Bernie Sanders & Bill Gates Come To An Agreement When It Comes To Technology Overtaking The Labor
Although Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and billionaire Bill Gates don’t “regularly agree” with one another, they both believe the government should tax the robots that are inevitably coming for American jobs.
In a new book released Tuesday titled, “It’s OK To Be Angry About Capitalism,” Sanders has revealed that he supports taxing AI-powered bots set to steal jobs from hard-working Americans.
“If workers are going to be replaced by robots, as will be the case in many industries, we’re going to need to adapt tax and regulatory policies to assure that the change does not simply become an excuse for race-to-the-bottom profiteering by multinational corporations,” Sanders said, according to a Business Insider report.
A robot tax would help the government make up for losses from payroll taxes that human workers are required to pay.
The idea was put forth in 2017 by Gates, the founder of Microsoft Corp, and cited by Sanders in his new book.
“If a human worker does $50,000 of work in a factory, that income is taxed. If a robot comes in to do the same thing, you’d think we’d tax the robot at a similar level,” Gates said at the time.
More than five years ago, the billionaire philanthropist received pushback from European Union officials who said they were not in favor of “taxing progress.” But now that progress has become more of a reality, it might be time to seriously consider some of these policy questions.
Microsoft-backed ChatGPT has made that all the more clear, and companies like Amazon and Walmart are already working to replace employees with robots.
“If workers are going to be replaced by robots, as will be the case in many industries, we’re going to need to adapt tax and regulatory policies to assure that the change does not simply become an excuse for race-to-the-bottom profiteering by multinational corporations,” he wrote in “It’s OK To Be Angry About Capitalism,” to be released on February 21, according to Yahoo News.
McDonald’s Corp is currently testing fully-automated locations that use conveyor belts to serve customers in select locations, and Tesla Inc’s Optimus bot is expected to be production ready as soon as this year.
Sanders’ new book references Gates’ aforementioned policy ideas and although the Vermont independent notes that he doesn’t regularly agree with Gates, he does on this topic. The book also reportedly references other ideas from various prominent figures, who all seem to be in agreement about a so-called robot tax.
Billionaire Mark Cuban previously expressed similar ideas in a tweet accompanied by the hashtag #TaxTheRobots.
“It’s not just about replacement. It’s about generating revenues to minimize other tax increases,” Cuban said.
According to taxfoundation.org, American workers paid $1.7 trillion in individual income taxes in 2020, up $129 billion from 2019. Taxpayers are separated into seven different tax brackets, but it looks like there may be a need for an eighth sooner rather than later.
Produced in association with Benzinga.