#119 – Andrew Yang on our very long-term future, and other topics most politicians won’t touch
Andrew Yang — past presidential candidate, founder of the Forward Party, and leader of the 'Yang Gang' — is kind of a big deal, but is particularly popular among listeners to The 80,000 Hours Podcast.
Maybe that's because he's willing to embrace topics most politicians stay away from, like universal basic income, term limits for members of Congress, or what might happen when AI replaces whole industries.
Links to learn more, summary and full transcript.
But even those topics are pretty vanilla compared to our usual fare on The 80,000 Hours Podcast. So we thought it’d be fun to throw Andrew some stranger or more niche questions we hadn't heard him comment on before, including:
1. What would your ideal utopia in 500 years look like?
2. Do we need more public optimism today?
3. Is positively influencing the long-term future a key moral priority of our time?
4. Should we invest far more to prevent low-probability risks?
5. Should we think of future generations as an interest group that's disenfranchised by their inability to vote?
6. The folks who worry that advanced AI is going to go off the rails and destroy us all... are they crazy, or a valuable insurance policy?
7. Will people struggle to live fulfilling lives once AI systems remove the economic need to 'work'?
8. Andrew is a huge proponent of ranked-choice voting. But what about 'approval voting' — where basically you just get to say “yea” or “nay” to every candidate that's running — which some experts prefer?
9. What would Andrew do with a billion dollars to keep the US a democracy?
10. What does Andrew think about the effective altruism community?
11. What's one thing we should do to reduce the risk of nuclear war?
12. Will Andrew's new political party get Trump elected by splitting the vote, the same way Nader got Bush elected back in 2000?
As it turns out, Rob and Andrew agree on a lot, so the episode is less a debate than a chat about ideas that aren’t mainstream yet... but might be one day. They also talk about:
• Andrew’s views on alternative meat
• Whether seniors have too much power in American society
• Andrew’s DC lobbying firm on behalf of humanity
• How the rest of the world could support the US
• The merits of 18-year term limits
• What technologies Andrew is most excited about
• How much the US should spend on foreign aid
• Persistence and prevalence of inflation in the US economy
• And plenty more
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Producer: Keiran Harris
Audio mastering: Ben Cordell
Transcriptions: Katy Moore