Andrew Yang and UBI

I like Andrew Yang. There’s just very little about him that isn’t incredibly likeable. I like that he’s an entrepreneur, doesn’t wear a tie, and that he’s talking about Universal Basic Income. 

Considering that humans are forced to use this creation to meet our most basic of needs, I think it’s a good idea to arm them with the tools of survival so that the world needn’t be such a bleak place for so many people. Although many are concerned that people may not be driven to work as hard, I don’t think that’s such a bad thing, and for a few reasons.

Currently, the economy of exponential growth is not healthy for the environment or humankind. Since the majority of all we do goes to such a small percentage of the population and requires an endless endeavor to burn up every available calorie of human energy, drop of oil, chunk of coal, and moment of time, we should ask if all of the work we do is really worth it in the first place. After all, if the promise of the Industrial Revolution was to increase human leisure time, why do we seem so disinclined to embrace it? 

I would prefer to see the economy evolve rather than merely grow. I appreciate Yang’s notion that a slice of every Amazon sale could be divided among the people who both directly and indirectly provide the market in which Amazon can exist through a “freedom dividend”. However, I would also like to see digital transactions evolve beyond even that so that not only Amazon can direct its financially energy to care for the world in which it lives, but that individuals can as well. 

Although many have come to fear the concept of a true democracy as “mob rule” just as they have come to fear Big Brother, the Illuminati, and the apocalypse, I see the possibility to actually have one. Of course, I think it would still integrate the working components of the republican model while they are still necessary, and as the republic currently operates, it will incorporate aspects of capitalism, communism, and socialism, but I think that we can continue to create a more perfect union by developing a purer version of democracy than the siphon-up system of oligarchy  that currently prevails.

If everyone received a “freedom dividend”, there exists the technology to empower people to channel that money toward whatever that citizen wants to spend it on. I think that our economic democracy will empower citizens to do that with every unit of currency that comes to them, with every transaction, automatically. Ultimately, I think we as a society will be much better served by empowering our citizens instead of merely enabling the elite.

I don’t know if Andrew Yang has any sort of chance at winning in this old dog and pony show, but I due appreciate the conversation that he brings to the table.

30 April 2018; Andrew Yang during Ecosystem Summit prior to the start of Collision 2018 at Launch Pad in New Orleans. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Collision via Sportsfile

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