Here’s 2020’s first dispatch from the crossroads of faith and media:

Talking dollars and sense. So, despite his obviously passionate following, entrepreneur Andrew Yang was kept off the Democratic debate this week because of party rules that excluded him before an actual vote was cast.  Some lamented that the all-white stage lacked racial inclusiveness. I’m all for racial inclusiveness but I’m more disturbed by the lack of diversity in thought. All the candidates present pretty much believe that big government is the answer to pretty much everything and that the only real way to prove you’re a decent person is go on and on about your utter disdain for President Trump (and, really, the half of America who voted him).

Personally, I didn’t vote for Trump but I agree with Yang that the real reason he managed to eke out an Electoral College win isn’t because his voters are racist (the vast majority are not). The real reason he won (and, yes, he legitimately won) is because the Democratic Party is seen as arrogantly dismissive and judgmental about the concerns of Americans who are concerned about jobs and the economy, turned off by identity politics, express concerns over poorly-managed immigration, wary of a too-powerful centralized government and may even support a woman’s right to choose to choose but fail to be enthusiastic enough about how wonderful (and funny) abortion is.

Andrew Yang’s signature proposal, of course, is his Freedom Dividend which would provide $1000 a month in basic income for all Americans. You can hear more about what he has to say in the video above. And, if I understand Shark Tank panelist/entrepreneur Mark Cuban (also in the video), he basically supports the idea but would expand on it. I like the basic concept too – though, as I’ve written before, I don’t think it goes far enough.

Overall, I like the idea of Universal Basic Income for five basic reasons:

1.) It invests in people whose individual talents and passions can be unleashed to the benefit of everyone rather than in government to redistribute to the needy and subservient masses who are to be mined for votes.

2.) It tackles the issue of automation displacing of workers in the economy while giving those workers an opportunity to chart their own course – without, for example, government-backed retraining programs pushing them into jobs they neither want nor have an aptitude for.

3.) It values families, for instance, giving people the option of devoting more time and energy to raising their kids – which is an investment in the future. It’s also is good for current employee wages and benefits for workers seeking available jobs by increasing their negotiating power. Isn’t that how supply and demand works?

4.) If administered well, it is actually a more efficient means of getting healthcare, housing, rehabilitation help and other services to those in need. I’d actually like to see the creation of an Agency for Citizen Empowerment (ACE) that would streamline government programs and redirect them toward a personal empowerment mindset that treats Americans as assets rather liabilities.

5.) Finally, I think Universal Basic Income is both pro-life and pro-choice. How many financially-struggling women feel forced into abortion simply because of their economic circumstances. UBI would make the choice to have their baby easier. That, I would think, would be viewed as positive thing no matter which side of the abortion debate you are on.

In conclusion, I’d kind of like to see a Yang-Cuban ticket in 2020.

Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11



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