Election 2020
Portrait of Andrew Yang
Portrait of Andrew Yang

Andrew Yang

Democratic candidate

Yang is running on a platform to provide a universal basic income of $1,000 a month for every American adult. An entrepreneur and tech industry veteran, Yang, 44, says he wants to protect the nation from the impending dangers he sees in automation. He has a prominent online following — and has surprised the many who doubted his long-shot run by ticking upward in the polls, qualifying for the third and fourth Democratic presidential debates.

In depth

Who is that guy? Andrew Yang’s presidential campaign draws crowds, money and an expected spot on the Democratic debate stage.: An outsider has been a somewhat below-the-radar phenomenon, with help from social media and podcasts.

Holly Bailey | May 10, 2019 | 10 minutes

Good at math? Work hard? Some Asian Americans bristle at Andrew Yang’s use of stereotypes.: Using self-deprecating humor or amplifying a harmful stereotype?

Amy B Wang | Sept. 16, 2019 | 7 minutes

Climate change

Yang’s climate plan looks to set incentives for private companies and entrepreneurs to reduce emissions and contribute to renewable technology. He has applauded “the vision and the ambition” of the Green New Deal and called for a carbon tax; he has also stressed the importance of ending tax breaks for the fossil fuel industry. He supports building more nuclear power plants, saying on his campaign website that he wants to “work to make it easier for new nuclear plants to open up in appropriate areas.” Yang says that the United States should rejoin the Paris climate deal but that it doesn’t go far enough in emissions reduction.

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Economic inequality

Yang’s key campaign proposal is a universal basic income of $1,000 a month for every adult American, which he calls a Freedom Dividend. He opposes some of his rivals’ policies, including the wealth tax (he prefers a value-added tax, like a sales tax that’s imposed at each step of production), a $15-an-hour federal minimum wage and a federal jobs guarantee. Yang supports a guaranteed paid family leave of at least six months.

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Yang has proposals he says would keep down the cost of higher education, including rules on administrator-student ratios and maximum annual increase in costs. He also proposes the creation of a new university in Ohio, funded by a portion of large university endowments. Yang said he would work with states to improve teacher pay.

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Foreign policy

Yang supports pulling U.S. troops out of Afghanistan but wouldn’t commit to having them out by the end of his first term. He’s open to engaging with Syria and North Korea. Yang said he would consider keeping some tariffs on China, "limited to targeting areas of bad acting, such as intellectual property theft.” He also said he’d rejoin the Iran nuclear deal and then negotiate a longer-term agreement.

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Although Yang supports keeping the electoral college, he also calls for implementing ranked-choice voting, which lets voters number their choices and demands a majority, not just a plurality, from a winner. He’s open to eliminating the legislative filibuster in the Senate and to changing the makeup of the Supreme Court.

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Health care

Yang has called for moving toward a single-payer system to provide universal coverage but said he would not eliminate private insurance, expecting a public option to out-compete companies. He said he supports “the spirit of Medicare-for-all” but that “swiftly reformatting 18 percent of our economy and eliminating private insurance for millions of Americans is not a realistic strategy.” Under a government-run plan, Yang would allow undocumented immigrants who are on a path to citizenship to be covered. He also supports granting Medicare the same drug-price-bargaining powers that Medicaid has.

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Yang, who has highlighted immigrants’ positive contributions to the economy, does not support building more physical barriers along the U.S-Mexico border “unless their utility could be demonstrated.” He sees “modern technology” as vital to monitoring the border. Yang also has said that he would treat people who cross the border as civil offenders, rather than criminal, and that he would focus deportation efforts on criminal and security threats.

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Who agrees with you?

Answer some of the policy questions that the candidates did and see which candidates your answers align with.

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