Presidential candidate Marianne Williamson (D) over the weekend said that reading presidential candidate Andrew Yang’s Book, The War on Normal People, made her support universal basic income [UBI], which Yang calls the “Freedom Dividend.”
“I think when you’re talking about universal basic income, and for me it was reading Andrew Yang’s book, The War on Normal People, which really opened my eyes in a way that I had not fully realized before of the tsunami that we have coming toward us in the form of automation,” Williamson said on CNN. “That’s what the UBI conversation is about. The fact that too many people, you know, we have states where, for instance, trucking is the major job. Trucking is going to be driverless trucks. What are drivers going to do? It’s not like, you know when you go to let’s say, Rite Aid, and you see how much of it has become automated and you think about it. And you think how many clerks used to be at the drug store. OK, well the drug store got automated so those people don’t have their jobs anymore but it’s not like they can go over and get a job at CVS because CVS has so much automation.”
Williamson also warned about the “tsunami” of automation that is on the way and pointed out that even right-wing economist Milton Friedman backed an unconditional basic income.
“And another thing that’s very interesting to me is that when you – when you look at where the whole trickle-down economic theory came from which was basically out of a Chicago school and a man named Milton Friedman,” Williamson said. “Milton Friedman himself said when he argued for the whole trickle-down theory, get government out, let the market do whatever it wants, only seeking to serve stockholders, he himself said but we will have to have a universal, basic income to make this safe and stable for people.”
While Yang would give a “Freedom Dividend” to every American citizen 18 years of age until they die, Williamson would only give $1,000/month to “all American adults aged 18-65.” Unlike Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), who shamelessly ripped off Yang’s “democracy dollars” proposal without giving him any credit and thought nobody would notice, Williamson actually credits Yang and his book while laying out her proposal.
“Under my plan, the federal government will pay $1,000/month Universal Basic Income to all American adults aged 18-65,” Williamson says. “This will provide immediate cash relief to those who need it. It will give people a small but reliable stream of income. It will create a floor so no American needs to be hungry. It will also provide a big stimulus to the economy as people spend this money on food, clothes and other essentials. This Universal Basic Income will cover all adults until they reach the age for Social Security.”