I’m Andrew Yang, and I’m running for President as a Democrat in 2020 because I fear for the future of our country. New technologies – robots, software, artificial intelligence – have already destroyed more than 4 million US jobs, and in the next 5-10 years, they will eliminate millions more. A third of all American workers are at risk of permanent unemployment. And this time, the jobs will not come back.
I’m not a career politician—I’m an entrepreneur who understands the economy. It’s clear to me, and to many of the nation’s best job creators, that we need to make an unprecedented change, and we need to make it now. But the establishment isn’t willing to take the necessary bold steps. As president, my first priority will be to implement Universal Basic Income for every American adult between the ages of 18 and 64: $1,000 a month, no strings attached, paid for by a new tax on the companies benefiting most from automation. UBI is just the beginning. A crisis is underway—we have to work together to stop it, or risk losing the heart of our country. The stakes have never been higher.
I was born in upstate New York in 1975. My parents immigrated from Taiwan in the 1960s and met in grad school. My Dad was a researcher at IBM—he generated 69 patents over his career—and my Mom was the systems administrator at a local university. My brother and I grew up pretty nerdy. We also grew up believing in the American Dream—it’s why my parents came here.
I studied economics and political science at Brown and went to law school at Columbia. After a brief stint as a corporate lawyer, I realized it wasn’t for me. I launched a small company in the early days of the internet that didn’t work out, and then worked for a healthcare startup, where I learned how to build a business from more experienced entrepreneurs. In my thirties, I ran a national education company that grew to become #1 in the country. I also met my wife, Evelyn, and got married. My education company was acquired, and with Evelyn’s support, I decided to take my earnings and committed myself to creating jobs in cities hit hard by the financial crisis. By that time I understood the power of entrepreneurship to generate economic growth, so I founded Venture for America, an organization that helps entrepreneurs create jobs in cities like Baltimore, Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland.
VFA resonates with so many people because it’s clear there’s a growing problem in the U.S.: automation is destroying jobs and entire regions are being left behind. For years I believed new business formation was the answer—if we could train a new generation of entrepreneurs and create the right jobs in the right places, we could stop the downward spiral of growing income inequality, poverty, unemployment, and hopelessness. VFA created jobs by the thousands and continues to do amazing work across the country. But along the way, it became clear to me that job creation will not outpace the massive impending job loss due to automation. Those days are simply over.
Once I understood the magnitude of this problem, and that even our most forward-thinking politicians were not going to take the steps necessary to stem the tide, I had no choice but to act. I’m the father of two young boys. I know the country my sons will grow up in is going to be very different than the one I grew up in, and I want to look back at my life knowing I did everything in my power to create the kind of future our children deserve—an America of opportunity, freedom, equality, and abundance.
I urge you to join me. No one else is going to build a better world for us. We’re going to have to do it ourselves. Together.
Andrew Yang is an entrepreneur and author running for President as a Democrat in 2020. In 2011 he founded Venture for America, a national entrepreneurship fellowship, and spent the last 6 years creating jobs in cities like Cleveland, Detroit, Baltimore, and Pittsburgh. When Andrew realized that new technology like artificial intelligence threatened to eliminate one-third of all American jobs, he knew he had to do something. In The War on Normal People (2018), he explains the mounting crisis and makes the case for implementing a universal basic income: $1,000 a month for every American adult, no strings attached.
Andrew was born in upstate New York in 1975. His parents immigrated from Taiwan in the ‘60s and met while in grad school at Berkeley. His father was a researcher at IBM and General Electric, generating 69 patents over his career, and his mother was the systems administrator at a local university. Andrew and his brother grew up believing in the American dream—their parents immigrated for a better life, chased every opportunity America had to offer, and taught their sons to do the same. Andrew studied economics and political science at Brown University, then earned a JD at Columbia Law School.
After five months as a corporate lawyer at Davis Polk, Andrew realized it wasn’t the path for him. He left the firm and founded an internet company that raised money for non-profits—like many of the first dot-com businesses, it didn’t last. When Andrew shut down his first company he was just 26 and still owed $100k in law school debt—but the experience gave him a taste for building things. He joined a wireless software company and then an early stage healthcare startup, where he learned how to build a business from more experienced entrepreneurs while working in a dozen hospitals.
At 31, Andrew became CEO of a boutique education company. Under Andrew, the company expanded nationwide and internationally, and earned the highest ratings in the industry. Soon, Manhattan Prep became #1 in the country, leading to its acquisition by a publicly traded company in 2009. Andrew stayed on as President of the company until 2011. During these years, he also met his wife, Evelyn, and got married.
With Evelyn’s support, Andrew took his earnings from the sale of the company and committed himself to creating jobs in cities hit hard by the financial crisis. By that time he understood the power of entrepreneurship to generate economic growth, so he founded Venture for America, an organization that helps entrepreneurs create opportunities nationwide. In its first year, VFA trained 40 Fellows; by 2017, more than 500 VFA Fellows and alumni have launched dozens of companies and helped create over 2,500 jobs across the country. In recognition for his work with VFA, the Obama White House named Andrew a Champion of Change in 2012, and a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship in 2015.
As Andrew traveled around the country to dozens of cities with VFA, he saw firsthand that new job creation could no longer outpace the job loss that technological advances like automation have continued to bring. Four million jobs have been permanently lost to automation, one-third of American jobs are currently at risk, and no one working in politics today is willing to do what it takes to prepare America for the greatest technological and economic shift the country has ever seen.
Once Andrew understood the magnitude of this problem, he knew he had to act. Now the father of two young boys, Andrew’s campaign is working to create the kind of country all of our children deserve. Instead of the future we’re heading towards—one of scarcity, fear, and despair—Andrew’s platform is designed to create an America of opportunity, freedom, equality, and abundance. It all begins with a Universal Basic Income for all American adults, no strings attached.
Watch his campaign announcement and join him in the fight to put humanity first.