It’s unbelievable that after this awesome interview NYT Editorial Board still chose Warren and Amy!
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Kathleen Kingsbury: So I have a serious question to ask you, but first we wanted to ask, were you wearing a helmet while you were biking here?Mr. Yang biked to the Times from his Manhattan home. In your assessment, what are the policy breakdowns that lead to Americans still being hungry today?
What would you do immediately when you enter office? What would be first on your agenda? What would you want to accomplish in the first 100 days?
KK: Have you spoken to Republican lawmakers about the Freedom Dividend?
which is why run as a Democratic versus a Republican if you have such bipartisan issues?
Aisha Harris: Back in September, you actually spoke out on behalf of the comedian Shane Gillis, who had been hired on “SNL” and then was quickly fired after some racist comments were stirred up that he had made in the past on one of his podcasts. And you said you didn’t want to be judged for something you had done 25 years ago.Mr. Gillis was hired by “Saturday Night Live” last September, then dropped days later after clips surfaced showing him using slurs and language offensive toward Asian and L.G.B.T.Q. people, including one specifically about Mr. Yang. Mr. Yang later said the comedian should have had the chance to keep his job and explained: “As a society, we have become unduly punitive and vindictive about people making statements that some find offensive or distasteful.” But Gillis’s comments were maybe a year ago. So I’m curious as to, in your mind, how long of a period of time should it be before someone faces some sort of consequences for something they’ve done in the past?
Binyamin Appelbaum: Yes. After every invention basically since the plow, people have found new uses for the time saved by new technologies. You’ve argued that this time, this won’t happen quickly enough.Mr. Yang has argued that his Freedom Dividend is one answer to the needs of the millions who will lose their jobs to automation. Why will this time be different? What gives you the confidence that we’re confronting something new in all of human history?
BA: But we also have record low unemployment, and when you mention labor force participation, some people think a big factor there is that the government already is giving people too much money.
BA: But you’re not proposing to fix any of that. People don’t just work to make money; they do work for a sense of self-worth. They work so that they can develop skills, they work so they have the possibility of earning more money someday. You’re proposing to replace a portion of the income they may have lost, but not any of those other things. Why is that a solution?
BA: So a Republican would say that alternative is to let markets work. Is that what makes you a Democrat — you don’t think the market will create enough jobs for Americans?
KK: Oh, sorry, I just wanted to ask you, you know, there are some people who would suggest that a better use of money, instead of giving a Freedom Dividend, would be to dramatically overhaul America’s high schools and start teaching people different skills instead of trying to continue the race against A.I.The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Future of Education and Skills 2030 project is exploring the ways education systems internationally need to change to prepare students for a rapidly automating economy. Why isn’t that a path? Why couldn’t we instead change how we do education in this country?
KK: But access to college is still a civil rights issue in this country.
BS: Would you dilate what you’re talking — seven years doing what?
BA: Your proposal is oddly regressive. On the benefits side you’re proposing that people will have to choose between this benefit and their existing federal benefits while someone like me just all the sudden gets a new check in their mailbox every month. On the funding side you’re relying on a VAT, which is an inherently regressive funding mechanism.A VAT (value-added tax) is a tax on consumption, so the burden disproportionately falls on low-income households, who spend a larger portion of their income. You’ve proposed some offsets, but I still don’t understand why you don’t just embrace a progressive approach to taxation. Either raise top rates or a wealth tax. If there are people who need help, why aren’t you trying to help them as much as possible?
BA: But that just brings us to the other side of it, where what you’re proposing is not to give as much more money to the people who need it the most. You’re saying, if you get food stamps, the amount by which your government benefits increase will be less than for me or you.
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