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这位华裔参选美国总统,准备给全体美国人每月发1000美元

Sy Mukherjee 2019年07月03日

美国民主党2020年大选候选人杨安泽谈“全民基本收入”计划的经济社会影响。

杨安泽在一众美国总统候选人中显得十分另类。这位华裔候选人是一名连续创业人,他曾经创办过一个叫Venture for America的非营利机构,该机构也为硅谷创业界输送了很多人才。

现在,杨安泽已经正式宣布将征战民主党的党内初选。他将作为民主党的候选人之一参加了党内辩论。与他同参辩论的还有前副总统拜登、参议员伯尼·桑德斯和卡玛拉·哈里斯等。杨安泽的口号十分激进,称要给全体美国人发一笔全民基本收入,又称“自由红利”。

目前看来,杨安泽在民主党候选人中属于知名度较低的一个,2020年入主白宫的可能性不大。从民调和筹款情况看,他的支持率足以入围上周四的民主党党内辩论,但在民主党的所有候选人中仍然是垫底的一个。不过杨安泽相信,在这个自动化的时代,他在“自由红利”、医保和资本主义的未来等问题上的立场,足以使他超越现有的支持者群体,跻身于政界的最高层。今年早些时候,杨安泽曾经向《财富》杂志介绍过自己的政治理念,以及他为何认为自己有把握在2020年大选中击败特朗普。

杨安泽是何许人也?

杨安泽自称很享受自己不被人看好的现状。他当过律师,搞过慈善,也是一名硅谷创业人(创业成绩参差不齐),也为很多创业项目提供过支持,尤其是通过他创办的非营利机构Venture for America。

杨安泽之所以起了从政的念头,是因为在他看来,未来自动化必将全面替代人力,从而导致大面积失业。因此,杨安泽把“全民基本收入”作为他竞选的核心口号。

什么是全民基本收入(UBI)?

杨安泽口中的“全民基本收入”,又被其竞选团队称作“自由红利”,是指每个18岁以上的美国公民每月都应该获得1000美元的基本收入,没有任何附加条件。

对于一个自称为资本家的人来说,这个社会主义特色十足的表态自然令人感到惊讶。不过杨安泽对《财富》杂志表示,降低科技对劳动力的负面影响是绝对必要的。他在《对普通人的战争》(The War on Normal People)一书中详解了他的观点。

他解释道:“有了‘自由红利’,经济才会开始更好地为我们服务。在现实中,它会改善人们的营养状况,提高毕业率……在国民经济中直接创造200多万个就业岗位,因为货币会在当地企业中流通,当地企业的经营状况就会好转,从而雇佣更多工人。”

总之,杨安泽相信,他的“全民基本收入”计划会促使美国变成一个消费型经济体,同时显著促进就业率增长——这是一个关键目标,因为在不久的将来,无人驾驶汽车和各种先进算法必将迎来爆发式增长,多达三分之一的劳动力可能会面临失业。

这个前景确实非常诱人。毕竟,谁不想什么也不干就每个月拿1000美元呢?当然,对杨安泽的计划最常见的质疑,就是这样一个体系是否具有可行性。对此,杨安泽表示,可以设计一套新的税收体系,一是要扭转亚马逊等科技巨头缴税过低的现状,二是要弥补现行税法中的其他漏洞。

杨安泽表示:“我们必须做出一项重大改变,那就是加入其他发达国家的行列,改收增值税。”增值税是在产品供应链的各个环节都会征收的一种附加税,增值税在欧盟国家很常见。杨安泽认为,如果美国实行了增值税,哪怕税率只有欧洲国家的一半,也可以为政府带来每年8000亿美元的额外收入。再加在全民普遍收入带来的储蓄和经济增长,该体系至少在理论上是自洽的。

杨安泽的“全民基本收入”计划还有一点十分重要,它将取代现有的政府福利项目。比如拿了“自由红利”的人,就不能再领食品券了。

杨安泽表示:“我最不愿意做的就是剥夺美国人需要的福利。我的计划是将‘自由红利’变成一个自愿选择项目,如果你选择加入‘自由红利’计划,你就相当于自愿放弃了现有社会福利项目。所以如果你之前的社会福利的价值超过了每月1000美元,你完全可以拒绝‘自由红利’计划……当然,如果你的孩子长到了18岁,他也能每月领取1000美元的基本收入了,这对一个家庭可能将是翻天覆地的变化。”

杨安泽认为,这种方式也会降低“全民基本收入”计划的整体成本,因为很多美国人可能会选择不加入UBI,就算大多数人加入了,政府需要多花的钱,也无非是他们原有的福利计划与每月1000美元之间的差额之和。

杨安泽在医保等重要问题上的立场是什么?

“全民基本收入”显然是杨安泽的核心竞选口号,也是他与民主党阵营以及特朗普的最大差异点。在这个世界日益自动化的时代,这个口号对焦虑的工人阶级也很有吸引力。

除了UBI之外,杨安泽在他的竞选网站上还张贴了100多个提案,涵盖了医保、气候政策、降低法定投票年龄等方方面面的议题(杨安泽自己也承认,有些提议只是为了引起大家的议论,比如他要求国会应该定期更新现行法律)。

比如,杨安泽是支持全民医保的,该政策也得到了参议员伯尼·桑德斯和伊莉莎白·沃伦的支持。站在杨安泽的角度看,考虑到劳动力市场的深刻变化,以及劳动与美国医保覆盖率之间的内在联系,他对全民医保的支持是很容易理解的。不过杨安泽也对《财富》杂志表示,他支持给予美国政府一定的过渡期。

他还提出了“人本资本主义”的理念。“人本资本主义”的一个核心理念,是“人本资本主义经济的基本单元是每一个人,而不是每一美元。”

要想从2020年大选的众多候选人中脱颖而出,杨安泽还有很长的路要走。从民调看,他的支持率远低于拜登、桑德斯等人。(财富中文网)

译者:朴成奎

Andrew Yang doesn’t have the typical pedigree for a presidential candidate. The serial entrepreneur, who founded Venture for America, stems from the Silicon Valley crowd.

But Yang is running a Democratic presidential campaign (and will be among the 2020 candidates on stage at tonight’s Democratic debate, which will also feature former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Kamala Harris, and others) centered on the radical notion of universal basic income, or UBI, which Yang dubs a “Freedom Dividend.”

Yang is still a long shot and relative unknown – his polling and fundraising support, while enough to qualify for last Thursday’s Democratic debate, still puts him near the bottom of the 2020 candidate pack. But he feels confident that his positions on UBI, health care, and the future of capitalism in an age of automation can propel him beyond his dedicated fan base and into the political stratosphere. Yang spoke on camera with Fortune earlier this year to discuss his views and why he thinks he has the best shot of beating President Donald Trump in the 2020 election.

Who is Andrew Yang?

Yang likes to say that he relishes his underdog status. He’s been a lawyer, a philanthropist, a Silicon Valley startup founder (with mixed results), and an evangelist for entrepreneurship programs, including through his Venture for America nonprofit.

But what’s fueled his political ambitions is the specter of automation and the massive job losses Yang predicts it will foster. Hence, the focus on UBI.

What is Universal Basic Income (UBI)?

Yang’s version of UBI, or what his campaign calls a “Freedom Dividend,” is that every American citizen above the age of 18 should get $1,000 per month, no questions asked.

It’s a striking position for a self-professed capitalist. But Yang told Fortune it’s absolutely critical to mitigating the effects of technology on the labor force. (He outlines his arguments in far greater detail in his book, The War on Normal People.)

“The economy would start working better for us with the Freedom Dividend,” he said. “If you look at what happens in practical terms, people’s nutrition improves, graduation rates go up over time… It would create over two million new jobs directly in the economy because money would circulate through local businesses, and then local businesses would have to turn around and hire an extra worker.”

In essence, Yang believes his UBI proposal could create a consumer-fueled economy that’s also markedly pro-job growth – a critical goal when as much as a third of workers could face unemployment when technologies such as self-driving trucks, sophisticated algorithms, explode in the near future, according to Yang.

It’s a tantalizing prospect. After all, who wouldn’t want $1,000 per month, guaranteed, without having to do anything? The most common criticism, predictably, is whether such a system could ever be realistically implemented. Yang’s response to the detractors? Implement a new tax system to make up for the minimal taxes paid by tech behemoths such as Amazon and other holes in the tax code.

“The big change we have to make is that we have to join the rest of the advanced world and have a value added tax,” he said. Value added taxes (or VATs) are consumption taxes paid at all stages of a product’s supply chain. They’re common in European nations, and Yang says that a VAT at even half the level of European countries could generate an additional $800 billion in annual revenues for the government. Combined with the ostensible savings and economic growth Yang claims would stem from UBI, the system would theoretically pay for itself (and then some).

There’s a critical caveat in Yang’s UBI approach: It would supplant existing government welfare programs such as food stamps for those who choose to take advantage of the Freedom Dividend.

“The last thing I want to do is deprive Americans of programs they need. My plan is to make the Freedom Dividend opt-in. But if you opt-in, then you’re choosing to forgo benefits from pre-existing welfare programs. So if you’re getting more than $1,000 in monthly benefits you can say, no thanks… Though, you’ll still have a benefit if you have a child who turns 18 and starts getting $1,000 per month, which can be a game-changer for families.”

In Yang’s mind, that approach would also lower the overall price tag for UBI, as many Americans may choose not to opt-in and the total spending cost for those who do would be the net difference between $1,000 per month and what they’re receiving in benefits currently.

What are Andrew Yang’s positions on health care and other important issues?

UBI is clearly Yang’s hobby horse and what he says will set him apart from both the rest of the Democratic field and President Donald Trump. It’s an appeal to working class anxieties in an age of automation.

But Yang also has more than 100-odd proposals on his campaign website covering everything from health care, to climate policy, to lowering the voting age, and a host of other ideas (some of which the candidate himself admits are meant to spark conversations, such as his plan that would require Congress to regularly renew existing laws).

For instance, Yang supports Medicare for All, the signature universal health care policy supported by candidates like Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren. It makes sense given Yang’s views on the changing nature of the labor force and the way that work is intrinsically tied to insurance coverage in America right now. However, Yang told Fortune would support a transition period to such a government program.

He also pushed the prospect of “human-centered capitalism.” One of its basic tenets? “The unit of a Human Capitalism economy is each person, not each dollar.”

Yang has a long ways to go in a crowded 2020 presidential field. His performance in Thursday night’s debates will prove a key chapter in his quest.

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