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Andrew Yang on UBI, the coronavirus, and his next job in politics

The former presidential candidate explains on The Ezra Klein Show what he learned from 2020.

2020 presidential candidate Andrew Yang addresses the virtual Democratic convention on August 20, 2020.
DNCC via Getty Images

The last time Andrew Yang was on The Ezra Klein Show, he was just beginning his long-shot campaign for the presidency. Now, he’s fresh off a speaking slot at the Democratic convention and, as he reveals in this episode, talking to Joe Biden about a very specific role in a Biden administration.

Which is all to say: A lot has changed for Andrew Yang in the past few years. And even more has changed in the world. So I asked Yang back on the show to talk through this new world and his possible role in it. Among our topics:

  • Could a universal basic income be the way we rebuild a fairer economy post-coronavirus?
  • What’s changed in AI, and AI’s likely effect on the economy, over the past five years?
  • What’s the one mistake Yang wishes the Democratic Party would stop making?
  • What did he learn from the surprising success of his own campaign?
  • What job is he talking to Joe Biden about taking if Democrats win in November?
  • Democrats think of themselves as the party of government. So why don’t they care more about making government work?
  • How can Democrats get away with endlessly claiming to support ideas they have no actual intention of passing?
  • Do progressives have an overly dystopian view of technology?
  • Is there a way to pull presidential campaigns out of value statements and into real plans for governing?
  • The unusual power Joe Biden holds in American politics

And much more.

You can listen to our discussion here, or by subscribing to The Ezra Klein Show wherever you get your podcasts.

This podcast is part of a larger Vox project called The Great Rebuild, which is made possible thanks to support from Omidyar Network, a social impact venture that works to reimagine critical systems and the ideas that govern them, and to build more inclusive and equitable societies. All Great Rebuild coverage is editorially independent and produced by our journalists.