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.

CHANG | Capitalism Is Worth It

Editor’s Note: This piece is part of The Sun’s dueling columns feature. In this feature, Darren Chang ’21 and Jade Pinero ’19 debate, “Is capitalism good?” Read the counterpart column here. Today, fewer than half of young Americans support capitalism. It’s a sympathetic statistic, since young adults’ conception of the economy has been irrevocably shaped by the Great Recession, unequal wealth distribution and poor wage growth. Yet, while capitalism may not be perfect, it’s worth keeping and fixing because of the prosperity it has wrought.

LEE | A Non-American’s American Dream

Prior to coming to the United States for university, I regarded the American Dream as a far-fetched ideal that had little to do with my personal life. Taking part in Ellis Island role-play simulations in middle school and reading about Willy Loman’s despairs in Death of a Salesman made me aware of the disillusionment associated with the so-called land of opportunity. While I was able to appreciate the sentiments and discussions that revolved around this ideology that has shaped much of the U.S., I saw it as a distant concept as a non-immigrant foreign student expecting to leave the country after my student visa expires. But over the past two and a half years, I, too, have developed my own American Dream. Lively discussions across campus about social mobility and success have ignited a desire to work hard to improve my circumstances, who I am and who I strive to become.