Andrew and Evelyn Yang at "Yangapalooza"

Andrew Yang was joined onstage by Evelyn Yang at the "Yangapalooza" rally ahead of the the Iowa Democratic Party's 'Liberty and Justice Celebration' Friday in Des Moines. Andrew Yang has frequently referenced his wife, a stay at home mother, for why to support universal basic income. 

The Democratic primary currently has 16 candidates competing to stand out to voters and businessman Andrew Yang is one of them, bringing a flagship policy position of a universal basic income.

After Yang graduated from law school, he was hired at a law firm but soon left and joined several start-up businesses over a several year period, eventually earning a CEO position at a test prep company.

In 2012, Yang was named as an Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship as well as a Champion of Change in 2012 by President Obama. 

In November 2017, Yang announced his run for the presidency, making him one of the earliest candidates to do so.

Yang's flagship universal basic income proposal is called the Freedom Dividend by his campaign.

It would be a universal basic income measure granting every American adult 18 years or older in the United States money from the government. The beginning proposal is $1,000 a month with the possibility of change over time.

When proposing to pay for the Freedom Dividend, Yang suggests a tax on companies such as Amazon, Facebook and Google. He would also likely have to raise taxes due to the estimated $2.8 trillion cost of the initiative.

Another campaign issue Yang has discussed is "Medicare for All." His policy is all Americans must have guaranteed access to medicine. He has also proposed a flat salary for doctors, saying it would help to clarify and stabilize costs of medical procedures.

The final main policy is what Yang is calling human-centered capitalism. He has said he believes the current trend of the U.S. capitalist system is not benefiting  many people.

Overall, Yang is polling anywhere from one to six percent support nationally among likely Democratic primary voters. This has allowed him to qualify for all of the Democratic presidential debates. Despite not coming from a political background, Yang has been successful in outperforming several lifelong politicians.

Andrew Yang and Weezer and "Yangapalooza"

Presidential candidate Andrew Yang invited Rivers Cuomo (left) and Scott Shriner (right) of Weezer to perform at his "Yangapalooza" campaign rally Friday in Des Moines. Yang joined them onstage in their final song of the set, "Say it Ain't So."

Jackson Miller, sophomore in journalism and mass communication at Iowa State, is the social media director for the "Cyclones for Yang" group.

Miller said there are a few reasons for Yang’s success. One reason Miller said is the level of impact through social media and the internet the campaign has been able to achieve.

“His online presence is huge,” Miller said.

According to a College Pulse poll, Yang is tied for third among Democratic voting college students with Joe Biden with nine percent support. Bernie Sanders leads with 32 percent support, followed by Elizabeth Warren with 25 percent support.

Miller said he thinks college students like Yang because of his ability to back up his arguments.

Yang has appeared on online shows including the Joe Rogan podcast as well as the Ben Shapiro Show.

Other Democratic candidates may have not done the same because they are unable to support their ideas, but Yang can, Miller said.

“He’s capable of backing up his claims with actual data and facts," Miller said.

In a Siena College poll released Friday, Yang is tied for sixth place among likely Iowa Democratic caucusgoers with three percent support alongside Kamala Harris. Warren currently leads with 22 percent support followed by Sanders with 19, Pete Buttigieg with 18, Biden with 17 and Amy Klobuchar with four percent support. All other candidates have two percent support or less.

(1) comment

Douglas McFarland

Getting a Freedom Dividend through congress would be a herculean task. If anyone could do it Andrew Yang could but I have doubt any legislation will be passed until the makeup of the Senate changes. Democrats may even lose control of the House next year.

The reasons I am voting for Andrew Yang in the primaries are as follows.

1. Yang is the only Democratic candidate IMO who can beat Trump in the general election. Andrew saw the pain caused by the housing crisis and went to work creating jobs in the blue-collar cities most devasted by automation. He thought that encouraging young college graduates to move to cities like Detroit, Baltimore, St. Louis, and others to start businesses would begin to rebuild economies and create jobs for normal people. At some point, he realized that the work he was doing wasn't going to have the impact he had hoped for especially in creating jobs for normal people. It was that realization that put him on the path to become President of the United States and if he gets the nomination he will win Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin and that will be enough to get him the presidency.

2. Even if Andrew Yang is unable to get a Freedom Dividend passed immediately he has many innovative plans that he can implement simply by being the President of the United States. Yang understands why the economy doesn't value important work like parenting, teaching, arts, and extracurricular-programs-for-children and he can work with Congress to change the incentives of our economy to work for us. When people see how genuinely Andrew Yang wants to make government better for all Americans and how innovative and effective his ideas are they will look to Congressional and Senate leaders who will work with the Yang presidency to retool the American government.

3. Andrew Yang is the least divisive most honest candidate to ever run for President. He will answer any question from anyone even if he knows a person disagrees or won't like the answer. People appreciate the level of candidness. No candidate will ever appeal to everyone but I have never seen a candidate manage to treat people with such polite regard and respect while forcefully putting forth and defending his policy ideas and his political vision. He will work to show Americans how much we actually agree on and what we can do together despite our disagreements.

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