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Photo: Joshua Lott/AFP/Getty Images

Andrew Yang is a former tech executive who founded Venture for America, a nonprofit young entrepreneur fellowship program. His central issue, a proposal for universal basic income, is grounded in the belief that millions of jobs will be wiped away due to automation.

Key facts about Andrew Yang:
  • Current position: n/a
  • Age: 44
  • Born: Schenectady, N.Y.
  • Undergraduate: Brown University
  • Date candidacy announced: November 6, 2017
  • Previous roles: Founder of Venture for America, Manhattan Prep CEO, Stargiving.com VP, corporate attorney at Davis Polk & Wardwell
Andrew Yang's stance on key issues:
  • Universal basic income: Yang's proposal — "The Freedom Dividend" — would provide every American over 18 years old with $1,000 per month. He contends that this would grow the economy by 13% and increase the labor force by 4.5-5 million people. This policy stems from his belief that AI and automation will wipe out millions of jobs, and that UBI is the path to avoiding economic ruin.
  • Gun control: Wants to require a federal background check and federal buyback program, eliminate the gun show loophole, ban high-capacity magazines and prohibit the manufacture and sale of bump stocks, suppressors, and other attachments.
    • References smart guns in his policy and says he plans to "invest in innovative technology that would make firearms harder to fire for non-owners of the gun."
    • Those who currently own firearms under Yang's plan would be grandfathered in with their existing licenses and receive one-time "Good Gun Owner" tax credits for adhering to additional requirements.
  • Medicare for All: Yang advocates for a single-payer health care system.
  • Economy: Yang calls his economic philosophy "human-centered capitalism," advocating for a system that emphasizes metrics that measure "human well-being and fulfillment," such as standard of living, health-adjusted life expectancy, childhood success rate and social and economic mobility. He described his plans as a "vision for a trickle-up economy."
  • Marijuana legalization: Yang pledged to legalize marijuana and pardon all non-violent drug related offenses, then later clarified that he would only pardon marijuana-related offenses. Yang said he would still decriminalize opioids.
  • Social media: Yang has proposed a federal department to oversee social media, citing "a huge surge in depression, anxiety, and emotional issues." He described it as "a Department of the Attention Economy."
  • Circumcision: In March, Yang came out against circumcision, telling The Daily Beast: "From what I’ve seen, the evidence on it being a positive health choice for the infant is quite shaky."
Key criticisms of Andrew Yang:
  • Anonymity: Yang is not well-known and will struggle to drive the conversation.
  • Inexperience: He has not worked in government before.
1 fun thing about Andrew Yang:
  • He says he rebranded universal basic income to the "Freedom Dividend" because it tests better with conservatives.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

By the numbers: Where the earmarks are wanted

Expand chart
Data: House Committee on Appropriations; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

The Dallas-Fort Worth area is being targeted for the largest collective earmark request in the country, according to a detailed breakdown of overall requests released by the House Appropriations Committee.

Why it matters: House appropriators are trying to balance bipartisan momentum for infrastructure investment with "pork-barrel" spending's checkered political history. The data dump is an effort to provide transparency for what are now termed "community project funding" requests.

Democrats open to user fees for infrastructure deal

President Biden sits Thursday with Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) as they discuss his $2.3 trillion infrastructure proposal. Photo: T.J. Kirkpatrick/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Some Senate Democrats are open to paying for a compromise infrastructure package by imposing user fees, including increasing the gas tax and raising money from electric car drivers through a vehicle-miles-traveled charge.

Why it matters: By inching toward the Republican position on pay-fors, some Democrats are bucking President Biden's push to offset his proposed $2.3 trillion plan by focusing only on raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy.

Progressive legal advocacy group spinning off from sponsor

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

A leading progressive legal advocacy group is spinning off from the sprawling dark money network that seeded it, the group tells Axios.

Why it matters: Demand Justice's decision to separate from the Sixteen Thirty Fund, a "fiscal sponsor" for scores of largely left-wing organizations, will provide the public with its first detailed look behind the curtain of the influential progressive nonprofit.

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