“Yang says he’s seen what massive unemployment looks like from his work as founder of Venture for America, a nonprofit that matches college grads with startups in hard-hit cities. Nearly half the manufacturing workers in the Midwest who lost jobs postcrash never rejoined the workforce, Yang says, and suicide rates are surging for middle-aged Americans “to the point where now our collective life expectancy has declined for the past three years due to deaths of despair, which include not just suicides but also overdose deaths.”
The version of UBI he’s proposing—$1,000 a month for everyone ages 18 to 64, with no conditions or restrictions and no work requirements—is meant to address this dystopian reality on a door-to-door level. Yang points to findings by UBI trials from the ’60s to the present that show gains in everything from graduation rates to mental health.”
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