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Thread: Should robots pay taxes?

  1. #1
    Statue whisperer Addiction Solitaire Champion, Double Deuce Champion, Queen Jewels Champion, Ray Ray Shuffle Champion, Twins Champion, Blow Up: Arcade Champion, Bunch - Time Trial Champion, Znax Champion, Zoo Keeper Champion, Sobics School Champion, Swap a Smiley Champion, Makos Champion, Dino Drop Champion, Flower Frenzy Champion, Some Puzzle Champion, Funny Bubbles Champion, CubeZ Champion, Dinky Smash Champion, Fun Fun Animals Champion, Fruit Fabriek Champion, Raft Wars Champion, Rainbow Monkey RunDown Champion, Raft Wars Champion, Crime Puzzle Champion Blueneck's Avatar
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    Should robots pay taxes?

    When a company installs a robot and lays off the humans that did the job previously, that's a loss of revenue to the tax base. How does that get made up?

    “You ought to be willing to raise the tax level and even slow down the speed” of automation, Gates argues. That’s because the technology and business cases for replacing humans in a wide range of jobs are arriving simultaneously, and it’s important to be able to manage that displacement. “You cross the threshold of job replacement of certain activities all sort of at once,” Gates says, citing warehouse work and driving as some of the job categories that in the next 20 years will have robots doing them.

    *snip*

    Bill Gates: Certainly there will be taxes that relate to automation. Right now, the human worker who does, say, $50,000 worth of work in a factory, that income is taxed and you get income tax, social security tax, all those things. If a robot comes in to do the same thing, you’d think that we’d tax the robot at a similar level.
    Any thoughts?

    The robot that takes your job should pay taxes, says Bill Gates

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    Council Member Djinn's Avatar
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    It's a stupid idea. Microsoft's own Office products eliminated countless accounting and secretarial jobs. This is no different.
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    Statue whisperer Addiction Solitaire Champion, Double Deuce Champion, Queen Jewels Champion, Ray Ray Shuffle Champion, Twins Champion, Blow Up: Arcade Champion, Bunch - Time Trial Champion, Znax Champion, Zoo Keeper Champion, Sobics School Champion, Swap a Smiley Champion, Makos Champion, Dino Drop Champion, Flower Frenzy Champion, Some Puzzle Champion, Funny Bubbles Champion, CubeZ Champion, Dinky Smash Champion, Fun Fun Animals Champion, Fruit Fabriek Champion, Raft Wars Champion, Rainbow Monkey RunDown Champion, Raft Wars Champion, Crime Puzzle Champion Blueneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Djinn View Post
    It's a stupid idea. Microsoft's own Office products eliminated countless accounting and secretarial jobs. This is no different.
    So when we get to a point where we have more robots working than humans, what are we going to tax besides the goods the robots produce? What are we going to do with all these people?
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    Council Member Djinn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blueneck View Post
    So when we get to a point where we have more robots working than humans, what are we going to tax besides the goods the robots produce? What are we going to do with all these people?
    What did we do with them when we kicked them out of their accounting and secretarial jobs? What did we do with all of the urban livery stable workers when cars became the norm? Pinsetters, ice cutters, rat catchers, lamplighters, log drivers, switchboard operators, copy boys, typing pool workers, elevator operators, ... what did we do with them?
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    "Mr. Original". the watchman's Avatar
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    robots no, because they can't vote. That would be taxation without representation. LOL... But, the company that lays off workers should see a some sort of tax adjustment.
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    Senior Member Sparta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Djinn View Post
    What did we do with them when we kicked them out of their accounting and secretarial jobs? What did we do with all of the urban livery stable workers when cars became the norm? Pinsetters, ice cutters, rat catchers, lamplighters, log drivers, switchboard operators, copy boys, typing pool workers, elevator operators, ... what did we do with them?
    We fired/laid them off. What happened to the wealth? It went to the people who own the technology.

    Technology will make everyone's skills obsolete. We have no choice but to hash out a new economy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blueneck View Post
    When a company installs a robot and lays off the humans that did the job previously, that's a loss of revenue to the tax base. How does that get made up?



    Any thoughts?

    The robot that takes your job should pay taxes, says Bill Gates
    Blueneck,

    Interesting idea. I have often thought that high tech companies should be accessed a windfall profits tax. There is always take about charging energy companies windfall profit tax on their 5% margin. However, one can argue that tech companies provide something just as valuable and essential as energy companies, i.e., information and communication, but seems nobody complains about their 30% margin.

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    Veteran Member bajisima's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Djinn View Post
    What did we do with them when we kicked them out of their accounting and secretarial jobs? What did we do with all of the urban livery stable workers when cars became the norm? Pinsetters, ice cutters, rat catchers, lamplighters, log drivers, switchboard operators, copy boys, typing pool workers, elevator operators, ... what did we do with them?
    That was replacing a tangible material (human) with another tangible job. With robots, we are replacing a tangible human being with a machine. That's very different. Previously a human worker could just learn a new skill. Now computers and robots are taking a lot of jobs and its increasing each year. Eventually machines will take over unskilled labor. Which means we will need some way to deal with the millions of current unskilled labor to find other ways to make a living. Some areas are already experimenting with a guaranteed minimum wage. We might need to look into that.

  9. #9
    Council Member Djinn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bajisima View Post
    That was replacing a tangible material (human) with another tangible job. ....
    I disagree... One capable Excel user can replace a dozen or more 1970s-era pencil-pushers. I see little difference in replacing a dozen workers with one employee, versus zero employees....

    And even that assumes that the factory with the robot has zero robot mechanics on staff.
    Thanks from Southern Dad

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    Veteran Member Canada - Geography game Champion, Geography Champion mtm1963's Avatar
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    maybe the company should pay payroll taxes on them.

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