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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.