While unfamiliar to many about a year ago, Yang recently made headlines for his radical proposals which include offering each citizen a $1,000 monthly universal basic income (UBI), which he called a “freedom dividend.”
Some confuse Universal Basic Income with socialism. Socialism is when you nationalize the means of production. UBI is capitalism where income does not start at zero. Rather than spend tax income on bureaucracy it is given directly to people. pic.twitter.com/Hw1fNI4hNj
“I’m not running for President to be the first Asian-American man to do so,” Yang wrote in a piece for NextShark last year. “I’m running because I believe that I have something fundamental to contribute. I’m a father, my children will grow up here, and my country is spiraling into an abyss. I’m in a position where I may be able to help arrest our decline as a society. If I didn’t step up, I’d be failing my country and my own values.”
According to Yang’s campaign manager, Zach Graumann, achieving the DNC threshold was due to his numerous recent media appearances, including the popular interview with podcast host Joe Rogan, which has since been viewed over 2 million times on YouTube.
“Everything is up and to the right since the Joe Rogan podcast. That was the key. That was the moment,” Graumann told the Daily Beast.
In a later tweet, Yang took a moment to celebrate reaching the debate while acknowledging that there is still a lot to be accomplished in the campaign.
“We have much more to do – but let’s take a moment to celebrate and reflect on what we have just accomplished. It is unprecedented. And they haven’t seen anything yet,” he said.