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Policy

Here’s What Two Presidential Candidates Said at Techonomy NYC

(Photo: Rebecca Greenfield)

This morning, two Democratic presidential candidates—entrepreneur Andrew Yang, and former Maryland Congressman John Delaney—shared insights on a range of issues with Techonomy NYC conference participants.

Here are a few takeaways, edited and condensed for clarity:

On why the future of digital society is nearly absent in the current presidential campaign conversation:

  • “Part of the problem is we don’t focus on the future. We focus on the past. We’ve forgotten that our job as elected leaders is to leave the world better than we found it. This isn’t the first time… in human history in which we’ve seen periods of extraordinary innovation…. This election has to be about responsibility, and getting things done that matter to people. It’s about the politics of progress.” –John Delaney
John Delaney, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate and former Maryland Congressman.
(Photo: Rebecca Greenfield)

On universal health care:

  • “I want to create universal health care as a right of every citizen. I’m a pragmatic idealist. I never would’ve left my job and started a business, unless I knew that my family had health care. I get that universal health care isn’t just a human right—it’s fundamental economic policy.” – John Delaney

On his proposed “Freedom Dividend” to give every American adult $1,000 a month:

  • “Americans love the idea of getting a dividend on our collective progress. It’s your money. We can easily afford a $1,000 dividend. It’s all about economic empowerment/framing. Alaska has done it with great access and that’s a deep red state.” – Andrew Yang

On the case for a national service initiative:

  • “Let’s create a national service program that wouldn’t necessarily be mandatory. Let’s create a ‘Climate Corps,’ in which younger people would help seniors retrofit their homes, or work on infrastructure. It’d instill in them a sense of service. Besides, a lot of young people need a gap year before they head to college.” –John Delaney

On the emerging state-level policies that may challenge Roe v. Wade:

  • “As a male legislator, I’d leave the room and let women choose their own reproductive rights. There needs to be a revolution of rationality. There’s an appetite for that type of movement.” –Andrew Yang

On automation and the future of work:

  • “I recently spoke to a group of CEOs and asked how many expected to have AI replace back office workers. All of them raised their hands. Why? That’s where their financial incentives are.”  – Andrew Yang
  • “It’s not immigrants who are causing economic dislocation. When you go to an Amazon distribution center, it’s not immigrants–it’s robots.” — Andrew Yang

Follow more of the conversation from this year’s conference here and on social media, using the #TechonomyNYC hashtag.

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