We all know that 2020 long-shot presidential candidate Andrew Yang is a fan of his “Freedom Dividend,” and under his administration, each American citizen would receive $1,000 a month, regardless — a policy he promoted at the most recent Democratic debate by announcing a $120,000 giveaway to 10 families for a year.
Here he is further explaining UBI: Imagine the United States government is a big company producing $20 trillion in revenue each year, and each citizen is a shareholder of that company — you’d probably want a dividend, right?
If I were one of 320 million shareholders of a company producing $20 trillion+ in annual revenue I would probably want a dividend.
— Andrew Yang (@AndrewYang) September 14, 2019
Our first question, which we think is pretty obvious — what does this company “do” to produce that much revenue, anyway?
And second, as Nikki Haley pointed out this week, this company’s budget deficit just broke $1 trillion in less than a year:
This can’t continue… https://t.co/fX6TpUQY4T
— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) September 12, 2019
We know that Yang thinks the country can spend its way into prosperity by paying people to do nothing, but that corporation/shareholders analogy is just terrible.
Do corporations that are losing money every year still pay dividends?
— Frost Fangs (@frostfangs2) September 14, 2019
What if that company were $20 trillion in debt?
— ilikepho (@nttp1983) September 14, 2019
We are $21 trillion in debit, Einstein.
— ✝ illegitimi non carborundum (@YoureCoveredcom) September 14, 2019
If I was a shareholder in a company adding $1trillion to their debt level, I'd sell my stock.
— Cᴜʀᴛ ᴛʜᴇ Lɪʙᴇʀᴛᴀʀɪᴀɴ (@checkmatestate) September 14, 2019
But running $1 trillion in loses.
— Boomieleaks (@notwokieleaks) September 14, 2019
Lol analogy destroyed.
— Keister Worshipper (@ZachGWise) September 14, 2019
No shareholder with a brain would continue to invest in a company that's as fiscally irresponsible as the government, with trillions in debt.
— Newt Jantz (@JantzNewt) September 14, 2019
Uh the government is already spending more than it takes in…there are no dividends to pay out.
— Justin (@_ThisJustin_) September 14, 2019
The US isn’t a company, $20 trillion is the GDP of the economy, and printing money yet calling it a “dividend” leads to inflation, higher taxes, or both. I’m sure Yang is a cool dude and fun to hang out with, but it’s not a good idea.
— Nate Williams (@Nate_Willls) September 14, 2019
How much profit is that business making, Andrew?
How much cost cutting has this company done?
Dividends are paid from profits. Profits are made when your income outpaces your spending.
— K🆔 🅱️ (@LAbryanM) September 14, 2019
The country isn’t a business mate
— Fadi Antoun (@fadiantounn) September 14, 2019
But not every one of those 320 million “shareholders” contributes to the annual revenue …. dividends assume investment
— Madeline (@Madelin56338477) September 14, 2019
Assuming revenue growth was net profit, 3% of $20T would be $600B, divided by 243M shareholders over 18, that’s $205/mo each. Or at 10%, $685/mo. And that’s with zero bonus for those actually responsible for the growth. Maybe double check the math? 🤔
— Isaac Latterell (@IsaacLatterell) September 14, 2019
That’s what the workers have produced … our separate management firm, that is supposed to be running it properly, has given us over $22 trillion in debt & perhaps upwards of $100 trillion in future debt, so there’s no money for dividends despite the workers’ great productivity.
— Americanophile🇺🇸 (@Americanophile) September 14, 2019
But would you want management constantly issuing new shares and giving them out to anyone who wades across the Rio Grande or overstays a visa and sticks around until the next amnesty? Kind of dilutes the value of your shares, no?
— David Pinsen (@dpinsen) September 14, 2019
Taxes are like dividends except the opposite
— Dinkledash (@Dinkeldash) September 14, 2019
Can I just have a 12k tax cut every year instead of the cash?
— Cynda H (@cyndarelli_h) September 14, 2019
Silly, the government is a tax using organization. It is not a company. It has no revenue, except what we the people pay in taxes. A dividend would be called a tax cut. We just got one!
— EndHumanSlavery (@chrishelton65) September 14, 2019
Keep the money…don’t insult us
— JDerry (@but3755) September 14, 2019
The government does not generate revenue.
The government only spends revenue generated by others.
— Benjamin Slater (@ben_made_new) September 14, 2019
Cool so you don't understand profit versus revenue. I thought you were good at math.
— Mike Credelle (@mcredelle) September 14, 2019
I did the #MATH and he wants to distribute $12,000 a year to every adult out of the ~$100,000 in revenue per adult. But, yeah, equating the U.S. to a for-profit company is a stretch. Companies can't print their own money.
— C. Adam Stallard (@goalbased) September 14, 2019
Mr Yang should know better than this ridiculous analogy. The level of pandering indicates desperation.
— Jim Tunney (@JimTunney7) September 14, 2019
But the government isn't a company and we're not shareholders.
That's not the way any of this works.
I like some of your ideas. Flip the script: how would you react if a government agency head interviewed to be CEO of your company and proposed running it like a government?
— WeatherDem 🇺🇸 (@WeatherDem) September 14, 2019
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) September 13, 2019