Former Microsoft CEO Proposes Way To Deal With Increasing Automation of Work Force
Former Microsoft CEO and the richest man in the world, Bill Gates, raised some eyebrows last week when he proposed that robots who take jobs from human workers should pay some sort of a tax.
Some of the smartest people in the world have been grappling with the idea of how the world can cope with robots increasingly taking more and more jobs. Tesla CEO Elon Musk believes that universal basic income will be needed to deal with the problem, while Bill Gates believes that robots who perform labor will need to pay their fair share of taxes.
According to Gates, a robot who performs $50,000 worth of work in a factory should pay some sort of tax. If a human gets paid $50,000 for this work, Gates argues, a robot should be forced to pay the same amount.
Gates says that some extra tax would be realized on a company's increased profits that comes from increasing automation through the use of robots, but that the difference would likely have to be made up in some other way, such as through an income tax.
With the "robot tax", Gates proposes taking this money and investing it into training people for jobs that can't be replaced by robots, such as teachers or doctors.
Here is Gates:
"What the world wants is to take this opportunity to make all the goods and services we have today and free up labor - let us do a better job of reaching out to the elderly, having smaller class sizes, helping kids with special needs."
This is basically the same argument that Elon Musk is making as well - basic universal income would allow mankind to refocus labor resources in a more useful way.
What do you think about Gates' proposal?
Source: CNBC.com - Bill Gates: Job-stealing robots should pay income taxes
Filed under: General Knowledge