SEATTLE — Andrew Yang is a New York entrepreneur who's never held political office. But he's now one of 21 democratic candidates running for president.
Yang brought his 'Humanity First Tour' to Seattle's Gasworks Park on Friday night.
If elected, Yang said his first priority as president would be to implement Universal Basic Income of a $1,000 a month for every American adult, and it would be paid for with a new tax on companies that benefit the most from automation.
"If you look at the big winners from all of these innovations it includes Amazon and these tech companies that are not paying a whole lot in taxes. So if we put a mechanism in place to have the American people benefit from all of the incredible growth in our technology industry we can easily afford a thousand dollar dividend for every American adult," Yang said.
The candidate is drawing attention to his fears for the future when it comes to new technologies. He says robots, software, and artificial intelligence have already claimed four million U.S. jobs, and he expects millions more to be eliminated in the next decade.
His flagship proposal of offering every American adult a $1,000 a month caught Ashley Williams attention.
"I’m a medical student, and so, as you know, I am going into debt and some serious debt. Andrew mentioned most of us are going to use the thousand dollars for things that are really important, putting it back into our communities or trying to uplift ourselves out of economic debt and difficulty. As a student at UW, I really need that to try to get out of debt," said Williams.
Dan Price, the Seattle CEO of Gravity Payments, who captured attention a few years back when he committed to a minimum wage of $70,000 a year for his employees, introduced Andrew Yang on stage Friday.
"What do we care about as human beings? We care about our families. We care about having our needs met. So any candidate that is speaking to those issues is somebody that I am going to support," said Price.