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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Sam Altman President of Y Combinator. Investor at Reddit, Stripe, Change.org, Pinterest and many others

If the robots are creating wealth for their owners, that for sure should be taxed.
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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 toward 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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Gaby Hinsliff Guardian columnist & writer, political editor at The Pool, author of Half a Wife, sometimes on

But Conservatives shouldn’t mock the robot tax unless and until they’ve got something better to offer. Labour is on to something, even if it’s not yet quite sure what, and the Tories are running out of time to catch up.
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Jane Kim American civil rights attorney and politician, member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisor

As workers are displaced, the companies should continue to pay a portion of the lost tax into a fund that can then be used for education, retraining and targeted investments in new industries. This modest tax will help smooth the transition for our workers, providing them with better opportunities.
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Mady Delvaux Luxembourgish politician and Member of the European Parliament

[There might be a] need to introduce corporate reporting requirements on the extent and proportion of the contribution of robotics and AI to the economic results of a company for the purpose of taxation and social security contributions.
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Mady Delvaux Luxembourgish politician and Member of the European Parliament

Delvaux's report recommended making companies report the effects of artificial intelligence and robotics on their economic results "for the purpose of taxation and social security contributions."
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Sérgio Rebelo I teach International Finance at the Kellogg School of Management. I set up this account to ke

We find that when robots are relatively expensive, taxing them is useful in terms of improving the distribution of income between routine workers, whose jobs can be automated, and nonroutine workers, who benefit from automation.
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Xavier Oberson Professor of Swiss and International Tax Law at Geneva University; Partner, Oberson Abels SA;

Our analysis suggests that a tax on the use of robots would make sense, as a potential solution for addressing the development of robots on the labour market. In essence, we believe that granting a legal personality to robots could lead to the emergence of an electronic ability to pay, which should be recognised for tax purposes. After all, we have seen in the past that states, when required, may ... See More

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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Centre for Policy Studies Head of economic research at the Centre for Policy Studies (free-market British think tank)

Going ahead with a robot tax or other measures that would discourage investment in capital would be hugely damaging for the UK. The UK already suffers from a low capital-labour ratio, which is dampening productivity growth and holding back wage increases. Corbyn’s plans would exacerbate this problem and simply encourage new technologies and economic activity to locate elsewhere. The result would ... See More
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Centre for Policy Studies Head of economic research at the Centre for Policy Studies (free-market British think tank)

Going ahead with a robot tax or other measures that would discourage investment in capital would be hugely damaging for the UK. The UK already suffers from a low capital-labour ratio, which is dampening productivity growth and holding back wage increases. Corbyn's plans would exacerbate this problem and simply encourage new technologies and economic activity to locate elsewhere. The result w... See More
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Leonid Bershidsky Journalist

Automation did play a certain role in determining less-educated workers' life choices [i.e. losing their routine jobs and being forced either into unemployment or into the service sector]. But, Cortes, Jaimovich and Siu wrote, other factors were at least no less important. They specifically named "the share of high-skilled workers and their occupational choice, outsourcing and trade, and changes i... See More
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Matt Lynn Founder Endeavour Media. Financial columnist for WSJ MarketWatch, Daily Telegraph and Money We

In truth, AI and robotics promises to fuel a new wave of growth, which the world could certainly use. Even if it doesn’t, it will certainly replace lots of dull tasks, and remove a lot of daily drudgery. The last thing we want to do is tax that out of existence — no matter how many software billionaires tell us we should.
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James Bessen Lecturer in Law at the Boston University School of Law, economist and writer

Although automation will lead to further job losses in manufacturing, warehouse operations, and truck driving, the overall impact of automation across most industries will be to increase employment. Even though the pace of advances in robotics and artificial intelligence may accelerate over the next two decades, the impact of that change—whether it tends to increase or decrease employment—depends ... See More
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International Federation of Robotics IFR - The Voice of Robotics in the World

The IFR believes that the idea to introduce a robot tax would have had a very negative impact on competitiveness and employment.
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David Descoteaux Auteur, chroniqueur économique (CPA Magazine et Journal de Montréal/Québec) et toujours en quê

And couldn’t this [robot tax] result in double taxation for businesses, including many SMEs? Today, a company that uses technology to increase productivity pays taxes on its profits. However, if using a robot helps a company generate more profit, it will then have to pay more income tax plus a tax for having used a robot to increase its profitability.
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Dario Floreano Professor of Robotics & A.I.

Robotic manipulators have been replacing humans on factory floors around the world to produce better goods, in larger numbers at more affordable prices, for the past 50 years. There’s no reason why more advanced robots should be treated differently from a tax perspective.

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