Tax the Robots, Says Bill Gates
February 20, 2017 International Tax Cooperation
In a new interview, the technology leader and philanthropist Bill Gates advocated for income taxes to be applied on robots and other technology which take over the roles of humans.
Bill Gates explained that an average worker pays a significant amount of income tax, social security, and other taxes on the incomes that they earn from carrying out work.
However, if a business was to replace the human worker with some automation technology, the machine would not be paying any taxes, despite carrying out the same work.
The decrease in tax revenues is likely to have a negative effect on the ability of governments to fund social infrastructure and social spending.
Bill Gates said that the revenues raised from taxing robots could be used directly to fund facilities and programs which are still heavily reliant on qualities which machinery does cannot possess, and he specifically pointed to elderly-care and teaching as examples.
Further, the raised revenues could be used to provide training for workers who have lost work due to robots.
He even added that the taxes could be used to deliberately slow down some technological development, in order to ensure that the displacement of human workers can be adequately managed and controlled.