-Thanks for making
the time for us. So, you are —
You’re in this thing. You’re polling higher than
some governors, some congressmen, senators. And a lot of people,
I think it’s safe to say, did not know who you were
a very short time ago. -Yes, that’s fair to say. -And you’re running on this idea
of a universal basic income, which is giving every American
$1,000 a month. And are you worried that,
because you’re polling higher that as other candidates
get desperate, they’ll start
offering $1,100 a month? -Well, that would be
a version of victory, Seth. I’ve said for a while that I’m
either going to win or the other candidates are
going to sound a lot like me. -Well, that’s a very good way
of looking at it. I do want to talk — Because I’m fascinated by
this idea of a Freedom Dividend. Before we do that, it does seem
like you’re having fun out there, and I think
that’s really important. I believe this is all just in
the last week or two. -Let’s see it. -Here’s a montage we’ve made
of you enjoying yourself on the campaign trail. ♪♪ -We need some more. [ Cheers and applause ]
♪♪ -You’re having
a good time out there. -Yes.
[ Cheers and applause ] Yeah. -So, I think one
of the reasons, again, people are happy to see you,
they’re happy to hear you, is you have this idea of,
“I’m going to give you $1,000 a month
if I win this thing.” Now, obviously, Democrats
who are onstage with you — a lot of them have big ideas for
healthcare, education. They think that your plan is
maybe going a little too far. So explain, really quickly, this
universal-basic-income idea. Like, why you think it is
the core of what is behind your plan. -First, it’s not my idea at all. It’s been with United States
since our founding. Thomas Paine was for it.
Martin Luther King was for it. And one state has had a dividend
for almost 40 years, where everyone in Alaska
gets between $1,000 and $2,000 a year. -Whoo!
-Whoo! -Some Alaskans. And, so, what they’re doing
for Alaska with oil money we can do for everyone
in the country with technology money, because right now, we’re in the
midst of the greatest economic transformation in
the history of our country, and it’s what got
Donald Trump elected. The fact we blasted away
4 million manufacturing jobs in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania,
Wisconsin, Iowa, all the swing
states that he needed to win. So we need to take the bounty of
the 21st century economy and start returning it
to people. And though everyone associates
me with 1,000 bucks a month, it’s really about what
the money would do for us. It’s going to make us stronger,
healthier, mentally healthier. It’s going to improve
our relationships and our way of life. -You talk about how things —
-There isn’t applause? [ Cheers and applause ] -They were all —
They were being quiet because they were jealous of those
two Alaskans with the $1,000 in their pocket. -Yeah. -They’re like,
“They already got it.” You talk about how GDP
and the stock market are bad indicators of exactly
where this country is at, as far as its economic health. And it may seem trite,
but you think that we need to judge economic health
on happiness. Is that an accurate distillation
of the way you think? -It’s not quite happiness,
but that’s essentially right. Where GDP’s at record highs
right now, also at record highs — stress,
financial insecurity, even suicides
and drug overdoses. It’s gotten so bad that
even though our record high GDP, our life expectancy has declined
for three years in a row. The first time in 100 years. So you have to ask yourself,
are the measurements wrong or are we actually prioritizing
this production number over the life-span
of our people? And, to me, it’s obvious
the numbers are wrong, and you need to update them
to include things like our health and well-being,
our mental health, and freedom from
substance abuse, but also things like clean air
and clean water, how our kids are doing — the real measurements
for American success. -You —
[ Cheers and applause ] You talk about the numbers
adding up and I think, you know, it makes sense that a lot of
people would ask how you’d pay for $1,000 a month
to all Americans. You, yourself, I believe,
put the price tag at around $3 trillion. Is that —
-It’s a bit less than that. But if you look around,
who are the big winners from the 21st century economy? It’s a company like Amazon that’s up to $1 trillion
in value. And they have literally
paid zero in taxes, less than everyone here
in this studio. So, of course, you’re going to
struggle to pay for things if you have trillion-dollar
companies paying zero. If we give ourselves our tiny
fair share of every Amazon sale, every Google search,
every Facebook ad, every robot-truck mile,
we can easily afford $1,000 a month
for every American. -You —
[ Cheers and applause ] -Yeah. -You know,
one thing you talk about, which is interesting to me,
is when you say “universal basic income,”
you mean it, that everybody
would get this $1,000. There’s no amount of money you
could make in any given year that would price you out. -You’d get it, too. -Hey, look, trust me, I would
not have had you on the show if I was on the outside looking
in on the Yang plan. But explain —
It’s very interesting, the philosophy behind
the idea of why it’s good that everybody would get it. ‘Cause some people would say, “Why do the wealthy get
this $1,000 a month, as well?” Can you just explain that? -Well, if you look at
the Alaskan experience, everyone’s getting the
oil dividend, from the poorest Alaskan
to the richest. And because of that,
it’s universally popular. There’s no stigma
attached to it. It’s not like I’m paying for it,
you’re getting it. You don’t need to monitor
people’s circumstances. There are no incentives to say, “I’m doing worse
than I really am.” And so because of that, in
a deep-red Conservative state with a Republican governor, the petroleum dividend
is wildly popular. And so if we make this
a true right of citizenship, it will be popular nationwide. -You —
[ Cheers and applause ] You had an idea that I’m —
I’m very behind the idea of how bad a viewing experience the
State of the Union is. This is something
you agree with, yes? -I completely agree. It’s gotten bizarrely
unwatchable. -Yeah.
It’s very performative. It doesn’t feel like you get
a lot of information out of it. What is your idea for how to fix
the State of the Union? -So, my plan is to take
the American scorecard, with the real numbers
of how we’re doing, and then present them to you,
the American people, in a PowerPoint deck. Every year at the
State of the Union, I’ll be the first president
to use PowerPoint. Hopefully that’s a good thing.
[ Cheers and applause ] -I can’t imagine PowerPoints polling quite as well as
$1,000 a month, but I like the — I like
your moxie. Hey, thanks so much
for being here. It’s really interesting having
someone out there who is talking about things
nobody else is. -Thank you, man.
I appreciate it. -Andrew Yang, everybody.