Politics
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Episode 215
Featuring Andrew Yang
Andrew Yang, Founder of the Forward Party, explains his decision to leave the Democratic Party, as well as his policy positions on UBI, ranked-choice voting, the news media, crypto, and much more.

In Episode 215 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with 2020 Presidential candidate and Founder of the Forward Party, Andrew Yang. Yang is perhaps best known for popularizing the idea of universal basic income, what he called “the freedom dividend” during his run for president in 2020. He recently launched “the Forward Party,” a political party focused on breaking what Andrew sees as a two-party duopoly that is no longer working and whose members and policies have fallen increasingly out of favor with the majority of Americans. He details many of his policy proposals in his new book “Forward,” including ranked-choice voting, open primaries, term limits, campaign reform, and of course universal basic income: one-thousand dollars for every man and woman in America.

Demetri spent most of the first half of their conversation asking Andrew Yang about his experience on the campaign trail, what it was like to run for president, and what it taught him about the American political system and how to go viral in today’s attention economy. The overtime is where Kofinas really had the opportunity to dig into Yang’s policy platform. They discussed Andrew's UBI proposal, its potential impact on inflation, and how to implement such a policy without making politics even more transactional than it is today. They also discuss how to crack the gerontocracy that currently exists in Washington, the misaligned incentives in our news media, as well as how Andrew Yang thinks blockchain and distributed ledger technology can be leveraged for the public good and why crypto is a potential path to universal basic income.

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Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

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Episode Recorded on 10/11/2021

Andrew Yang is an entrepreneur, author, philanthropist, non-profit leader, and former 2020 presidential candidate.

After working as a lawyer and executive at several early-stage technology companies, Andrew eventually became CEO of an education company that became #1 in the country. He then started a national entrepreneurship non-profit, Venture for America, which worked to empower thousands of young entrepreneurs to bring their dynamism to communities across the country, from New Orleans and Baltimore to Denver and Detroit.

Andrew was named a Presidential Ambassador of Entrepreneurship by the White House under the Obama administration and a Champion of Change for his work with Venture for America. Initially dubbed a "longer than long shot" candidate by the New York Times in 2018, Andrew became a top-tier contender for the presidency, raising nearly $40 million in grassroots funding.

With a vision to rewrite the rules of the United States economy through a “Freedom Dividend” of $1,000 a month for every American adult, Andrew became one of the most exciting stories in the 2020 race. Andrew's nationwide support, known as the “Yang Gang,” propelled him to seven Democratic primary debates, outlasting six senators, four governors, three members of congress, two mayors, and one secretary.

Following this unexpected run for president, Andrew formed the non-profit Humanity Forward, successfully lobbying Congress for direct cash relief for struggling American families during the pandemic while simultaneously distributing over $8 million directly to struggling families.

From his presidential and New York mayoral runs, Andrew has seen first-hand what’s preventing our country from getting things done, and he is now directing his energies towards fixing the machinery of our stagnant democracy. With Forward - Notes on the Future of Our Democracy, Andrew lays out the case for a variety of democracy reform measures that can unclog the pipes of our system and realign the incentives of legislators with the wellbeing of the American people.

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