What you should know about Andrew Yang’s plan to give every American $1000/month

Calvin Froedge
14 min readJan 26, 2020

How would you like to receive $1,000 just for being over 18 and existing, no strings attached? That’s the cornerstone of Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang’s campaign, and it’s receiving wide support across the political spectrum, but especially among Yang’s liberal technocrat base. Yang argues that due to an assault on the common man by computers and Wall Street, the only way to “save” America is by giving everyone money every month for no reason at all.

There is a lot of truth in what Andrew Yang says. Truck driver, retail, and call center operator jobs are being threatened by advances in automation. Some occupations which are very common may become less common in the future. Some big companies and rich people do pay less than their fair share into the system despite enjoying a controlling stake in the economy.

In this article I will deconstruct Yang’s plan and explore its effects.

How much will it cost and how is it paid for?

The total projected cost of Yang’s “Freedom Dividend”, according to his website, would be 2.8 trillion dollars. That’s 70% of the 2019 federal budget, a budget which is already 25% underfunded, and a whopping 13% of the current GDP.

Yang’s plan suggests “savings” of $327 billion, while the deficit would increase by at least $320 billion, a 30% expansion of the current deficit.

While Yang has tried his hardest not to label this an entitlement program (he insists we are all “shareholders” in the American dream), that’s really all it is. In his interviews, he has suggested that this “dividend” would encourage working class voters in swing states who voted for Trump in the last cycle to vote blue instead. Let’s call the program what it is: an attempt to buy off a struggling working class to the benefit of liberal hubs on the promise that “productivity advances” and “technology” can support them in…

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Calvin Froedge

Software developer, investor, energy markets analyst.