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  1. #1

    Default Bill Gates says robots that replace people should pay tax. Has he lost it?

    Recently the worlds richest man Bill Gates has said if a robot taking the place of a human being from a job where the employer previously was having to pay a salaried worker $53k per year where taxes would have been deducted from that salary then the employer should still pay tax on the money saved by using the robot.

    But isn't Gates missing the point?

    The employer will ultimately be paying more tax on the extra 53k profit saved by using the robot , less of course the depreciation cost factor of the robot .
    If put into practice the same arguments could be used for any technology that resulted in less employment, electricity replacing steam etc.

    Here is the article:

    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/02/17/bill-...ome-taxes.html

  2. #2
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    Apr 2005
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mrsaneperson View Post
    Recently the worlds richest man Bill Gates has said if a robot taking the place of a human being from a job where the employer previously was having to pay a salaried worker $53k per year where taxes would have been deducted from that salary then the employer should still pay tax on the money saved by using the robot.

    But isn't Gates missing the point?

    The employer will ultimately be paying more tax on the extra 53k profit saved by using the robot , less of course the depreciation cost factor of the robot .
    If put into practice the same arguments could be used for any technology that resulted in less employment, electricity replacing steam etc.

    Here is the article:

    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/02/17/bill-...ome-taxes.html
    So in pure set theory, you are saying that an employee set transferring a 54k subset to a government set, will equal to a an employer set with a robot subset transferring 54k to a government set.

    I think you've missed some set interactions..

    Your sloppy biological thinking should be replaced by cold circuits. Haha.

    You don't suppose this scene front ex machina bothered mr gates do you?
    https://youtu.be/bsdGhIfjCYwV
    Last edited by McDuck; 21-02-2017 at 05:57 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    1,043

    Default

    If it was in NZ the employee would pay roughly $10K PAYE. Assuming half goes on mortgage/savings that leaves $21k. Then 15% GST on goods and services. Roughly $15K the government is missing out on. How much tax does a robot generate, especially one used to reduce costs, savings which are then mostly passed on to customers?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    Default

    A robot tax is one of an increasingly limited ways for the government to raise revenues to support those who will be permanently out of work.

    It's by no means perfect, but at least it's a thought.
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  5. #5
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    Uh-oh. Seems like the deemed rate of return false formula is to the forefront again.

    Hardware vs Software
    I wonder if gatesby has ever asked himself whether software should be taxed, similarly? Could make a dent in his obscene profits.
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  6. #6
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    Sep 2007
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Perry View Post
    Uh-oh. Seems like the deemed rate of return false formula is to the forefront again.

    Hardware vs Software
    I wonder if gatesby has ever asked himself whether software should be taxed, similarly? Could make a dent in his obscene profits.
    Exactly what I was thinking Perry. How many typists has MS Word put out of work? And what about bean counters not being needed due to MS Excel?
    Squadly dinky do!

  7. #7

    Default

    It is not feasible to tax a company for the economic impact of innovation.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Perry View Post
    Hardware vs Software
    I wonder if gatesby has ever asked himself whether software should be taxed, similarly?
    Quote Originally Posted by Davo36 View Post
    Exactly what I was thinking Perry. How many typists has MS Word put out of work? And what about bean counters not being needed due to MS Excel?
    Or automated systems and dis-employed exchange telephonists and office receptionists?

    The list is probably almost endless.
    Want a great looking concrete swimming pool in Hawke's Bay? Designer Pools will do the job for you!

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthonyacat View Post
    A robot tax is one of an increasingly limited ways for the government to raise revenues to support those who will be permanently out of work.

    It's by no means perfect, but at least it's a thought.
    So Gates is advocating that this would be a special kind of tax collected whereby it would only be used to support those unemployed or special needs children. Yet the robot tax would be imposed upon the employer in addition to the tax on the profit he makes by using a robot. Usually the employer would already be paying a higher % rate of tax than an employee because of being in a higher income bracket so is already in effect paying a greater amount of tax back to the government, yet is now being asked to pay more.

    It seems nonsensical, & backward. The technical revolution offered by robots would be the same perspective that electricity offered over steam.
    Imagine if their was a penalty tax for using electricity rather than steam?

    This from the worlds richest man?

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mrsaneperson View Post
    The technical revolution offered by robots would be the same perspective that electricity offered over steam.
    Imagine if their was a penalty tax for using electricity rather than steam?
    This is a massive underestimation of the impact AI will have over the next 30 years. The technological revolution will be more like the impact of humans not having yet invented the wheel to travel long distances and conduct trade to then go to using Amazon to order groceries. There'll just be no competition. It'll look nothing like the industrial revolution or the computer revolution.

    What Gates is suggesting is that the innovation that will come out of the next wave of technology will result in such massive inequality that it needs to be shared with the rest of humanity somehow. Currently taxes are the best proxy for that, and the best way to get his message across but I don't know if this current system is the one he envisions as being viable in that future state.


 

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