Yang pushes 'Freedom Dividend' as solution to automation

Yang pushes 'Freedom Dividend' as solution to automation
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Democratic presidential candidate Andrew YangAndrew YangHillicon Valley: Justice Department announces superseding indictment against WikiLeaks' Assange | Facebook ad boycott gains momentum | FBI sees spike in coronavirus-related cyber threats | Boston city government bans facial recognition technology The Hill's Campaign Report: Progressives feel momentum after primary night Clinton, Buttigieg among Democrats set to hold virtual events for Biden MORE promoted his signature campaign promise of a $1,000 “Freedom Dividend” for all Americans during Tuesday's Democratic debate, arguing it would protect workers against the proliferation of automation.

Following Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersHickenlooper beats back progressive challenge in Colorado primary Progressive groups urge Biden to tap Warren as running mate Young Turks host says Elizabeth Warren should be Biden's VP pick MORE (I-Vt.) promise that if he’s elected president he would guarantee a job for all Americans, Yang said that would not cut it for people who are unable to work.

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“If you rely upon the federal government to target its resources, you wind up with failed retraining programs and jobs that no one wants,” Yang said.

He added that if the federal government were to instead give money to Americans, it would create a "trickle-up economy.”

"When we put the money into our hands, we can build a trickle-up economy. From our people, our families and our communities up, it will enable us to do the work that we want to do," he said.

Yang contends that automation is the driving force behind American job loss and says the federal government alone is not capable of reversing the trend by simply providing jobs. He added that the American workforce is also losing jobs to cheaper labor overseas.

Several other candidates on stage threw their support behind Yang's approach to universal basic income, with Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardFinancial firms facing serious hacking threat in COVID-19 era Gabbard drops defamation lawsuit against Clinton It's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process MORE (D-Hawaii) quick to applaud him for starting a discussion on the topic.

"I think universal basic income is a good idea,” Gabbard said. "Universal basic income is a good idea to help provide that security so people can make choices that they want to see."

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro said he was open to piloting something similar to a universal basic income “to see how that works."

Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerGOP senators debate replacing Columbus Day with Juneteenth as a federal holiday House to pass sweeping police reform legislation Police reform in limbo after Senate setback MORE (D-N.J.) countered that instead of putting $1,000 in everyone’s pockets, the minimum wage should be raised.