‘Yang Gang’ is the New ‘Bernie Bros’

This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
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Rabid, Uninformed, and Coming to Spread Descent Across the Country

The Andrew Yang presidential campaign has been shuttered now for over a month. Out of all the Democratic candidates, Yang seemed to be the least offensive to many independents and swing voters. As a businessman, he seemed to possess an ability to mirror the success that Donald Trump has seen during his presidency. However, like Sanders’ did in 2016, when Yang dropped out of the race, his “Yang Gang” acolytes galvanized. They remain as loud as ever about each issue that passes through Washington.

His Asian decent seemed to speak to the Democrat base. Despite their having protested the “Old, Straight, White Male Patriarchy,” they’ve all but nominated the poster child of the “Good Old Boys Club.” Yang’s concept of a Universal Basic Income (UBI) seemed to trigger the “happy dance” for those who have a constant hand out in society. He was a perfect storm who brought together fringe elements of the party.

Pandering for Votes

The funny thing about the Andrew Yang Campaign is how he wore math pins, math hats, and made a lot of racially insensitive jokes about “I have to be good at math, I am Asian.” While Andrew himself may be good with numbers (which one can assume because of the wealth that he has acquired), his campaign plan was not. The concept of UBI suffers from the same problems as the minimum wage. If you are a student of economics or even basic math, you should be able to see the fallacy of the concept. But Yang, showing that he is good with people if not math, went for the lowest common denominator in society: people who are bad at math and want money.

The concept of Democrats pandering to people with their hand out is nothing new. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has built a career on setting up entitlements across the country to protect vulnerable Democrats. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) makes a career in the senate terrifying seniors. He claims if he loses his job the “mean Republicans” will take away their social security. The market was already flooded with circus hawkers selling “free stuff for the government” when Yang entered the race. This meant that Yang needed to find something new.

Rather than fight for one of the occupied lanes, Yang took on a pipe dream of the ultra-left and made it his own. If he could not make an argument for protecting the old entitlements, he could enter into the race promising a new one. In one fell sweep, Yang bribed the entire country with the unsustainable promise of $1,000 a month. Like Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and others, this promise was backed with an assurance “the rich would pay their fair share.” Such a claim when coming from a filthy rich person sounds disingenuous.

The Yang Gang

This gave Yang a base of people to support him. This a group of people who wanted the money and wanted to do nothing to get it. This was really a perfect match for Yang. These people could be quite vocal, as many of them were perpetually unemployed. His one miscalculation was if these people were unwilling to work for themselves, why would they work for him. When his campaign faded, the core group of freeloaders faded also. There is a very strong group of people, the gig economy people, who are still carrying the torch of the UBI. These people will hustle for get rich quick schemes and has been seen in startups such as UBER or DoorDash. These, and companies like them, tend to pay less than the minimum wage.

The second thing that was needed to be a “Yang Banger” was for a person to have a fleeting grip on the basics of mathematics. Andrew Yang “proved” that a billionaire could support giving $1,000 a month to people. He gave $1,000 a month to 30 people during the course of the campaign. This seems like a great model, until you do the math. With 585 billionaires in the United States, if each one adopted 30, or let’s just say 50 citizens, then only 29,250 people would be covered by UBI.

This lack of mathematical judgement means over 300 million Americans would not receive coverage under Yang’s plan. It is actually closer to 320 million, but he was not actually counting so neither are we. This does not include the millions of illegal aliens whom he professed to support. None of them would receive this funding. If this gap was brought up, the “math” of Yang dissolved into a “Berniesque” we will tax business and Wall Street speculation. Both of which would only provide a fraction of the money needed. While Andrew may have been good at math, his campaign most certainly was not.

The CARES Act

What brings this matter up? One of the elite members of the Yang Gang, a twitter user going by @scottsantens, started a firestorm with the “Yang Gang” that the Trillion-dollar stimulus package is not enough. The part that seems to offend the Yang Gang most is a package designed to benefit those who are losing their jobs because of the crisis. They are angered it doesn’t give free income to those who do not have jobs! The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act isn’t UBI because it isn’t a welfare act. It is a stopgap to ensure people are able to survive this crisis.

This is where the problem with political cults like the Bernie Bros and the Yang Gang comes into play. They latch onto an idea, whether it is Socialism or UBI, and they cling to it beyond all reason. This type of broken groupthink is very dangerous. As a nation, we need to acknowledge there is a crisis right now. This is not the time for politicians to be adding pork to bills and holding our nation hostage. From the safety of their Washington Bubble, the Congressional “lifers” are treating this crisis as a passing fad and something they can use to their advantage. This is the lives of millions of Americans they are playing with.

The Average American Must be Protected

The average American understands handouts have to be paid back in some way, whether through taxes or Debt (war) with China. This means these efforts should be used as sparingly as possible. The CARES Act isn’t something to turn your life around. The help from this Act is something to help you keep going in the direction you are going during this crisis. America will defeat this crisis, the panic will fade, and we will get back to work. The CARES Act is to help us stay solvent during this time.

Cults like the Yang Gang are dangerous during times like these. They sow confusion and dissent during a time when we need to be coming together and helping each other. While Santens is fueling the flames by poking the Yang Gang, he is only giving them information. This is what we all need. It is the other Yang Bangers, not him, who are causing the problem with their tired rhetoric from the 1930s reimagined. We need to buckle down, get through this, and rebuild the greatest economy this world has ever seen. These will all be accomplished with hand-ups not handouts.

Author Profile

Dr. Christopher W. Smithmyer
Dr. Christopher W. Smithmyer
Dr. Christopher Smithmyer is a writer for NRN, the Vice President of International Affairs at Brav Online Conflict Management, and an Adjunct Professor of MBA Business at Doane University. He is also part of the founding team at BlackWalletLTD, one of the leaders in stable coin 2.0 ecosystem maintenance. Dr. Smithmyer’s focus is international business and finance, along with reviews of board games, weapons platforms, and survival items.