First Thing, Daily Maverick's flagship newsletter

Join the 230 000 South Africans who read First Thing newsletter.

We'd like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick

More specifically, we'd like those who can afford to pay to start paying. What it comes down to is whether or not you value Daily Maverick. Think of us in terms of your daily cappuccino from your favourite coffee shop. It costs around R35. That’s R1,050 per month on frothy milk. Don’t get us wrong, we’re almost exclusively fuelled by coffee. BUT maybe R200 of that R1,050 could go to the journalism that’s fighting for the country?

We don’t dictate how much we’d like our readers to contribute. After all, how much you value our work is subjective (and frankly, every amount helps). At R200, you get it back in Uber Eats and ride vouchers every month, but that’s just a suggestion. A little less than a week’s worth of cappuccinos.

We can't survive on hope and our own determination. Our country is going to be considerably worse off if we don’t have a strong, sustainable news media. If you’re rejigging your budgets, and it comes to choosing between frothy milk and Daily Maverick, we hope you might reconsider that cappuccino.

We need your help. And we’re not ashamed to ask for it.

Our mission is to Defend Truth. Join Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

Democrat Andrew Yang wants to be president - and give y...



Democrat Andrew Yang wants to be president – and give you $1,000 a month

By Reuters
15 May 2019 0

NEW YORK, May 15 (Reuters) - Andrew Yang is ready for his closeup next month at the first Democratic presidential debate, when he knows most Americans will have one question: "Who is the Asian man standing next to Joe Biden?"

By Joseph Ax

The thousands of so-called “Yang Gang” members who braved cold and rain to attend the candidate’s rally in New York City on Tuesday evening shouted his name in reply, showing his eclectic campaign is catching on with some voters.

The 44-year-old entrepreneur, philanthropist and self-described nerd launched his long-shot bid more than a year ago, centered on a proposal to give every American $1,000 a month in cash.

Since then, he has rolled out more than 100 policy ideas, a technocratic approach rivaled in sheer wonkiness perhaps only by that of U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts among the Democratic candidates seeking the 2020 nomination.

“I liked that he was a very policies-first kind of guy,” said Chris Nguyen, 28, who attended the rally and is considering backing Yang over U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, his choice in the 2016 presidential election.

“He wasn’t just anti-Trump,” Nguyen said of Yang. “He ran on the issues.”

Yang’s odds of victory remain long against better-known and better-funded candidates such as Biden, a former vice president. Yang is drawing around 1 percent support among voters in national polls, on a par with experienced politicians like U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Washington Governor Jay Inslee.

A native of upstate New York and the son of Taiwanese immigrants, Yang would be the first Asian-American president.

He has embraced social media, and Andrew Yang memes have proliferated on Reddit and Twitter. His campaign received a major boost after a lengthy February interview with comedian Joe Rogan’s popular podcast.

Yang’s biggest proposal is what’s known as a universal basic income, or UBI, a concept that in recent years has gained traction within certain academic circles.

Under his “Freedom Dividend” plan, every adult American would receive $1,000 a month regardless of income or work status, a cash infusion he says is the best way to combat the destruction of manufacturing and other jobs due to automation. The proposal would be funded by a European-style value-added tax that Yang says would ensure technology companies pay their fair share.

At the rally, Yang – who often sports a “MATH” hat in a nod to his devotion to numbers – rattled off the industries that were using machines to replace millions of humans: truck driving, retail stores and customer service call centers.

“Donald Trump is our president for one simple reason: Automation did away with 4 million manufacturing jobs,” mostly in states like Pennsylvania and Michigan that were key to Trump’s 2016 victory, Yang said.

Tyler Riley, a 27-year-old from Weehawken, New Jersey, said Yang’s argument resonated with him.

“A lot of candidates focus on immigration, but automation is doing a lot more damage to jobs than any immigrants coming into the U.S.,” he said.

Yang’s platform includes a dizzying mix of standard Democratic fare like Medicare-for-all; voting reform proposals like eliminating gerrymandering or making the Electoral College proportional; and seemingly quirky concepts such as subsidizing marriage counseling, giving everyone $100 to donate to charity and establishing a $1 billion journalism fund to support struggling local news outlets.

He has proposed cutting 10 percent of U.S. military spending and redirecting the funds to a domestic infrastructure force known as – in all seriousness – the Legion of Builders and Destroyers. The legion’s commander would have the power to override local regulations in pursuing massive improvement projects.

Yang has leaned into his political outsider status, coining the slogan “Not Left, not Right, Forward,” and emphasizing his experience running an education startup company eventually acquired by test-prep giant Kaplan.

Some supporters said they would consider his campaign a success if it brings some of his policy proposals to the forefront.

“Even if he doesn’t win, it’s OK – his ideas are there,” said Kai Wong, a 27-year-old physical therapy doctoral student at New York University. (Reporting by Joseph Ax; editing by Jonathan Oatis Editing by Colleen Jenkins) DM


Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted