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The Economist disagrees: Robot Tax

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 are no less abundant than people. Factories can churn out even complex contraptions; the cost of producing the second or millionth copy of piece of software is roughly zero. Every lorry driver needs individual instruction; a capable autonomous-driving system can be duplicated endlessly. Abundant machines will prove no more capable of grabbing a fair share of the gains from growth than abundant humans have.


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