If anyone is actually reading this, thank you. It’s been almost 11 hours, and I really hope someone got some enjoyment from this. My fingers are now bleeding, but that’s totally normal right?
Zach and Andrew are signing off with a little dance.
10:45 – We have some fun announcements coming. Fun and amazing things are coming.
10:41 – Z: We’re going to do a video contest. yang2020.com/videocontest – We’re going to give you clips and you can edit. Winner will be played at Yangpalooza.
10:39 – A: Gives a shoutout to Zach.
10:36 – Z: My favorite thing about you is, you refuse to leave without a vision. What is that vision for us?
A: The FD the game changing policy, but there’s a fundamental shift we have to make. Away from the markets valuation of us. Away from the constant mindset of scarcity that turns us against each other.
We are facing a lot of deep problems. But eradicating poverty is actually very easy. We just have to make the choice.
We can get there. We just have to win this election and rewrite the rules of the economy.
10:33 – Z: It’s been a long day. We haven’t even hit every areas.
A: I did the math, it would take 4 weeks to do all 30.000 questions.
10:28 – Another call. Ashley from Atlanta picks up.
Ashleys question: What’s your strategy with South Carolina?
A: South Carolina is a different voting climate than other states. Not as many paying attention. Need boots on the ground.
We are trying to do more, but personal referrals is best.
Ashley: Are there going to be an rallies in Atlanta?
A: Yes, there will be. We have it on the drawing board.
10:17 – Z: Lightning round of questions: Dogs or cats?
Z: Is Mccaffrey the best running-back in the NFL?
A: No, it’s Saquan right?
Z: Are you a Nicki Minaj fan?
A: Not a huge fan, but I’m glad she’s out there doing it.
Z: Favorite female artist?
A: I sort of a sucker for Katy Perry. I guess you’re not allowed to be a fan of both Katy Perry and Taylor Swift. Firework was one of our wedding songs. Like Camilla Carballo. I’m going to go outside the box and say Florence and the Machines.
Z: Is the inclusion of a pickle a major decider when ordering a sandwich?
A: I’m glad when they do, but I don’t pay attention to it.
Z: Favorites – Movies?
A: Shawshank Redemption
Z: Have I gotten you to join the Bills Mafia?
A: I certainly root for them when we watch them.
Z: All time 5 man basketball team?
A: Have to say Lebron and Jordan. Kevin Garnett. Ray Allen. Tim Duncan. Those are some of the guys that come to mind. Maybe throw Dominique on there because he is Yang Gang.
Z: Star wars or trek?
A: Star Wars, with hesitation.
Z: When do we get more winter gear, because winter is coming?
A: Should be this weekend. I should model it!
10:15 – Z: “Would you make D&D mandatory in schools?”
A: It wouldn’t be the worst thing to make mandatory. 27-sided die.
10:08 – Calling Carlos.
Carlos asked about student debt, which Andrew has already answered today.
10:06 – Z: We should be alarmist right?
A: Cites studies that are worse than we thought.
It’s worse than you think.
Makes the connection between climate change and economic insecurity. Boot on throat.
9:58 – Z: “As someone who believes climate change is the number 1 issue, why should I vote for you over other democrats like Bernie Sanders and Warren?”
A: I’m aligned with them on most things regarding climate change. The way I differ is that I believe it’s worse than we think. We are decades behind the curve. We have to go much much bigger.
I believe I would do more than they would.
We should create better incentives. We need to reseed oceanbeds.
I think we should have everything on the table – including nuclear.
I think we should invest in the study of geoengineering – everything from planting trees to space mirrors.
We need to create a global consensus around geoengineering.
I don’t believe Warren and Sanders would do many these things.
It’s an area where we can spend 100 billion to save 500 billion.
9:57 – A: If you leave guys alone for too long, they become idiots and do dumb things.
9:52 – Calling Leah.
Leah is overwhelmed. Leah has been doing phone and text banking.
Lean wants to know which women’s issues is closest to Andrews heart.
A: It was only as an adult I discovered how anti-women our country is. Andrew talks for a long time about the importance of women and how they are dealt a bad hand in society and that we need to redefine some things to better include them and treat them fairly.
9:51 – A: Zach was the star of his acapella group. “Pitch perfect” was about his group.
9:50 – Arts is a major driver of value. Artists have the same effect of entrepreneurs in a community. We should be doubling arts programmes.
9:49: We need people like Tristan Harris in this area.
9:46 – Z: Question about negative effect of smartphones and social media.
A: We have to try to solve this problem at the app level. To the extent that schools can have policies that can help, they should.
9:39 – Andrew talks about the types of work that will and will not be automated in the future.
9:36 – Z: How to we salvage the educational system?
A: Pay teachers more. Start measuring progress by how people are doing. Lighten up on standardized tests. More teachers.
Z: You say that as someone who was good at tests?
A: Yes I was good at tests. Doesn’t measure the right things.
9:35 – Z: We haven’t mentioned the wall behind us. Full of signatures from the Yang Gang.
9:33 – Andrew imitates being a “hostage” on call in interviews.
9:30 – Ian asks about primary care. Andrew has already talked about this earlier.
9:27 – New call. Ian from Columbus, Ohio picks up. Andrew remembers meeting him after the debate.
9:25 – A: I remember being the skinny asian kid, and I think it has given me an understanding of not belonging.
9:23 Z: Do you support the equality act?
A: Yes. Of course LGBTQ should be considering equal in every aspect.
9:20 – As president, what would you do for the LGBTQ community?
A: Hopefully my election will be a sign of progress and inclusion.
9:17 – Moving to LGBTQ. Z: Would you push explicit protection for LGBT Americans, even if it goes against the supreme court?
A: Yes, I would. The tagline for this campaign is humanity first.
9:14 – A: About half of New Hampshire is in the Boston media market, so if a Boston newsmarket wants to talk, it’s a great opportunity.
Z: Some say the YangGang won’t vote. Are you kidding? They are tattooing their calf.
A: “If you haven’t tattooed your calf yet, what have you done? – I’m kidding”.
9:08 – Going live with NBC Boston
(Slightly awkward waiting period)
A: I’m doing fine. It’s only 10 hours.
(can only hear Andrews side of the conversation)
A: Talking about why he’s doing this. Debates were a bad format.
A: I’m told over 400.000 people have tuned in at some point today.
A: River Cuomo is playing in November. We have a lot of other celebrity endorsements on the way.
A: It’s been a mixture of fun and serious topics throughout the day.
9:05 – Z: Pineapple on pizza?
A: Seems like ruining both a pineapple and pizza.
Z: Go to pizza?
A: Cheese or pepperoni.
Z: We saw you skateboard, can you do an ollie?
A: A little, but not worth the name. Almost. An “ahllie”
Z: Go to basketball movie?
A: “He got game”.
9:03 – Coming back to the guys listening to MC Jin
9:02 – Back on YouTube for the final hour.
8:47 -Twitter AMA is done and the final leg of the journey is coming up.
Q: Do you think Trump should be impeached?
A: We are right to talk about impeachment, but when we are talking about Trump we are losing. We should present a positive vision for America. That should be the focus.
Q: Do you support U.S. statehood for Puerto Rico?
A: Puerto Rico should be a state if that’s what they want.
Q: What are your plans for reforestation?
A: First thing is to staff up the US forest service to maintain our forestland because it’s coming a tinderbox due to climate change.
In terms of reforestation, the goal is to improve our global climate, so it doesn’t necessarily have to happen in the US, if it happens somewhere else, great. If it happens here, also great. We are all on the same planet.
Q: Thoughts on universal childcare?
A: I’m so for it, and the science bears it out. Universal childcare is a must.
Q: Question about mental health and autism.
A: Remove the stigma. Everyone has someone who is struggling or autistic. Very open about the his own sons autism. Should have a psychologist in the White House.
Q: What’s your plan for dealing with student debt?
A: We are up to $1.6T, I would forgive a huge portion of this. Do we prefer young people being stuck in their basements or have them buy homes and start businesses and families? It’s an easy choice.
Q: How big a wrestling fan are you?
A: Huge WWE fan growing up, but less with age. Trying to get my boys into it.
Q: Will you repeal Citizens United?
A: 100% yes!
16:02 Elisa called back.
E: Holy Shit.
A: You can swear, it’s ok, we do it too. Shit.
E: What are your priorities for the first 100 days?
A: Combination of low hanging fruit and the big vision.
You have a limited number of things you can get done, so the dividend is the big thing to do. Secondary priorities is things that improve people’s lives that can be done quickly.
First visit after becoming president is to the district that voted for Andrew the least.
Looked at the numbers to see where that would be, thinks it’s going to be Mississippi.
5:57 A: I appreciate the yells, but don’t feel it’s about him. It’s about the purpose and the vision. “I’m going to kick as much ass as possible”, but if we don’t win, I’ll still be able to sleep at night because we did all we could.
Both talking about how they would rather be doing other things if the country was doing well.
Andrew thinks he’s more of a do’er or builder than talker.
5:54 A: In the early days I would try to call every donor. Early adopters are worth their weight in gold. Wish he could thank everyone personally.
Fireman started yelling “I Love you man” while Andrew was biking.
Everyone yells “YANG GANG!” now.
5:52 Z: When do we get to see you play Ted Cruz in basketball?
A: Still trying to find a date. Teds team not eager to find a date. Doesn’t think the game will serve Ted very well.
A: Says campaign is busy, but would carve out an afternoon. In the words of Ted “Bring it”
5:50 Z: Will you tell us if aliens are real?
A: Yes, unless it’s horrifying.
Z: This feels like something Trump would talk about if it was real.
A: True. Andrew makes a Trump impression.
5:45 Z: Says halloween merch is available on the official store.
Z: Were you actually into the Dead Kennedys?
A: It was a bit before my time. Not that much.
Z: Andrew doesn’t ask for many off days, but halloween is very important.
A: Evelyn’s birthday is halloween and wants to go trick or treating with his kids. – Dressed up as Riddick from Chronicles of Riddicks when it came out. People thought he was dressed a swimmer with a knife and asked “why does a swimmer need a knife?”.
5:44: Calling Elisa. Leaving another voicemail.
5:39 Talking to someone named Ethan from Virginia who donated.
A: We’re going to Virginia soon. Not for a rally.
Z: Rallies are a lot of work.
A: What’s that? You mean rallies are a lot of fun?
E: You won the debate.
A: We all won because there was an entire arc on automation. This is the most savory meal I’m going to get during the campaign. Normally it’s like “What do you think about Chinas…”
E: Can you swing by Richmond?
A: I think we are working on it.
A: Jokes that Ethan is not a planted by the campaign after being praised.
5:30 David Arquette is on the phone.
DA: says The War on Normal People was an eyeopener.
Thought Warrens lack of knowledge of automation was shocking. Asks question about human-centered capitalism.
A: Was surprised Warren wasn’t as keen on automation. Tried to hammer home the point that we can’t easily regulate away.
Andrew gives pitch on human-centered capitalism and the measurements we use. Goes on to talk about time-banking.
They exchange pleasantries and end the call after 8 min.
5:28 Z: Favorite wrestler?
A: lifetime: Macho Man savage, current: Chris Jericho.
Zach mentions that he is Yang Gang.
5:26 Andrew talks about the hoops people have to jump through to become doctors. Such as being good at organic chemistry. Keeps a lot of good people from getting in a position to help others.
5:24 Calling another donor named Angela from Indiana. No response. Andrew leaves another message.
5:22 Calling a donor named Zachary. No response. Andrew leaves a message.
5:18 still trying to reach David Arquette. Says other guests coming too.
Zach has gotten into boba tea since meeting Andrew.
5:12: Z: how do you feel about free nutrition counseling?
Andrew’s youngest son calls McDonalds for “Old Macdonalds”. Loves the play area. Talks about how cheap the food is, which makes it very easy to develop bad habits.
He is pro getting free nutrition advice to people, but the first step is to get enough money into people’s hands to make better choices.
Mentions Mark Cuban who focuses on diets and healthy habits.
Andrew says he ate badly as a kid and also takes his kids to McDonalds. Says it’s a matter of balance. Moderation in all things.
Talks about how much chinese food he ate as a kid.
5:05 Z: About rural healthcare. How can we leverage automation to improve healthcare?
A: First, there aren’t enough doctors in rural areas.
Says incentives are for doctors to specialize and not do primary care. Those that do primary care has no incentive to go to poorer/rural areas.
Artificial constraints on number of doctors every year.
Setting up proper incentives, like paying student loans for primary care doctors in rural areas, and allowing doctors to treat across state lines (licensing). Try to increase supply of doctors, but that takes time.
Need to open up telemedicine.
5:00 (halfway mark) Going back to questions while fixing technical issues.
A: Talking about drug companies profiting on ruining peoples lives.
We should decriminalize opiates. Talks about Portugal that had a lot of success doing this.
Dealers should go to jail, addicts should go to treatment.
4:59 Special guest is: David Arquette
4:57 Special guest dialing in.
4:54 Talks about the last couple of years of sick people’s lives where we are trying to keep people alive and spending a huge amount of money on it. Should be more of an individual decision. (Very intricate comment that I can’t boil down to a few sentences.)
4:49: Andrew says that unfortunately no one thinks of this campaign as a healthcare campaign, compared to other top runners. Andrew wants to take the best of both worlds.
4:45: Andrew talks about dialysis centers making more money by patients coming to the center rather than getting treatment at home. Lobbyists are fighting to keep people in the centers. Another example of a rotten system. Costs people 100 billion extra per year. These are the things we have to break the stranglehold of.
4:25: Z: What is your plan for healthcare?
A: Healthcare is not a good fit for market based solutions. First is to get that out of the way.
18% of GDP is spent on healthcare, and we’re not seeing the benefits/value you would expect.
There are shifting preferences that shifts as you get older. If you think you aren’t paying for healthcare, you still are in indirect ways. Employers pushing people to temp/contractor/gig jobs because of healthcare.
It’s essentially a giant hidden tax. If we took the 18% of GDP we are already spending and shifting it to a federal level, then it’s not an expense and we can negotiate better.
The current system is incredibly expensive and not very effective. Designed to extract money from people rather than making them healthy. A lot of negative incentives attached.
Andrew starts play acting a commercial to illustrate the absurdities of the system. Especially drug commercials. An example of a system that helps companies, not people.
The plan is that we have a medicare for all plan that grants us all baseline coverage. Wants tiny co-pays so that people have some skin in the game.
Andrew’s plan does not include getting rid of private insurance.
The goal is to get as many people to think that the government coverage is good enough to not need private insurance.
Government plan is not something you buy into, you are just enrolled.
4:24: Andrew says Dominique Wilkins coming by later.
4:23: Zach is a Buffalo Bills fan.
4:22: We are in radio mode as the stream picture has gone black. Talking about New England Patriots cheating and deflategate.
4:21: Talking about sports picks. Andrew says he has a terrible record and people should not bet on his picks.
4:20: A: Andrew says that Zach will get a more prominent role as spokesperson for the campaign soon.
4:19: Z: Back for 90 min on YouTube
Answers from Reddit Ama:
Z: Homeless people, how do they get the FD?
A: We will make sure everyone gets it and know they are eligible for it.
Z: Military, do they get the FD?
A: Of course!
Z: Does it stack with social security?
A Yes it does. Who wants to live in a country where old people struggle until they die?
Z: Does everybody get it?
A: Yeah. Rich, poor. Everyone gets it. No stigma when everyone gets it. No monitoring. No incentive to underreport.
Z: How would it affect tax levels?
A: FD is not taxed, but it might push you into a higher tax bracket.
Z: Why is FD the same in different areas with different cost of living?
A: If you are living in a high cost of living area, you are there for other opportunities. If it was differentiated, people would say “I live in the expensive place” and then go live in the woods.
Ends up help dynamism across the board.
Z: VAT being a regressive tax. Will it hurt people?
A: VAT in a vacumm will hurt people, but with the dividend it won’t. You can also tailor it to fall more heavily on certain goods, and exempt consumer staples.
Z: Why is it not socialism?
A: This is capitalism where income doesn’t start at 0. It’s good for business and markets. We are just talking about putting buying power into peoples hands.
Z: Would you wear a tie for official business?
A: If I thought it was helpful, of course. I don’t hate them as much as people think. I’ll wear a fucking union jack if it helps in a meeting in the UK, I don’t care.
Z: Which endorsement would you love to have?
A: Oprah or The Rock. The are some of the most admired people and I would love to have them.
Z: What would you ask The Rock?
A: “If he can smell what I’m cooking” – no, I’d ask him for.. – I’d fanboy out of it.
“Most people know that Elon Musk endorsed me, and a long list of others. These people know that innovation is boosted by UBI.
This is one of the reasons a lot of techies are getting behind me.
Zach: Studies have shown that people don’t work less?
A: Yes. $1000/month doesn’t transform most peoples nature. Hard-working people will most continue to be hardworking, and lazy people will continue to be lazy.
Edge-cases might be different, where people work more.
Will make people more conscientious and function better in various ways that are well documented.
It’s not about the money. It’s about what the money does for us.
You can sense that people are waking up to this, but some people are like *whispers* “shhh, it’s not a thing.”
“It just takes 1 restaurant to lower their prices to stop price gouging. We didn’t see a problem after the bank bailout where we printed 4 trillion. There wasn’t a lot of inflation”
1:03 – Z: What happens when a landlord knows that you have $1000 extra.
3 sources of inflation that’s making us miserable.
Housing, education and healthcare.
Education: No competition. Parents forced to pay what it costs.
Healthcare: Employers feels like they have to pay and hire less. Principal/agent problem.
Housing: It doesn’t make sense that a landlord tries to get 100% of income. Let’s say they try to get 30%, you would do what everyone else would do. You would just go somewhere else.
FD will actually make it harder to take advantage, because buying becomes easier.
0:54 Z: The biggest lie in America is that we don’t have the money?
A: That’s true.
Do you remember anyone asking you to vote on the 4 trillion bailout of Wall Street? I don’t.
It was like “Hey, the banks need money. Let’s do it”.
If you had a choice between giving money to the banks, and keeping people in their homes. I would choose the latter, but that’s not what we did.
If you give us the money, it goes back into the economy, but if you give it to corporations, how much of that actually goes back? Only 6% went into workers hands.
We are doing things in the most dumbass and efficient way possible. If you wanted to do right by the citizens, you would just put the money into their hands.
0:48 Z: How do you pay for it?
A: Elevator pitch. Slice of Google, Amazon revenue etc.
Money in our hands circulates and generates revenue.
Saving money on incarceration etc.
0:45 Z: For a lot of people, FD sounds too good to be true. Why do we need it?
(Zach thought it sounded like socialism at first)
A: Elon Musk thinks we should do it. Thank you Elon. *laughs*
Goes into standard FD pitch.
0:36 Z: How does atypical people fit into the new economy we are seeing?
We should stop seeing people as purely economic inputs. It doesn’t matter if they have economic value, they are human beings. Some will do great in certain jobs while others won’t fit in and need special care. They are our children and fellow citizens.
We should say that the market is not the end-all-be-all determination of who has value and who doesn’t.
The market is imperfect at measuring value and will systematically undervalue caregiving, arts, volunteerism, journalism etc.
If you look at this and think “these are the most important things in our lives”. We’ve all been brainwashing into this market thinking of “adapt or die” “brand yourself” “keep on hustling” and the market is zeroing out things like having kids, arts, caregiving etc.
One of themes of my campaign is that sometimes the market gets things terribly wrong and we are screwed if we keep following it for too long and need to get it aligned.
Basically: Don’t let the market brainwash you.
0:32 Z: What would you do to fix the problems that adults with autism face, where they can’t get the support they need?
A: Services are different in different parts of the country and that’s part of the problem. We need to solve this on a national level, because this is the new normal.
Families tell me that children with autism stop receiving support when they finish schooling, but there are many that have special needs for their entire lives. The least we can do is try to adresse this nationally instead of saying people are on their own.
0:24 Z: What’s been the most rewarding and challenging parts of the campaign for you and Evelyn?
A: Evelyn just told me that 80% of people with special needs children split up.
That’s a jarring stat.
There were very hard times when Christopher was small where you don’t know what’s normal.
Christopher is on the autism spectrum. He was diagnosed when he was 4, and until then it was very confusing.
There was so much stress in the house as first time parents, where we didn’t know if this was normal.
Damien was born when Christopher was 3.
Andrew ties lower desire to have children for young people to the economy and financial distress. He’s wants a society to change to one that encourages having children.
0:21 Z: How did you meet?
A: We met at Columbus. Evelyn wanted help for a friend at Manhatten Prep (Andrews company). Andrew wrote back “Sure, hope you and your boyfriend are doing well” – “Oh we aren’t together anymore” – A: “Oh really. Then I asked her out for dinner”. That was in 2006 and got married in 2011.
My life transformed completely after meeting Evelyn.
I tell people all the time to thank my wife, when they thank me for running for president.
0:20: Z: So what did you tell your wife, when you said that you would run for president?
A: She was frankly somewhat dubious that I would do it.
When it got more serious, she just got deeply practical about it.
0:16: – Z: What’s the best way to explain the problems to people who don’t understand automation, since they can still get jobs in the areas it has hit.
A: I’ve been trying to relate it to everyday experience and saying that 30% of malls and mainstreet stores are closing in the next 4 years. Self serve kiosks everywhere. Things I feel like people can relate to.
Most people don’t realize that the 5 most common jobs are retail, transport, administrative and clerical, food service and manufacturing. Those are about 50% of american jobs. That’s not what people think about when they work in technology.
The decline is already happening and went from 17 million to a bit over 12 million, and the other categories are going to shrink too.
Another stat that might be useful is that only 33% of americans go to college and fewer actually graduate, so when you think of the american workforce, it doesn’t look like many people think it does.
One thing that really frustrates me is when people think that everyone will just go to college. Well, the stats have been stuck at 1/3 of the past decades. Completion rate is down to 59%. So you’re sticking people in college who don’t finish, but they still get the debt.
College is not for everyone, but people just chearlead “college, college, college”.
There’s so much magical thinking going on.
0:16 – Andrew hates the picture on his book – thinks the picture is awkward.
0:14 – Andrew tells the parable of the blind man and elephant to describe the economy, where people only see a small part of the full picture.
One will say it looks like a snake, because he’s holding the trunk.
One will say it’s like a tree trunk, because he’s holding the leg.
0:09 – Z: What did Andy Stern say when you told him?
A: I asked him what’s the first thing I should do, and he said “make a list of people who will give you $1000 to seed your campaign”.
I thought, that’s a very reasonable thing to do and something you would normally do when starting something.
The contribution limit was $2700 at the time, so I made a list of people who would give me 2700 to run for president. The were friends of mine obviously, because most people don’t have 2700 or want to give it to some random figure.
So I made a list of about 100 friends.
The other things is that I had a job with VFA, that I had to leave which is not that easy. They grew the following year after I left, so I was probably holding them back. *laughs*
This is how Zach and I know each other. From Venture for America.
0:06 – Z: What was the moment you knew you would run for president?
A: Spent 7 years running Venture of America and read books about the future of work. Reading a book by Andy Stern called “Raising the Floor”. He was the most prominent labour leader (of SEIU)at the time, who said “The future of work is no work and we are kind of screwed, and we need to have a foundation for all Americans of $1000/month”
I was always trying to read about the future of work and was really struck by this, because this was not some techie who said we would automate all the jobs. This is someone who championed labour who said “we are kind of doomed”. At the end of his book he says “someone needs to run for president on UBI”.
So I had lunch with Andy Stern and thought “If he tells me that no one is running for president on UBI, I will do it”. The moment I knew I would run was the end of that lunch. I asked Andy “Who’s doing anything?” and he said “No one is doing anything like this”, then I said “I’m somebody, and I’ll do something”.
0:05 – Andrew tells the story of his morning so far where he biked his son to school, but the chain fell off. He fixed it, and is now doing an AMA with smudgy hands.
0:04 – Z: Why are we doing this? At the 4 debates, Andrew’s gotten less than 30 minutes of speaking time.
A: We can do 20 times that today… The debates are a terrible format. I appreciated CNNs work, but it’s a highly flawed format.
A: LET ANDREW SPEAK
0:01 – Zach: we’ve gotten more than 20.000 questions and we are going to answer all of them.
A: Let me do some quick math. That’s going to take us more than a month. *laughs*
I’ll try to include as much as possible, but Andrew is a quick talker, so there’s bound to be something that slips through the cracks.
A: Andrew Yang. Z: Zach (campaign manager). FD: Freedom Dividend.
Timecode is time since start.
Andrew Yang is hosting a 10 hour Ask Me Anything session live on YouTube and many other platforms. Link to YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWWFQRBaXMc