Democratic candidate Andrew Yang says he is not only comfortable, but having a blast running for office. The New York native feels momentum growing within his presidential campaign.
"The message is resounding loud and clear, not only in New Hampshire, but around the country," said Yang.
Yang's straight-forward message has resonated with many voters.
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"Americans recognize the truth when they hear it," he said.
"If you say things are going great and they look around their communities and say, 'Wait a minute. I see my neighbors addicted to opiates,'" Yang explained. "'I see my main street's stores closing, I see my kids graduating from school with a mountain of debt and very insecure prospects.'"
In 2017, Yang met with author Andy Stern. He asked Stern if anyone ran for president on basic universal income. Stern's response was no.
That was the moment when Yang decided to run in the 2020 presidential election. His goal is to be the first president to have run on a platform based on basic income.
Yang saw momentum growing with his campaign when he made 1% in the polls.
"As soon as 1% of people nationwide said, 'I think Andrew Yang should be president,' then I knew we had what's called 'product market fit' in entrepreneurship," Yang said. "When you have product market fit, then you keep pounding the pavement and put the time and energy. Then you can grow your market share."
"The reason for that is people take the presidency very, very seriously," he added. "It's essentially binary. Either they can imagine you as their president or they can't."
Yang studied economics and political science at Brown University. He later attended law school at Columbia University. He switched career paths, going from corporate law to launching a small business. He moved on to work for a health care start up.
Yang ran a national education company, which was later acquired. He then committed to creating jobs for communities impacted by the financial crisis. After assisting them during the 2008 recession, Yang founded Venture for America — an organization that helps entrepreneurs create jobs in cities such as Detroit, Baltimore and Pittsburgh.
In 2012, Yang was named "Champion of Change" by the Obama administration. In 2015, he was named "Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship."
Yang feels that the three key metrics some Americans believe in — headline unemployment, stock market prices and gross domestic product — are incorrect.
"GDP is going up to record highs," said Yang. "Also at record highs, suicides, drug overdoses, anxiety, depression, mental illness. What good is high GDP if your life expectancy is going down?"