argument top image

Who should be the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee?
Back to question

Andrew Yang will introduce Universal Basic Income

Andrew Yang understands the coming technological disruption, and the need to rethink labor and income. He will address this by introducing Universal Basic Income (UBI).
2020 US Election Andrew Yang


The idea of Universal Basic Income is a support system in which all citizens, regardless of existing means or employment, receive a certain amount of income from the state.

The Argument

Yang proposes offering a "Freedom Dividend", a UBI paying every American over 18 $1000 per month, in order to combat job loss due to automation. This comes at a time when no other politicians have a plan for this massive shift which would leave many more people unemployed with no form of income. Yang will pay for this by instituting a value-added tax raised from companies profiting from automation.[1] A study by the Roosevelt Institute suggested that this policy could grow the economy by 2.62 per cent and expand the workforce by 1.1 million.[2]

Counter arguments

UBI is not a realistic policy. Its price tag alone of $2 trillion equates to about half of the federal budget.[1] It could introduce a whole host of new problems, such as less people wanting to work or landlords simply raising rent in response, meaning those who need UBI the most would face a disproportionate rise in costs as it came about. Additionally, UBI would propose to replace welfare, meaning that the highest net gain would go to the upper and middle classes who do not currently need or use welfare.[3]



[P1] The economy is going to greatly suffer from job loss due to increasing automation. [P2] UBI is the best way to combat this, as it gives all citizens a safety net to shield against this.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P2] An UBI is not the most efficient way to fairly provide a safety net to citizens.


This page was last edited on Wednesday, 27 May 2020 at 18:52 UTC

Explore related arguments