Government

Voters of Iowa have 'historic power, says presidential candidate Andrew Yang

Andrew Yang, Democratic presidential hopeful, defines his plan Monday to change the way the United States measures economic growth.  He was visiting the University of Northern Iowa campus in CedarFalls (Thomas Nelson/Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier.)
Andrew Yang, Democratic presidential hopeful, defines his plan Monday to change the way the United States measures economic growth.  He was visiting the University of Northern Iowa campus in CedarFalls (Thomas Nelson/Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier.)

CEDAR FALLS — Presidential hopeful Andrew Yang visited the University of Northern Iowa on Monday in support of Democratic candidate Eric Giddens, who is running in a special election in Iowa Senate District 30. But Yang got out his own message, as well.

“(President) Donald Trump is the manifestation of the fact that we’re in the third inning of the greatest economic and technological transformation in the history of our country,” said Yang, an entrepreneur. “The voters of Iowa have historic power in your hands.”

Yang said each voter in Iowa is worth at least 1,000 voters from states like California.

“You may look around this room and say, ‘Hey, there are like 20 people here.’ I see 20,000 voters, because of each of you have that much power,” Yang said.

He outlined his plan to provide a $1,000-a-month “freedom dividend” to everyone in the United States by taxing technology, to provide Medicare for all and to change the way the economy is measured.

“Most of (the freedom dividend) would be spent on your tuition, on food, on car repairs you’ve been putting out, on the occasional night, right here in Iowa,” Yang said. “It would create a path forward for rural areas that are getting depleted.”

He wants to abandon gross domestic product, or GDP, for a different method of measuring an economy. He would use a new score card to map indicators for the economy.

“It would tell us that people are dying. It would tell us people are going through a mental health crisis,” Yang said. “We’ve created a system that has taken over our lives.”

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The event at Maucker Union was close to where students can cast their ballots for in the March 19 special election today and Wednesday.

“It’s just upstairs,” Yang said. “Bring friends.”

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