Andrew Yang hasn't proved he's ready to be mayor, but his competitors' unhinged responses to even the most obvious of his ideas show they aren't.
Is Andrew Yang getting interesting? The mayoral front-runner has lately developed a habit of making reasonable, if rather big-picture, suggestions for governing Gotham — and it’s driving his rivals crazy. Yang hasn’t proved he’s ready to be mayor, but his competitors’ unhinged responses to even the most obvious of his ideas show they aren’t.
Yang’s least interesting or constructive idea is his signature issue: universal basic income. Last year, he ran for president on giving every adult in America $1,000 a month. The idea is to give the poor choice in what to do with their money, rather than hand them vouchers for housing, food and so forth. UBI gives everyone else a weapon against wage stagnation and the automation and offshoring of jobs.
The Big Apple can’t give every adult $1,000 monthly. It would cost $80 billion a year, exceeding tax revenues. So Yang offers a stripped-down version of his “universal” plan: $167 a month for the poorest half-million New Yorkers. But he never explains key details.
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