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How Andrew Yang’s automation policies can help truckers

10.10.2019 - 11:55 AM Comments: 0

Automation in the trucking industry has become a hot button issue in the United States, as many continue to find possible solutions for its inevitable integration. 

Automated trucking has also caught the attention of presidential candidate Andrew Yang, who has put the issue front and center throughout his campaign. The trucking industry currently employs over three million Americans, and according to Yang, the economy is not prepared to lose the bulk of those jobs to automated trucks. 

Yang constantly specifies the inevitability of automated trucking, so instead of fighting against it, he has proposed policies that could possibly create solutions for those affected. 

These policies include: creating a seamless transition into automation and protecting Americans in the trucking industry by taxing profits derived from automated trucking, then allocating those earnings into severance packages for drivers who are replaced. 

While Yang’s proposed ideas may not cover all the necessary bases, his work has alerted the general public to the issues facing the trucking industry, which can be the first step to changing the national dialogue on automated trucking. 

Yang has also proposed the use of Universal Basic Income, which would grant Americans $1000 a month. For those in the trucking industry who could lose their jobs, the $1000 “Freedom Dividend” could prove to be enough to hold them over until they find other jobs. 

For others, the $1000 could just be additional income for their retirement fund. It’s important to remember that over 53 percent of drivers currently in the industry are aged between 35-54. With automation not looking fully viable for at least another 10 years, a portion of those drivers could possibly retire rather than face the changes that will come with automation.

The truth is, most Americans—not just truckers—are worried about automation. According to VentureBeat, “Pew Research Center and Gallup surveys in 2017 and 2018, respectively, found a majority of U.S. adults are worried about automation taking jobs.”

Yang’s plan to ease in automation with social and economic responsibility has gained a plethora of popularity among truckers thus far. 

For example, in a GoFundMe created on September 9, 2019, 498 donors have raised just over $9,600 for a semi-truck trailer that will read “Truckers for Yang.” As the #YangGang continues to grow, it seems his trucker contingent of supporters also continues to do so.

While Yang is still hovering around 3 percent in national polls, it’ll be interesting to see how the issues he’s popularized continue to expand if he ends up not getting the nomination. 

So what do you think? Do you support Andrew Yang? If so, tell us why or why not in the comments or on social media!

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