Democratic presidential hopeful Andrew Yang said his proposal to give Americans a $1,000-per-month stipend is preferable to a federal jobs guarantee championed by 2020 rivals such as Sen. Bernard Sanders and proponents of the “Green New Deal” to tackle climate change.
“To me, Bernie misses a few really important truths. Number one, if you put money into our hands in a dividend, we’re going to spend it right there in our economy — it’s going to be trickle up. … It’s going to create hundreds of thousands of jobs at restaurants, garages, tutoring services, day care — where we live and work,” Mr. Yang, an entrepreneur, said Thursday evening on CNN.
Mr. Yang had been asked what his response would be to someone like Mr. Sanders arguing that a federal jobs guarantee would be better than a “handout.”
He said the second issue is that a federal jobs guarantee could leave out people like his wife, who cares for their boys at home, and nurturers and caregivers.
“The third thing is that Bernie somehow imagines that millions of Americans aspire to work for the government, which we do not,” Mr. Yang said. “If you think about a federal jobs guarantee in practice, who says what the jobs are? What if you don’t like that job? What if you’re not good at that job? Who manages you?”
“There are all of these really tricky details in implementation that make a federal jobs guarantee much, much better in the abstract than in real life,” he said.
Mr. Yang will be able to make his case when he shares the stage with Mr. Sanders and eight other candidates at the Democratic presidential debate next month.
His rise in some recent polling means Mr. Yang has been positioned closer to center stage than candidates such as former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas, Sen. Cory A. Booker of New Jersey, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and former housing secretary Julián Castro.