Andrew Yang was born in suburban New York to Taiwanese immigrants. His parents were both highly educated, having met in graduate school at the University of California, Berkeley. Yang’s father went on to become a researcher at IBM, while his mother pursued a career as an artist.

Andrew Yang Bio: Early Life, Immigrant Family

As one of the only Asian students at his public school, Yang was often bullied for his ethnicity. “Perhaps as a result, I’ve always taken pride in relating to the underdog or little guy or gal,” Yang later wrote of his experience.

Andrew Yang Bio: Education

Yang attended Brown University where he studied economics and political science and then attended law school at Columbia University.

Andrew Yang Bio: Career

After graduating from college, Yang bounced around from job to job. He initially worked at a law firm, and then moved on to launch a website geared towards celebrity philanthropy which he said “did not work out,” and then joined a healthcare software startup as its Vice President. After being employed in the healthcare industry for four years, Yang started working at Manhattan Prep, a tutoring company. He eventually became CEO, expanding the company from 5 to 69 locations over the course of a few years.

After Manhattan Prep was acquired by a larger company in 2009, Yang told uPolitics, “This was the recession, and things were going very poorly in the country so I left my job to start a non-profit called Venture For America that trained hundreds of entrepreneurs to help create thousands of jobs in cities like Detroit, Cleveland, St. Louis, Birmingham and other cities around the country.” Yang’s strategy was to take talented youth from across the nation and provide them with entrepreneurial education, as well as a two-year apprenticeship with promising startups in big cities. In 2017 Yang stepped down as CEO of Venture For America in order to run for president.

Andrew Yang Bio: Domestic Life

Yang lives in New York City with his wife Evelyn and their two sons. Yang has spoken about his older son being autistic, saying, “I’m very proud of my son and anyone who has someone on the spectrum in their family feels the exact same way.” Yang regularly attends the Reformed Church of New Paltz.

Andrew Yang Bio: 2020 Campaign

While Yang has no previous experience in politics, he has focused his campaign on economics, the field in which he is strongest. Yang’s economic focus is unique, however, in that he is emphasizing the danger that automation brings to the American workforce. In an exclusive interview with uPolitics, Yang stated, “The reason why Donald Trump won in 2016 is that we’ve automated away four million manufacturing jobs in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Missouri, Iowa, all swing states that Trump won. And unfortunately, my friends who work in silicon valley and technology know that what we did to the manufacturing workers we are now doing to the retail workers, call center workers, fast food workers, truck drivers, and on and on through the economy.” He continued by saying, “we’re now in the third inning of the greatest economic transformation in the history of the country and that’s why I’m running for president to help America evolve through what’s going to be a very very challenging time.”

Andrew Yang Bio: 2020 Policies

Healthcare:

  • Yang supports Medicare-for-All, which is a form of single-payer health care where everyone has public health care instead of private insurance

Immigration:

  • As Yang himself is the child of immigrants, he appreciates the value that they can bring and supports many pro-immigrant policies such as smoothing the path to citizenship
  • One of Yang’s many unique ideas involves attempting to recruit foreign students studying at American universities to stay in the country post-graduation by allowing them easy citizenship
  • While he is pro-immigrant, Yang also recognizes the importance of having tighter border control and preventing a massive influx of illegal immigrants

Climate Change:

  • Yang supports using economics to fight climate change, including a tax on emissions and an end to tax benefits for fossil fuel companies
  • He also advocates for additional funding towards technology that can reverse the effects of climate change

Abortion:

  • Yang supports women having total reproduction freedom, and he thinks that they should be able to legislate for themselves

Economics:

  • One of Yang’s signature proposals is the creation of a universal basic income, where every adult citizen would receive $1,000 a month as what he calls a “freedom dividend”
    • He also lists this as a way to reduce income inequality as it would benefit “those with the least, the most”
  • Yang consistently stresses the danger that artificial intelligence poses to the American economy, emphasizing the importance of creating new jobs for those who would be displaced by automation
  • The entrepreneur also advocates for returning to “more progressive” tax rates in order to stop giving more money to those who already have so much

Foreign Policy:

  • Yang supports reducing foreign military involvement as it detracts from funds that could be spent domestically and frequently hurts the United States’ global image

Gun Control:

  • Yang has an 8-step program for reducing gun violence, including, among other things:
    • Fining gun manufacturers every time their weapon is used in a shooting in order to put the impetus on gun makers to produce safer weapons
    • Funding research into signature guns that can only be fired by the owner
    • Increasing background checks and preventing those with a history of mental illness or domestic abuse from purchasing weapons
    • Putting money into mental health programs, school mindfulness programs, and suicide hotlines in order to help those with mental issues who may resort to violence against others or against themselves
    • Invest in law enforcement de-escalation training to reduce shootings by police

Impeachment:

  • Yang supports impeaching Trump if he could be clearly convicted of breaking a law, but he also is wary of the negative effects that removing the president could have
  • He would rather fix the problems that got Trump elected in the first place rather than focus on evicting him from the Oval Office, saying, “We need to actually have better ideas and better policies to improve people’s lives and not rely upon impeachment.”

Education:

  • Like many other 2020 candidates, Yang supports paying teachers more to reflect the importance of their job
  • Additionally, Yang points out that 70-80% of primary school performance is based on out of school factors, and asserts that the additional $12-24,000 a year from his freedom dividend program would help reduce household stress and tension
  • He also advocates for increased technical training in high school instead of labeling college as the end-all-be-all of education
  • Yang wants to update high school curricula to include things like financial literacy, tech management, positive psychological thinking, and relationship management
  • He would also create a domestic exchange program to send second-term seniors to other parts of the country to gain work experience and understand how the rest of the country lives