Why I Support Andrew Yang

me and my sis in the muir woods
Me and my sister sniffin’ the trees (Muir Woods, SF)

“Big brother, can I take ballet lessons?” My five-year-old sister Kate murmured as she tugged — almost ripping — my t-shirt.

Rummaging through my pocket, I could only run my fingers through the sharp edges of these one-dollar bills.

“Well, do you think I’m your sugar daddy or something?”

(Thankfully, I didn’t say this) Rather, I realized that negotiating with a little girl was the hardest task in humankind, so I had to consult my parents about those ballet lessons.

My fam and my sister (she really wants ice cream right now)

Calling my parents, I was met with a depressing realization. In the summer of 2019, my mom—an assembly worker at a biotech company—hit me with the news,

“Ken, I don’t think we can afford these ballet lessons. I’m getting laid off from my job in December.”

As shocked as I was, this wasn’t the first time my family had to cope with financial insecurities. Without proficiency in English, my dad, a Vietnamese immigrant and the hardest-working Uber driver I know, found it difficult to keep a stable job.

Both of my parents are facing the real effects of automation, and they’re directly being affected by the changes brought forth by the Fourth Industrial Revolution: a technological revolution that will instrumentally undermine the way we live, work, and the way relate to one another.

Scary food-delivery robots (Kiwibots) @ UC Berkeley

In addition, as a UC Berkeley student, I’ve talked to engineers who are developing self-driving cars, automated kiosks, and food-delivering robots. And that’s going to eventually transform the landscape of work in Berkeley and the rest of the nation.

Right now, most Americans — including my mom and dad — operate on this mindset of scarcity as we’re living from paycheck to paycheck. Moreover, we live in a society in which 59% of Americans cannot pay an unexpected $400 bill. Besides this mindset of scarcity, we struggle with time, empathy, money, and mental health in some form or another; these struggles are the most pervasive problems of our era. Notably, we live in a time in which advancing technologies should solve many of these problems, but our mental health is declining, suicides and drug overdoses are increasing, and income inequality is at an all-time high.

Making America Think Harder (MATH)

There is a particular presidential candidate who’s able to address the financial hardships that my family and, surely, the rest of America faces. There’s someone who recognizes the perils of automation and uses data, science, and mathematics to comprehend the realities of our era. It would be fatal for our country to overlook the urgency of the current moment at our disposal.

Andrew Yang is that candidate. Yang’s flagship proposal is the Freedom Dividend, which gives $1000 per month, or $12,000 a year, to every single American over the age of 18. The VAT-funded Freedom Dividend would provide money to cover the basic needs of the American people, and it would empower my mom to realize her dreams of starting her own bakery, allow me to save for my education, and give my sister a chance to be like her favorite ballerinas.

With the Freedom Dividend and 100+ policy proposals, Andrew Yang is the only one who will pave the way for future generations to thrive, to love, and to be united on this front we call humanity.

Thus, this is why I support Andrew Yang and why you should consider him too.

yang2020.com

Kate and MiMi (left photo) UC Berkeley Yang Gang (right photo)

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