Speed Reads

2020 Democratic debates

Andrew Yang announces pilot program for his universal basic income plan

Entrepreneur Andrew Yang announced at the Democratic presidential debate Thursday night his intention to give away $1,000 a month to 10 families in a test of his "Freedom Dividend," a form of universal basic income. "It's time to trust ourselves more than politicians," Yang said to applause (as well as mocking laughter from Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar).

While there could be complications with the pilot program — including the possibility of it violating FEC guidelines, or potentially being categorized as vote buying — it's not totally unlike other efforts Yang has taken before. He's also been giving his own money to a New Hampshire family in $1,000 monthly installments since the beginning of the year.

The 10 families to receive the money in the new effort announced Thursday will reportedly be picked randomly in a raffle after signing up on Yang's website. "Normally when you give money to presidential campaigns, it goes to expensive consultants and ads," Yang's campaign told The New York Times in a statement. "For the first time in history, a presidential campaign is going to give money back to the people."