Free Money?


Photo Courtesy of Scott Morgan

Andrew Yang is on a mission to establish a universal basic income for all American citizens if he win the 2020 presidential election.

Amanda Chung, Photojournalist

As more and more candidates secure a spot in the 2020 presidential election, the American public grows more indecisive and anxious every second that goes by. Among the confirmed candidates from the Democratic side- Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, former Gov. John Hickenlooper, Gov. Jay Inslee, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Cory Booker, Sen. Kamala Harris, ex-San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, former Rep. John Delaney, author Marianne Williamson and former tech executive Andrew Yang- America is starting to see a shift towards diversity in politics. There is a plethora of different policies to choose from, and every candidate has established the main ones they hope to set into motion if they do end up becoming the President of the United States.

Recent polls have forecasted former Vice President, Joe Biden, as the leading Democrat in the race, but Bernie Sanders isn’t far behind. What people don’t talk about, however, are the candidates with less exposure and name recognition.

Andrew Yang, a first generation American, is a son of Taiwanese immigrants. He attended Brown University to study political science and economics and subsequently went to Columbia University for law school. However, he eventually decided to pursue a career in business and ended up founding Venture for America, a non-profit organization that helps entrepreneurs create jobs in cities all across the country. He has gained some political experience during the Obama administration, where he worked as a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship.

He has garnered support from not only the left but also the right end of the political spectrum. Many people love the key policy that defines his platform: Universal Basic Income (UBI), also known as the Freedom Dividend.

The whole idea behind this policy is that every American citizen between the ages of 18-65 gets $1000 a month, and they can choose to spend it on whatever they want.

Ashley Bui-Tran (12) thinks that Andrew Yang could definitely bring a fresh perspective to the White House, but is still unsure of who she will vote for in the primaries. “There are so many people to choose from,” she says. “I need to do my own research first before casting my vote.”

After receiving over 65,000 donations to his campaign as of early March, Yang is eligible to participate in the upcoming primary debates. As of now, he’s one of the lesser known candidates, but his unique policies and point of view could end up propelling him to the front of the race.