General Opinion Graphic

Voting for Andrew Yang is reckless. I know many Yang supporters. I like those Yang supporters as people, however, voting for him might likely be one of the most reckless actions one can take in this primary season.

Why? While I agree with the idea of Universal Basic Income (UBI), the policy of which referred to by the Yang camp as the “Freedom Dividend”, I don’t agree with Yang’s UBI proposal, where it is simply a simply veiled excuse to cut social services to the poor, including food stamps and disability benefits, which even his own FAQ admits, saying that people who are disabled will have to pick between the “Freedom Dividend” and Social Security Benefits.

Yang would be a disaster for this country, and anyone who supports him is in favor of making life more difficult for the poor, one way or another.

Millicent Durand

Fourth-year sociology student

(1) comment

Emily Houston

As someone who works within the welfare sector, I have to respectfully disagree with your sentiments. Over my years working with people who are poor, and who are suffering to make ends meet, the Freedom Dividend would be the most freeing and transformative policy for them. Right now, it is my job to have to viciously analyse an application for welfare and actively try and deny it. Only 20% of families that need TANF actually qualify. It can take months for the paperwork I administer to get through the system before any money is paid out. A single change in someone's circumstances means the difference between getting a welfare benefit, or losing it. I had similar sentiments to you before working in this field, but now that I am in it, I truly understand how trapping our welfare system truly it. It punishes people who try and get ahead, and incentives staying poor.

The Freedom Dividend in contrast would be an immediate payout every month, REGARDLESS of changes in circumstances. There wouldn't be months (or even years under current backlog of disability claims) of waiting and being impoverished in the meantime. Individuals would no longer have to attend humiliating case manager interviews with people like me, who try their best to treat each person with dignity, but have to follow strict rules. I feel like I've lost my soul treating humans like numbers in a machine. It's very difficult to get up and go to work.

Sure, some individuals may opt to continue the current system, but every individual client I've spoken to has told me that they need cash and that they would prefer cash to spend on their own personal, individual needs, without the reporting.

Welcome to the discussion.

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