According to Market Watch, technology decision makers like Bill Gates are suggesting that robots pay taxes, just like humans do.
Gates, who’s suggested for years that a “robot tax” be instituted, has said in the past that this should especially be the case for robots that replace human workers.
Market Watch says that Gates feels robots are “more productive at their jobs” that decision makers who replace human workers with robots would still make out well with robotics taxes. Plus, Gates thinks that a tax on robotics “will slow down the replacement of humans with machines and give society more time to adjust.”
In a previous report, Market Watch found that AI and machine learning will contribute to the rise of automation in the workplace; “automation is set to eliminate 25 million jobs by 2027, impacting service and manufacturing industries the most.” As a result, taxes on robotics might be real in the near future. For example, the European Union considered taxing robot owners and put those funds towards training workers who lost their jobs to automation (although this was ultimately rejected).
Maybe not a good idea after all:
However, economic experts feel that taxing robots will only serve as a temporary solution, or even create bigger problems.
Johannes Moenius, director at the Institute for Spatial Economic Analysis, told Market Watch that taxing robots is like taking away food from your kids’ dinner plates “in order to prevent them from growing too fast.” Whether or not food is taken away, kids can’t be stopped from growing. “If robots are the lowest cost or highest quality means to producing something, we want to use them to grow the pie as fast as possible,” he told Market Watch.
Mark Hamrick, a senior economic analyst at Bankrate.com, told Market Watch that taxing robots won’t help humans by bridging the pay inequality gap. Instead, focus and investments should be made in getting people ready for the future of what their jobs will look like, especially fields that will be affected by automation.