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Businessman Andrew Yang’s Universal Basic Income idea gained support from other candidates on the debate stage at tonight’s fourth Democratic Debate.
The candidates were split on Tuesday when a question about job automation arose, the impetus for Yang’s plan.
As technological automation decreases job availability, many may find themselves without a stable job.
On stage, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) jumped on board with Yang’s infamous $,1000 universal income plan for all citizens. In contrast, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) proposed a federal job guarantee in order to provide opportunities in the face of joblessness.
“I agree with my friend Andrew Yang,” Gabbard said. “I think Universal Basic Income is a good idea to help provide that security so people can have the freedom to make the kinds of choices that they want to see.”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) also leaned towards providing Americans with income assistance. However, she suggested that it already existed within the Social Security fund. Under her administration, Warren said she would reform Social Security to solve the problem that automation, joblessness, and income disparity present.
This is the first time there has been larger support for Universal Basic Income, which is the main idea for Yang’s campaign.
Julian Castro also came out in favor of UBI in a tweet.
We should look for creative solutions to jobs lost to automation. I support piloting a Universal Basic Income program, but I don't think we should take away the entitlement programs that help keep working families afloat to do it. #DemDebate— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) October 16, 2019
Both Gabbard and Yang stood against Sander’s job guarantee.
“I do not believe a federal jobs guarantee is the way to do that,” Gabbard said. “The value that someone feels in themselves and their own lives is not defined by the job that they have but is intrinsic to who we all are as Americans—whatever we chose to do with our lives and we cannot forget that.”
Libby Cohen is a third-year University of Texas student originally from New Jersey. She has written for ORANGE Magazine, the Daily Texan, and most recently interned for 1010 WINS in NYC. She's now back in Austin writing for the Texas Standard and the Daily Dot.