FOX | Andrew Yang’s Most Intriguing Idea Doesn’t Include $1,000 a Month

To the surprise of many, entrepreneur Andrew Yang has so far outpaced numerous veteran politicians in the Democratic presidential primary, bringing in an impressive third-quarter fundraising haul of $10 million dollars and polling at 10 percent among college students. Yang has risen to prominence largely on his plan to institute a universal basic income of $1,000 per month to every American adult. But another of his plans, Human-Centered Capitalism, may be among the most important ideas brought into presidential politics since Bill Clinton’s attempt at health care reform. More a bold aspiration than a policy proposal, the plan, in summary, is to shift our perspective of national success away from metrics of financial and economic progress, and toward measurement of “maximizing human well-being and fulfillment.” Rather than touting a growing GDP or soaring stock market as proof of progress, Yang seeks to understand our achievement as a society in terms of “median income and standard of living, health-adjusted life expectancy, mental health, childhood success rates, social and economic mobility, absence of substance abuse and others.”

This type of thinking is attractive in a country that, by current criteria, seems to be doing better each year. A decade into a stretch of unprecedented job growth, unemployment is at a historic low, and the country has a record number of job openings. Wages are finally climbing and GDP continues to grow.

WANG | Andrew Yang, Taikonaut

While Hollywood has in recent years swooned over space blockbusters like Interstellar and Ad Astra, it has reminded us of the dangers that befall those bold enough to make the first step into the unknown. The whole beauty of these movies is the uncomfortable vagueness to them. What made sense down here on earth is tossed out for something far more foreign — think Titanesque waves, space pirates and power surges that shake the foundation of our solar system. Watching these films is less a suspension of belief than an improvisation of law. The rules, as the characters learn, are made up for them as they go along. The themes in these films cross my mind as I follow Andrew Yang, his very chill presidential campaign and the expensive crusade to give away as much money as possible.