Agree:

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Bill Gates Philanthropist. Founder and former CEO of Microsoft.

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.
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Jeremy Corbyn British labour party politician

Companies that replace workers with robots should be taxed in a new settlement between work and leisure. We need urgently to face the challenge of automation; robotics that could make so much of contemporary work redundant
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Robert J. Shiller Professor of economics at Yale and Nobel laureate

A moderate tax on robots, even a temporary tax that merely slows the adoption of disruptive technology, seems a natural component of a policy to address rising inequality. Revenue could be targeted towards wage insurance, to help people replaced by new technology make the transition to a different career. This would accord with our natural sense of justice, and thus be likely to endure.
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The Republican Editorials Western Massachusetts’ most popular local news and information site

Some Silicon Valley entrepreneurs consider the tax intrusive and anti-business - an obstacle to progress that forces them to maintain higher costs, restricting the price breaks they might pass on to consumers. An even greater number say fears of mass job displacement are ludicrous and panic-driven, and that robots will only make the workforce more versatile, rather than pushing people out. That's... See More
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Moon Jae-in Current President of South Korea

Moon Jae-in administration said it will downsize the tax deduction benefits that previous governments provided to enterprises for infrastructure investment aimed at boosting productivity. Though it is not about a direct tax on robots, it can be interpreted as a similar kind of policy considering that both involve the same issue of industrial automation
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Benoît Hamon Socialist Party candidate for the 2017 French presidential election

The idea [of my proposed robot tax] is to make sure that companies whose robot equipment or artificial intelligence increase the global output, employment and redistribution to employees will not be penalized
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Matteo Salvini Italian politician

I do not want to stop progress, but there are, according to estimates, three million jobs at risk. Robots must be a help to human effort, not a replacement of human beings. Otherwise in thirty years in Italy we will only have restaurants, radios and not much more.

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Disagree:

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The Economist Weekly magazine-format newspaper

As machines displace humans in production, their incomes the same pressures that afflict humans. The share of total income paid in wages - the "labour share" - has been falling for decades. Labour abundance is partly to blame; the owners of factors of production in shorter supply - such as land in Silicon Valley or protected intellectual property - are in a better position to bargain. But machines... See More
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Yanis Varoufakis Former finance minister of Greece, is Professor of Economics at the University of Athens

Either the robot sales tax should be dropped or it should be generalized into a capital goods sales tax. But imagine the uproar against a tax on all capital goods: Woe betide those who would diminish domestic productivity and competitiveness!
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Lawrence H. Summers Harvard economist and former US Treasury secretary

First, I cannot see any logic to singling out robots as job destroyers. There are many kinds of innovation that allow the production of more or better output with less labor input. Why pick on robots? Second, much innovative activity, even of a robotlike variety, involves producing better goods and services rather than simply extracting more output from the same input. Third, and perhaps most fund... See More
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Adam Smith Institute ASI is UK’s leading neoliberal think tank. See: @EamonnButler @Sam_Dumitriu @philip_salter @Da

A much better idea than putting income tax on robots would be to remove income tax on humans. That would spur human progress faster than even the visionary Mr Gates could ever imagine.
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Dean Baker Macroeconomist and codirector of the Center for Economic and Policy Research

[This] is a tax on productivity growth.
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Andrus Ansip European Commissioner for Digital Single Market and Vice President of the European Commission

I am not in favor of taxing progress as others would take a lead in areas such as artificial intelligence, leaving Europe behind.
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Institute of Economic Affairs The Institute of Economic Affairs is the UK's original free-market think-tank, founded in 1955

We must not be afraid of technological change and the rise of robots. New technology offers us improved living standards and a better quality of life and there is little evidence that job displacement is moving faster than the economy's ability to develop new types of employment. It is often overlooked that with technological change has come the creation of many new jobs already, including IT and ... See More

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