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.
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
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!
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