Women’s rights are an important aspect of this current election cycle. As a woman running for president, Elizabeth Warren boasts strong female support, but Andrew Yang’s policies for women seem to be more promising. Erik Williamson explores how both candidates address these issues.
Presidential candidate Andrew Yang showed he could contend with fellow candidate Elizabeth Warren on the issue of automation. But can Yang compete with Warren on women’s rights?
Yang has stated multiple times that he agrees with much of Warren’s sensibilities, and there is no reason to believe that his presidency would interfere with the work she has already accomplished. Additionally Warren achieved her goals as a senator, not as president, which means she can continue to make progress on women’s rights, perhaps moreso as a senator than as president given she would have to diversify her priorities if she actually were to defeat Donald Trump.
Despite not having to compete with Warren on women’s issues, the merits of his own policy hold greater benefits for women in general.
During the October debate, Andrew Yang pitted his plan for UBI against Warren’s Social Security plan. Yang offered to provide financial relief in the form of the $1000 Freedom Dividend as an immediate stimulus to all citizens over the age of 18, while Warren’s plan offered an extra $200 to Social Security for retirees.
Given that many women are unable to work because of their duties as caregivers for their children or that they may be struggling single mothers, a greater sum of money in the present would benefit women more than a substantially lesser sum decades down the line. It also does not offer much security for women who are not in the workforce because of domestic obligations. Warren’s plan would delay aid to caregivers until retirement age, and would offer 20% of what would be provided with UBI.
It is also worth considering that Warren’s Social Security provision would provide no relief for women stuck in abusive relationships who are financially dependent on their abusers. Many victimized women might otherwise use the Dividend as a safety net and as a means to get out of bad situations, when they would otherwise have very few options. The Dividend would also provide money for school supplies, clothing, food, and various other necessities for single mothers who might be otherwise struggling.
Elizabeth Warren can also help implement her Social Security plan regardless of whether or not she is president, whereas her Social Security provision by itself seems less than adequate in the face of Andrew Yang’s. According to Yang, the Freedom Dividend will stack on top of Social Security, providing five times the money to the women who would benefit from Warren’s provision. The Dividend would also stack with other non-cash welfare benefits.
As senator, Warren has also introduced a bill known as the “Credit for Caring Act,” which offers a $3000 tax credit to caregivers who incur expenses greater than $2000 a month. Though this also addresses caregivers, it comes with various stipulations that bar many from benefiting, and would provide $9000 less than the Dividend would on a yearly basis.
While it is worth noting that Warren has recently stated she would be “open to the idea of UBI,” such a statement is in stark contrast to her earlier dismissive attitude towards UBI and automation which is grounds for skepticism.
Yang and Warren both do address childcare support and seem to have similar views on making child care and education more accessible. Warren’s plan is more in depth, but Yang’s plan follows her on the same principles, and as president he could work with her to achieve this plan.
Warren and Yang have similar ideas in addressing the gender pay gap in that they would both only hire companies with a track record of equal pay. However, Yang has also said he would work with states to implement pilot studies to see whether policies affect the pay gap and to also put pay disclosure laws into play. Yang has also been very vocal about giving both women and men paid family leave while Warren has not made as much of an effort to address the issue: Yang has a specific plan to provide Americans time off for new parents, while Warren has none.
Overall this paints a surprising and stark contrast on which candidate is adequately addressing women’s issues.
When comparing Warren’s and Yang’s plans, it seems that Yang provides objectively greater quantitative gains for women in almost all aspects in comparison to Warren’s.