Andrew Yang’s run for the White House was one of the more unique efforts in recent memory. It didn’t progress as much as he may have hoped it would, but it did create memories that will last a lifetime.
Nobody is going to forget about the guy running for President who sprayed whip cream into the mouths of his supporters. Well, nobody who saw it can forget it, even if they wanted to.
More than any other issue, Yang’s idea for a freedom dividend likely garnered the most attention from his platform.
The Freedom Dividend is a form of universal basic income. He proposed a set of guaranteed payments of $1,000 per month to all U.S. citizens over 18 years old.
One could see where that would pique the interest of some self-interested voters.
But I never understood how that wasn’t considered a candidate attempting to buy votes. To be fair, he wasn’t giving anyone money to go out and vote for him, but the general understanding or implication was if you vote for Yang and he wins, you’ll get $1,000 a month.
According to U.S. law, anyone offering to make an expenditure to any person, either to vote or withhold his vote; and solicits, accepts or receives any such expenditure in consideration of his vote shall be fined or imprisoned.
Now, I won’t pretend to be a lawyer, though I did see nearly every episode of The Good Wife. And I also won’t pretend Yang did anything modern-day politicians haven’t been doing for decades.
But this just seems blatant to me. I’m sure Yang’s offer of $1,000 a month to voters if he won has a loophole somewhere in U.S. law, but should it?