From Rio Veradonir

“A note for folks concerned that a UBI will be a non-starter for conservatives:

I’m a center right fiscally conservative guy. Like many other freemarketeers, I support a UBI. I’ve been aware of this concept since before Yang came on the scene. I was very relieved to see a Democrat advocating the policy, which is at its heart a conservative pro capitalist policy.

Many current welfare programs require people to stay poor in order to continue receiving benefits. A UBI does not. Instead of trapping people in poverty, a UBI gives people the ability to escape poverty. They could then work a low paying job, one which wouldn’t be enough to get them out of poverty by itself, yet together with their dividend they are now finally free of poverty. Similarly, some in the lower middle class would now be middle class doing the same work simply due to receiving the extra income.

By the same light, if a middle class person is unhappy in their job, with a UBI they have the ability to negotiate for better treatment, a raise, etc. This is because they have the security to leave the job without losing everything. It cushions the blow and can help them move states, subsidize their living while they find new work, etc. This does more to empower workers than a union ever could. It puts the power where it should be — with the individual to take charge of their own destiny.

Unlike current tax policy, which overtaxes the middle class and then redistributes that money almost exclusively to poor people (in the form of welfare benefits) and to rich people (in the form of corporate subsidies), the UBI actually grows the middle class instead of shrinking it. In this way, the UBI can be seen as much needed tax relief for a struggling middle class in danger of being taxed into extinction right now.

The Freedom Dividend will not only alleviate income inequality but it will enable upward mobility like nothing ever before. Whereas currently an ambitious middle class person has very little chance of ever reaching the upper class, something as simple as a UBI can raise their odds. Not only do they now have more power to negotiate for better treatment at work and/or better jobs, but they have that extra income they can save or invest.

What currently traps people in the middle class is an inability to become part of the investment or capitalist class. Given a UBI, individuals would have a greater chance of succeeding with entrepreneurial side gigs, small business ventures, investments in the market (or even in friends’ businesses as partners), to purchase real estate to rent out, etc.

All of this is also good for lower income people once more, because when there’s more competition prices go down. Rents go down when there are more rentals in town, and prices for goods and services go down when there are more thriving businesses able to compete. This would be the single greatest stimulant of the economy in history.

A UBI can do all these things: raise people out of poverty, give workers more negotiating power, enable upward mobility, give tax relief to the middle class, and stimulate local economies — none of which existing welfare programs do. Yang’s Freedom Dividend gets a significant portion of its funding by simply replacing nanny state programs with this more empowering pro capitalist program. Yang wisely gives people on existing programs the option of staying on those old programs or getting on the new one. They cannot do both.

The left often misunderstands the motivations of conservatives like me. We don’t hate poor people. We simply believe that the best way to help people is to empower them to improve their own lives — as opposed to making them dependent on big government policies that trap them in poverty. We don’t hate taxes, but we dislike the way current schemes redistribute wealth FROM the middle class to the poor and rich, thus shrinking the middle class.

Yang’s UBI solves these very real problems with the existing system. This is why conservatives like it. We don’t see it as another wasteful tax and spend program, taking money from hard working Americans and giving it to a bloated inefficient bureaucracy. We see it as taking some of our tax money currently being wasted on programs that hurt the economy and giving it back to we the people who deserve it. We see it as a chance to rebuild local economies struggling with globalization and automation.

So, please, don’t assume we conservatives don’t support this idea or that we won’t support Yang. We will. We free market conservatives are already very alienated by Trump’s anti-trade policies, his pulling out of free trade deals, his tariffs, his corporate subsidies for farmers, his abuse of executive power, his attacks upon the free press and an independent judiciary, his siding with dictatorships over our own FBI and CIA, and other ways in which Trump has been much less conservative than we would like.

Some of us are so frustrated at the GOP that we have registered Dem for the first time in our lives, myself included. We desperately want Dems to give us a chance to vote for a nominee who supports sane policies that would actually be good for our capitalist economy — rather than for one who threatens to tear everything down and throw the baby out with the bathwater. Yang is a conservative option, because he is trying to solve real world problems with practical solutions — not merely howling at the system.

Nominate Yang if you want to win. Nominate a far leftist if you want four more years of Trump. I realize that during a primary, it’s all about pandering to the base. But the far left base won’t be enough in the general election, particularly in the purple states in the middle of the country that helped Trump win the electoral college. Yang is trying to bring all Americans together with a vision of shared prosperity. Please don’t nominate one of those socialists who are trying to divide Americans with class warfare and who blame everything on “elites.” Leave that populist nonsense to Trump. We want an alternative.

Yang’s policies aren’t just another bland centrist compromise between extremes. They amount to a distinct, superior alternative. They will work, because they are based on data, facts, logic, and pragmatism. He has done the math, and he knows how to pay for it. We don’t need another person promising us the moon and failing to deliver. We already have one in the White House now.

Signed, a conservative NeverTrumper opposing Trump from the right.

Andrew Yang for President 2020 Basecamp #FreedomDividend #Yang2020

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