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  1. #1
    heirophant is online now Registered User
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    Robot Payroll Tax

    Here's an idea from the Bernie-ite left that I (a Trumpist) might be able to support or at least consider. (It will probably make some people on this board apoplectic though.) At the least it illustrates that the alt.left and the alt.right might find some common ground if we can ever get beyond our hatreds and moral condemnations.

    It's a stiff tax on robots and AI that take human jobs. (There are predictions that a majority of human jobs may be automated in coming years, including white-collar jobs.)

    https://www.wired.com/story/tax-the-...king-about-it/

    Defining terms is proving difficult. Predicting where the costs will be passed on, where the revenues should go and how to deal with low cost off-shore competition are challenges. (Trump's border adjustment tax.)

    But I'm inclined to think that rather than having companies that automate away good paying skilled jobs, or that off-shore them to low wage hell-holes abroad, being rewarded with earnings that flow into the pockets of an international investor class, something needs to be done to protect the interests of the workers who are left in our own rapidly growing domestic rust-belt hell-holes.

    I'm still undecided on the idea of a universal wage (or wage supplement) since there are too many questions left unanswered, like who would be eligible (illegals if the Democrats return to power) and what disincentive a universal wage would have on willingness to work. Would it convert America from a nation of entrepeneurs into a nation of welfare lay-abouts, dependent clients of an ever bigger government?

    Perhaps I'd prefer the revenues flowing into more readily available small-business grants, venture capital schemes and things like that. Education subsidies for students and programs in useful subjects (no, not 'critical race theory' or 'feminist epistemology'). Basically a system of - 'If you want to do something cool, we'll help you.' A system where everyone has multiple opportunities. (But you still have to do something to take advantage of them.)

  2. #2
    SteveFoerster is offline Resident Gadfly
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    Come on, you have to know already that no tax money raised from such a scheme will actually end up funding the sort of program you're describing.

    Besides, as we've seen since the Industrial Revolution, labor-saving devices don't make people useless, they just make it practical to reallocate people to where we're more useful.
    BS, Info Sys concentration, Charter Oak State College
    MA in Educational Tech, George Washington University
    PhD in Leadership, U. of the Cumberlands (in progress)
    More at http://stevefoerster.com

  3. #3
    Abner is offline Registered User
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    Hmm, this one has me scratching my head. It seems like heriophant brings up some interesting points. At what point does AI stop? Will robots be fixing robots? I don't know, I see a lot of areas where man can be displaced. Just thinkin out loud. I should say displaced, or already displaced.
    Last edited by Abner; 08-25-2017 at 09:56 AM.

  4. #4
    Johann is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abner View Post
    I don't know, I see a lot of areas where man can be displaced.
    I have a suspicion that a select few robots have been posting to this forum for years. Maybe the login should include a "CAPCHA."

    J.

  5. #5
    decimon is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by heirophant View Post
    Here's an idea from the Bernie-ite left that I (a Trumpist) might be able to support or at least consider. (It will probably make some people on this board apoplectic though.) At the least it illustrates that the alt.left and the alt.right might find some common ground if we can ever get beyond our hatreds and moral condemnations.

    It's a stiff tax on robots and AI that take human jobs. (There are predictions that a majority of human jobs may be automated in coming years, including white-collar jobs.)

    https://www.wired.com/story/tax-the-...king-about-it/

    Defining terms is proving difficult. Predicting where the costs will be passed on, where the revenues should go and how to deal with low cost off-shore competition are challenges. (Trump's border adjustment tax.)

    But I'm inclined to think that rather than having companies that automate away good paying skilled jobs, or that off-shore them to low wage hell-holes abroad, being rewarded with earnings that flow into the pockets of an international investor class, something needs to be done to protect the interests of the workers who are left in our own rapidly growing domestic rust-belt hell-holes.

    I'm still undecided on the idea of a universal wage (or wage supplement) since there are too many questions left unanswered, like who would be eligible (illegals if the Democrats return to power) and what disincentive a universal wage would have on willingness to work. Would it convert America from a nation of entrepeneurs into a nation of welfare lay-abouts, dependent clients of an ever bigger government?

    Perhaps I'd prefer the revenues flowing into more readily available small-business grants, venture capital schemes and things like that. Education subsidies for students and programs in useful subjects (no, not 'critical race theory' or 'feminist epistemology'). Basically a system of - 'If you want to do something cool, we'll help you.' A system where everyone has multiple opportunities. (But you still have to do something to take advantage of them.)

    On YouTube is a half-hour video called Master Hands. It's a GM video of a 1936 Chevrolet factory that I enjoyed watching. What surprised me, along with others, is how automated was that factory.

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