At a climate change forum hosted by MSNBC, 2020 Democratic nominee Andrew Yang said he plans to tax meat producers to make meat products more expensive if elected president. During the climate forum, Yang said:
Cattle is very energy consuming and energy expensive. If you project forward on what we would need to do to reduce emissions, you would want to modify Americans’ diets over time. Now, some of that is happening naturally through education, I do think it’s difficult to regulate diets.
So, what you’d want to do is again you’d want those cattle producers to have to internalize the cost of emissions. Because, if your cattle ends up, which they do, just naturally, we don’t hate them for it, they’re just being animals. So then, what that would naturally do, some people are going to hate this. But, it would probably make those products more expensive. And that is appropriate, because there’s a cost to producing food in that way. So, if you were to make it more expensive, then you would end up changing consumption patterns over time.
The key takeaway from Yang’s proposal is that he wants to reduce supply by upcharging consumers for a high-demand product.
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) September 19, 2019
Joe Rogan, host of “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast, took issue with Yang’s proposal. During his latest episode with comedian Mark Normand, Rogan expressed his disdain for Yang’s plant-based diet plan.
“This idea that the way to stop people from killing is to try to alter the American diet, to get them to stop eating meat, it’s not sustainable to look at it this way. We’re looking at it in a dishonest way. He doesn’t know all the facts. He doesn’t know all the facts in terms of nutritional value,” Rogan said. “There’s way more nutritional value in steak, especially grass-fed steak. … This idea that a plant-based diet is all you need to go by. And that we all need to move onto that. That is not right for everybody, it’s just not.”
“For him to say that for the whole country, you’re wrong,” Rogan said.
Rogan continued by talking about the livelihoods and lives that would be affected by Yang’s proposal.
“Here’s the thing, you can’t say that, because there’s people that would, I mean he’s gonna experience this, there’s a whole group online called ‘defending beef’ that talks about ranchers, and the way people look at the cattle industry. That a lot of it has been sort of distorted. And, one cow feeds a lot of f-ck-ng people.”
For a guy whose main proposal is to stop automating jobs away, Yang seems keen on getting rid of jobs that are not aligned with left’s radical climate change agenda.
Yang is currently polling at 3 percent. While this message may resonate with far-left primary voters, it is unlikely it would with general election voters. Most importantly, this message would not resonate with voters in battleground states such as Iowa and Ohio, where cattle farming is a major industry.