Why should we give every person $1,000 / month when different people have different levels of need? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Andrew Yang, US Presidential Candidate 2020 (D) & Entrepreneur, on Quora:

I believe a Freedom Dividend of $1,000 a month would be universally popular and provide a foundation for every American to improve our own lives. It will make us healthier, stronger, mentally healthier, less stressed out, more optimistic, and more likely to plan for the future.

Making the dividend universal will ensure there's no stigma attached to it. By giving it to every American, the Freedom Dividend becomes a right of citizenship, reminding each of us that we're all owners and stakeholders of the country. In Alaska, a deep red state, the oil dividend handed out yearly is praised by people of all economic backgrounds in part because of its universality. Everyone gets it from the richest Alaskan to the poorest. There is no stigma, no "you get it I don't." There is also no incentive to underreport your income and no need for a robust monitoring bureaucracy.

It wouldn't address every different person's needs. That's not really the intent. With our current government programs many Americans are receiving in excess of $1,000 a month because of their age, health, disability, or family situation. These programs should continue and continue to evolve.

I'm not some idiot who thinks $12,000 a years solves everyone's problems. Of course it doesn't. The larger challenge is building an economy that restores our autonomy, gets the boot off of our throats and puts our energies and innovation to work in addressing the real challenges of this era, like climate change.

The Freedom Dividend will do a world of good. As you probably know I've been giving the Dividend to several families for months. Kyle Christensen used the money from the Freedom Dividend pilot to buy a guitar and start playing shows again. Jodie Fassi used it to help her daughter pay for college. Each American will have their own story about what the Freedom Dividend means to them. They'll spend it on car repairs, healthier food on the table, student loans, and the occasional night out. We'll see that money enrich local businesses as more funds are spent by their neighbors who have more disposable income - which will make it easier to start a local business that might not have been viable in a weaker economy. This will create a trickle-up system from our people, our families, and our communities up.

But of course it doesn't address every human need or individual situation. That work lies ahead for each of us.

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Published on: Oct 1, 2019