Connor Uhlman

Software engineer in Des Moines, Iowa

12 Days of Yang: Daylight Saving Time #

One week until the Iowa Caucuses! Another smaller policy to highlight today: "Extend Daylight Saving Time All Year".

There's not really a whole lot more that I can offer that the policy page doesn't, so go ahead and check that out: https://www.yang2020.com/policies/extend-daylight-savings-time-all-year/

{ 1/27/2020 }


12 Days of Yang: American Mall Act #

We're in the single digits - only 9 days remaining until the Iowa Caucuses!

A unique part of Andrew's stump speech includes talking about American malls and their impact (past, present, and future) to the communities they're in. Malls used to be commmunity hubs for socialization and commerce, but with 30% of malls scheduled to close in the next four years as e-commerce giants like Amazon take over, those communities will suffer. Jobs will be lost, crime will rise, and we'll have hundreds of commercial spaces sitting empty and unused.

Andrew will sponsor the American Mall Act, securing a fund to help those communities attract businesses, schools, and create other opportunities and uses for the available space that their malls provide.

Read Andrew's plan here.

{ 1/25/2020 }


12 Days of Yang: Make Election Day a Holiday #

10 days until the Iowa Caucuses! The policy that I want to highlight today is one of those ones that seem like common sense. Andrew Yang wants to make Election Day a federal holiday to give more citizens the day off and time to vote. His policy page says it best:

Everyone eligible to vote on election day should be free to do so. However, as highlighted by the disproportionate impact of voter ID laws and inconvenient polling locations, the lower the income that an individual or family has, the greater the barriers they face to voting, resulting in significantly lower turnout. Too many Americans are unable to take time off from work, as they're living paycheck-to-paycheck or are hourly workers who can't lose the time.

https://www.yang2020.com/policies/election-day-holiday/

{ 1/24/2020 }


12 Days of Yang: Making Taxes Fun #

11 days until the Iowa Caucuses, which means it's day 2 of "12 Days of Yang". The policy that I'm highlighting today is "Making Taxes Fun".

The IRS knows exactly how much you owe (most of you, anyway). If the IRS already knows everything, why do Americans collectively spend billions of hours and billions of dollars each year on tax preparation?

Unless you make a living from providing tax preparation services (or you're Uncle Sam), you probably don't think taxes are fun. Andrew Yang wants to make taxes fun. His policy outlines a plan to let citizens choose to direct 1% of their taxes to a specific project. On Revenue Day (a new Federal Holiday), we would highlight and celebrate all of the wonderful things that your tax dollars made possible.

According to the Tax Policy Center, 36 countries around the world have some sort of return-free filing system already. Although many have much simpler tax codes than we do, it's a proven system that works, and there's no reason that we couldn't make it work for us too.

Resources

https://www.yang2020.com/policies/making-taxes-fun/

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/dreading-taxes-countries-show-us-theres-another-way

https://www.taxpolicycenter.org/briefing-book/what-other-countries-use-return-free-tax-filing

{ 1/24/2020 }


12 Days of Yang: Ranked-Choice Voting #

The countdown is on! 12 days until the Iowa Caucuses.

To help you get to know Vegas' favorite head-to-head matchup against Donald Trump a little better, I have prepared for you the "12 Days of Yang" - a collection of 12 of my favorite Andrew Yang policies that might be flying under the radar.

On the first day of [12 days of] Yang: Ranked-Choice Voting.

The official Yang campaign website will always summarize his policies better than I can, so I encourage you to go check that out first.

Simply put, ranked-choice voting is a system of voting where you rank candidates from most favorite to least favorite, and your rankings truly matter. It doesn't force you to pick a candidate that you don't like for the sake of voting 'against' another, as many probably did in the 2016 presidential election. Here's how it works:

After all of the ballots are cast and candidates ranked, if one candidate received a majority of the first-place votes, they are the winner. If no candidate reached that threshold, the candidate with the least number of votes is eliminated. For any ballots that included that (now eliminated) candidate as their first choice, they now are counted using their second choice instead. This method of tallying the votes continues until one candidate has reached a majority and is declared the winner.

You've probably heard sayings like 'a vote for [third-party candidate] is a vote for [the other guy]', but ranked-choice voting lets you use your vote the way you want without forcing you to vote strategically. If your candidate doesn't win, that's alright because you were able to choose a back-up (or multiple).

Again, check out the official campaign website or other numerous online resources to learn more about ranked-choice voting. Along with many of the other 'Voting Reform' policies that the campaign website lists, ranked-choice voting will help to restore faith in the democratic process and encourage citizens to exercise their right to vote.

{ 1/22/2020 }


Yang for Small-town Iowa #

3.2 million dollars.

Per month.

There’s no doubt what that amount of money in the pockets of Carlisle citizens would do for the economy of our small, but mighty, town. A few extra trips to Fiss’ for ice cream, another night out at Coco & Nini’s, and a stop at True Value to wrap up that home improvement project you’ve been putting off - all possible with the Freedom Dividend. A certain boost to our already thriving community, centered around a booming public school system, small business, and everything else that makes small-town Iowa great.

If you know anything about Andrew Yang, it’s that he’s the guy who wants to give every American $1000 per month. Universal Basic Income, being proposed by Yang as the Freedom Dividend, is actually feasible (he’s done the math). It isn’t as crazy as it sounds. Put simply, it’s a divided for being a shareholder of our great nation. We all participate and help make this country what it is, and Yang is proposing that we should be rewarded the same as any investor, just like on Wall Street.

Although the Freedom Dividend is his signature policy, his platform is much more than that. On his website, yang2020.com, there’s enough policy proposals to keep you busy if you’re ever stuck inside on a cold, snowy, Iowa winter afternoon. He lists everything - from “Making Taxes Fun” to “Democracy Dollars”. If you venture to his policies page, you’re bound to find plenty of common-sense proposals that make you wonder, “why aren’t we doing that already?”.

Andrew Yang is for small-town Iowa communities like ours. Consider his stance on higher education - unlike the policies of Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, Andrew Yang doesn’t propose that four-year public universities should be free for everyone. Free public tuition is an idea that would certainly decimate many of the smaller, rural communities in Iowa that are built around private colleges. Consider our neighbors to the southwest; towns like Indianola would struggle to survive if schools like Simpson closed because they were unable to compete on price with public universities. Yang also understands that not every high school graduate wants or needs to attend a four-year university to enjoy a successful career. He advocates for the support of community colleges and vocational schools as alternatives to offering free public tuition, an idea I’m sure many of the hard-working folks who call Carlisle home can get behind.

On February 3rd, consider caucusing for Andrew Yang. A vote for Andrew Yang is a vote for small-town Iowa and the people that make it great.

{ 1/11/2020 }


Welcome! #

Welcome to uhlman.dev! Formerly branded (and still accessible) as connoruhlman.com, we've got a fresh look for a fresh domain. I don't anticipate too many real blog posts, but if I run across an article or have a quick tip to share, this will be a spot for me to share those sorts of things.

Historically, this site has been a playground for the technologies that I'm messing around with at the time (Gatsby, Contentful, and Now, currently.) If I can post at least a few things before rewriting it, I'll consider this one a success.

{ 3/13/2019 }