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CEDAR FALLS — Presidential hopeful Andrew Yang visited the University of Northern Iowa on Monday.

He was there to get out vote for Democratic candidate Eric Giddens in the upcoming special election in Iowa Senate District 30 — and to get out his own message as well.

“(President) Donald Trump is the manifestation of the fact that we’re in the third inning of the greatest economic and technological transformation in the history of our country,” Yang, an entrepreneur, said. “The voters of Iowa have historic power in your hands.”

Yang said each voter in Iowa is worth at least 1,000 voters from states like California.

“You may look around this room and say, ‘Hey, there are like 20 people here.’ I see 20,000 voters, because of each of you have that much power,” Yang said.

He outlined his plan to provide a $1,000-a-month “freedom dividend” to everyone in the United States by taxing technology, to provide Medicare for all and to change the way the economy is measured.

“Most of (the freedom dividend) would be spent on your tuition, on food, on car repairs you’ve been putting out, on the occasional night, right here in Iowa,” Yang said. “It would create a path forward for rural areas that are getting depleted.”

He wants to abandon gross domestic product, or GDP, for a different method of measuring an economy. He would use a new scorecard to map indicators for the economy.

“It would tell us that people are dying. It would tell us people are going through a mental health crisis,” Yang said. “We’ve created a system that has taken over our lives.”

The event at Maucker Union was close to where students can cast their ballots for the March 19 special election today and Wednesday.

“It’s just upstairs,” Yang said. “Bring friends.”

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