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James Bessen disagrees: Robot Tax

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 not on the technology, but on demand. And overall, these technologies will boost employment because they are addressing major unmet needs. So Gates is right about the need to provide funds to retrain workers and to support them in making these job transitions, but taxing robots will just slow job creation. Automation is creating more jobs than it is destroying.


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