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Bill Gates: Robot Tax Would Slow Down Automation | Closing Bell | CNBC

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Oren Etzioni, Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, and Martin Ford, author of “Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future," weigh in on Microsoft Bill Gates' "robot tax" proposal as an effort to slow spread of automation. » Subscribe to CNBC: http://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBC About CNBC: From 'Wall Street' to 'Main Street' to award winning original documentaries and Reality TV series, CNBC has you covered. Experience special sneak peeks of your favorite shows, exclusive video and more. Connect with CNBC News Online Get the latest news: http://www.cnbc.com/ Find CNBC News on Facebook: http://cnb.cx/LikeCNBC Follow CNBC News on Twitter: http://cnb.cx/FollowCNBC Follow CNBC News on Google+: http://cnb.cx/PlusCNBC Follow CNBC News on Instagram: http://cnb.cx/InstagramCNBC Bill Gates: Robot Tax Would Slow Down Automation | Closing Bell | CNBC
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Text Comments (21)
DUDE WOW (1 month ago)
wait the company pay taxes the tax go to poor people and also end poverty , taxing robots is a bad ideas
GoldenShower Potato (3 months ago)
you guys are idiots. Robot tax doesn't work. Just like companies; robots don't pay tax, people do. The tax will just get passed to the consumer, same with companies. The tax burden just gets transferred to the consumer, we all have to pay for it in the end. You need population, more people, a larger tax base; then people pay less tax.
GoldenShower Potato (3 months ago)
when people leave your city, guess what Detroit. no people, no taxes, nothing works, nothing gets repaired
GoldenShower Potato (3 months ago)
or you can cut spending and social programs, but that is the third rail of politics
chor sovannarith (5 months ago)
Tax payer is someone who benefits from social services like school, road, hospital... etc. I don’t see why the robots need to pay tax too. Not to mention that the factories or companies have to buy the robot to do the job, and they are also the one to pay the tax for the robots.
John Mastroligulano (9 months ago)
Robots/automation etc. is supposed to free up humanity the only people worried about a jobless future are oligarchs & other psycho-sociopaths who are afraid they will not be able to act out their pathologies on the public at their discretion. People work so that in the future they have to work less & can pursue their own interests & so yes at time goes on we should all on average be working less.
Joe Marks (1 year ago)
I think it's a topic which merits more attention, but suspect The Price We Pay for offshore cloud tax havens won't likely find any kind of real tax justice within my foreseeable lifetime. The system was always rigged, and The Price of Fairness poisons the social contract and brings Milt Friedman's invisible foot back into perspective again. I don't agree with everything Uncle Milty advocated for, but have come to agree with his diagnosis about the devastation that comes along with prohibition. I would have expected more expediency when crime surrounding blue jeans in Russia hit the spotlight. Prohibition is always about market manipulation and economic supremacy, imo. His endorsement for a UBI only serves to bail the banks invested in the medical industrial complex as well as robber barons who are using real estate as a form of currency. There are many problems his technology has helped to identify, but getting real reform from the hill is another story entirely. I think Congress should implement a retroactive negative income tax, STAT. I hope someone is working on replacing every bureaucrat with an app. Their bolsheviks is nonsense, imo again.
cinzia kess (2 years ago)
first, these people do not like Bill Gates idea and it is very clear. In the tech world competition and envy is very high regarding anything you can think off. There are three groups of people. The Apple people who cannot stand Microsoft and Google products, the Google people who cannot stand Microsoft but a bit better the Apple people,, the Microsoft people who i don't really know who they dislike. Back to this video regarding the taxation of robots labor, the people who are interviewing they are saying that if the US will tax robots work it will never work because of tech competition with other countries like China ect, it will affect negatively the US tech market. But if the robots are replacing human labor creating a big number of jobless people, something must be done to find a solution. Of course many tech companies do not like this idea because it goes against their interests. But you need to be fair in life not only look at things who are beneficial to you but not to others
Nu B (2 years ago)
Bill is selling vaccines for robots now.
Indian Skeptic (2 years ago)
It would be hard to implement. Instead, companies could be given more tax deductions for hiring more people. For instance, a weighted deduction of 200% for salary/wage payments. That would incentivise employers to hire more. Labour laws need to be made more flexible too. Companies don't want unions to hold them to ransom. Minimum wages need to be cut, or done away with altogether.
Rafael Swit (2 years ago)
How about this scenario. A manufacturer employs 100 production floor workers and pays each $60k annually. Of that $60k, employee contributes about $15k in federal and state income taxes. In addition the employer and employee will spend on average $5k on health insurance, and let's assume the employer will pay at least half of that cost. With these numbers the company spends a combined $6.25 million on payroll and insurance combined. Now the same company replaces all those 100 workers with robots. The company is now looking to save that $6.25 million each year, minus repair and maintenance of the robots, although that expense could be comparable to loss of profits due to any manufacturing errors or delays caused previously by human workers, weather, or holidays (robots may work 24/7 and 365). If that company has to pay "robot income tax" based on replaced human labor, they will only have to pay $1.5 million on that tax. When compared to what they previously paid all those 100 workers, the company is still saving $4.75 million each year. With that the company is still increasing its profits, and whatever they're manufacturing doesn't need to be more expensive just because of that tax. This is just my common sense logic, so I'm looking forward to what others have to say.
hyou zan ren (2 years ago)
if youtube can automate video creations what will happen to youtubers content creators?
Rob (2 years ago)
The missing part of the discussion is the assumption that tax produces wealth. It does not since it is only a wealth transfer system. It is not wealth since wealth only comes from efficient work practices. Bil Gates cannot change that and nobody else can. All you have to do to understand that is move money from one pocket to another and see if it has improved your overall wealth.
Cam C (1 year ago)
Its not that taxes produce wealth, its that they can put that wealth to use for the common good. The robots will do the work(thereby producing wealth) and that wealth will be used to fund the services that humans need(military, education, social security, benefits for the millions displaced by automation).
Daniel Ahlert (2 years ago)
Robots don't buy cars you tube
IGotAlotOfSocks (2 years ago)
Martin Ford makes really good points
Kevin O. McCann (2 years ago)
As long as the tax is very complex and takes at least a 3,000+ page law so the politicians can hide political favors; then it will pass. Over time, they will write more 3,000 page laws to correct the unintended consequences from the other law and hide more political favors.
nawfal janane (2 years ago)
if you taxe the robots that will increase governement budget helping them financing robot companies and other investiments
rafaeljc12 (2 years ago)
lets tax robot companies so the governament can finance robot companies (and the military). sounds gud
polka (2 years ago)
You don't count robots. You count how many workers the robots have replaced. This is much easier to do, because we roughly know what a human can do. Another way would be a pauschale.
Wo Long (1 year ago)
just taxing consumption would fix the problem