Andrew Yang is one of the few politicians today that I actually like. If he won, I’m not sure I’d be happy per se, but of the Democratic Field, he’s the least offensive candidate.
The one idea I dislike is his Freedom Dividend. I dislike it because it’s a net-0 gesture. It’s meaningless. It’s the equivalent of your landlord saying: “I have good news and bad news. The good news is, your rent is now free. The bad news is, your water and electric bill is now 10xed, so…yeah.”
What Andrew Yang is doing with the Freedom Dividend is what most sellers on eBay do. They take an item worth $50, and sell it for $1 + $49 shipping and handling.
Sure, you’ll get $1,000 more per month, the problem is everything you buy will suddenly end up costing just about $1,000 more per month. That’s because any kind of tax “on teh corporations” will only get passed on to the consumer.
I call this the Robin Hood Paradox. Robin Hood steals from the rich and gives to the poor. But now that the poor have their windfall, the taxman just raises the taxes and recoops the money. It’s a never-ending circle. You can’t rob your way to economic prosperity.
If you try to force corporations to pay for the Freedom Dividend, they will just raise product prices and lower salaries of employees. There are plenty of levers that a corporation can use to offset their new costs. They can lay off employees, they can buy more self-service kiosks, and hire fewer people, they can offshore their factory operations. The ripples are endless.
The economy is like one of those sausage-shaped balloons, you squeeze one end, and the other end gets as big as the opposite end got small.