Automation process all over the world is accelerating and more and more people are losing their jobs to robots. Unemployment rates grow and governments will lose more and more income sources as employers won’t have to pay the taxes for their human employees.
There is a great amount of fear that automation will cause more trouble the expected. So as a way to slow things down to a rate that everybody can manage de situation, Bill Gates proposes that a robot tax to be introduce to compensate for job losses.
Gates argues that taxing worker robots would offset job losses by funding training for positions where humans are still needed, such as child and senior care. It could even slow automation to a more manageable rate, if necessary.
The wealthiest man on Earth, can’t expect much sympathy from Europe for his ideas, though. The European Parliament has just rejected a proposed robot tax. Robot makers will undoubtedly be happy (they were concerned a tax would hamper growth), but the move won’t please those who want a safety net in place when the machines arrive in force.
The co-founder of Microsoft, is well aware that taxation might slow innovation by making worker robots prohibitively expensive. On the other hand, he’s convinced that governments should be “figuring [policy] out” so that they’re ready when there’s a sudden glut of unemployed workers.