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Robot taxes and universal basic income - How do we manage our automated future?

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posted on Feb, 22 2017 @ 09:58 AM
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originally posted by: OrganizedChaos
Robot Taxes (Sounds like an unpublished Asimov!)- To me, that is silly. Who gets to determine if you, as a business owner, should do something by hand or by machine and tax you more if you don't hire an employee to do it? What a way to stifle business.


Competition largely dictates this. If you want quantity and quality, lease a machine from someone. If you want to sell your product as artisianal goods and capture the homemade feel for people who value that type of stuff, hire a human and charge a bit more.


The taxes would have to be repressive to be effective at encouraging hiring vs automating. Some businesses can only turn a profit WITH automation.


That's called competition. Automation increases productivity, which in turn increases profitability. If that's a decisive enough advantage it will force the rest of a service provider to adapt and adopt it or go out of business.


UBI - It'd be great! I don't see how it can possibly work in the current economic system though. IMO, I wonder how it could work when the value of our money is determined by what happens somewhere else in the world, totally out of our control. Maybe with separate Internal and External currencies it could work, but that requires systemic changes. Internal currency could be used inside the country for everything and would always be stable. Some type of arrangement would have to be made regarding the External currency and its' valuation globally.


Use a dual currency system. It requires no taxes, it also doesn't create inflation.




posted on Feb, 22 2017 @ 10:07 AM
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originally posted by: bigfatfurrytexan
The robot taxes notion violates basic conservation of energy laws. i.e., you are wanting to get more out than is taken in.


Not really. If a machine costs $1/hour and a person costs $20/hour after taxes, the idea is that you split the difference, tax so that the machine costs $5/hour while the person still costs $20. This gets into issues internationally with competition, but having your labor cost $5, and their labor cost $1 still leaves you in a more competitive position than if it were 20/1.



The solution isn't to succumb to automation and slowly turn into vegetables. The solution is to break open new markets. It'll take government efforts to get us into space I think. But once we begin trying to monetize space, new markets open and the conomy can grow again.


Space isn't going to be effectively monetized until we have a space elevator. That requires further development of graphene, and then the will to build the elevator. Any other space launch system is simply too expensive for the sheer cost efficiency required. A space elevator also requires a whole bunch of infrastructure like space stations. Building this would be a massive undertaking, one that I hope we eventually do... but we're decades away from a true privitaziation of space. The other issue, is that you need a market to sell your products in. Space is a great long term goal (and I'm very pro space program) but for now it's not a solution to anything.



posted on Feb, 22 2017 @ 10:11 AM
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a reply to: Aazadan

Seems to me space exploration is ripe for automation. Robotics prove safer, more efficient and mistake-free.



posted on Feb, 22 2017 @ 10:27 AM
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To much to respond to, oh how I wish we could get multiquote back...


originally posted by: TonyS
I've been worried about this for the last year or so. This will have a huge negative impact on the US economy as fewer are actually employed and able to buy anything. AI driven automation is going to displace millions of workers.


Let me let you in on a theory of mine. Every great breakthrough in civilization has been accompanied by a breakthrough in the ability to write. From Hammurabi's code which created a legal system, to Egyptian Scribes which created cultural heritage, to the Printing Press which truly enabled education, to the Internet which has brought about modern civiliztion. I think that AI is part of the next writing breakthrough. AI at it's core is used for distilling very complex problems down to readable data, I don't want to go too technical here but one way in which you can describe AI is in the terms of answers it provides. It effectively acts as a shorthand, condensing books (or more) of information down into small, human usable chunks of data. In terms of output data it could be seen as very dense.

While we will no doubt lose some jobs due to automation (drivers, I'm looking at you), we're also going to gain a more productive society out of the trade. I can't predict what all of the jobs will be, but I don't think I'm wrong in saying that simplifying jobs through automation will open up more career options to more people. It's hard to believe, but many of the jobs we consider run of the mill low level jobs today like being an office secretary who does something like build powerpoints for executives, manage a couple excel sheets, and organize a department schedule through Outlook was cutting edge technical work 30 years ago. The barrier to entry on this stuff has gone way down, and with it has become a job for the masses to replace what was lost elsewhere.



Another "industry" that is being affected is higher education. More and more people are realizing that any degree they get today will be obsolete by the time they graduate.


I don't know about that. I think it's more related to the cost of degrees, and people realizing they don't make enough from a lot of professions to justify the cost. With anything technical our hiring system is also very screwed up, I used to think it was related to just CS but recently (as in the last couple weeks) I've come to learn that it's actually a much broader problem and applies to almost any STEM field. There is a seriously high number of people out there who are faking expertise and the hiring process doesn't weed them out because HR doesn't know any better.



posted on Feb, 22 2017 @ 10:31 AM
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originally posted by: jjkenobi
UBI will not stop or prevent poverty. It will not stop people from spending their monthly handout on booze and video games and then starving. Giving people free homes will not stop them from trashing it and ignoring repairs and just generally being stupid.


This is likely the reason why UBI will work, where other forms of equal income like Communism have failed. I said this in another thread but I'll repeat it here. Humans like comparing themselves to each other, forming a hierarchy, and identifying people they're superior too often times along wealth lines. With UBI you still have the freedom to manage your money for yourself. Undertaking private business ventures and improving your position, while other people utilize poor discipline when it comes to money management still allows for this hierarchy to evolve.



posted on Feb, 22 2017 @ 10:34 AM
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originally posted by: soficrow
Seems to me space exploration is ripe for automation. Robotics prove safer, more efficient and mistake-free.


For some tasks, yes. It's unlikely we ever send manned missions to mine asteroids for example. The equipment is still heavy though and space presents some major challenges which make it very expensive. Nationalized companies have a decisive advantage over the private sector in getting resources out of space. We're talking needing trillions in capital in some cases and the private sector just can't generate that type of funding, in particular with the types of time tables involved in developing the technology and then returning enough resources to earth to generate profit.



posted on Feb, 22 2017 @ 10:37 AM
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originally posted by: Aazadan

originally posted by: soficrow
Seems to me space exploration is ripe for automation. Robotics prove safer, more efficient and mistake-free.


For some tasks, yes. It's unlikely we ever send manned missions to mine asteroids for example. The equipment is still heavy though and space presents some major challenges which make it very expensive. Nationalized companies have a decisive advantage over the private sector in getting resources out of space. We're talking needing trillions in capital in some cases and the private sector just can't generate that type of funding, in particular with the types of time tables involved in developing the technology and then returning enough resources to earth to generate profit.


Traditionally, they tap national sources in return for jobs or whatever. Be interesting to see what the new 'whatever' is.



posted on Feb, 22 2017 @ 11:50 AM
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I can't think of a solution and if I can't then I know you guys can't. lol

I mean, there's probably no solution.

1. We live on a planet of finite resources.
2. Greedy people have amassed so many of the finite resources that it threatens other people's quality of life.
3. Forcing greedy people to hand over their resources would be just as unfair to them as they have been to others.
4. The only fair solution would be for greedy people to hand over their resources of their own free will, else someone has to be forced into bondage: either the selfish or the selfless.

A solution with a broken element will always be faulty. (speaking of the human element)



posted on Feb, 22 2017 @ 12:55 PM
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McDonald's recently installed those touch screen order menu monoliths. That cuts a lot of human employees. If you compare Arleigh Burke with Zumwalt. Zumwalt is much larger yet has less than half the crew due to more automation.

en.wikipedia.org...

en.wikipedia.org...



posted on Feb, 22 2017 @ 01:19 PM
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a reply to: Bleeeeep

The horcrux you created in this is addressed by monetizing space. Open new resource markets. In so doing, you create several other resource markets along the way.

The only way to go for us is up, quite literally.



posted on Feb, 22 2017 @ 01:36 PM
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a reply to: bigfatfurrytexan

That's similar to what we thought about robots: the robots will free us!

If the greedy own all the dimes, whose dime do you think space harvesting will be on? That's right, the greedy. They'll demand all the profits because they're funding it - same as it ever was.

Edit: How do you satisfy a greedy person's appetite? That's probably the real question, right?
edit on 2/22/2017 by Bleeeeep because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 22 2017 @ 02:08 PM
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a reply to: Aazadan

I like your analogy to advances in the ability to write. You might have mentioned, for example, the invention of the printing press. That created millions of jobs for all types of authors and writers and made the mass print media possible which, in the heyday years of the 1900's~1970's, created millions of jobs at the newspapers.

So maybe you're correct that advances in AI would somehow create new job opportunities. I don't see it, but its possible.

You mentioned "drivers". Yea, driving jobs will soon disappear. See: www.makeuseof.com...

Driving jobs and peripheral jobs related to driving will be lost. According to the article, about 4 Million jobs will be lost nationwide. For the breakdown, see the article. I love the authors conclusion:
"The truth is that the advent of a driverless car industry will surely displace more jobs than it will create, but the long-term gains that we’ll see as a society far outweigh the short-term growing pains and inconveniences. The economic, environmental, and human benefits are astounding. I truly believe that this is one of the situations where the loss of jobs is a valid sacrifice for the greater good of society."

Yea, the loss of jobs is a valid sacrifice for the greater good of a society in which the former drivers will no longer be a viable part. They'll be homeless!

Here's the real truth of the matter, this is where the "rubber meets the road", (no pun intended), what we tend to overlook is the effect on the "Change Rate" on the Macro-Economic picture. As the "rate of change" accelerates exponentially, jobs will be shed "exponentially"; millions thrown out of work in their prime productive years, i.e., 25~55 years of age. With all that lost "income" sales of EVERYTHING will plummet exponentially and that will throw more workers out of work as companies have to close stores and fold up more operations.

Look...........its already happening! And this thanks to e-commerce.
parade.com...
Macy's: "More than 6,200 jobs will be affected by restructuring that includes store closings plus cuts in management. Many of the 3,900 store-level associates will be offered jobs at other locations."

Sears and K-Mart: parade.com...
Sears is closing 150 stores!

But wait........there's MORE!
www.clark.com...
JC Penny-(no number provided)
The Limited (250 stores closing)
Wet Seal (170 stores closing)
American Apparel (110 Stores closing)
BCBG (120 Stores)

And.........this isn't a new story! Here's a shocking list from 2015!
www.offthegridnews.com...

Staples: 225 Stores closed
Radio Shack: 1,100 stores closed
Albertsons: 22 stores closed
Abercrombie & Fitch; 220 Stores closed
Barnes and Nobles: 218 Stores

And of course.......more restaurants are closing:
consumerist.com...

Now, to stay on topic, my point is that these waves of store closings/jobs losses are coming on the heels of this!
money.cnn.com...

More industrial jobs, have been lost to automation/robotics than by way of trade.
"One study by two Ball State University professors found that between 2000 and 2010, about 87% of the manufacturing job losses stemmed from factories becoming more efficient. The chief driver of more efficiency in factories: automation and better technology. The other 13% of job losses were due to trade."

Where does this trend take the US?
www.naturalnews.com...
"Still, others in the survey were not so optimistic. Nearly half of those surveyed -- about 48 percent -- said digital agents and technology tend to displace significant numbers of both blue- and white-collar workers, which can eventually lead to a breakdown in the social order."

So, there's the idea of UBI? How's that going to be funded when the US Government Debt sits at near $20 Trillion?



posted on Feb, 23 2017 @ 05:57 AM
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a reply to: dfnj2015

Exactly. Enrichment of life. Coaching in health. Art. Dance. Scientific Research. Exploration.

I'm thinking a new Renaissance type era. Where the rich would sponsor artists and thinkers. Instead of it being just the few being sponsored all would have that ability.

For instance in Star Trek, it is a big deal to be a ship captain. The joy of the journey, and the job would be the motivation instead of financial renumeration. If there was no need for money, we could be spurred on by being better instead of very often just not sinking. It would be a proactive approach instead of a reactive approach. So many people now make decisions based on the primal urges of having food, shelter and community belonging. If those were taken care of and there were systems, or a culture in place to drive people by accomplishment, and progress, and betterment of humanity.

We could be free



posted on Feb, 23 2017 @ 08:27 AM
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dupe
edit on 23/2/17 by soficrow because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 23 2017 @ 08:27 AM
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a reply to: Bleeeeep

originally posted by: Bleeeeep
a reply to: bigfatfurrytexan

That's similar to what we thought about robots: the robots will free us!



Yes, they could.




If the greedy own all the dimes, whose dime do you think space harvesting will be on? That's right, the greedy. They'll demand all the profits because they're funding it - same as it ever was.

Edit: How do you satisfy a greedy person's appetite? That's probably the real question, right?


Spent the morning googling "resource rents" - an important concept in calculating GDP. ...Really needs re-thinking, imho.



RESOURCE RENT

In economics, rent is a surplus value after all costs and normal returns have been accounted for, i.e. the difference between the price at which an output from a resource can be sold and its respective extraction and production costs, including normal return. ...



RENTS TO RICHES? The Political Economy of Natural Resource–Led Development

Natural resource endowments such as oil, gas, and minerals can serve as potent drivers of development. ...



2013. Resource Rents, Democracy, Corruption and Conflict: Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa

We examine the effect of the interaction between resource rents and democracy on corruption and internal conflict for a panel of 29 Sub-Saharan African countries during the period from 1985 to 2007. We find that higher resource rents lead to more corruption and that the effect is significantly stronger in less democratic countries. Surprisingly, we also find that higher resource rents lead to fewer internal conflicts and that less democratic countries face not a higher, but a lower likelihood of conflicts following an increase in resource rents. We argue that these findings can be explained by the ability of the political elites in less democratic countries to more effectively quell the masses through redistribution of rents to the public. We support our argument by documenting that higher resource rents lead to more (less) government spending in less (more) democratic countries. Our findings suggest that the mechanisms through which resource rents affect corruption cannot be separated from political systems.




posted on Feb, 23 2017 @ 08:40 AM
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I think the robot tax is really a tax imposed on the businesses for eliminating the jobs of real live people, an issue that has to be addressed eventually, somehow,... even though the tax would be plopped right into the laps of the people receiving the UBI (if this came to pass) and thus negating any real benefit the UBI was meant to provide....

...Ya know?, like some dumb-ass is babbling in D.C. right now about a 35% tax on goods and services from US companies that move out of the country to save labor costs without making the connection that the companies would just plop the extra cost from the tax onto the price of the goods that those who can least afford to pay would have to pay, or worse yet, simply bypass the U.S. and sell the goods to other countries...

The Liberal/Conservative/Capitalist BS has to be addressed before anything will work.

...And that ain't gonna happen any time soon...

The joke is on us like egg on our face, we crewmen of this ship of fools...Soon to be passengers in steerage.

Row!.


edit on 23-2-2017 by MyHappyDogShiner because: wrgf



posted on Feb, 23 2017 @ 11:15 AM
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a reply to: Bleeeeep

Well, anything that is productive could be taxed, because that is what taxes do -- take productivity from one point to another point of (purported) need.

If robots are productive, as productive as humans (who are taxed), then the robots should be taxed too. It is the productivity that is being taxed, not necessarily the people/robots.

Makes sense to me. Seems fair.

The problem is that the actual rates of tax seem really hard to fathom. How would you even figure out fair rates? Who would do that?

Owners of robots would want their robot productivity taxed less, and displaced workers would want the robots taxed more. Just like any tax setup, people (and robots?) would try to game it.

As far as a universal income, the income to pay the universal income would still need to come from taxing some productive activity somewhere ... so, you either tax the smaller and smaller number of working humans, or tax the robotic productivity to support the universal income of the humans.

I think robots won't escape a tax at some point. The money will need to come from somewhere.



posted on Feb, 23 2017 @ 11:29 AM
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a reply to: Fowlerstoad

You seem to think money actually comes from somewhere, like it is in an account or whatever...

Look up the term "Fractional Reserve banking"....Study how the Federal Reserve creates money from nothing.

...Learn why you never hear corporations complaining about people on food assistance...How they actually benefit from the misfortunes of the weakest of us...

...Learn Why it isn't the price of things going up so much as it is the value of your dollar going down...

...And...
edit on 23-2-2017 by MyHappyDogShiner because: 2wedrfgv



posted on Feb, 23 2017 @ 01:07 PM
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a reply to: soficrow

That looks like deliberate convolution used to rip people off.


normal rate of return
In business, "normal" is any gained revenue that exceeds the cost, expenses, and taxes needed to sustain the business or an activity.


So "normal rate of return" simply means profit - the normal old profit that we all think of when we think of profit.

Thus "resource rent" refers to the profit that exceeds the profit that is made from harvesting and/or mining? What the f does that even mean? Profit higher than profit?

It's like the difference between obese and morbidly obese? Morbidly obese profit made from harvesting and/or mining gets a special term and extra special hands on attention: "Hand it over, the workers don't need that."

It's too much to get caught up in their bs, but I guess that's the point: to trick or vex you into submission.



posted on Feb, 23 2017 @ 02:24 PM
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a reply to: Fowlerstoad

Income taxes are debts applied to people based on the amount of profit they have gained. It is a debt a person is deemed to owe. Machines can not owe anything as they have no means of entering into contracts.

This is nonsense:

If robots are productive, as productive as humans (who are taxed), then the robots should be taxed too. It is the productivity that is being taxed, not necessarily the people/robots.


If you start taxing machines used to make you profit, you will open a proverbial pandora's box. Not to mention, it's just plain stupid. It's smoke and mirrors used to distract you from the magician's hand in your pocket.



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