“The Daily Show” correspondent Ronny Chieng has announced his pick for president ― and even offered some campaign advice.
In a video posted to the show’s website last week, Chieng sat down with Andrew Yang, a tech entrepreneur who’s running for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, to talk about the candidate’s platform.
The comedian seemed to have made up his mind about Yang very easily, saying that he didn’t know if “it’s the cut of his suits, or the way he lights up a room, but there’s just something about this guy that makes me want to vote for him based on zero research.”
“So you’re Asian, you’re running for president, what else is there to know?” Chieng joked to Yang.
When the candidate answered, “My platform,” Chieng immediately quipped, “I thought your platform was ‘being Asian.’”
In all seriousness, one of Yang’s main campaign issues is universal basic income. The idea of UBI, he said, is that every adult should receive $1,000 per month “to do whatever they want.” He hopes that will ease people’s transition into a future in which robots, software and other forms of technology take millions of U.S. jobs.
“Self-driving cars and trucks are real and are going to eliminate millions of jobs. Artificial intelligence is real, and it’s going to eliminate millions of jobs,” Yang told HuffPost last year. “Even before we get there, 30 percent of malls are going to close, and 1 out of 10 Americans works in retail.”
Chieng double-checked the notion of UBI with public policy analyst Bob Greenstein. While Greenstein called it a “beautiful idea,” he wasn’t as enthusiastic about the policy in practice.
“Robots are coming for some jobs, but they’re not going to replace all the jobs or even most of the jobs,” Greenstein said.
He also argued that UBI is a proposal that “will never really happen” and “policies only really work if they can happen.”
Some experts have objected to the idea of UBI as unaffordable, while others fear it would de-emphasize work. Last year, former Vice President Joe Biden slammed the idea, calling proponents of UBI “class clueless.”
But Chieng still went ahead and created a pretty dope campaign ad for Yang ― watch it around the 4:47 mark ― that includes some classic fear-mongering tactics that, after all, have worked in previous elections.