Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he supports Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, calling universal basic income 'Obviously needed'

Hollis Johnson/Business InsiderDemocratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang wants to provide a universal basic income to all Americans.
  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted out an apparent endorsement of Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang on Twitter on August 10.
  • Yang, 44, is a venture capitalist from New York who believes in providing universal basic income for American citizens, medicare for all, and addressing the impact of automation on the economy.
  • Musk tweeted a very simple statement: “I support Yang,” in response to a tweet Yang posted about solving problems and being open minded.

Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang can count Tesla CEO Elon Musk among his supporters after Musk offered a simple message of support via Twitter on Saturday.

Earlier in the day Yang tweeted a message about trying different approaches to problem solving and remaining open-minded.

“I don’t expect people to agree with me on everything- that would be odd,” Yang wrote on Twitter. “”My main hope is that people trust that I’m trying to solve problems and I’m open to different approaches – particularly if the data drives in a particular direction. Changing one’s mind is not a bad thing.”

Yang’s message was shared by a Twitter user named Dan Carlin, or @HardcoreHistory, prompting a response from Musk later in the afternoon.

“I support Yang,” Musk tweeted. “He would our first openly goth president [sic]. I think this is very important,” he said in a second tweet.

Musk calling Yang a goth is a call back to an April interview with Jezebel where Yang claimed he was once a member of the counter-culture. However, Musk’s support of Yang doesn’t end with his sense of style.


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The Tesla CEO also agrees with Yang’s stance that Americans will eventually need a universal basic income. When asked by Twitter user Harry Stoltz about universal basic income, Musk called the policy “obviously needed.” As president Yang hopes to launch what he calls a Freedom Dividend that would provide $US1,000 a month to every American. The program would be funded by taxes on businesses that rely on innovation.

Elon MuskREUTERS/Mike BlakeSpaceX owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk gestures during a conversation with legendary game designer Todd Howard (not pictured) at the E3 gaming convention in Los Angeles, California, U.S., June 13, 2019.

Tesla relies heavily on automation in its manufacturing process, though Musk has previously admitted to pushing the company towards automation too quickly.

Musk endorsed Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump ahead of the 2016 presidential election, but ultimately agreed to join Trump’s economic advisory team when the president took office. That arrangement lasted for less than six months, however. Musk left the advisory team in June 2017 due to disagreements with the Trump administration’s climate change policies.

Yang’s progressive policies for technology and innovation appear to have earned an early endorsement from Musk and the candidate thanked the Tesla CEO for his support on Twitter. Yang is one of nearly two dozen candidates vying for the Democratic presidential nomination and recently qualified for the party’s fall primary debates.

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