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Biography

Andrew Yang is an entrepreneur and the founder of Venture for America. He was formerly a cooperate attorney at Davis Polk & Wardell. After practicing law, he launched several software healthcare startups. Yang became the CEO of a test preparation company called Manhattan Prep which was acquired by Kaplan in 2009. In 2011, Yang founded Venture for America to create economic opportunity in American cities by equipping young entrepreneurs with the skills required for jobs. Yang filed with the Federal Election Commission to run for the 2020 presidential election on November 6, 2017.

 


On the Issues

AAI tracks statements, both official and on the campaign trail, of each presidential candidate on the issues that are most important to our community. 

Click on an issue to read what Andrew Yang has said on the campaign trail. 

 

DOMESTIC POLICY

Democracy Reforms

Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

Bigoted Speech

Hate Crime

NO BAN Act

Immigration

Surveillance

Criminal Justice Reform

FOREIGN POLICY

Iran Tensions

Israel Palestine

U.S. Presence in the Arab World

Ongoing Conflicts


DOMESTIC POLICY


Democracy Reforms  

  • Vietor: We have seen recently that abortion rights have just been under assault by the Trump Administration, by the courts, by states. Have you thought about how you would ensure that reproductive rights are protected across the country?

    Andrew Yang:Well, I think it’s crazy that in 2019 we have states passing laws that are bringing us back to the Stone Age in terms of women’s reproductive rights. So I want to protect women’s reproductive rights to the highest possible levels.

    And there’s nothing in the Constitution about the number of Supreme Court Justices. I think we should very very much consider increasing the number of justices past nine and appointing justices that would protect women’s reproductive rights. There’s really nothing off the table when it comes to protecting women’s reproductive rights for me.

    Vietor: So so, the primary goal would be to really think about packing the courts as soon as possible and preserving Roe or preventing it from being overturned in that way.

    Andrew Yang:Yeah. Yeah, that’s right.

    Vietor: And what about sort of enshrining Roe in legislation? Is that something you think we should pursue?

    Andrew Yang: Yeah, I think that’s the right move too. And you know, I mean, I understand that Americans have different feelings on this, but I’m very much pro-women’s reproductive rights. I do not think it’s the role of government to be curbing that. (7/14/2019, Pod Save America)

  • The framers of our Constitution were very wise and they set up the Electoral College for many reasons, including balancing the voice of different regions. While I understand the appeal of the popular vote, the reality is that it would require a constitutional amendment that would never pass and it would systematically advantage densely populated areas with big media markets. Also, for Democrats, trying to abolish the Electoral College could be interpreted as, “We can’t win national elections by the rules of our Constitution so let’s change the rules” which is a terrible message. Let’s win elections. Then we can talk.” (Yang 2020) 

  • If you’ve paid your debt to society, you ought to be able to vote. This is particularly true given the hodgepodge of different treatment in different states. Voters are less likely to reoffend, which is only one reason we should be pushing for it.” (Yang 2020) 

 

Civil Rights and Civil Liberties 

  • "Well one thing I’ve found is that cash is hard to demonize."(7/14/2019, Pod Save America)
  • Andrew Yang: It’s like, like if you say hey, I’m gonna change your healthcare be like, oh death panels, doctors, like it’s gonna screw it up. But it’s like hey the Asian man wants to give you money. It’s a little trickier to be like, oh the money’s gonna kill you. It’s like…

    Vietor: But like food stamps have been demonized  right and stigmatized.

    Andrew Yang: They have been and that’s one reason why the dividend so powerful is because the food stamps it’s like, it’s like something for other people. Like you go to folks in various parts of countries and go, oh, they’re getting something, they’re pulling one over on you. This time it’s like, everyone gets it. Chill out. It’s going to be great. (7/14/2019, Pod Save America)


  Securitization and Surveillance 

  • "Google just recently demoed AI that can do the work of an average call center worker, and there’re 2.5 million call center workers the United States. They make 14 bucks an hour, average education high school. So when you start digging in, you realize that we’re going to automate away the most common jobs in our society – and we’re only in the midst of doing so....And it’s not just blue collar workers. Bookkeepers, accountants, insurance agents, financial advisors, pharmacists – there are many white collar jobs that will also be upended by AI. And you’re already seeing this in many organizations. I spoke at a group of CEOs in New York and I ask them, how many are looking at having AI replace thousands of back office workers and out of 70 CEOs? 70 hands went up.

    Vietor: Wow.

    Andrew Yang: So this is not just an us versus them thing: this is a human thing. And we need to wake up to the fact it is not immigrants, it is technology. And then have meaningful solutions that will actually help America manage this transition. (7/14/2019, Pod Save America)

  • Vietor: So we’re thinking like a post automation Mad Max trucker scenario. I mean like you’re worried about like actual violence, not just people losing their jobs. It sounds like.

    Andrew Yang: Yeah, I mean you can see right now that, again, you’ve had these record levels of suicides and drug overdoses in response to the decimation of manufacturing jobs. It’s only a matter of time before some of that despair ends up becoming externalized and that would include violence. If you look at the first Industrial Revolution at the turn of the century, there were mass riots that killed dozens of people and caused the equivalent of billions of dollars worth of damage. And this Industrial Revolution is projected to be two to three times faster and more severe than that one. So if you’re into history and you say okay, this is what happened last time and this time will be two to three times worse, then it would almost be surprising if there were not some form of violence. (7/14/2019, Pod Save America)


Hate Crime  

  • "Who is going to be the boogeyman of the next 10-20 years? Who is going to be the great rival of the United States in the eyes of American society? China, that's right. And so what do you think the attitude is going to be over time for the shrinking, insecure white majority that is losing their jobs, for, let's say, Chinese Americans or Asian Americans? I personally, I said to a group at Harvard, I think we are one generation away from falling into the same camps as the Jews who were attacked in a synagogue in Pittsburgh, like just a couple months ago. We're probably one generation away from Americans shooting up a bunch of Asians saying, you know, like, "damn the Chinese" because there's a giant Cold War or even more with China. That is a great danger that I fear our children are going to grow up in." (3/14/2019, Twitter
  • "Violence has occurred in several black churches and Jewish synagogues in the last years. It would be awfully optimistic to think that something similar would not happen to other communities. I am trying to keep the country strong and whole for my kids and yours." 3/14/2019, Twitter

Criminal Justice Reform 

  • Mandatory minimum laws, the war on drugs, and other misguided policy decisions over the years passed by politicians with an eye towards being “tough on crime” have resulted in a glut of Americans behind bars. Instead of focusing on what sounds or feels good, we should focus on results. While individuals should be punished for committing crimes, the end goal should be to prevent people from committing crimes, and to lower recidivism rates for those who are convicted. Outside of my social policies such as Universal Basic Income, which will eliminate poverty and thus reduce one common driver of crime, there are many things we can do to ensure the safety of Americans by preventing people from becoming criminals.” (Yang 2020)   

Bigoted Speech: Instances of Condemnation and/or Use 

 

  • Vietor: That’s where my cynicism comes from. It’s like I just wonder how we will get Republicans to change their mind or if you thought through like what it would take politically to try to bring people over.

    Andrew Yang:Well one thing I’ve found is that cash is hard to demonize.

    Vietor: True

    Andrew Yang: It’s like, like if you say hey, I’m gonna change your healthcare be like, oh death panels, doctors, like it’s gonna screw it up. But it’s like hey the Asian man wants to give you money. It’s a little trickier to be like, oh the money’s gonna kill you. It’s like…

    Vietor: But like food stamps have been demonized, right, and stigmatized.

    Andrew Yang:They have been and that’s one reason why the dividend so powerful is because the food stamps it’s like, it’s like something for other people. Like you go to folks in various parts of countries and go, oh, they’re getting something, they’re pulling one over on you. This time it’s like, everyone gets it. Chill out. It’s going to be great. (7/14/2019, Crooked Media)

  • Vietor: I’ve noticed you’ve done a lot of outlets, non-traditional stops, in the Democratic primary circuit. Let’s say like Joe Rogan, Ben Shapiro, Dave Rubin. So there have been some reports that are unrelated to you and your candidacy that suggests that some of those guys are a gateway via YouTube to more radical fringe outlets like Infowars or like worse. Does that worry you at? That that some of these guys like the Ben Shapiros could provide a way for people to find that kind of content or is that YouTube’s problem? How do you think about it?

    Andrew Yang: You know, it’s a really profound question and it’s becoming all the more pressing in an age where white nationalism and tribalism are surging into very, you know, like tragic murderous behaviors. And there’s a guy named Jaron Lanier is one of the pioneers of the internet and he said something that stuck with me.He said that the internet is more powerful at conducting negative ideas and sentiments than it is positive ones. So the YouTube controversy on clamping down, I mean, it’s so core. Because if you have toxic ideas that are out there, they can spread like wildfire and end up like leading people to terrible ideologies. The conversations I had with various thinkers, I mean as you say, it’s like… I mean one of the things I’m trying to do, and this also being very candid, starting out there weren’t a lot of mainstream press outlets that were having me.

    Vietor: Sure.

    Andrew Yang: So someone’s like, oh is this a strategy? It’s like, actually my strategy was to try and reach Americans and if there was like someone who wanted to have me on. I do think that it’s important particularly if you’re going to try and win a general election to try and reach people at different points in the political spectrum. I certainly would never go on a program where it was like where I thought it was like a direct gateway to hateful ideologies. But this is one of the most pressing problems of our time is to figure out how we can manage freedom of speech and First Amendment rights with the fact that unfortunately the internet is highly conductive for toxic and poisonous ideologies.


Immigration 

  • Vietor: What would you do to reduce the flow of asylum seekers and fixed what I think people in both parties view to be a broken system?

    Andrew Yang:  Now so the first thing to do is try and adequately resource the system we have because if you go, if you go near the process you see that we have a massive shortage of not just judges to administer asylum cases, but case managers and facilities and border officers. There was one thing I saw where there are something like hundreds of unfilled job openings because it’s just hard for them to hire in these stations. So one if have a process, you have to adequately try and resource and implement it. But the big thing there, and this is one reason why cutting back international aid was so destructive, it’s like obviously if you’re going to try and get people to migrate less out of an area, then you try and support the existing government and way of life. So that people feel like they don’t need to migrate hundreds of miles over dangerous conditions for for another opportunity that they have an opportunity closer to them. 

    Vietor: Do you think about increasing foreign aid as part of an immigration policy?

    Andrew Yang: Yeah. Yeah. I think that would be the right thing to do. (7/14/2019, Crooked Media)

  • I’m instinctively pro-immigrant as the son of immigrants. Immigrants make our country stronger and more dynamic. But we need to enforce our laws and the border in a humane and effective way. Only then can we start to address the 11 million+ here illegally.” (10/23/18, Twitter) 

  • We have to face facts that there are over 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country.  Millions of them pay taxes and have American children. Deporting them is impossible and inhumane.  Having them continue to live in the shadows brings with it many problems and drawbacks. The best path forward is to provide a pathway to citizenship for those who are here illegally.  We need to bring them into the formal economy out of the shadows. I am the son of immigrants and understand those who have come here to build a better life for themselves and their families.” (Yang 2020 

  •  “Children who have never known any life other than growing up in America should not be living in fear of being deported from the only place they have ever known.  We should assure them that this is their home and their future is here. I am the son of immigrants. I understand what this country can do for families and what it means to people.” (Yang 2020 


 

NO BAN Act 

  • As the son of immigrants attacks on immigrant communities pain me on on a personal level. Everyone wants to make a better life for their families. There is a place for everyone. There is no place for hate.” (3/15/19, Twitter) 

FOREIGN POLICY 


Israel/Palestine 

  • “This is a situation where some of our best intentions may or may not have the best results, and so the goal should be to try and empower partners in that region to try and help resolve a situation that has been with us for decades…I think American should not take all these responsibilities to itself and we have big problems here at home.” (2/11/19, Our Quad Cities) 

Iran Tensions 

  • "...we need to try and push the power to declare war back to Congress where it belongs, in the Constitution." (7/14/2019, Crooked Media)
  • "I think it was a mistake that we withdrew from the agreement [the Iran nuclear agreement] to try and have them tamp down their nuclear development in return for various economic considerations. I would rejoin that agreement, which is multilateral. There are other countries that are actually still in that agreement with Iran that have been waiting for us to rejoin." (6/19/19 WBUR)
  • "Obviously, we can't let that sort of attack go without any sort of consequence. But if you look at the bigger picture, we've put [Iran] in this situation in part by economic sanctions that have threatened to increase tensions in the region. My goal would be to de-escalate tensions. The American people have no interest in another military conflict in the region. … What we can't do is saber-rattle and make it so that the tensions in the region escalate to armed conflict." (6/19/19 WBUR) 

 

U.S. Presence in the Arab World 

  • LISA DESJARDINS: We're in a time of very significant global tension. And there is U.S. presence on the ground in dozens of countries right now. We have seen just in the last week protests and overthrow and Africa. ISIS is weak, but still surviving in Syria. Afghanistan is not yet fully stable. I'm wondering which of those situations you think would call for U.S. involvement, if any, and what kind of involvement. What is your foreign policy vision?

    ANDREW YANG: Well, I would want to rebuild the partnerships and alliances that we have had over the last number of years that in many cases have become very frayed because some of our longstanding allies now regard the United States as an unreliable partner. And, to me, our foreign policy should reflect how we're doing at home. In my opinion, the reason why Donald Trump is our president is that we have been falling apart at home. So job number one is to rebuild the American community, the American people. And our foreign policy should become much more restrained and judicious. I would want to rebuild our partnerships and alliances, and hopefully rely more on the U.N. and diplomacy and multilateral approaches to problems. (7/16/2019, PBS)
  • “We wasted hundreds of millions of dollars and unfortunately American lives of young men and women who might not have achieved their goals.... my principles around foreign policy are around restraint and judgment, where we have to go in very judiciously and have a very clear set of goals that we think we can accomplish in a reasonable timeframe” (2/11/19, Our Quad Cities) 

  • America is the beneficiary of the international world order we helped establish throughout the twentieth century.  That said, we have deluded ourselves into thinking that we are capable of doing things that we are not, sometimes at a terrible cost to ourselves and others.  My first principles concerning foreign policy are restraint and judgment - we should be very judicious about projecting force and have clear goals that we know we can accomplish.  We should treat our men and women in the armed services as the brave and self-sacrificing leaders that they are, both during and after their deployments. If I send young men and women into harm’s way, they will know that vital national interests are at stake and there is a clear plan for them to achieve their goal in a reasonable time frame.” (Yang 2020) 


 

Ongoing Conflicts  

  • “I think that Donald Trump’s unilateral hasty withdrawal from Syria was not very well done and he ended up pulling the rug out from some of our partners and allies there. But I do think that extricating ourselves from the situation is something we need to do, and we need to try and empower the governments there and also our allies to be able to pick up where we leave off in that region… We’ve been there for years and have invested a lot. Pretending that we can do more with additional investment may or may not be the right way to go.” (2/11/19, Our Quad Cities) 

  • Over time, that should be the goal [pulling out U.S forces from Afghanistan and Syria]. And, certainly, we shouldn't have done it in the way that President Trump did when he did it abruptly and didn't notify allies. And then some friends of mine resigned, you know, in protest. I mean, if you're going to do something, you have to do it responsibly. But we have been in some of these contexts for many years. And, at this point, it's time to own the fact that we should bring those troops home.” (4/16/19, Real Clear Politics