Andrew Yang: The Dangerously Different Candidate the Media Wants to Ignore – The Portal with Eric Weinstein

Key Takeaways

  • “The division of our identities into work and non-work is one of the greatest things we have to overcome”
    • Men struggle more and women at embracing the non-work aspects of their identities
  • Voting blocks that no one’s figured out how to speak to:
    • Parents of supersmart kids who have a learning difference that causes them to wildly under-perform in school
    • Xenophile-restrictionists (someone with a passionate interest in other cultures and people while also favoring certain restrictions on immigration)
  • Educational institutions need to be more accommodating to neurologically atypical children 
    • “I want to see more money going to figure out how to diversify the classroom of the future so the load isn’t carried by those who don’t fit the economics of the teaching model” – Eric
  • The U.S. government needs to invest more in STEM R&D

Books Mentioned

Intro

Andrew’s Campaign

  • “Our campaign is growing by leaps and bounds”
    • Crowd sizes are up, fundraising is going well, and the #YangGang is growing

The State of Affairs

  • In the 70s, middle-class incomes started to stagnate while those of the lower/upper classes began to diverge
  • “I think we’re facing some dark times. The goal has to be to try and survive the darkness and not have it produce existential level harm. I believe I can assist in that regard, but I’d certainly never say I have all the answers.”
    • “I think you’re trying to get us through a bottleneck that you and I both know is coming” – Eric

Who will Andrew staff his government with?

  • “My team is going to be a blend of different people with different experience sets from different industries, and even different ideologies”
  • “The goal is to bring in patriots who understand that they’re not going to have an enjoyable time trying to turn the battleship, but if they turn the battleship 3 degrees to the right, they can do some good”

The News Networks Are Afraid of Andrew

  • The TV networks, when displaying graphics comparing presidential candidates, tend to block Andrew out by keeping him on the far end of the graphic or by having news anchors stand in front of him
    • This is similar to the mathematical phenomenon – “magician’s choice”
      • Say a magician wants you to choose option C out of options A, B, and C and tells you to pick two letters
        • If you pick A and B, he’ll take those two away, leaving C
        • If you choose A and C, he’ll take B away leaving you to now pick between A and C
      • In simple terms – the magician is pushing you without your knowledge
    • Eric adds – “What you’re on right now is the equivalent of pirate radio”

Separating Meaning from Employment

  • “By the numbers, we’re more work-obsessed now than we have perhaps ever been”
    • This is problematic because work is not our identity (yet in this day and age, it seems to be the case) – humans need to adopt more holistic views of themselves
  • ~12 disenfranchised taxi and limo drivers killed themselves last year
    • “This sort of self-destruction is happening all the time, and most of it is men quietly drinking themselves to death in their homes”
      • Eric adds – “It’s a very dangerous thing to see a world that thinks all straight white guys are okay when in fact many are very vulnerable”
  • “Men struggle more with breaking up our identities more than women do”
    • It’s easy for a woman to internalize she’s a mother, a sister, a [insert occupation] – they more readily embrace the non-work aspects of their identify
  • “The division of our identities into work and non-work is one of the greatest things we have to overcome”
  • The difference between men and women in response to unemployment:
    • Men:
      • Men who lose their jobs tend to develop self-destructive patterns of behavior relatively consistently and quickly
      • Unemployed men volunteer less than employed men despite having more free time
      • Men who go unemployed frequently devel some sort of substance abuse problem or porn addiction
    • Women:
      • Women, on the other hand, are more adaptable to non-work idleness (they won’t show the same patterns of self-destructive behavior)
      • Women show higher rates of volunteerism and going back to school when they have more free time
  • Eric adds:
    • Perhaps we should talk about coming up with some new financial programs that give women money during the periods in life in which they need extra help
      • With universal basic income (UBI) – “You put a thousand bucks a month into people’s hands, and it would allow us all to make different types of decisions starting in adulthood”

The Voting Blocks No One’s Figured Out How to Speak To

  • Eric gives one example: Parents of supersmart kids who have a learning difference that causes them to underperform in school (this is way more common than you think)
    • (Eric said he fits this bill, Andrew also relates because his older son is autistic)
    • “Most American families have someone in the family or in their social circles that resembles this description” – Andrew
    • Our institutions aren’t well designed for these types of kids, yet they’re the true innovators 
    • To add to the problem – these kids feel like they’re not living up to their true potential as they’re constantly getting bad grades, but it’s not their fault
      • It’s like they’re getting a “regular, low-grade psychic beating”
  • Another – “Xenophile-restrictionists”
    • Eric defines a xenophile-restrictionist as someone with a passionate interest in other cultures and people while also favoring certain restrictions on immigration
      • “Most Americans feel really uncomfortable talking about immigration because they have two different feelings”
    • Eric says of Andrew: “I think you’re perfectly positioned for this crowd of people”

Reforming the Education System

  • Educational institutions need to be more accommodating to children across the learning ability spectrum
    • “I meet single moms around the country who have autistic or neurologically atypical kids who live in areas that don’t have the resources in place for kids who are different. It breaks my heart that all these kids are heading into these schools and getting more than low-grade psychic beatings every day.”
    • “I guarantee that I’m not the first presidential candidate with autism in the family; the fact that I’m the first talking about it is long overdue and ridiculous”
  • “I want to see more money going to figure out how to diversify the classroom of the future so the load isn’t carried by those who don’t fit the economics of the teaching model”– Eric
  • The problem: cities view education as a cost (thus they can’t afford to hire teachers for neurologically atypical kids)
    • The model needs to be inverted – education needs to be viewed as an investment 
      • If a few of these kids do something highly atypical/remarkably innovative, the education costs would pay for themselves
      • What about the opportunity cost of NOT restructuring the education system to fit these children better?

A Rant on STEM

  • Eric:
    • “I think America has, without question, some of the finest educational sources for brilliance in the STEM subjects”
      • “We have high schools that have more Nobel Prizes than all of China”
    • But – “We don’t recognize that the entire STEM complex is suffused with bullsh**”
    • “The entire National Science Foundation/National Academy of Science complex is suffused with nonsense”
    • In short – we need to invest more in STEM R&D – “It’s the biggest bargain in the world; it’s the future you’re investing in”
  • Andrew:
    • “We need a government willing to make long-term sustained investments that may only pay off way down the road, or may not pay off at all”

Additional Notes

  • “There’s limited accountability in D.C.; you can give bad advice and screw something up and still keep your job”
  • Andrew says of Eric – “I quote this man all the time. I’ve learned a great deal from him and his wife. He’s one of the most profound economic thinkers that I’ve encountered and I’ve met a lot of f***ing people.”
  • Eric says of Andrew – “You’re the candidate who is most open to new ideas. You’re always open to a good discussion or argument and you’ll go with whatever’s best. I find you’re as close to non-egoic as anyone I’ve met.”
  • Both Andrew and Eric have read Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt
  • “25% of Americans are politically disengaged”
    • ~48% identify as independent (which is ~2x what identify as Republican or Democrat)
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