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 the Freedom Dividend, a universal basic income (UBI) for every American adult over the age of 18: $1,000 a month, no strings attached, paid for by a new tax on the companies benefiting most from automation. The Freedom Dividend 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.
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.
As president, my first priority will be to implement the Freedom Dividend for every American
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 commit 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.
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. I even received a few awards from the Obama White House, being named a Champion of Change in 2012 and a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship in 2015. 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.
We need to think bigger about the problems facing our country, and that is why I’m running for president in 2020.
I decided to take my earnings and commit myself to creating jobs in cities hit hard by the financial crisis.
We are experiencing the greatest technological and economic shift in human history, and it’s time that we address these problems head on.
Since we launched our campaign in The New York Times in 2018, millions of Americans have heard our message and thousands are getting behind our vision of Humanity First. It is a campaign of ideas, one that our country desperately needs to solve the most pressing challenges to ever face humanity. I hope you join our fight.
Together we can build a new type of economy. One that puts people first.