freedom dividend

Gosh, it’s October and I already have election fatigue. I’m pleased there are so many potentially viable options among the Dems! That’s good news! Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Julian Colon, and I don’t know, maybe Andrew Yang? He could be a nut job, but man, I like the guy.

I don’t thank he’s necessarily a legitimate candidate, but I find his manner of speaking (just a normal dude) very appealing. When I was studying for an economic development project, all the consultants fretted over what they called Industrial Revolution 4.0, which made them nervous because we now have the ability to replace a lot of work with automation. Unlike previous Industrial Revolutions, there is fear that there will be no more jobs for certain sectors because they have now come up with artificial intelligence (robots) that can now simulate one of the unique things that humans can do: make decisions. No more jobs. More robots. Bad for people. So it was cool to see/hear a public figure reflect back what I’ve been reading.

He also sounds so crazy in other areas. Like in response to the gun crisis in the country, he said he’d add finger print recognition on every owned gun so that only the registered owner can use it — I don’t know. That felt too disconnected from most peoples lives for me. (Like how about no one has AK-47s? Like that feels kinda basic to me. Can we just see if we agree on that?)

But whatever, I’m not here to pontificate about any of the candidates, because what the hell do I know? I will vote for whomever is there in the end (Elizabeth Warren, please). I like when this guy responds to questions like a normal human. It’s been so long (actually, I have no memory of it ever happening) since I’ve heard someone normal at the podium. I actually love his Freedom Dividend idea. The concept is to give every American citizen $1,000 per month for one year. Yeah, I know, it sounds completely bonkers when you first hear about it, but I like his thoughts behind it — that it’s a way to help people deal with automation eating their jobs; that it’s not a ton, but just enough for a waitress to quit her job where she’s getting sexually harassed; it’s enough for a trucker to get off the road and buy a guitar and start playing in a band (true story); it gets to people who do invisible work like Yang’s wife who cares for their autistic son. This feels like an incredibly humane idea. And you know what is truly radical about it to me? It treats everyone equally — rich, poor, white, black, Asian, Latinx, Native Americans (who am I forgetting), old, young — everyone gets treated the same. There is nothing like that in our society. Nothing! So to me, this is a demonstration of true equality, and I think that scares the bejesus out of some.

Also? I like that he’s Asian and seems decent. I really like that.

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