IDP Hall of Fame Celebration Speeches—Andrew Yang  ... next >
Hello, Iowa. Itis fantastic to be back. Thank you.

When I saw the program for today, I thought the same thing you all did, which is this. Joe Biden must really not like to travel.

You look around this room. There are 1,000 Iowans, I've done the math, each of you is worth about 1,000, Californians. So this room to me looks like 1 million Californians. It's beautiful to be back.

I'm here to help solve the problem that you all have been grappling with for the last two plus years. And it is this. How did Donald Trump win your state Iowa by nine points? How did he win Michigan? How did he win Pennsylvania? How did he win Ohio? How did he  even win Wisconsin?

And when you look at the math, there's one big reason. We automated away 4 million manufacturing jobs in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and 40,000 right here in Iowa. And I have many friends who are leaders in technology. And we know that what we did to the manufacturing jobs, we will now do to the retail jobs, the call center jobs, the fast food jobs, the truck driving jobs and on and on through your economy.

How many of you have noticed stores closing where you live in Iowa? And why are those stores closing? Amazon? That's right. It's a one word answer. Amazon's like a giant vacuum sucking up $20 billion out of your communities.

How much did Amazon pay in federal taxes last year? Zero. So think about that math. 20 billion out, Zero back in, and the number one job in your communities is working in retail. The average retail worker is a 39 year old woman making $10 an hour. And what is she going to do when her mall or Main Street store closes?

I was just at Iowa 80 in Davenport, the biggest truck stop in the United States. And my friends in Silicon Valley are working on trucks that can drive themselves. They say they are five to 10 years away. What is that going to mean for the three and a half a million Americans who drive a truck for a living and the seven million plus who work in truck stops motels, diners and retail establishments that need the truckers to get out and have a meal.

The reason why Donald Trump is our president today is that we're in the third inning of the greatest economic and technological transformation in the history of our country—what experts are calling the fourth industrial revolution. He is a symptom of a disease. And It is your responsibility, the Democrats of Iowa, to present the cure to the people of this country. It will not happen without your vision.

So what is that cure? If you've heard anything about me in the campaign, you know there's an Asian man running for president who wants to give everyone $1,000 a month.

And all three of those things are true.

Now, when you first hear it, it sounds like a gimmick. But then you dig into our history. Thomas Paine was for this at the founding of the country—called it the citizens dividend. Martin Luther King championed in the 60s—called it the guaranteed minimum income. It passed the U.S. House of Representatives twice in 1971, under Nixon, and one state has already had a dividend for almost 40 years where everyone in that state gets between one and $2,000 a year no questions asked.

And what state is that Iowa?  [Alaska]

And how do they fund it? [oil]

And what is the oil of the 21st century?  [technology]

Technology. That's right data, AI, software, self driving cars and trucks. What they're doing for the people in Alaska with oil money we can do for everyone here in Iowa, and everyone around the country with technology money.

Now think about what that would mean for your communities. How would you all spend that money?

I know how you'd spend that money. You'd spend it on tutoring for your kids, car repairs, the occasional night out and most of it would stay right here in Iowa. It would grow your consumer economy by 12%, it would create 40,000 new jobs, it would revitalize rural areas, and it would give your kids a path forward. It would ensure that every senior citizen is able to retire with dignity, and they're not working at a convenience store to make ends meet until the day they die.

And the Democratic Party is all about empowering women. We know there are millions of women around the country in exploitative or abusive jobs or, or relationships that would be improved by $1,000 a month. We can either talk about empowering women or we can do something about it, and I say we do something about it.

Donald Trump is our president today because he got the problems right, but his solutions are the opposite of what we need. His solutions were turn the clock back, build a wall. And I'm saying we have to do the opposite of that. We have to turn the clock forward; we have to advance in the way we see work in value. And I am the man for that job because the opposite of Donald Trump is an Asian man who likes math.

Thank you very much. Love you all. Thank you.


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