Andrew Yang talks stereotypes, economic policies at dinner with voters

Andrew Yang, presidential candidate, sits down with three voters at a restaurant in New York City for a conversation about the issues.
21:24 | 01/14/20

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Transcript for Andrew Yang talks stereotypes, economic policies at dinner with voters
Welcome two of round the table this evening Wear with Andrea Day. Hometown of New York City the kneeling on the upper west side are you finding a social safety is universal basically. The solution. Where you see conversations are Asian Americans and it gets going into twenty turning. ABC news has carefully chosen three undecided voters to bring their questions to the table. They decide who'll get their vote in the democratic presidential primary. Why you for us. My name's Jeff in car I and 23 recently graduated from Hunter College in kinesis. Lifelong queens residents have always been hair. And everything working as an organizer with Mae nine inches an initiative to you. I'm protect survivor rights I'm for students on college and high school campuses as well and then mail to do some consulting for nonprofits and Thai immigration advocate house. First name Ramzi lasting Smith I'm an entrepreneur announcement when he went musical acts to thank you. As an investment banker and I decided that much higher mission was to be much burner. I'm Mara Novak I live in Montclair New Jersey but I grew up about three blocks from here right now I teach two and three girls want and then before valor. Yeah now it's amazing that and I also. And the political director of that group. Club and eleventh for change. So mr. Yang I want you to introduce yourself basically having relatively. New comer to the political scene sir but. Why you for president. So hopefully. What seems like a highly unnatural on reasonable decision to run for president like these team. Natural after did you backdrop. My parents immigrated this country. In the sixties meant as talented students at Berkeley. So I grow. Son of immigrants and have the American injuries very much. Instantly test of this. And to my parents certainly words weren't saying you're going to be president some day the it was like get good grades get a good make this happen. And so eight. Tried to get good grades and getting it just. And went hospital here in New York. Was unhappy lawyer for five whole months and so a left to start an ill fated business. It's many rise in maximum fall. But I've been bitten by the bug. I'm business. Fit by the entrepreneurship and then. I became. The CEO of an education company that grew to become number one in the US was acquired by. Public company and 2009. And so my path really started heading this direction. After the financial crisis. And I was really shaken by it where I felt. Like a lot of the very Smart. People like guns extra rooms Colombia with head on the Wall Street and helped create. Derivatives and mortgage backed securities and exotic financial instruments that it contributed to the crash and so I thought what a train wreck if that this is what we're training our. Talent to do and and they ended up contributing to this crisis. And so I thought global what I want people to do instead if you can't be negative via trying to think problem. To the vision I had was. To try ago start businesses in Detroit Cleveland Saint Louis Birmingham Baltimore New Orleans other cities they could use a boost. Because I was concerned that there was massive brain drain out of a lot of the country and so I thought over time is going to be a disaster for. The Michigan the Ohio's the miseries and so I started this organization to try and channel. Entrepreneurial talent to these regents I spent seven years traveling the midwest and the south and I saw firsthand the aftermath of the army's new manufacturing jobs. So I was absorbing all this over seven year period and then Donald Trump became president in points sixteen. And to me that was a giant red flag is not business as usual that's OK temperature doing in reevaluate. And I had a sinking feeling in my work was like pouring water prevent them giant port in the bottom different job we were creating organs tens or hundreds. To the fourth industrial revolution in this transformational in the midst. And for whatever reason known in politics in the DC you're going to meet the case that it wasn't immigrants it was technology. That was causing all of these effect on the labor market. And so. Realizing that no one else was going to lay out what to me where the obvious causes. Donald Trump's victory and real solutions that would help us actually evolve towards the point person economy. I decided to run for president. So jasmine and you've talked about you work every day with immigrant. Communities in you have some concern about. Reinforcing. Certain stereotypes about Asian population for handling that where the math. And as part of your your logo thing let's hear from you. So I guess on that note I'm wondering. What are some of the issues that you really care Asian American to me because. When it's seen as that you know we're talking about the opposite of Donald Trump is an Asian who likes math and you know and laugh when a cannon and an epic debate because I and now and it been on the receiving end of that language as well and for someone who has been on the receiving end of that language ever really seeing how. We're reporting things like model minority now that he now Asian immigrants are hard working and contribute a lot and I'm wondering. How can we flip that narratives be more productive have more productive conversations about Asian American community because. We don't have to rely on some of these like tired stereotypes about and inclination towards Stan ward being a hard working person some wondering. Where you see. Conversations Asian Americans United States going into 22 in India. Well I'm very proud of being the first is an American men run for president as a Democrat and I think to myself about when I was younger my turn. Presidential debates and I saw. Someone from our community up there doing all I guess again as normal like senator president. And I also recognize how incredibly diverse our community is certainly my experiences. Not. The norm nor is anyone's experience the norm human how broad and diverse are. Community is to the extent die. Make light of certain stereotypes I believe that it's. Helping expose how ridiculous some of them are and a and that most Americans kind of sense. They're ridiculous this. In the fact that it's a joke. If I felt like I was actively harming our community in some way than fuel. Differently. But right now in the war in Iraq at most Asian Americans. Most of them are excited about my candidacy in understand the context you know that the remarks made him. Ramsey I'd like you to give your concerns about universal base and or so I AM. I agree with your fundamental observation. That automation is change in the labor force in a wave it is much faster than most people appreciate. It's something that I've notices and on foreigner so there. They're all these things that that now he's parts of the business all of these problems they solve with software won't be and I know that 101520 years ago. Bernard solidity had to hire somebody and instead I can pay some software service platform 152037. Dollars a month. The handle these otherwise big problems so I would. I see that as it is a real effect it's happening fast. I guess my question is is is universal basic income the solution to that problem. The key reason to be excited about. A universal based income is that it won recognize the kind of work there or doing that the market does not. So that's stay at home moms care givers new workers. But also. Volunteers artists and these things. Journalist unfortunately in many hidden within settings where about the market is is not what it once was. And then if you put this money into people's hands and you have a foundation. Then you create meaning other jobs in the economy the next reflect the communities needs and so as one example if you at a town 101000 adults in Missouri. And we pass the freedom dividend of a thousand. There's an additional ten million dollars a month in mind power in that town. Where does that by an hour ago it goes to car repairs have been putting and he care expenses in the movies out. And a lot of it circulates over and over again in their town many times over studies have shown that if we put his money in our hands it and that creating hundreds of in the new jobs. Where they're needed most in these communities. To me this is a much more effective way to Cree livelihoods. For many Americans were going to be struggling with the greatest economic situation in the history of our country. Ban. Saying that we can retrain let's call it three and a half million truck drivers average age 49. To be. Holders of logistics specialists. Or where you can mechanics. Unfortunately if you let the government. Get away with they weren't retrain everyone. Than ever windows Holmes is OK I guess real treat everyone but the reality on the ground is that the retraining has now worked. Where it's been attempted. And you hustling to get into how how you pay weren't very one of the things I say the groups around the country say hey. Wire 3% here stores mall's closing here in New Hampshire. And I think about it for a second and they say it was not that's right and that's looking at twenty billion dollars in business year. And then I asked them how much did it without paying federal taxes. Euro I think it also write how what do you think about that and they're like that possible literally not a tech company can be paying taxes. That Evelyn. Here today. So the way we pay for this freedom dividend. Is we do. The American people ourselves. A tiny slice our fair share of every it was on sale removal surgery phase look at every robot truck while. And this would conservatively generate. 800 billion loss in new revenue because the values who passed. Millions industries and you recognize this is nothing new. This is just a value added tax that's been implemented in every other advanced economy except for ours and so you if you look at what Sweden Denmark. Germany France Canada China. Have all done and make sure that there Amazon equivalents can't get away it would pay zero taxes. They've implemented this kind of poll. So I'm wondering. Why would you oppose about tax or why would you not support allow tax that went even if it does not generate the kind of incumbent were hedging IN. When it being word suitable test hold that power to account right to hold them accountable for what wealth that there really parking at the 1%. I agree with nature of the problem that a well taxman the soil. And I agree with the spirit of the wealth because you have these historic gains in the hands of a tiny sliver of Americans increasingly. That we top 1% of top point 1%. But I'm also really driven by you again what's worked in what has worked in other countries. And so if Germany France Sweden Denmark and the very intelligent developed countries have all try to wealth tax than repealed it excuse later. This strikes me is not the right course of action say hey it's gonna work here in a way to network for those countries. And so do you use someone like Japanese I was as examples like the ultimate you know being the oldest man if you were to increase the income tax rate to. Seventies had a 5% how much of his hundred billion dollars to me yeah. Almost out of it and he's not dumb and up himself paycheck of you know like I believe I hope that it didn't get at all. His business over relatively modest salary and then his billions aren't items on stock. Yes in theory you a well tax good try to get some of that value to. But. A value added tax on suggesting we get a pool on his business which is where the money's really flowing into and then when he sells all of its stock then we take it well on that too. So we take it told coming and going and is up mapping to his consumption has benefits from society. In a way that he can't game is way out. United it seemed it near the European examples in the threshold and often a much a lot lot lower than what Warren senders are suggesting right. It sat taxing wealth that's as low as 127000. Dollars in income which is quite low and for senators and more and it's upwards of like thirty to fifty million dollars that that be something he'd be more incentivized to support. Well certainly it if it's falling lower number of Americans and it's more likely to be feasible and so I'd be more supportive higher levels and at the same time if you raised that well threshold than you're talking about. Harvesting. Let's call it 1000010 of millions of dollars on an annual basis from individual citizens. And I believe that those individual citizens. Would move heaven and earth to avoid paying that that don't exactly get your perfect. Like hundred million or 500 million or billion and then we come and say hey guess what it's a twenty million dollar told me an American this year. They'll be like you know what. Like Swiss citizenship and it really appealing right now they've got some good boarding schools like bottle bottle law that we need to do to implement a system. That they can work wriggle their Loudon. An opinion because their expert regulars yes. But why would that I mean you don't think that they would figure out ways I didn't like they could possible costs of half about onto consumers. That really. And is it. Something that they're just gonna pay it willingly played there just missed assignments attacks on our businesses well if you look at our not gonna to attest. Their business to accommodate. So that businesses would add jobs all the accounting firms are experts in how these tax rules apply and other parts of the world and so playing here would be pretty. Straight forward and keep in mind every dollar that answer. Under my plan. Is literally put directly in the hands of American consumers and then I went to go where the money actually is in our society the money is not with the town dentist the money's with the Amazon's Google hopes. I had the question though so you said that this tax will raise. 800 million and a billion dollars she said. What's the total price tag of UPI so what's that with the remaining part you have to fund to make it work. To the headline cost is. 2.4 Troy. Salty get 800 billion from. Violent attacks he's about one point six. No all of this money is in the economy you look. Creating. A lot more revenue for businesses new jobs even some new businesses. In some cases in conservatively for the Roosevelt institute you would grow the consumer economy by. Eight to 10%. Indefinitely. Which ends of generating an additional. 400 billion in revenue or so conservatively so now you're down to wheel but where the burger. So now you're down to a little bit more than trillion. You save. Hundreds of billions. On things like incarceration. Homelessness services emergency room health care. And items that we spend. Hundreds of billions on right now and it was a corrections officer in New Hampshire is that this to me he said we should keep people to stay out of jail. Because when they're in jail we spend so much on them. This was a prison guards yeah. Think we all know that when someone hits our institutions it's incredibly expensive. It's actually much more cost efficient to keep that person. Healthy stable. Prosperous and out of our institutions and think about the cost of an emergency room visit. Because we know that right now the image and are using emergency rooms essentially their primary care. The condition to get worse and worse and they show up and then it's much more expensive and obviously much more expensive in terms of the human cost. And their productivity. So you save. Low hundreds of billions of dollars on those current expenses the last step which is the magic is that if you put his money into our hands what does it mean in real life. People yet healthier mentally healthier less stressed out. More productive. Graduation rates go up decision making goes up domestic violence goes down hospital visits go down. There have been studies that said if you alleviate gross poverty in this country you would increase our GDP by 700 billion dollars a year. Based on justice education and health outcomes being better. So that gives you another let's call it couple hundred billion. Being. Greater tax revenue because if you grow become anybody this increment. And then the last piece you have to be a bit optimistic and aggressive but think about the increased. Level of entrepreneurship. Risk taking creativity. An enterprise. If people knew that their basic needs are going to be met. Because right now the rates of business formation the United States are in multi decade lows in most of the country. They're at historic lows for young people for your generation for a number of reasons from colonial astute student loans but running things. And so if you become optimistic about that shift. Then you can make a case that you're going to get back the remainder that the trickle up economy would actually pay for itself. Many times over in a way that the trickle down economy never hats. We're talked about UPI happy ending all of those in the social safety mean again so book teachers. Though yes. The outlook between here in New Jersey about I'd settle. Let me start with health care the biggest misconception about health care is that we need to get the money to. 18% of GDP. Three point six trillion minimum. And the reason why there's so much waste in the system is that it is not actually designed to make a stronger healthier. It is designed to maximize revenue and profits for its that a company's. And some of the providers. And so we have to try and get the costs under control the drug blog is so powerful the government zoning allowed to negotiate lower drug presently have the American people. That you make that one step and that alone is home to hundreds of billions of dollars. In value so arguing about the cost. Is missing the fact that right now the structural zones are all wrong and that's what you have detained. Let's give to get under control at the lobbyists are so powerful in DC. That they've bought and sold like a lot of the process so immediate so the way we change that is we actually unify the people in the money. I'm do you all know what percentage of Americans donate to political candidates campaigns. Yes 5% in accidents in the low it's less than 5%. Silly about that I go okay like. And no wonder away it's like that that it's that the governments on responding to certain types of concerns. So that I want to give people a hundred dollars yeah. Yeah so then what good did. The donation rate be if every voter. Got a hundred democracy dollars that he could donate. Candidate or campaign it's used or lose it since they have a coupon code breaking they want. Like it would go from let's call it 5% to one. I don't know I'm gonna say maybe 40% because I know workers and literally anything because I'm that's got things based on how many people and that's for each night. You're right I like some people sabres are of course I'd be priceless to 40%. But even at 40% times a hundred dollars you would end up washing out the lobbyist cast by a factor of three to four. And then if I was a legislator. And a lobbyist came and said hey I can give you 50000 dollars a view you know right this law this way. They'll be like well let's see him getting. But by a 101000 citizens behind in the huge give me a hundred dollars and million dollars so what -- do much to start listening to the people. When you look at America in the last three years and what it's become I'm curious to them. Get your opinion on what that is and then what your vision is for American yourself. In many ways there are aware in right now is about. Numbers verse humanity. And the question is. Are we willing to except that that economic value assigned to us by the market is. Our value as people. That is where we are right now in this country. That's why we think ridiculous things like we're gonna retrain coal miners become quarters. Even though that makes no sense so we have to break out of this market mentality and say that we value yourselves. Intrinsically. As human beings autistic. Disabled. Older. You know what if they eyes about to come and do your job like if we follow the market. Too far are we are going to destroy ourselves. And that is what Donald Trump as a sign of his a symptom. Of the fact or in the third inning of the greatest economic transformation in our country's history. And we need to catch up and rewrite the rules of this economy to work frosts the people the human beings of this country as quickly as possible.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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