Bill Gates would like to tax robots, will it work?

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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?
  3. What is a robot? A robot could be the size of a factory completing a whole series of tasks.
  4. 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?


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