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Comparative Analysis of Andrew Yang' and Bernie Sanders’ Ideas to Overcome Income Inequality

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Almost everywhere you go you can see homeless people off to the side of the streets hunkered down in their little shelter. The United States government’s economic plan, income inequality, is at its worst because about a quarter of American workers make less than the federal minimum wage which is less than $10 an hour, and you see them almost every day as your cashier, fast food worker, etc. (Amadeo, 2019). Most of these workers “receive no health insurance, sick days, or pension plans from their employers…” (Amadeo, 2019). Then, there are the corporations that outsource technology and manufacturing jobs overseas for cheaper production. Because of this, it is causing the United States to lose “20% of its factory jobs since 2000” (Amadeo, 2019). One of the presidential candidates that could overcome the income inequality issue is Andrew Yang. Yang’s proposal is to create a universal basic income that would benefit any American citizen over the age of 18. The proposal would greatly benefit citizens that are homeless or unemployed to help them get back on their feet. However, there is also another presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders, who opposes Yang’s economic policy and would rather raise the federal minimum wage to $15 and create more jobs, rather than giving money to everyone (‘Bernie Sanders on Economic Inequality’). Yang’s proposal to instate the UBI would combat income inequality better than Sanders’ proposal to raise the federal minimum wage, because the UBI would be more impactful towards individuals.

Andrew Yang and Bernie Sanders share similar ideas of how to support the people and combat income inequality, through taxing the rich and corporations. Yang proposes his Freedom Dividend plan that is a form of universal basic income, “a type of social security that guarantees a certain amount of money to every citizen within a given governed population, without having to pass a test or fulfill a work requirement…”, that uses a value-added tax, which is “tax on the production of goods or services a business produces” (‘What Is Universal Basic Income?’). With this form of tax, Yang would be able to tax goods on big corporations like Amazon, Google, and Facebook, by “implementing a 10% value added tax on goods and services” and give it to the people (Darrough, 2019). Thus, creating a circulation of money that will help the economy when consumers have extra cash to use. Sanders also believes that rich people and corporations don’t pay their fair share in taxes, thus there won’t be enough funds for programs that help people in need (‘Bernie Sanders on Economic Inequality’). Sanders proposes an annual “0.1% tax on extreme wealth to reduce inequality and rebuild the middle class” (‘Bernie Sanders on Economic Inequality’). This makes sure that the tax being collected from the rich and corporations balance out the middle class because the top 1% of Americans make more than half of Americans since the other half only makes around $30,000 a year (‘Bernie Sanders on Economic Inequality’). Sanders wants to increase income tax so the rich and corporations can pay fair tax to fund America’s budget. The tax plan that Bernie planned would have taxed McDonalds $110 million, Walmart $793 million, and JPMorgan Chase for $991 million if his plan was set (Grayer, 2019). Sanders also says that corporations are hiding their profits overseas where the United States government can’t touch it, making a loss of around $200 billion of lost tax revenue (‘Bernie Sanders on Economic Inequality’). Although Sanders makes a good point on just taxing the rich and corporations, Yang’s plan is more efficient because Yang plans to tax products that big corporations sell, and those corporations sell a lot of products to consumers so there will be a lot of funds for the United States government to use for their programs. Sanders can force most corporations to increase wage and get their tax money, but it seems too aggressive. So, the better alternative would be Yang’s plan that can passively tax those corporations’ goods without any issues because it would just be another tax add on to those corporations. So, Yang’s plan is more of a quiet tactic for taxing the rich and corporations, while Sanders is more upfront. Yang’s plan is a more reliable plan, than Sander’s in the long run.

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Both Yang and Sanders plan to use their tax plan to create new jobs. Yang’s proposal ‘Freedom Dividend’, gives $1000 a month to anyone above the age of 18 whether they are homeless, unemployed, or employed. This gives people a way to get back on their feet and find or even create jobs. A benefit with the Freedom Dividend is that workers now have the power to say no to “…exploitative wages and abusive working conditions” (Jacobson, 2019). This benefit increases a worker’s bargaining powers because now they have a passive income that gives them leverage on their employers. Thus, employers can’t push around their employees into taking bad deals for the job. Yang says that our labor participation is at 62.7% which has been the lowest for decades, meaning that 1 out of 5 working men are out of the workforce foreshadowing, that advancements in technology for labor participation would decrease since machines will start doing that type of work (‘What Is Universal Basic Income?’). But workers don’t have to worry about technological advances because with Yang’s proposal, people can get into entrepreneurship and start up their own businesses. Yang says that in order for those businesses to do well, their customers need money to be able to spend it on the businesses, meaning that businesses won’t be able to run if consumers don’t have a that passive income that they can use to spend on those businesses (Darrough, 2019). Yang believes that his Freedom Dividend will transform each community into a “… ‘more vibrant local economies, creating more jobs and leading to new businesses…’” (Darrough, 2019). Society would flourish as money flows in and out of the pockets of Americans because spending money makes money. Sanders has a different thought on creating jobs for people. He says that “There is an enormous amount of work that has to be done all the way from childcare to health care to education to rebuilding our infrastructure to combating climate change to dealing with our growing elderly population” (Bonn, 2019). This is true because America is lacking in almost all departments that help the people out with their own struggles in life. Sanders wants to use the taxes from the rich and corporations to create new jobs in those departments because there are a lot of opportunities in there, and the only problem was that the government did not have the funds for it. The difference with Bernie’s plan to Yang’s plan is that Sanders’ primary focus is on creating jobs in the government for people that loss their jobs rather than Yang’s plan where Yang lets the people decide what they want to do. Yang plans to hand out money to people and give them financial freedom, this is where Sanders’ plan comes to a fault because it implies that he is forcing people to take on a government job rather than a regular such as working at a restaurant, mall, or other types of workplaces that don’t require being part of the United States government. Sanders can create “…millions of healthcare jobs to support our seniors and people with disabilities in their homes and communities” and also fund other governmental jobs that are lacking (‘Jobs for All’). The only problem with this is that the job is a set job and some of the jobs aren’t interesting enough for people to want work there. Bernie also wants to raise the minimum wage into a livable wage, $15 an hour, and to make sure there is a job guarantee for everyone. Creating a $15 an hour wage is great and all, but the problem is the geographical area a person lives in since some areas cost more than just a $15 wage. With Yang’s plan, it won’t be much of an issue because a person will get a regular income of $1000 a month and can work a side job giving that person financial stability. Sanders believes that his job guarantee can “lower the crime rate, improve mental health, and create a stronger sense of community…” which is supposed to give citizens a chance to breath and allow them to not worry about being jobless (‘Jobs for All’). But what about the homeless people? Although it is a good thing that Sanders is trying to make jobs everywhere, he doesn’t cope with how homeless people can get jobs. Sanders does have a plan for housing the homeless, investing $1.48 trillion into the National Affordable Housing Trust Fund, but the problem still resides on how those homeless people will get jobs to not stay homeless (Corbett, 2019). This is where Yang’s plan becomes more capable of supporting the homeless than Sanders’ plan because Yang is giving money to everyone even the homeless. It may seem that the homeless people getting this money would use it on drugs or alcohol, but studies has shown that “Decision-making has been improved when people have greater economic security” (‘What Is Universal Basic Income?’). Therefore, giving homeless people resources would benefit their thought process of setting their mind towards a goal that would financially benefit them. Both presidential candidates, Andrew Yang and Bernie Sanders, want all communities to thrive and survive as the nation faces a new form of economy uncertainty, Yang’s plan in securing an equal income for all covers more ground than Sanders’ plan.

Though Andrew Yang and Bernie Sanders share some similarities in taxing, their vision to improve people’s lives are different. Yang wants to use his universal basic income to help people get on their feet and look for opportunities, but Sanders says that “… ‘people want to work’ and the desire to ‘be a productive member of society’ is a ‘very deeply ingrained feeling that people have’” (Bonn, 2019). Sanders believes that Yang’s proposal of a universal basic income, would just make people lazy because with $1000 coming in every month people would think that they can live off this. Although it might be true in some instances, Yang backs it up saying that $12,000 a year is just a start because research has shown that “…cash transfer programs have found that the only people who work fewer hours when given direct cash transfers are new mothers and kids in school” (‘What Is Universal Basic Income?’). This income is supposed to be a starting point for new mothers and young adults in need of money to support themselves or their families. It also doesn’t force labor participation because they have a choice to work or not, especially for a mother because they can choose to stay home and take care of their children and not have to worry about money (Banerjee et al., 155–184). This will help people in poverty because it gives them a chance to get out of financial struggles or get something they need. Sanders argues that his job guarantee would secure millions of jobs for the American people while Yang chooses to give money directly to the people’s hands. Sanders has it all wrong because he does not see the potential of how people will use the money for the economy. Yang says that Bernie is ignoring the fact, that when people have money in their hands, they could start their businesses and their communities will flourish with all the work they would accomplish (Bonn, 2019). When giving people money, it gives the people a greater economic security; it is also a resource that can help a person get out of a bad situation (‘What Is Universal Basic Income?’). Yang’s plan is not a solution but is more of a new beginning for most people. Furthermore, people would still need to find a job because they should know that living on $12,000 a year still won’t be enough, but it is a start.

In conclusion, Yang and Sanders have similar ideas to improve income inequality. Both candidates agree on taxing the rich and corporations because they are the top 1% that makes the most out half of Americans combined (Grayer 2019). Yang proposal of the Freedom Dividend is seen as a plan that supports individuals because no matter how far a person is, they can always get back up. Yang sees that the Freedom Dividend would add economic growth in local communities because of the cash flow everyone will be getting. It would also increase business opportunities and give working people a voice. In contrast, Sanders’ proposal is taxing the rich and using that tax to fund government programs. Sanders sets out to create millions of jobs in government programs that would not leave anyone out because his plan guarantees a job to anyone who lost their job or needs one (Bonn 2019). Although both candidates may have similar ideas about helping the people with income inequality, Yang’s proposal is the best choice because it provides financial freedom for the people and gives opportunities for them to succeed; whereas, Bernie Sanders’ proposal is centered on creating work and increased pay for a livable wage of $15. America is the land of opportunities and I believe that Yang’s proposal would be a more practical and successful way to help all Americans to overcome income inequality and financial uncertainty.

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Comparative Analysis of Andrew Yang’ and Bernie Sanders’ Ideas to Overcome Income Inequality. (2022, August 25). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 27, 2023, from
“Comparative Analysis of Andrew Yang’ and Bernie Sanders’ Ideas to Overcome Income Inequality.” Edubirdie, 25 Aug. 2022,
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Comparative Analysis of Andrew Yang’ and Bernie Sanders’ Ideas to Overcome Income Inequality [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Aug 25 [cited 2023 Sept 27]. Available from:
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