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Here's a 2020 endorsement: Andrew Yang — but not for president

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After the fourth Democratic presidential debate last week, I realized the only enthusiastic endorsement I could make this far out was for Andrew Yang — but not for president. Instead, Yang should lead the Department of Commerce under whomever gets elected. because he has a 21st-century, visionary grasp of economics.

American capitalism is a dead man walking, but don’t count on the corporate news media to tell you as the staggering continues before the final collapse. Signs of the existential crisis are as clear as the flaming orange kleptomaniac who occupies the White House. Rest assured, the business press dominated by the Wall Street pyramid builders will tell you that nobody saw it coming. They always do that after a crash comes.

In the past our commerce secretaries have largely been bagmen for the presidents who nominate them. What’s different about Yang is that he is a successful capitalist who understands the predator aspect of the market economy that has to be subdued if humanity is to have half a chance.

He demonstrated that in the CNN/NewYork Times debate when he was asked to address the opioid crisis:

[W]e have to recognize this is a disease of capitalism run amok. There was a point when there were more opiate prescriptions in the state of Ohio than human beings in the state of Ohio. And for some reason, the federal government thought that was appropriate.

They ended up levying a $600 million fine against Purdue Pharma, which sounds like a lot of money, until you realize that company made $30 billion. They got a 2 percent fine, and they killed tens of thousands of Americans, eight an hour.

So if the government turned a blind eye to this company spreading a plague among its people, then the least we can do is put the resources to work in our community so our people have a fighting chance to get well, even though this is not a money problem. We all know this is a human problem.

The planet’s environmental crisis is not the only challenge that requires radical remedies like Yang’s "freedom dividend." The great wealth inequality that now defines this nation has only gotten worse since the Great Recession, and we are ill-prepared for the heavy lift ahead as our population ages and jobs continue to disappear or turn into flimsy gigs run out of an LLC in the Cayman Islands.

Between student debt and exploding household debt, Americans are being buried in fiscal promises they will never be able........

© Salon