The Bully Pulpit Series at the College of Charleston hosted yet another 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidate. Andrew Yang drew quite the crowd of supporters for his discussion this past Friday, November 22 in the Stern Center Gardens.
Yang began the town hall by greeting his fans with a round of high fives before he joined the host, Professor Claire Wofford, on the stage. He expressed concern over the growing use of automation, “we’ve automated away four million manufacturing jobs in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Missouri, Iowa – all the swing states that Trump won.”
He then proposed a universal base income to help the country transition into the new automated age of labor. Under this plan, the government would give each American adult one thousand dollars a month to help them support themselves and their families.
Andrew Yang also prides himself of the political diversity of his supporters, many of which were former Republicans or identify as Independents. He credits this to the bipartisanship of universal base income.
Alaska, a Republican state, already practices universal base income and pays for it with money from oil. Yang plans on following a similar system, but instead of paying for it with oil he has suggested paying for it by taxing large companies like Amazon.
The universal base income program will also help to aid in many other areas of concern for citizens. It’ll assist in the integration of individuals who were formerly in jail, including those Yang is planning to pardon for non-violent marijuana-related offenses.
This will help balance economic disparity and foster environments of learning, which he believes will lower rates of violence. Victims of domestic violence and people who have to relocate due to climate change can use the money to escape their dangerous situations.
However, as Yang points out, “a thousand dollars a month is not a cure-all.” He’s an advocate for ending private prisons and ending the bail system.
When it comes to gun violence, he supports common sense gun safety laws, universal background checks, and red flag laws. This also includes a lower emphasis on standardized testing within schools, and instead focusing more on mental health. Finally, ending oil drilling and using those funds to invest in clean, renewable sources of energy.