California looks at robot tax

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by jcollins, 17 Jul 2017.

  1. jcollins

    jcollins Veteran Member

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    http://banmilleronbusiness.com/blog/2017-04-07/robot-tax

    Thought this might interest a few people on here.
     
  2. Darandio

    Darandio Established Member

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    Interesting.

    I wonder if Theresa May has any trips to California planned? She might have to re-think, it will cost her a fortune in tax to get in!
     
  3. Jonny

    Jonny Established Member

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    They're worried that automation will wreck their push for a higher minimum wage?
     
  4. jcollins

    jcollins Veteran Member

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    Unlikely California is mainly pro-Democrat and anti-Trump, so not the place to go if your intention is to kiss Trump's arse.
     
  5. jcollins

    jcollins Veteran Member

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    I think it's more of a case of an employee pay taxes but a robot doesn't earn anything or pay any taxes, so if there's fewer private sector employees then they'll be less tax receipts to spend on public services.
     
  6. Yew

    Yew Established Member

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    It seems fairly sensible to have some sort of levy on machine labour. Presumably to a) keep humans competitive. and b) allow for funds to retrain those who may lose their jobs
     
  7. D365

    D365 Established Member

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    Think you missed a joke there!
     
  8. HSTEd

    HSTEd Established Member

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    Thus enabling more people to be forced to do mind numbing and soul destroying tasks!
    And driving up the price of manufactured goods.
     
  9. DynamicSpirit

    DynamicSpirit Established Member

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    Crazy idea if you ask me. It's basically the equivalent of - say - in the 19th century, imposing a tax on any use of machinery to automate any task - which would obviously have reduced the incentive to develop machinery or technology. And can you imagine how much more backward technology would be today compared to what it actually is if that approach had been adopted?

    Besides, how do you even define what counts as a robot (as opposed to merely being a computer, or a slightly more automated machine)? And having done that, how do you distinguish when a robot is actually taking over a person's task (as opposed to a robot being used because it can do additional things the person couldn't do, or the person is being laid off because demand for the product is falling)? The whole thing would be an bureaucratic nightmare to determine when and when not to levy the tax, and impossible to plug all the potential loopholes in any reasonable regulations.
     
  10. ac6000cw

    ac6000cw Established Member

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    Pretty much the thoughts I was having. As soon as someone came up with (doubtless complicated) definition of a 'taxable robot', all the manufacturers of them would quickly modify it so it didn't qualify any more.

    So to take a silly example, would would train brake anti-slide or traction wheelslip control systems qualify for taxation - they have sensors and do things in response to changes in the environment they are monitoring, so are they robotic or just human assistants? What about automatic doors? (We all know from the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy that they get bored, so they definitely have human traits ;))
     
  11. jcollins

    jcollins Veteran Member

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    Incidentally the EU considered the idea and rejected it.
     

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