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Okay, #YangGang. I think we need to begin a messaging pivot to bring the full moral authority of our movement to bear.

What @AndrewYang and his new organization decide for their UBI argument is up to them, but this is our movement too, and I believe we need to adjust.

Automation isn’t the reason we need universal basic income. Never has been. Instead, automation *reveals* the reason we need UBI: coupling survival to labor alone is inhumane. If our value is based on our labor, and labor demand decreases, *so does our value*.
.@AndrewYang agrees with this argument, of course. But ironically, part of what put him on the map — the automation story — is also what held him back from a full break into the mainstream. It made UBI seem futuristic, as if it was a kind of Silicon Valley technology of its own.
The problem isn’t so much the content of Yang’s message as the limited context most voters had for that content. People who watched the Joe Rogan interview became diehards; they had the full picture. Those who saw Yang’s ads rarely did (except @YangVets!) due to missed nuance.
The problem was that for voters who only caught Yang in their peripheral, it sounded like Yang was offering $1k a month as a replacement for their soon-to-vanish job! Whoops. Not the takeaway we wanted.
The message struggled to break into the mainstream for two reasons: 1) Automation framing sounded too complex 2) $1k/month sounded too simple, even trivial, instead of the economic revolution it is.
The former problem allowed automation skeptics to write it off — which is most Democrats, sadly — and the latter problem created an opening for media to dismiss UBI as a gimmick and for Berners to characterize it as a “capitalist bribe.”
So here’s my three-fold recommendation for @AndrewYang and the #YangGang in general:

1) Frame UBI as economic suffrage — the fulfillment of democracy’s ideal of citizenship, capital as a RIGHT of citizenship, a foundation for life as essential as healthcare or education
2) Propose a range of amounts to be determined in the final bill, referencing 1k a month as the Brookings Institute recommended number

3) Openly entertain alternative funding schemes so the focus is on the moral necessity of the idea rather than its mechanics
Universal basic income is NOT a utopian idea. It is NOT socialist. It is democratic; it is suffrage. It is a basic recognition of your rights and inherent value as a human being living under a government that pools resources to secure individual rights.
We’re owed it by our government for the simple reason that we are citizens, and we pay for the existence of that government to secure for us the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; all of which are impossible without capital.
The most brilliant part of Yang’s UBI messaging is the name he coined: the Freedom Dividend. It succinctly explains why we’re owed the money as citizens — it’s a proof in material of our freedom as Americans.

And until we receive it, we are not free.
We need to make sure every American understands that without UBI, they are being cheated of what is rightfully theirs as a citizen of the wealthiest country on Earth. Every day that goes by in which we pay taxes without receiving our dividend, our rights are being violated.
We must Make America Think Harder. Not about automation, but about America.

We need the holy fire and authority of the Abolitionist movement. We need to end wage slavery. We need to *become* America.

Our freedom is at stake.

Are you with me?

#WeOweUs #BecomeAmerica
l’ve seen some concern about comparing the UBI movement to Abolitionism. Let me be clear: Wage slavery isn’t the unspeakable evil that chattel slavery was. But it still inequity and mass suffering, and we need to tap into the same fire that every human rights movement has to win.
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