Robot Payroll Tax

Discussion in 'Political Discussions' started by heirophant, Aug 25, 2017.

  1. heirophant

    heirophant Member

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    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.)

    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. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

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    This and that on the Internet
    Northern Virginia & Dominica, West Indies
    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.
  3. Abner

    Abner Active Member

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    Educated vagabond, Sensei, Gardner and dog expert.
    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 a moderator: Aug 25, 2017
  4. Johann

    Johann Active Member

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    I have a suspicion that a select few robots have been posting to this forum for years. Maybe the login should include a "CAPCHA." :smile:

  5. decimon

    decimon Active Member

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    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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