Andrew Yang recently ended his long-shot campaign for president following a disappointing finish in the New Hampshire primary. The entrepreneur and political newcomer was propelled to the mainstream by his devoted online following and his signature policy, Universal Basic Income, which would give every American adult $1,000 a month. Now, with newfound political fame and momentum, Yang should run for New York City mayor.
New York City is the perfect place to test out his unique policy proposals: Universal Basic Income. In order to pay for a UBI system, he has proposed a financial transactions tax in the past which, by his estimates, would raise billions of dollars nationally and limit unnecessary economic speculation.
Automation is coming to every corner of the US, and New York is no exception. The Center for Urban Future estimates that about one out of 10 NYC jobs could be made obsolete with existing technology. Their projections show that this statistic will only continue to grow, and that the risk of automation for low-income workers is disproportionately high. By implementing UBI, Yang would mitigate any economic downturn caused by automation as well as protect the finances of city residents.
Yang’s presidential campaign policies show how he would decriminalize opioid use in order to curb drug-related deaths. During 2019, opioids were related to 80% of overdose deaths in New York City. To put an end to this, it is imperative to elect a leader who views the opioid crisis as a public health issue, not a criminal one. Massachusetts is a good example of this type of policy. Many users choose to enter police stations and turn in their drug supply, submitting themselves for rehabilitative care. Yang’s policies seek to dismantle and heal those who are suffering from addiction.
As mayor, Yang would be freed of the political shackles that constrained his predecessors. During his presidential campaign, Yang raised $16.5 million during the fourth quarter of 2019, outpacing top-tier contenders like former Vice President Joe Biden. Aside from fundraising, Yang is a political newcomer, which might bid well against the notoriously-disliked Mayor Bill de Blasio, a career politician.
A Mayor Yang can showcase his new, innovative ideas in New York City and show the country what innovation in government looks like. By electing Andrew Yang, we can choose a new and progressive path in order to solve the most urgent problems facing the city.
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Email Kevin Kurian at [email protected]