I am unsure if y’all have heard of this Asian American but hey kudos to him in putting his hand up to run for POTUS (President of the United States) in 2020. His name is ANDREW YANG, 43 years old and has been reported as running as a Democrat. Yang has made the news for an interesting policy platform he will be running on – which also appeals to me as I am a supporter of “no strings attached” social welfare being an Australia. Yang has proposed that all American citizens between the ages of 18 – 64 should receive a Government check of $1,000 every month. This is called a Universal Basic Income payment (UBI), which Yang calls the “freedom dividend”. It may sound a bit fat fetched but if you read his campaign website, it actually makes sense. Yang states that the US has a lot of resources, it just isn’t distributed to the people effectively. Here is his reasoning via MSN News:

Why $1,000 a month?

Yang settled on the level of $1,000 a week for several reasons, he tells CNBC Make It: First, $1,000 a month was recommended by former Service Employees International Union president Andy Stern in his book, “Raising the Floor: How a Universal Basic Income Can Renew Our Economy and Rebuild the American Dream.” And $12,000 a year brings an individual close to the U.S. poverty line, says Yang, which is $12,752 per person per year for those under the age of 65, according to the United States Census Bureau. Plus, a $1,000-a-month UBI has been studied and modeled by The Roosevelt Institute, says Yang. (It could grow the U.S. economy by 12.56 percent after eight years if paid for by increasing the debt, says the left-leaning institute’s report released in August.)

Finally, $1,000 is low enough to help assuage a common criticism of UBI: that it will discourage people from working.

“It’s virtually impossible to do more than just survive on a thousand dollars a month around the country,” Yang tells CNBC Make It. “It would make a huge difference for families, but it’s not a level that would lead one not to work.”

To me that makes a lot of sense. And why should we dismiss Yang’s policy platform as he is no walk in the park type of person. Not only is he an entrepreneur, but he is also the founder of a business fellowship program Venture for America and author of “The War on Normal People: The Truth About America’s Disappearing Jobs and Why Universal Basic Income Is Our Future”. He believes that a UBI will also encourage entrepreneurship, as it will improve mental well being. And he is not alone in his policy. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has suggested  a similar platform in a Harvard speech he did last May as well as former  Service Employees International Union president Andy Stern in his book, “Raising the Floor: How a Universal Basic Income Can Renew Our Economy and Rebuild the American Dream.”

So how will this be funded? Well Yang has a solution for this as well – (via MSN News):

Under Yang’s plan, the UBI payment would be funded by a “new tax on the companies that are benefiting most from automation,” he says in a video on his campaign’s website.

That tax, he explains, would be a value-added tax (VAT) of 10 percent on goods and services a company produces. (Europe already has a VAT, with rates ranging from 17 percent in Luxembourg to 27 percent in Hungary as of Jan.1, 2018, according to the European Commission.)

The idea of a VAT will become ever more important, according to Yang’s campaign, “because you cannot collect income tax from robots or software.”

“Because our economy is so vast, this would generate between $700 and $800 billion in revenue,” said Yang on Reddit.

Yang points to a 2012 estimate published by Bloomberg that a 10 percent VAT would raise $750 billion. And a 2010 estimate by Eric Toder and Joseph Rosenberg of the Washington, DC-based Tax Policy Center, predicted the United States could have raised $356 billion in 2012 through a 5 percent VAT. At the time, that $356 billion in VAT was equal to 2.3 percent of GDP. Yang doubled the VAT in this estimate for a 10 percent tax, which equals $712 billion.

Eric Toder tells CNBC Make It a 10 percent VAT in the United States could raise anywhere from $500 billion to $1 trillion, depending on how broadly the tax is applied.

“I made a rough calculation that a 10 percent VAT with the same coverage as the average in other countries would raise about $500 billion per year,” says Toder. A typical VAT is levied on 50 percent of total spending on consumption in a country, according to Toder (who references “The VAT Reader: What a Federal Consumption Tax Would Mean for America” published in 2011).

Under Yang’s plan, current welfare and social program beneficiaries in the United States would be able to keep their existing benefits if they prefer.

To me it makes sense. I myself am an entrepreneur as well and I see the benefits of Yang’s plan. From reading his website I am a bit of a fan and am looking forward to following his campaign journey into the 2020 POTUS elections.

Images via MSN News 

To read the original article, please click on: 2020 presidential candidate wants to give everyone $1,000 a month