Most governments make a large portion of their money from taxing human workers. When a human job is taken by a robot, does it make sense that the robot should pay the government the same tax?
But how could this be calculated? There are some issues with this idea.
- The robot will not earn a wage. Will the tax be based on the minimum wage? Robots can also work 24 hours a day, so a single robot could do the work of 3 people. Will it be taxed 3 times? This study has come to the conclusion that each robot replaces 6 workers.
- It could be based on output. For every average daily output of a human, the robot will have to pay tax. This might work for existing businesses shifting to automation, but what about new ones? How can there be a measure of average human output if a human has never completed the task?
- What is a robot? A robot could be the size of a factory completing a whole series of tasks.
- Software and artificial intelligence will also take the jobs of many people, how could this be taxed? Software delivered via the internet could be running on a computer anywhere in the world. What country would it pay tax to?