FORWARD: ANDREW YANG TALKS HIS NEW POLITICAL PARTY, THE FREEDOM DIVIDEND, AND THE FUTURE ON "THE ISSUE IS"
In his new book "Forward: Notes on the Future of Our Democracy," Andrew Yang sets a new path ahead for an American political system that he says is on its way to "violence and ruin."
In the book, Yang, who in the past two years has run for President of the United States and Mayor of New York City as a Democrat, announced that he is leaving the party, forming a new banner to help remove the polarization so prevalent today - The Forward Party.
This week, Yang joins Elex Michaelson on The Issue Is to discuss the party, his political future, and the growing adoption of Universal Basic Income, a centerpiece of his 2020 campaign. He and Michaelson also play a little basketball.
Michaelson is also joined by Ana Kasparian of The Young Turks and Steve Hilton, host of The Next Revolution on FOX News Channel, to debate the hot-button issue of vaccine mandates.
THE ISSUE IS: THE FORWARD PARTY
YANG’S CENTRAL TAKE: "Polarization is at record levels in The United States, 42% of both Democrats and Republicans regard their political opponents as evil or their mortal enemies, and unfortunately, this dynamic is going to get worse, not better... I formed the Forward Party to change that dynamic, to change the mechanics, because this two-party system is going to lead us to progressive dysfunction and eventually violence and ruin... Forward is an inclusive, popular movement, and the mechanics right now of our politics make it such that if you were to change your party registration, you might lose your ability to participate in your local elections, so we're also practical... This is a movement of reasonableness and reason to try and get our heads up, try and get beyond the partisan back-and-forth that's making us more angry, more frustrated, and it's dehumanizing our fellow Americans who might be on the other side of a particular issue…"
THE ISSUE IS: REVOLUTIONIZING THE PRIMARY SYSTEM
YANG’S CENTRAL TAKE: "Ranked-Choice Voting is THE solution to our polarization, and it's a voting process where you get to support up to five candidates.... and the first candidate who gets a majority support wins. What this does, is it makes it so that you have to appeal to a broad coalition, you have to try and get a majority of people on board - if you the sort of candidate that, let's say, really inflames and excites 30% of people but turns off another 60%, then this is going to make it so you probably don't win. So Ranked-Choice Voting, in combination with open primaries, would unlock all new political perspectives that right now don't make it because of our duopoly system and our plurality voting system, which is archaic and it ends up marginalizing a lot of Americans…."
THE ISSUE IS: UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME
YANG’S CENTRAL TAKE: "California does tend to be ahead of the curve on these kinds of policies, and I'm so thrilled with Mayor Garcia and other leaders who are piloting and building out implementations around the state. A poll just came out that said 2/3 of Americans nationwide now support Universal Basic Income, so what started out as a campaign idea that some people thought was ahead of its time, now now is right in front of us... The child tax credit that's been improving millions of American lives, it should be here to stay, and if you think about it, that's actually a foundation for a Universal Basic Income…"
THE ISSUE IS: WORKERS’ RIGHTS
YANG’S CENTRAL TAKE: "It's a really tough time for a lot of families, a lot of communities, and there are many Americans who've been rethinking the way they spend their time. Some of them have been making changes in terms of their jobs or careers. One thing I would suggest is that we should not be putting money into people's hands and tying it to not working, which is the case right now with a lot of the unemployment benefits we have... I'm friends with some young people who actually say, 'look, I'm getting paid 80% of what I was going to get paid at a job on unemployment right now, so I'm going to ride this out until it ends and then I'm going to look for a job.'... If we do that nationwide, it will have a distorting effect. In my mind, this money that we're putting out shouldn't have those kinds of conditions attached, because then if you decide to go back to a job or work part-time even, then you'll be able to keep that money too…"
The Issue Is: with Elex Michaelson is California's only statewide political show. For showtimes and more information, go to TheIssueIsShow.com.
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