Posted 18 days ago
Even though Andrew Yang did not get very many votes for the Democratic Primary in 2020, it was clear that he was somewhat of a celebrity. You knew who he was and what he was pushing for, primarily the Universal Basic Income. Even though he dropped out of the race very early, it's hard to deny his influence on recent politics. As Lowrey writes:
...his singular, popular message had contributed to a swift change in Washington’s attitude toward cash benefits—see, for example, the UBI-for-kids program in the latest stimulus package, which will send hundreds of dollars a month per child to most parents.
Now, it's very difficult to attribute this to a single person. People have been arguing for this for decades. But again, it's hard to think that it would have been pushed through without Andrew Yang bringing it into the spotlight.
What's interesting, though, is that this UBI is often attributed to the people furthest on the Left. That's not true at all. UBI is intented to support a hyper-capitalist system, but to provide a social safety net for those who fall through. People further on the Left believe welfare should not be needed in a destributed economic system.
But this distinction with the most Left has probbaly got the acceptance of a lot of New Yorkers, who although surely vote for progressives like AOC, also vote for their fair share of conservatives (de Blasio, Bloomberg, Juliani, etc). So Yang is enough of a new kid on the blog, with "big idea, backed with data," but he's not too much of a distinction with previous mayers. Sure, his personality is, but his believe in the underlying system is the same, just with some bells and whistles to attract voters. It's working for him though, being that "as of mid-March, yang led the field by a 13-point margin."