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Thread: Bill Gates - Tax Robots

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    Contributor ZiprHead's Avatar
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    Bill Gates - Tax Robots


    (View video on YouTube)

    Thoughts?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZiprHead View Post
    Wrong-headed. Taxing robots makes a certain kind of sense but you would have to tax them to the point where it is no longer feasible to use them over human labor in order to sustain the people those robots were designed to put out on the streets. The taxation of robotic labor has a sort of Luddite undertone that only serves to temporarily halt human industrial progress for the sake of someone else's livelyhood. The only way we can survive in a world of robots is if we completely shift our society to account for the growing redundancy of human labor.

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    No taxation without representation!

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    My first thought is that it's a YouTube video, so I have no idea what Gates' thoughts are on the subject or what his arguments for or against the idea might be, since the OP provided no context of the subject matter beyond a thread title.

    My second thought would be that the notion wouldn't be all that different than imposing a border tax on foreign imports. It's an artificial increase in price in order to help minimize the cost differential of replacing local workers with foreign workers / machines.

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    Quote Originally Posted by barbos View Post
    No taxation without representation!
    Exactly. And that is how Nixon became President again!

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    Is this about saving jobs maintaining income tax revenue for the government?

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    As a general concept it's going to happen but I do not think the time has come yet.

    I do have a problem with taxing "robots", though--exactly what is a robot?

    Fundamentally, this is an aspect of a basic income system.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    As a general concept it's going to happen but I do not think the time has come yet.

    I do have a problem with taxing "robots", though--exactly what is a robot?

    Fundamentally, this is an aspect of a basic income system.
    An autonomous or semi-autonomous machine capable of producing labor without direct 1-to-1 input by an operator.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LordKiran View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    As a general concept it's going to happen but I do not think the time has come yet.

    I do have a problem with taxing "robots", though--exactly what is a robot?

    Fundamentally, this is an aspect of a basic income system.
    An autonomous or semi-autonomous machine capable of producing labor without direct 1-to-1 input by an operator.
    I don't know if it's really clear cut. The McDonalds by my house has replaced most of the human servers with an ATM-type machine where I just select my order from a touchscreen. Is that a robot? If they upgrade it with voice-recognition software so that I can walk in and speak my order to it just like a would a human, is that a robot? The fries currently are managed by a timer which turns on a light to let the workers know they're done after a set period. Is that a robot? If that's upgraded to lift the fry tray out of the grease and dump it in the bin where the completed fries go, is that a robot?

    At what point along those spectrums is something taxed instead of not taxed?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by LordKiran View Post

    An autonomous or semi-autonomous machine capable of producing labor without direct 1-to-1 input by an operator.
    I don't know if it's really clear cut. The McDonalds by my house has replaced most of the human servers with an ATM-type machine where I just select my order from a touchscreen. Is that a robot? If they upgrade it with voice-recognition software so that I can walk in and speak my order to it just like a would a human, is that a robot? The fries currently are managed by a timer which turns on a light to let the workers know they're done after a set period. Is that a robot? If that's upgraded to lift the fry tray out of the grease and dump it in the bin where the completed fries go, is that a robot?

    At what point along those spectrums is something taxed instead of not taxed?
    Yes to all of the above. This is also partly why taxing robotic labor is foolish..Why is it a problem when machines and computers replace some jobs and not others? It's all the same in the end.

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