A Democratic presidential hopeful for the 2020 presidency is proposing $1,000 a month for all citizens between the ages of 18 and 64 as part of a universal basic income program.
Andrew Yang, an American entrepreneur and the founder of Venture for America, said the spending proposal would cost the U.S. Treasury an estimated $2 trillion a year.
“The size of our economy is now $19 trillion a year. It’s grown by $4 trillion in the last 10 years alone. We can easily afford $1,000 a month per citizen,” he told FOX Business’ Stuart Varney on Monday.
Yang recommends implementing the European Union’s Value Added Tax (VAT) at half the rate of 10%, which he said would provide the government with enough money to afford the monthly allowance. Applying a sales tax would grow the economy by $2.5 trillion a year and would create 4.5 million new jobs, according to Yang.
“It’s common sense where if you gave $1,000 to American consumers, they would spend it in their local economy in Main Street businesses every day,” he said.
The entrepreneur is basing his universal income platform on the premise that truck drivers will be driven out business by all-electric truck technology as introduced by Tesla, and brick-and-mortar retailers going out of business due to the effect of e-commerce giant Amazon.
“We need it because truck driving is the most common job in 29 states right now in the U.S. and we all know that trucks will start driving themselves in the next five to 10 years,” Yang said. “Retail is the second-biggest job category in the United States and 30% of malls are going to close.”