Giving $1,000 to every American citizen over the age of 18 is the key to bolstering unions, Andrew Yang said while answering questions at the Asian & Latino Coalition in Des Moines last evening.
“This becomes a built-in strike fund for every worker,” Yang said of his universal basic income plan. “If you’re really getting exploited by your boss, you can say, ‘I don’t need this,’ and then you can actually go home and figure things out without worrying about surviving. This is the kind of game-changer that labor needs because labor has been losing for decades on an epic scale.”
Yang noted that union membership has dropped significantly in recent decades, and have lost ground at both the state and federal levels. The best way to transform the negative trend is through the thousand-dollar dividend, he said.
“The best way to transform the rules of the game is to get this thousand-dollar dividend into everyone’s hands, which will all of a sudden super charge unions and workers, because then if management came and wanted to stick it to you, they know that if it gets too contentious and they go on strike, that your workers can actually survive for days, weeks, months and then that changes the tenure of all negotiations,” Yang explained.
The entrepreneur spoke to the crowd of about 120 gathered in Des Moines for about an hour. He spoke on a variety of topics, including what his slogan, “MATH” means. It’s an acronym for “Make America Think Harder.”
When Yang mentioned President Donald Trump’s immigration policies and the “send her home” chants that have been popping up at the President’s rallies, a man in the audience started chanting “send him home, send him home” about the President.
“Oh, we’re going to send that guy home, alright,” Yang responded. “We are going to send him to the golden toilet in the sky.”
Yang said Trump was elected due to his ability to acknowledge the problems Americans are facing, such as the closure of factories and automation of jobs.
“Unfortunately, his solutions were garbage and nonsense,” Yang said. “Here were his solutions: Build a wall. Turn back the clock. Bring the old jobs back.”
“We have to do the opposite of all those things,” Yang added. “We have to turn the clock forward. We have to accelerate our society and our economy as fast as possible. We have to evolve in the way we think about work and our own values in the 21st Century. And I am the man for that job because the opposite of Donald Trump is an Asian man who likes math.”
by Paige Godden
Photo by Julie Fleming