Andrew Yang tries to break through Democratic debate by pledging $1,000 per month to 10 families

Andrew Yang
Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, shown in May, proposes a universal basic income of $1,000 every month for every American 18 years and older.
(Drew Angerer / Getty Images)

Entrepreneur Andrew Yang announced Thursday that he would give 10 families $1,000 a month for a year as a demonstration of the crux of his presidential campaign — universal basic income.

“If you donate money to a presidential campaign, what happens? The politician spends the money on TV ads and consultants and you hope it works out,” Yang said during his opening statement during the Democratic debate in Houston. “So I’m going to do something unprecedented tonight. My campaign is going to give a freedom dividend of $1,000 a month to 10 American families for an entire year.”

Yang has no political experience and has been running a single-focus campaign centered around creating a national universal basic income to counter the impacts of automation. He is polling in the single digits, but has more support that several Democratic elected officials who failed to qualify for Thursday night’s debate.


Yang has already been cutting a $1,000 monthly check to a New Hampshire family since New Year’s. But the new families would receive the money from his campaign account, drawing questions of legality under campaign-finance law when word about the proposal leaked before the debate started.

2020 presidential candidate Andrew Yang is little known but loved by his “Yang Gang.” He has qualified for the Democratic debates while some lawmakers did not.