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No taxation without representation unless you're a robot, suggests Bill Gates

Written by Matti Robinson @ 20 Feb 2017 1:06 User comments (4)

No taxation without representation unless you're a robot, suggests Bill Gates Bill Gates is obviously known from creating one of the worlds largest technology companies and becoming the richest man on earth for it. Now the previously often even hated CEO of Microsoft has become a futurist and a philanthropist.
Saving lives by eradicating malaria might be the most important job of the Gates Foundation but Bill has been also vocal about the challenges that future, especially automation and AI, brings along. In an interview with Quartz, Bill Gates suggests that when robots start working instead of men and women, we should tax them the same way.

In his view robots will free us from the labor of producing some of the things and services we need so we can move more on to things that cannot at least as easily be replaced. Those are some of the more empathetic jobs such as caring and teaching professions.

Because robots won't probably have their own bank accounts and won't be given actual money the income tax would be replaced with a tax that would target the owner of the robot, which would be the company. In Gates' view this would slow down the adoption of automation as well as fund the population that is jobless because of it.

Bill Gates believes that the changes that are ahead of us are so immense that it is smart to slow down the process and make sure that people aren't replaced too fast. And he is probably right about it. If too many people are left without a job and there aren't enough funds to either re-educate or secure their future in some other way, there surely will be outbreaks of unrest.

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4 user comments

121.2.2017 10:27

Won't lack of representation for the robots cause civil unrest? It seems we should treat our future overlords with respect so they do the same.

224.2.2017 08:38

So the companies own the robots and the displaced workers are paid from this pool of tax money collected from the companies. Sounds like a re-branded form of Socialism to me.

324.2.2017 10:17

this entire thing is stupid to think about because companies are already taxed. this would not change if the company owned it's own robots or outsourced, as the other company would still be taxed on the income made from providing their services. if anything, they should just increase the tax percentage because they are obviously keeping more profit from not hiring as many human workers.

424.2.2017 10:58

I usually disagree with the bastard but not here. In the next 10-20 years a major portion of our work force will be replaced with robots. This will be hastened by increasing the minimum wage. There are franchises on the market today that eliminates most of the workers. Arbies has a new optional store that eliminates sales people. The food is placed into heated boxes and the food is sold FIFO (First In First Out) . Chances are the food will be fresher than in a regular franchise. US citizens who have been losing jobs and not getting new ones steadily over the last decade will continue that trend. Drivers of all sorts will be replaced with robot drivers. By 2030 half the US could be out of work. What are we doing about that? We should be restricting unskilled labor from coming into this country instead we welcome them even though we have a massive surplus of workers. Unemployment is not a valid indicator any more. That only counts persons collecting unemployment. That used to work because people found new jobs now they do not. now it is the job participation rate that tells the picture. That is how many citizens of a working age have a job.
That is why the economy is supposed to be doing well but we all know it is not. Everyone except for government workers fear for their job. That may also change. We can't afford so many government workers. We went into debt 10 trillion dollars during Obama. That is so vast we can't grasp what it means. We owe more money than the rest of the world combined and are going into debt faster than the rest of the world combined. The combined wealth of the US citizens is only 15 trillion dollars. We owe more money than we could ever pay back. I am not even a conservative even though I am conservative when it comes to debt. I don't spend double what I make even though I could live very well until it was time to pay up. I don't expect my country to piss away money like a drunken sailor either.
Tax the robots!

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