Laughs and math at Andrew Yang event in Peterborough Thursday night

  • Democratic presidential primary candidate Andrew Yang returned to Post and Beam Brewing in Peterborough Thursday night for a town hall-style appearance in that packed the pub. Staff photo by MEGHAN PIERCE—

  • Democratic presidential primary candidate Andrew Yang returned to Post and Beam Brewing in Peterborough Thursday night for a town hall-style appearance in that packed the pub. Staff photo by MEGHAN PIERCE—

  • Democratic presidential primary candidate Andrew Yang returned to Post and Beam Brewing in Peterborough Thursday night for a town hall-style appearance in that packed the pub. Staff photo by MEGHAN PIERCE—

  • Democratic presidential primary candidate Andrew Yang returned to Post and Beam Brewing in Peterborough Thursday night for a town hall-style appearance in that packed the pub. Staff photo by MEGHAN PIERCE—

  • Democratic presidential primary candidate Andrew Yang returned to Post and Beam Brewing in Peterborough Thursday night for a town hall-style appearance in that packed the pub. Staff photo by MEGHAN PIERCE—

  • Democratic presidential primary candidate Andrew Yang returned to Post and Beam Brewing in Peterborough Thursday night for a town hall-style appearance in that packed the pub. Staff photo by MEGHAN PIERCE—

  • Democratic presidential primary candidate Andrew Yang returned to Post and Beam Brewing in Peterborough Thursday night for a town hall-style appearance in that packed the pub. Staff photo by MEGHAN PIERCE—

  • Democratic presidential primary candidate Andrew Yang returned to Post and Beam Brewing in Peterborough Thursday night for a town hall-style appearance in that packed the pub. Staff photo by MEGHAN PIERCE—

  • Democratic presidential primary candidate Andrew Yang returned to Post and Beam Brewing in Peterborough Thursday night for a town hall-style appearance in that packed the pub. Staff photo by MEGHAN PIERCE—

  • Democratic presidential primary candidate Andrew Yang returned to Post and Beam Brewing in Peterborough Thursday night for a town hall-style appearance in that packed the pub. Staff photo by MEGHAN PIERCE—

  • Democratic presidential primary candidate Andrew Yang returned to Post and Beam Brewing in Peterborough Thursday night for a town hall-style appearance in that packed the pub. Staff photo by MEGHAN PIERCE—

  • Democratic presidential primary candidate Andrew Yang returned to Post and Beam Brewing in Peterborough Thursday night for a town hall-style appearance in that packed the pub. Staff photo by MEGHAN PIERCE—

  • Democratic presidential primary candidate Andrew Yang returned to Post and Beam Brewing in Peterborough Thursday night for a town hall-style appearance in that packed the pub. Staff photo by MEGHAN PIERCE—

  • Democratic presidential primary candidate Andrew Yang returned to Post and Beam Brewing in Peterborough Thursday night for a town hall-style appearance in that packed the pub. Staff photo by MEGHAN PIERCE—

  • Democratic presidential primary candidate Andrew Yang returned to Post and Beam Brewing in Peterborough Thursday night for a town hall-style appearance in that packed the pub. Staff photo by MEGHAN PIERCE—

  • Democratic presidential primary candidate Andrew Yang returned to Post and Beam Brewing in Peterborough Thursday night for a town hall-style appearance in that packed the pub. Staff photo by MEGHAN PIERCE—

  • Democratic presidential primary candidate Andrew Yang returned to Post and Beam Brewing in Peterborough Thursday night for a town hall-style appearance in that packed the pub. Staff photo by MEGHAN PIERCE—

  • Democratic presidential primary candidate Andrew Yang returned to Post and Beam Brewing in Peterborough Thursday night for a town hall-style appearance in that packed the pub. Staff photo by MEGHAN PIERCE—

  • Democratic presidential primary candidate Andrew Yang returned to Post and Beam Brewing in Peterborough Thursday night for a town hall-style appearance in that packed the pub. Staff photo by MEGHAN PIERCE—

  • Democratic presidential primary candidate Andrew Yang returned to Post and Beam Brewing in Peterborough Thursday night for a town hall-style appearance in that packed the pub. Staff photo by MEGHAN PIERCE—

  • Democratic presidential primary candidate Andrew Yang returned to Post and Beam Brewing in Peterborough Thursday night for a town hall-style appearance in that packed the pub. Staff photo by MEGHAN PIERCE—

  • Democratic presidential primary candidate Andrew Yang returned to Post and Beam Brewing in Peterborough Thursday night for a town hall-style appearance in that packed the pub. Staff photo by MEGHAN PIERCE—

  • Democratic presidential primary candidate Andrew Yang returned to Post and Beam Brewing in Peterborough Thursday night for a town hall-style appearance in that packed the pub. Staff photo by MEGHAN PIERCE—

  • Democratic presidential primary candidate Andrew Yang returned to Post and Beam Brewing in Peterborough Thursday night for a town hall-style appearance in that packed the pub. Staff photo by MEGHAN PIERCE—

  • Democratic presidential primary candidate Andrew Yang returned to Post and Beam Brewing in Peterborough Thursday night for a town hall-style appearance in that packed the pub. Staff photo by MEGHAN PIERCE—

  • Democratic presidential primary candidate Andrew Yang returned to Post and Beam Brewing in Peterborough Thursday night for a town hall-style appearance in that packed the pub. Staff photo by MEGHAN PIERCE—

  • Democratic presidential primary candidate Andrew Yang returned to Post and Beam Brewing in Peterborough Thursday night for a town hall-style appearance in that packed the pub. Staff photo by MEGHAN PIERCE—

  • Democratic presidential primary candidate Andrew Yang returned to Post and Beam Brewing in Peterborough Thursday night for a town hall-style appearance in that packed the pub. Staff photo by MEGHAN PIERCE—

  • Democratic presidential primary candidate Andrew Yang returned to Post and Beam Brewing in Peterborough Thursday night for a town hall-style appearance in that packed the pub. Staff photo by MEGHAN PIERCE—

  • Democratic presidential primary candidate Andrew Yang returned to Post and Beam Brewing in Peterborough Thursday night for a town hall-style appearance in that packed the pub. Staff photo by MEGHAN PIERCE—

  • Democratic presidential primary candidate Andrew Yang returned to Post and Beam Brewing in Peterborough Thursday night for a town hall-style appearance in that packed the pub. Staff photo by MEGHAN PIERCE—

  • Democratic presidential primary candidate Andrew Yang returned to Post and Beam Brewing in Peterborough Thursday night for a town hall-style appearance in that packed the pub. Staff photo by MEGHAN PIERCE—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 9/27/2019 4:16:51 PM

Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang stumped to a packed room at Post and Beam Brewing in Peterborough Thursday night.

The pub was standing room only and had to turn about 50 people away at the door for lack of space.

“Next time we need a bigger venue,” Yang told the crowd inside the pub.

In a town hall-style event that felt more like a house party, Yang made his case, with both humor and math, as to why he is the candidate to beat incumbent President Donald Trump in the 2020 election.

“I am only one of two candidates in the field that 10 percent or more of Donald Trump voters said that they would support. … That means if I’m your nominee we will win.”

Trump was right, Yang said, there are problems. But Trump’s approach – blaming immigrants and working to bring back manufacturing jobs – is not the answer.

“We need to turn the clock forward,” Yang said. “We have to evolve in the way we see work and value.”

And when you get right down to it, he said, still selling himself, “The opposite of Donald Trump is an Asian man who likes math.”

The fun atmosphere included supporters referred to as members of the “Yang Gang” wearing baseballs hats that simply said “MATH.” Some supporters came in costume, including a robot, a pirate and three smiley face emojis.

Because of New Hampshire’s First in the Nation primary status “each of you are worth 1,000 Californians,” Yang told the crowd. “This is the kind of room you can start a revolution from very, very quickly. That’s why we’re all here. We’ve all done the same math. You have the country in your hands and we love you for it.”

Yang was introduced by Michael Strand, chairman of the Peterborough Democrats, and Steve Marchand, former mayor of Portsmouth and candidate for Governor of New Hampshire in 2016 and 2018.

“He represents the center of America. The future of America, at a time that we need a big change,” Marchand said.

Yang said he graduated in 1992 from Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire. After high school he went to Brown University, followed by law school, after which he spent five months as “an unhappy lawyer” before leaving the field to start a business that eventually failed, but started his business career.

As a businessman, he traveled the country and saw the deep need for job creation, so he left his job as a CEO and started Venture For America to support the next generation of entrepreneurs, he said.

Then came the election of Donald Trump in 2016, Yang said. “It was like a, ‘Oh my gosh. Things have gotten so bad that tens of millions of our fellow Americans have decided to take a chance on the narcissist reality TV star as our president.’”

Yang said Trump tapped into how many everyday Americans, many in the Midwest and South, felt at the time and he identified the country was facing many challenges when it came to the economy and jobs. “He did say, ‘We’re going to make America great again,’ and then what did Hillary Clinton say in response … ‘America’s already great.’ And that did not work.”

Yang said Trump does not, then or now, have the right solutions. “We need a different message. We need to say, ‘Look, we get it.’ The struggles are real. The problems are real. People are getting pushed to the side. We’re more stressed out. We’re more indebted. We’re working harder for less. Our costs just keep creeping up. Notice how health insurance only goes in one direction. You guys ever remember getting that letter from the health insurance company being like ‘Good news, it’s cheaper this year?’ … You have entire industries whose business model is sticking just it to the America people progressively. We’ve got to turn that around.”

Yang emphasized his universal basic income as part of the solution, which would give every American adult $1,000 a month.

“If you are here tonight you heard something like this, ‘There’s an Asian man running for president that wants to give everybody $1,000 a month.’ You hear that New Hampshire? Nothing like the first time you heard that,” Yang said to the laughing and cheering crowd.

It sounds like a gimmick, he said, “But If you dig into our country’s history it is deeply American. Thomas Paine was for it at the founding of the country. He called it the ‘citizens dividend.’ Martin Luther King championed it and fought for it in 1967.”

Yang said it was almost made into law under President Richard Nixon as the “Family Assistance” law in the 1970s, but ultimately failed to pass. Then 11 years after that the state of Alaska passed its own dividend law, based on the state’s oil sales, which now gives Alaskans each $1,000 to $2,000 a year.

“So what’s the oil of the 21st century,” Yang asked the crowd, which responded saying technology. 

“How many of you have noticed stores closing near you here in New Hampshire? And why are those stores closing down?” he asked, to which the crowd responded, “Amazon.”

“Yes, Amazon, that’s right, one-word answer,” he said. “Amazon. Soaking up $20 billion dollars in business every year. It’s closing 30 percent of America’s stores and malls.”

Yang said although Amazon generates about $20 billion annually it pays no taxes. And while retail jobs are being lost to Amazon, foodservice and trucking jobs will soon be lost to automation and robots. This is why a universal income for Americans is needed and it would be fair to use the technology industry to support it, he said.

“If you give American’s our tiny, tiny, fair share of every Amazon sale, every Google search, every Facebook ad, every robot truck mile we can generate hundreds of billions of new revenue very, very quickly,” Yang said. “If we do not have that mechanism place then our communities will just continue to get sucked dry while these mega-tech companies pay nothing or next to nothing in taxes.”

The dividend would be “a game-changer” for rural communities across the country that are losing their young people to the big city, he said.




Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

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