Here is who I predicted would institute basic income back in 2017:
Mainstream Republicans and Democrats are corrupt retards who care naught beyond more tax cuts for the oligarchs and gibsmedats for the ghettoes, respectively. So its likely that it will be some political outsider President who ends up instituting basic income. In practice, given their wealth and high IQ, this in turn probably means some Silicon Valley plutocrat.
So, those first two are basically Trump!2019 and Commissar Kamala, respectively.
Yang is not quite a plutocrat, so I’m not 100% sure he’ll win. And his tech background he’s more East Coast than Silicon Valley. But otherwise, that’s his bio to a tee.
2. The Alt Right has defected to #YangGang en masse.
I am not surprised to see this (except, perhaps, for the alacrity of the change) for reasons I wrote about it back in 2015:
Today, in Europe as in the US, the basis of the welfare state is the use of targeted programs to help low-income members of the population. It is also widely known that certain ethnic minorities are overrepresented, sometimes grossly overrepresented, as a share of the recipients. In net terms, one can also look at it as a transfer of resources from indigenous Whites towards Non-Asian Minorities. As the demographic sluicegates to the Third World get opened up, these trends can only accelerate.
Many Whites are resentful about this, even if it is not politically correct to talk too openly about it. There are formidable psychological barriers just to thinking about things in such explicit terms.
Then comes along the idea of Universal Basic Income, which is not only cool and progressive but also feeds on the majority’s repressed sense of Ethnic Genetic Interests.
No wonder that everybody is jumping aboard!
You can also listen to a 2017 podcast I did with Robert Stark (The Stark Truth) where iirc I made many of the same points.
Yang’s UBI only applies after deducting the value of existing social programs that one already benefits from. There will still be gibsmedats, but now everyone would be entitled to them!
This has been helped along by Trump deciding to adopt a POWERFUL program revolving around opposing socialism, LEGAL immigrants for factories, rants about abortion, and condemning Dems as the real anti-Semites.
Things that basically nobody apart from a few slobbering boomers even care about.
And this all comes after failing at everything else – on the Wall (zero miles built), on stemming illegal immigration, on protecting his lieutenants, on protecting his supporters from getting banned on social media. The only half-decent successes he’s had have been on trade.
The vast majority of the “Alt Right” are bright enough to recognize that since the only choice they have is between Invade the World/Invite the World or Invite the World/Get $1,000, they’d rather opt for the latter.
Meanwhile, though the Alt Right might be spent as an independent political force, /pol/ remains unrivalled in its memetic power. In particular, as befits his cyberpunk visions, Yang has completely wrestled the vaporwave market away from Trump:
As we learned from 2016, you can’t win if you don’t control the memes of production.
Meanwhile, /r/The_Donald has purged everyone halfway interesting and dissenting, it’s gone from the powerful memetic force it was in 2016 to an online, Trumpist version of Komsomol. They are no longer cool. They are squares.
5. His message appeals to everyone who wants $1,000.
It’s also a very easy message to understand. Like, what could be simpler than this?
Yes, some besuited beigeocrats from the Economics Department of Podunk University will come on and argue that it’s unsustainable and will bankrupt the country. But they can’t prove any of that.
Nobody knows what UBI will do. Economics is a pseudoscience. There are no knockdown arguments either way. But you can’t argue against it without seeming uncool. That’s the only thing that matters.
— scientism (@mr_scientism) March 8, 2019
6. Yang appeals to Fishtown
Meanwhile, as I already noted, there is basically no SJWism in his platform above the bare minimum required to run as a Democratic candidate.
No mention of Black issues on either website – which hosts a more comprehensive policy platform than all the other candidates combined – or Twitter, with the exception of one page that actually focused on pay inequality between men and women.
Interestingly, he has Tweeted about White problems:
Deaths now outnumber births among white people in more than half the states in the country. Much of this is low birth rates and white men dying from substance abuse and suicide. Our life expectancy has declined for 2 years. We need to do much more. https://t.co/zFRAkFY7FU
— Andrew Yang🧢🇺🇸 (@AndrewYang) June 22, 2018
He says there’ll be gun control, but says he’ll be “reasonable” about it. Which probably means he doesn’t take it any more seriously than Obama. Thought if not, it’s hardly the end of the world… while I like gun rights, I have argued that technological developments will soon make gun control near inevitable.
He says he is open to immigration. Ok, sure, but get real. You have to say that as a Democrat, when the Overton Window has moved to such an extent that many of Democrats are now openly demanding the abolition of ICE.
Like it or not, but that Wall isn’t getting built. Deportation squads going to send illegals back by the trainload. American Latinos are in the US to stay*. As Ron Unz has pointed out, in the long-term, Latino baiting is a losing strategy. They are not that violent or dysfunctional relative to Whites, so the disparity between the apocalyptic horror stories that anti-immigration activists claim and reality quickly becomes big enough that ordinary people just start to ignore them.
In this context, you can’t (realistically) ask for anything much more ambitious than this:
- Secure the southern border and drastically decrease the number of illegal entries into the US
- Provide a new tier of long-term permanent residency for anyone who has been here illegally for a substantial amount of time so that they can come out of the shadows and enter the formal economy and become full members of the community.
- This new tier would permit individuals to work and stay in the country, provided they pay their taxes and don’t get convicted of a felony.
- This tier would put them on a longer, eighteen-year path to citizenship (the same amount of time it takes those born in the US to get full citizenship rights), reflecting our desire to bring them into our country but also their decision to circumvent legal immigration channels.
- Invest heavily in an information campaign to inform immigrant communities of this new tier of residency, and deport any undocumented immigrant who doesn’t proactively enroll in the program
Yang is no radical by Democratic standards, which should play well with blue-collar normies who just want their $1,000. And he’ll be free to move even further to the center should he actually be nominated (or run as a third-party candidate), leaving Trump with his remaining core constituency of plutocrats and Israel Firsters.
Moreover, come to think of it, Universal Basic Income is a Wall.
When you know that your $1,000 depends on the productivity of the economy, then you sure wouldn’t want immigrants (legal or illegal) “in the largest numbers ever” for the (soon-to-be-automated) factories.
Though you would admittedly want many smart fractions/cognitive elites, including imported ones, to design and build all those robots that will get everyone their $1,000. Yang’s platform is consistent with that. He says that no foreign student should finish their degree without a US permanent residency. In this sense, he is a classic cognitive elitist. There are problems with cognitive elitism. Even so, it is still probably better to import cognitive elites than surly permanent underclasses.
7. “But he’s just a meme candidate who’ll get 0.6% of the vote”
PredictIt current has him around 10% chance of taking the Dem nomination.
Here are the searches for the top likeliest Dem nominees this past week:
- Commissar Kamala: meh
- Crazy Bernie: Solid, though existing cult + name recognition helps
#YangGang: Evidently *not* just a /pol/ meme
- Creepy Joe: Temporarily inflated by his announcement, otherwise like Yang
- Beto Who?
- Pocahontas also in the doldrums
So he isn’t negligible at any rate.
Yang is going to do very well in the debates. He was on the US National Debate Team in 1992 that went to the World Championships in London.
Ideologically, he is going to squat in Biden’s position, effectively displacing him out of the race. But apart from his folksy charm, and lack of creepy vibes, he will also be offering $1,000 and no intervention.
The real competition will then be a threeway race between Bernie, Yang, and Kamala.
Bernie is too old and too white. He is four years older than in the last elections, when he was already one of the oldest candidates. And the country he is running in is less white. And Yang will siphon off some of his people. He will be left with the hard leftists like the Chapo Trap House demographic… and that’s pretty much it.
Commissar Kamala unites the SJWs and party establishment. I was sure she’d take the nomination. I still think she will. But Yang is going to make it difficult. If this was a white dude pushing UBI, things may have been problematic. But Yang is a Chinaman, so he should be able to siphon off many of Kamala’s minority supporters too.
Trump’s path to victory in 2020:
(1) No recession. (Leading indicators in China and Japan not looking good).
(2) Runs against Commissar Kamila (as opposed to Biden, Bernie, Beto, Yang, or probably even Warren) OR Yang/Gabbard runs as third party.
The really big unknown is whether Yang is interested in running as a third party candidate. (If he does, Kamala will get something like 30%, he’ll get 25%, and Trump will get 40%, winning the election.)
But he will still absolutely trounce Trump, if he gets the nomination. And I think there’s at least a real chance of that.
I will admit that I am sympathetic to Yang. I can’t help but like a politician who RT’s Quillette, has phone calls with Nick Bostrom, and quotes Peter Turchin. This is basically like catnip to me.
I also genuinely think he’ll be good for the US.
I think he’ll be bad for Russia, though if only to the extent that he seems to have standard (moderate) Democrat positions on it and would also repair relations with Europe.
On China, I don’t know. Depends on whether Chinese ethnocentrism or Taiwanese svidomism* win out. Initially, I thought the former was likelier, though I’ve since had second thoughts.
He has said very little on foreign policy in general, though an isolationist trend can just about be discerned. (In any case, both he, Bernie, and even Kamala are running on a largely anti-interventionist platform).
What he can be sure to take seriously (based on his familiarity with Bostrom’s work) is AI safety, which may turn out to be a rather central existential issue in the 21st century.
There is also a small and distinct (vs. negligible wrt everyone else) chance he will go full glorious autistic transhumanism and massively increase funding for stuff like radical life extension. That would be pretty cool.
So you know how in the Civilization strategy games that once the first country adopts Democracy, all the other countries start getting an unhappiness penalty for avoiding it?
I think it will be the same for UBI.
If UBI is a success in the US, other countries will come under overwhelming domestic pressure to adopt it as well.
People around the world will start asking why they don’t deserve $1,000 like Americans do. $1,000 will come to be seen as a basic human right like freedom, food, security, and fast Internet.
Yang’s UBI program would translate to annual payments equivalent to 20% of US GDP per capita – a poverty level existence, to be sure, but still sufficient for a fulfilling, no frills life somewhere deep in the boondocks, or in a shared house in one of its major cities (outside SF and NY, at any rate). This would translate to around 500-700 Euros in most EU countries. Ironically, the mere existence of UBI in the US may well do more for the cause of European immigration nationalism – via Europeans adopting UBI themselves – than the entirety of the Identitarian Right.
I think it would also play well in Russia. America’s existing “democracy promotion” efforts revolving around issues like Chechen LGBT rights, various low single digit approval freaks from Echo of Moscow, and the suffering of the Crimean people under the Russian boot have been total failures. But once UBI starts becoming actualized, Russians will start asking why assorted oligarchs who didn’t at least earn their own wealth, like Bezos, but actively looted it in the 1990s, should have all the money while they subside on $500 wages and $200 pensions. China is fast becoming one of the most automated places on the planet, and gains a couple of billionaires every week. Tolerated for now, but perhaps American UBI will accentuate the contradictions between that and its official Communism to a critical degree.
These are of course fanciful scenarios, and unlikely ones. Still, it would be the height of irony if non-interventionist UBI’ism ends up creating more political troubles for America’s geopolitical adversaries than all of its previous democracy promotion combined.
* Petty nationalism.