Democratic presidential hopeful Andrew Yang said Tuesday his idea to give Americans a universal basic income of $1,000 a month would be a “game changer.”
Yang, who has centered his campaign around the policy proposal, told CNN’s John Berman on “New Day” that the plan would spur economic growth and create new jobs to supplement ones lost to automation.
“If you get pushed out of a job by automation, how is $12,000 a year going to change your life?” Berman asked.
“Well, I’ve looked at the numbers around the country and I’ve spent the last seven years helping create several thousand jobs in the Midwest and the South. And so $1,000 a month would be a game-changer for tens of millions of Americans,” Yang replied, adding that a universal basic income would add jobs “because of the economic activity.”
“It would make our labor force much more dynamic,” he said.
Yang, who believes automation is “very much so” a threat to the fabric of America, agreed that the plan would act as a sort of insurance plan against the threat of automation, saying it would give Americans “a real path forward” in a rapidly changing economy.
“The thing that excites me the most is you can see that it would improve people’s health, nutrition. It would elevate graduation rates, it would improve people’s mental health. But it would help people make transitions in a time of historic change,” he said.
Yang also said the effects of automation in states like Ohio and Pennsylvania were the reason why President Donald Trump was elected in 2016, but noted that companies that play a role in automating jobs – such as Amazon – should find ways to expand opportunities for Americans.
“We need to make it so that more people can share in the progress that’s being driven by all of this innovation,” he said.