Elon Musk supports 'free cash handout' presidential candidate Andrew YangAugust 12, 2019
By Kathrine Clifford | CNBC_Make it
SpaceX chief Elon MuskMARK RALSTON | AFP | Getty Images
Billionaire Tesla and SpaceX boss Elon Musk supports long-shot Democratic presidential hopeful Andrew Yang.
“I support Yang,” Musk tweeted Saturday in response to a comment about Yang on Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History feed, an account that Musk follows.
How weird that this should be a somewhat novel thing to say. https://t.co/KrClbraCbu— Dan Carlin (@HardcoreHistory) August 10, 2019
And Yang responded: “Thank you Elon — this means a great deal. Congrats on building the future.”
Thank you Elon - this means a great deal. Congrats on building the future. 👍🚀— Andrew Yang (@AndrewYang) August 10, 2019
Musk — who is currently worth very nearly $20 billion, according to Forbes — and Yang have stated similar views on the need for a universal basic income (UBI) in the U.S.
“There is a pretty good chance we end up with a universal basic income, or something like that, due to automation,” Musk told CNBC in 2016. “Yeah, I am not sure what else one would do. I think that is what would happen.”
And UBI is of the main tenants of Yang’s campaign platform — he pledges to give $1,000 a month to all American citizens 18 and older. Yang also says his so-called “Freedom Dividend” is necessary as robots and automation replace human workers more rapidly than people can find and be retrained for new jobs.
(Third party projections as to how robots will impact the job market for humans are mixed as to whether automation will make or destroy jobs overall.)
Musk’s previous forays into politics have been charged.
He was heavily criticized for agreeing to sit on three of President Donald Trump’s presidential councils in 2016, before resigning in June 2017 over Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement.
“Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world,” he said at the time.
Am departing presidential councils. Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 1, 2017
A year later, Musk came under fire for donating almost $40,000 to Protect the House, a Republican political-action committee designed to help Republicans during the 2018 midterm elections.
Musk, both individually and through his companies, donates to candidates, political campaigns and political-action committees. He donates “a nominal amount” to both parties, he has said, “to maintain dialogue.”
“Reports that I am a top donor to GOP are categorically false. I am not a top donor to any political party,” Musk tweeted.
That said, I do not actually see the checks (changed that policy today). A nominal annual amount goes out automatically to both parties to maintain dialogue. I have given vastly more to humanitarian causes.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 15, 2018
Musk, who was born in Pretoria, South Africa but became an American citizen in 2002, has said he is a registered Independent.
“To be clear, I am not a conservative,” Musk tweeted in 2018. “Am registered independent [and] politically moderate. Doesn’t mean I’m moderate about all issues. Humanitarian issues are extremely important to me [and] I don’t understand why they are not important to everyone.”
Thanks Jack. To be clear, I am not a conservative. Am registered independent & politically moderate. Doesn’t mean I’m moderate about all issues. Humanitarian issues are extremely important to me & I don’t understand why they are not important to everyone.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 14, 2018