Business Insider Edition

An American presidential candidate is running a raffle to give 10 US families a R175,000 annual basic income

Grace Panetta , Business Insider US
 Sep 13, 2019, 08:38 AM
Democratic presidential hopeful Andrew Yang.

  • 2020 American presidential candidate Andrew Yang announced at a debate that he will hold a raffle to give 10 families $12,000 (R175,000) a year.
  • "It's time to trust ourselves more than our politicians," Yang said. "My campaign will now give a Freedom Dividend of $12,000 per year to 10 families. This is how we will get our country working for us again, the American people."
  • Yang is campaigning on a platform that includes the promise to give every American around R15,000 per month as a basic income.
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2020 American presidential candidate Andrew Yang - who is running on a platform of giving every American a universal basic income of R14,500 a month - announced at a debate that he will hold a raffle to give 10 families $12,000 a year, the equivalent of R175,000.

The raffle, first reported by Politico, will begin online next week, and will give each family $1,000 (R14,500) a month. The universal basic income program, which Yang calls the Freedom Dividend, is his flagship campaign proposal.

"It's time to trust ourselves more than our politicians," Yang said at a debate of Democratic Party candidates. "My campaign will now give a Freedom Dividend of $12,000 per year to 10 families. This is how we will get our country working for us again, the American people."

Yang argues that the Freedom Dividend would not only help ameliorate economic inequality but would reward unpaid work like childcare and housework, boost innovation by providing entrepreneurs with more leeway to start new businesses, and give everyday workers more leverage to demand better working conditions from their employers.

Yang, a former entrepreneur, is the main candidate in the race sounding the alarm about the effects of automation on the American economy, particularly how it could eliminate jobs in the trucking and retail sectors.

Beyond the Freedom Dividend, Yang also advocates for other progressive policies and expansive social programs including free community college, and nationwide marijuana legalisation.

But Yang is through-and-through a capitalist and rejects the notion that a universal basic income constitutes socialism.

"This is not socialism, this is capitalism where income doesn't start at zero," Yang told CBS of his universal basic income plan in March. "If you think about where Americans are going to spend this money, they're going to spend it at their local businesses, their main street economy."

Yang has shot up to the top tier of the 2020 field in recent months and has over 200,000 unique donors thanks to his extremely online base of supporters known as the #YangGang.

The Yang Gang has transformed Yang's initially longshot candidacy into a serious one, and Yang has now outlasted several US members of Congress and Governors in the race.

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