Why Jeb Bush Admires Andrew Yang
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
Because this former governor and relative to two presidents has vast perspective on politics.
By Nick Fouriezos
Former Florida governor and presidential candidate Jeb Bush sat for a revealing interview with OZY’s CEO and co-founder on the latest episode of The Carlos Watson Show. The following are some of the best cuts from the full conversation.
On police killings and the Black Lives Matter protests
Carlos Watson: How are you thinking about this moment? Do you see a bigger problem, and do you see fixes? How do you see what’s happening right now?
Jeb Bush: What I see it as is heartbreaking. And back to sports, the comments by commentators on television, the athletes themselves have been really moving. … I think they’ve handled this moment with a lot of grace and dignity, and it is heightening awareness of the need to stick with solutions. The protests are great. It’s part of American tradition, but we need to get to a suite of solutions to deal with police reform.
Does he support reparations?
Bush: I’d say reconciliation. I think we need to reconcile our differences. We have to solve these problems. I’m not sure reparations would do it. There’s a lot more work necessary.
Watson: Would you consider it as part of a solution or you say no all together?
Bush: Look, if it was part of a package that helped us understand our pasts, that helped us deal with the issues of poverty in this country, that deal with income and equality in a meaningful way, certainly it’s worth considering, but those issues are the ones that I think we need to focus on. Reparations itself won’t solve the challenge of a child growing up in American today with disadvantages.
Reforming American education
Bush: I think education reform is a huge issue as it relates to equity issues. You look at it, the number of people of low income in this now not being able to access education because they have neither a device nor broadband. In the pockets of affluence of our country, Florida and other places, people are actually thriving in this environment, because they’re protected and because they have access to everything. That’s wrong.
Watson: If I say global rankings of education, you say what?
Bush: That the U.S. is mediocre. The Asian countries are dominant.
Watson: Interesting. That’s not always the perception, though. I bet you, here in the U.S., a lot of people’s perception is that we’re higher up the curve.
Bush: Oh, absolutely. In every survey, there’s an OECD test, the PISA test. We rank 30 out of 60 countries. We’re in the middle of the pack, but when you rank, when you ask students where they think we rank, we rank No. 1 by a long sight. The Chinese and the Koreans think that they’re way in the back and yet they rank, in terms of the PISA test, at the highest.
We’re good at self-esteem. We’re really strong at feeling good about ourselves, not so good about reading and doing math.
The most consequential technology of the next 20 years
Bush: I think it’s artificial intelligence and the convergence of big data analytics along with it is going to create an explosion of innovations, the likes of which I can’t describe, but I hope I’m alive to see them.
Watson: Are you afraid of the robots?
Bush: No, I think embracing science, embracing technology is essential for our long-term success, but there has to be a way to make sure that everybody can take advantage of that success and right now we’re not there. There’s huge swaths of our society that will be completely left behind by the acceleration of these technological trends. It breaks my heart, actually. I see it in slow motion happening, and I’m pretty confident it’s going to yield social strife that we can’t even imagine.
Watson: Who is the most thoughtful person, Governor, who you talk to about these issues?
Bush: The guy on the public square that’s been the most articulate is Andrew Yang. I think he’s pretty cool too. I like the fact that he is worried about this. His solution, if you could say in a country that there’s a basic income that everybody should have and you’re empowering people, then, to take care of their lives and you’re changing not the health care system but the public assistance system to be able to provide that base support, that’s a really interesting idea if you pair it with an education system that gives people the skills to be able to live a purposeful life.