a new way of thinking when it comes to how to lift people out of poverty: by fighting the twin monsters of unemployment and a complex welfare system, with economic opportunity and responsibility.
     After all, if it's classic conservative logic that you're supposed to help a business until it's solvent enough to survive on its own, then why shouldn't we help poor people (with direct cash payments) until they're independent enough to survive on their own? They're not going to go from living on the street, or doing temporary work, directly to starting businesses and creating jobs; they need urgent direct relief, and a little time to buy what they need, before they'll even be up to the task of going to work in the first place. That's because many homeless and poor people suffer from poor nutrition, limited access to heat and clean water, and thus, limited ability to think straight and make sound financial planning decisions.
     Andrew Yang is likely the only Democratic candidate whom is aware of that fact, and whom is aware of the devastating effect which lack of disposable income has on so many Americans. Yang believes in giving people not only a second chance, but a "millionth chance", and he believes that giving people money will give them a reason - and the opportunity, in the first place - to be financially responsible.




25. He Wants to Simplify the Tax Code, Which Libertarians and Conservatives Have Wanted for Decades


     Andrew Yang has plenty of criticism for our taxation system on his website, which libertarians can appreciate.
     He writes, "At the beginning of each year, Americans dread the coming of tax season. The specter of needing to figure out the complex rules of the tax code hangs over each of us for the first third of the year, and most of us rush during April to come in under the deadline."
     He continues, "most of us dread paying taxes for good reason. None of us has time to figure out where the receipts are and what we owe, and we're constantly stressed that we're screwing things up or leaving money on the table."
     Yang also says that "75% of Americans receive refunds. For those Americans, they've been (essentially) giving the US Government an interest-free loan through most of the year. They'd be better off having access to that money at the time they earn it. For the other 25% of Americans, needing to find the money to pay their tax balance adds unnecessary stress to their lives."
     "Turning us into a nation of tax experts", writes Yang, "is a ridiculous waste of citizen time and energy." Yang's statements show that he understands that the taxation system is complex, and that it is a time-consuming burden on ordinary people. But additionally, he is the rare Democrat who recognizes that the government is not simply "holding onto our money for us"; we're lending the government money by letting them tax us. Essentially, the government is making money off of us. Can you name any other Democrat who has said such a thing?

     Although Yang's solution to the complexity of taxes is arguably not as libertarian as his diagnosis of what the problem is, he does not recommend additional layers of bureaucracy (nor more government employees) to solve the problem.
     Yang writes on his website, "The IRS should be able to tell us how much we owe and automatically file our taxes for us. Every time we do something that we think is tax-relevant, we should just forward it to a particular email address or account and it gets added in. Taxes are a perfect candidate for automation and artificial intelligence because there are clear rules to follow. Let's use technology to simplify all of our lives and focus on more important things."
     In regards to taxation, as well as other issues, Yang's dedication to allowing automation and individual autonomy solve part of the problem, while government solves the rest, show that he is consciously advocating for a drastically reduced role of government in planning our finances for us. That is something that should earn him respect in libertarian circles, as advocates of self-government and economic freedom.



Source

Income Taxes





26. He Admits That Earned Income Isn't the Best Source of Tax Revenue


     Libertarians should be able to appreciate that Andrew Yang has said taxing wealth and income are bad ideas. About Amazon C.E.O. Jeff Bezos, Yang has said that when Bezos owns stock and doesn't sell it, that is not an "act" in any real sense, and thus should not be considered a "taxable event".

     Lately, libertarians and conservatives around the country have increasingly come to view increasing sales taxes and consumption taxes as preferable to both income tax and property tax hikes. That's why Libertarians who support sales taxes, consumption taxes, the FairTax, and Value Added Tax (V.A.T.) proposals, should consider Andrew Yang's V.A.T. of 10%.
     Yang has stated that adding a V.A.T. on business would "generate $800 billion in new revenue",. He says the Freedom Dividend will increase spending and economic activity, while that spending will also generate an additional "$500-600 billion in new revenue from economic activity" spurred by the increased disposable income brought on by the Freedom Dividend.
     If you think about it, Yang's V.A.T. is arguably more conservative than the FairTax - and thus more conservative than the last tax policy on which a Libertarian Party presidential nominee ran - because Yang's is a 10% tax instead of a 23% tax. Yang is not ashamed of this fact; he boasts on his website that his 10% rate is half of the 20% average rate seen in many European countries.
     Yang's 10% national Value Added Tax - which bundles all the taxes that went unpaid by the seller, distributor, and manufacturer - is paid at the point of sale. The 10% national V.A.T., alongside states setting whatever sales taxes they please, allow at least some degree of freedom as to where people make their purchases, and in effect, how much sales tax they pay, and whether they pay duplicative sales taxes.
     This will likely lead to states competing for economic activity by lowering their sales tax rates, which many Libertarians would probably find a quite favorable situation; if not perfect, then, at the very least, preferable to the current system. True, the 10% national V.A.T. on all items would be unavoidable, but at least you would still be free to decide where you make your purchase, what you buy, and how much.

     Even if a mere 10% V.A.T. serves as a deterrent against purchasing, it is a modest tax rate, and if it achieves its intended goals, Yang's V.A.T. will avoid the "regressive" possibility of making purchase into a difficult and expensive choice for the consumer (at least not for longer than would be bearable). That's because it will have the effect of decreasing the number of needlessly expensive items which are purchased, because the V.A.T. adds the highest costs to the most expensive items. Conveniently, this unites the incentive to economize with the incentive to avoid taxes! And what Libertarian doesn't want that?
     Moreover, the V.A.T. is intended to provide an incentive to sellers, distributors, and manufacturers to pay their fair share of taxes. As a reminder, these are firms which have much more purchasing power than ordinary consumers, and which purchase a lot more items than ordinary consumers. With the V.A.T. tax in place, if a company tried to externalize their share of taxes onto the next company in the chain (and, eventually, onto the seller, and finally the lowly purchaser), then they would suffer decreased sales.
     Think of it as a sort of automatic punishment, visited upon them by the market, for the crime of unsound financial planning. We don't want to reward companies for avoiding price competition, now, do we?

     Andrew Yang has said that "we're taxing highly inefficiently" and has cautioned, "don't tax things you need more of". His aversion to taxing earned income, shows that he understands what Ronald Reagan's economic adviser Art Laffer understood; that the taxation of income has the effect of discouraging the earning of income, so that the taxpayer may avoid the tax.
     That's why Andrew Yang's opposition to taxing income, and his stance on taxes in general, make him one of the most libertarian-leaning Democratic candidates for president.





Source

Value-Added Tax






27. The Freedom Dividend is Not a Stimulus, Nor a Bailout for the Elite; It's a “Bailout” for We the People



28. The Freedom Dividend is Constitutional Because its Universality Fulfills the General Welfare Clause



29. The Freedom Dividend Will Not Result in Any Net Growth in the Size of the Federal Welfare State



30. The F.D. Isn't Unaffordable; It Won't Result in Net Growth in the Budget of the Federal Government


31. Any Inflation Caused by the Freedom Dividend Will Be Unnoticeable, and Offset by Poverty Reduction


32. The F.D. Would Eliminate the “Poverty Trap in Welfare”, Smoothing the “Welfare to Work” Transition


33. The F.D. Won't Encourage Joblessness; it Will Spur Small Business Creation and Increase Wages


34. The F.D. Will Function as a Replacement and Substitute for Federal Minimum Wage Laws


35. The F.D. Will Increase Financial Stability and Personal Responsibility


36. The F.D. Will Return the Responsibility of Money Management to the People, Making the Dollar Public


37. The F.D. Could Cause Interest Rates to Fall; Perhaps Even with Minimal Government Intervention


38. The F.D. is Not Untested; a Similar Version of Basic Income is Already in Place in Alaska, a Red State




39. The F.D. Resembles Thomas Paine's Proposed Citizens' Dividend / Annual Stipend to All Adult Citizens


40. The F.D. Resembles the “Negative Income Tax”, Once Defended by Economist Milton Friedman



41. Universal Basic Income Has Been Praised by Libertarians Such as Friedrich Hayek and Charles Murray



42. Yang's Candidacy, and the F.D. and Similar U.B.I. Programs, Have Been Endorsed by Many Respectable Figures in Politics and Economics




43. The Freedom Dividend is Similar to the National FairTax's “Prebate”, Endorsed by Gary Johnson




44. The Freedom Dividend isn't “Free Money”; it's a “Refundable Tax Credit”



45. The Freedom Dividend Would Be Funded by a Value-Added Tax, Supported by Many on the Right







Part V: Conclusions



46. Receiving the F.D. is Fully Voluntary, and Paying Taxes to Fund the F.D. is Nearly Fully Voluntary




     Yang writes on his website, "The IRS should be able to tell us how much we owe and automatically file our taxes for us. Every time we do something that we think is tax-relevant, we should just forward it to a particular email address or account and it gets added in. Taxes are a perfect candidate for automation and artificial intelligence because there are clear rules to follow. Let's use technology to simplify all of our lives and focus on more important things."





47. The F.D.'s “Move People to Higher Ground” Plan Would Help the Poor, Increase Economic Dynamism



48. The Freedom Dividend Could Do a Lot to Heal Racial Strife and Immigration- and Gender-Related Tensions



49. His Integrated Approach to Taxes, Big Tech, Data Collection, I.P. Job Loss, Automation, and Immigration, Prove That He Has a Comprehensive Plan to Move America Forward




50. His Presidency Will Usher-In a New Era of Nuanced Political Discourse, Because He's Not Perfect








Originally Written (in part) on April 2nd, 2019
and
Originally Published (incomplete) on April 2nd, 2019
under the title
"Thirty Reasons Why Libertarians Should Consider Voting for Andrew Yang in 2020",
and later changed to
"Forty Reasons Why Libertarians Should Consider Voting for Andrew Yang in 2020"

Edited and Expanded on April 5th, 2019 and January 10th and 11th, 2020