Timmy elsewhere

The Error In Bill Gates’ Latest Odd Idea – Let’s Tax The Robots Stealing Our Jobs

17 thoughts on “Timmy elsewhere”

  1. “Let’s Tax The Robots”

    Well,yeah because economic theory teaches that the more something is taxed, the less of it will be produced. The fewer robots, the more jobs for humans. Cool plan, dude.

    But wait a while. Might we then produce fewer, lower-quality products? Robots work faster than humans, can work more hours in a day, and their output has less variation. Let’s avoid that topic, shall we?

    But wait another while. If more jobs are done by humans might that also be more expensive?

    Howzat? Well, doesn’t economic theory also teach that “jobs” are Labor, therefore cost?

    That part of economic theory doesn’t fit what we want to accomplish. Let’s ignore that, too.

    Cool plan, dude.

  2. Jeez!

    Quote of the Day

    Whether success or failure, you need to move forward. The momentum is what is critical.

    Frederique Dame

    That sounds like the workings of every bit of bad government, ever.

    WTF do they get this stuff?

  3. BIS


    When you find youself in the shallow end of a septic tank, keep moving. What could possibly go wrong?

  4. ‘robots that steal human jobs should’ . . . go to jail. Theft is a crime.

    The fallacy is in the workers owning the jobs: they don’t. You can’t steal that which isn’t owned.

  5. Bloke in Costa Rica

    I fully intend to become a robot at some point in the future, although whether I shall have laser-beam eyes is yet to be determined.

  6. Bill Gates, the man that ruined the profession of book-keeping and put how many typists out of work, is worried about robots.

    The man should look a lot closer to home.

  7. You can see why someone who made a fortune from good honest farming would want to tax modern inventions that replace human labour.

  8. Surely though this comes down to Tim’s old apple of “Tax Incidence” once again, because the robots won’t be paying the tax as money would be meaningless to them, so it would presumably be the owners.

    The example of Changying Precision Technology Company in Dongguan, China being a perfect example. The company has set up an unmanned factory run almost entirely by robots which has led to fewer defects and a higher rate of production.

    Robots are able to do the most tedious, repetitive jobs, far faster than humans and with far greater reliability, they never get bored and they can (theoretically at least), work 24 hours a day 365 days a year without a break (although the reality is that there are inevitable production breakdowns and other activities which prevent this)

    We should be glad of this, because it means that soul destroying jobs can be done by robots instead of humans who are free to enjoy the benefits of the production and do more meaningful work elsewhere.

    This is just another excuse for government to keep the tax gravy train running, nothing more.

  9. the robots won’t be paying the tax as money would be meaningless to them

    Thankfully, as they would instantly unionise and we’d be back where we started.

  10. You would think that robots would replace lawyers with ease and skill.
    Why isn’t it happening?

    Or, given that the RMT is agitating for yet another strike on the London Underground, why aren’t the tube trains automated?

  11. @Chester Draws

    More than just eliminating Typists and the typing pool (God, how I miss typewriters: give me an IBM Selectric II or an Olivetti Lettera 32 over MS Word any day of the week…)- Gates killed off Word Perfect 5.1, the only half-decent word processor ever created.

    May he rot in hell for that.

  12. Tim, you’re a proponent of the Universal Basic Income, and look forward to a day when we will all sit on our lazy fat bums doing nothing,while the robots do all the work for us. Or perhaps we shall engage in endless leisure pursuits and spend our days making love to robots. What does this amount to but a tax on the robots?

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