Andrew Yang is a Taiwanese-American entrepreneur and politician who has gained widespread recognition for his innovative ideas and proposals. Born on January 13, 1975, in Schenectady, New York, Yang was raised in nearby Westchester County. His parents were immigrants from Taiwan, and his father was a Ph.D. holder in physics, while his mother had a master’s in statistics. Yang attended Phillips Exeter Academy and went on to study political science and economics at Brown University before attending law school at Columbia University.
After a brief stint as a corporate lawyer, Yang pursued his real passion for entrepreneurship. He founded a variety of startups in the early 2000s, eventually becoming CEO of Manhattan Prep, a test prep company. In 2011, he founded the successful non-profit organization Ventures for America (VFA), which prompted the Obama Administration to name him a “Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship” in 2015. Two years later, Yang stepped down as the CEO of VFA.
Yang’s most distinctive campaign proposal came during his run for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. He called it the “Freedom Dividend,” which was a form of Universal Basic Income (UBI). Yang proposed offering $1,000 per month to every American adult over the age of 18 to help curb the devastating economic effects caused by automation, which he believed would significantly displace workers in the manufacturing, retail, and trucking industries. Yang also suggested the idea of giving every voting American $100 “democracy dollars” every year to spend on their candidates of choice.
In addition to the Freedom Dividend, Yang also supported a Medicare for All system, which is also called single-payer or universal healthcare. Under this system, private insurance is abolished, and an increase in taxes helps cover the costs while premiums, copays, and deductibles are eliminated. Yang also believed in Human-Centered Capitalism, which means maximizing human welfare and de-emphasizing corporate profits to help steer the country in the right way.
After running for president, Yang decided to pursue politics further and announced his candidacy for New York City mayor on January 13, 2021. He ultimately finished fourth in the Democratic primary, but his candidacy gained a lot of attention and support.
Yang has penned two books, Smart People Should Build Things (2014) and The War on Normal People (2018). He is also a devoted family man, having married his wife Evelyn in January 2011. The couple has two sons, including their eldest son, Christopher, who is autistic.
Andrew Yang’s story is one of an innovative entrepreneur and political leader who is dedicated to finding solutions for some of society’s most pressing issues. His proposals, such as the Freedom Dividend and Human-Centered Capitalism, have gained him a significant following and have sparked important conversations about the future of work and the economy. While his run for president and New York City mayor may not have been successful, Yang’s impact on politics and society is sure to be long-lasting.