Jeremy Abroad

Andrew Yang for President

February 24, 2019

Andrew Yang is hands-down the most impressive presidential candidate I’ve ever seen, and probably the only political candidate I’ve ever truly resonated with. I highly recommend watching his interview on Joe Rogan because he perfectly articulates everything that’s wrong with the U.S. while proposing the bold pragmatic solutions we need to tackle them. Everything he says he backs up with facts and data, this isn’t some charade of empty rhetoric like what most politicians do

I’ve been pretty vocal about automation and Universal Basic Income ever since I got my first software engineering job 5 years ago. As a software engineer it’s pretty obvious to me that most decent-paying jobs are getting automated away, and we’re not only doing nothing about it - we’re not even acknowledging the problem. Until now I don’t recall a single politician or presidential candidate ever.taking about the impending crisis on our labor markets being caused by automation (Trump blamed it on Mexicans and China). And in the few times that it’s ever brought up, the proposed solution is “re-training”, which is complete and utter fantasy nonsense (as Andrew points out, the government has a terrible track record of this). 3.5 million truck drivers with a median age of 55 are not going to become computer programmers (nor should they have to be), and jobs don’t magically crop up to accommodate those who lose them (not to suggest we shouldn’t facilitate re-training, just that it would barely make a dent in fixing the problem, and certainly wouldn’t accommodate everyone).

I had honestly lost hope in my country. I left the country a year ago to find my new home because I had no desire to build my future in a country that’s so ideologically not in line with my values, with gridlock that seemed irreconcilable. The fact that this guy is even a viable presidential candidate gives me hope that we might get there way sooner than I had thought, and that I might live to see a rational government in my lifetime.

I know it seems like a long shot, but if this guy wins the presidency, I will return to the U.S., re-integrate into the labor force, and buy a U.S.A. T-Shirt. I would go from having to explain to people why our citizens don’t have healthcare, are saddled in student loan debt, and our wealthiest cities have more blatant homelessness and poverty than many developing countries, to being able to say that we were the first major country to pioneer our way to the future, a future where technological advancement is unequivocally celebrated rather than something to be feared because “they took er jerbs”.

Anyways to those who don’t have the time to watch the video, here’s my short summary of my main highlights:

  • Technological advancement and automation is wrecking havoc on the labor market and local economies, and we are doing nothing to accommodate the displaced. Re-training can help some, but it will not realistically accommodate the millions of Uber/truck drivers, secretaries, retail workers, etc. who are losing their jobs
  • Universal Basic Income, or the Freedom Dividend, is where everyone gets $1,000/month. This would not solve the problem, but it would eliminate the fear of destitution for those who’s jobs are at risk. Furthermore, it would serve as an investment in the people, enabling people to start business, work on whatever they want, or simply supplement their income and stimulate the economy.
  • GDP is a narrow metric that says little to nothing about the well-being of the people. We should put more focus on broader metrics that actually reflect our quality of life (eg. health, engagement with one’s work, happiness). We will not improve what we don’t measure, and we need to be more data-driven in our approach. Otherwise nobody is accountable for anything.

(In my opinion GDP and [U3] unemployment rate get way more focus than they deserve, as if they’re the sole barometers of the quality of our lives)

Ok this post is too long so I’ll leave it there. Whether or not you like the idea of a freedom dividend, we need to be doing more to accommodate those whose jobs are being displaced by automation, something that’s already happening and is only accelerating. Trump won because he won the votes in these regions that’ve been decimated by auomation. But Trump is a narcissistic idiot who blames it on Mexicans and China, and wants to declare a state of emergency for a stupid wall that won’t accomplish anything and nobody cares about.

“The opposite of Donald Trump is an Asian guy who likes math”. We need more rational thinkers like Andrew Yang in Congress.

We need 23k more individual donations ($1 is enough) to get him to the debate stage, shoot over a dollar if you want to see him there (apparently he was on the U.S. National Debate Team).

Also feel free to debate me on any of this, I love talking about this stuff because I don’t think there’s anything more important.

Jeremy Bernier

Written by Jeremy Bernier who left the NYC rat race to travel the world, work remotely, and find the meaning of life.