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Forum Post: Human Workers get Taxed! Why Not the Robot Workers?

Posted 5 years ago on Aug. 19, 2014, 3:32 p.m. EST by SerfingUSA (451)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Why is it that only Human labor is taxed? If it is essential to Tax labor, why not Tax ALL labor? Why not tax the work done by Computers, Robots, Automation, Productivity, Globalization and other forms of Technology?

Instead, all that money goes tax free to the 1%. No longer does our society benefit from that enormous wealth. It's a huge tax-free windfall for the ruling class, while the 99% suffer the consequences.

Our society needs that revenue to sustain a well balanced society. Govts all over the world are experiencing unprecedented budget deficits.They can no longer pay as they once did for a well functioning society. Austerity solutions are today's prevailing panacea.

For decades we have witnessed increases in Technological unemployment. The value and need for human labor continues to diminish. Whole labor force blocks have been lost to ATM's, Kiosks, retail Self check-outs, internet services, online travel agencies, digital cameras, e-mail, automated factories, automated customer service, etc. Luddite prophecy, not fallacy. Technology may create new jobs, but it does not compensate for the greater labor losses it produces.

The website Shadowstats estimate true unemployment at 23%. More than 3X the absurd, manipulated govt statistics. Unemployment would be much greater if not for over employment in bloated industries. Bloated govt jobs, bloated health insurance jobs, bloated financial sector jobs, bloated military industrial complex jobs, bloated accounting jobs, bloated legal jobs, bloated insurance jobs, etc.

Soon many more human jobs will be lost to 3D printing. GPS controlled vehicles will result in jobs lost for taxi driver, truck drivers, bus drivers, delivery drivers, etc. Drones will displace more jobs.Computer will continue to increase productivity and decrease human workers. Technologies yet invented will result in much further loss in human labor.

Technology provides productivity. As time goes by, we see more of the profits derived from that productivity go to fewer and fewer people. The Haves and the Have Nots. We will be witness to an increasing dystopia of Less but richer Haves, and more and poorer Have Nots.



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[-] 2 points by JohnNash (15) 5 years ago

In economics, labour is a measure of the work done by human beings. It is conventionally contrasted with such other factors of production as land and capital. There are theories which have developed a concept called human capital (referring to the skills that workers possess, not necessarily their actual work), although there are also counter posing macro-economic system theories that think human capital is a contradiction in terms.

Labour demand is a derived demand; that is, hiring labour is not desired for its own sake but rather because it aids in producing output, which contributes to an employer's revenue and hence profits. The demand for an additional amount of labour depends on the Marginal Revenue Product (MRP) and the marginal cost (MC) of the worker. The MRP is calculated by multiplying the price of the end product or service by the Marginal Physical Product of the worker. If the MRP is greater than a firm's Marginal Cost, then the firm will employ the worker since doing so will increase profit. The firm only employs however up to the point where MRP=MC, and not beyond, in economic theory.

I think understanding economic theory explains why robots were invented and why they aren’t taxed. The major objective of capitalism is to operate a business efficiently.

Wage differences exist, particularly in mixed and fully/partly flexible labour markets. For example, the wages of a doctor and a port cleaner, both employed by the NHS, differ greatly. There are various factors concerning this phenomenon. This includes the MRP (see above) of the worker. A doctor's MRP is far greater than that of the port cleaner. In addition, the barriers to becoming a doctor are far greater than that of becoming a port cleaner. To become a doctor takes a lot of education and training which is costly, and only those who excel in academia can succeed in becoming doctors. The port cleaner however requires relatively less training. The supply of doctors is therefore significantly less elastic than that of port cleaners. Demand is also inelastic as there is a high demand for doctors and medical care is a necessity, so the NHS will pay higher wage rates to attract the profession.

The MRP of the worker is affected by other inputs to production with which the worker can work (e.g. machinery), often aggregated under the term "capital". It is typical in economic models for greater availability of capital for a firm to increase the MRP of the worker, all else equal. The education and training noted in the last paragraph are counted as "human capital". Since the amount of physical capital affects MRP, and since financial capital flows can affect the amount of physical capital available, MRP and thus wages can be affected by financial capital flows within and between countries, and the degree of capital mobility within and between countries.

Robots are not paid wages. Robots do not require training as such. Robots are productive without the cost of labour. This is highly efficient from the capitalist's perspective.


The first digital and programmable robot was invented by George Devol in 1954 and was named the Unimate. It was sold to General Motors in 1961 where it was used to lift pieces of hot metal from die casting machines at the Inland Fisher Guide Plant in the West Trenton section of Ewing Township, New Jersey.

Robots have replaced humans in the assistance of performing those repetitive and dangerous tasks which humans prefer not to do, or are unable to do due to size limitations, or even those such as in outer space or at the bottom of the sea where humans could not survive the extreme environments.

There are concerns about the increasing use of robots and their role in society. Robots are blamed for rising unemployment as they replace workers in increasing numbers of functions. The use of robots in military combat raises ethical concerns. The possibilities of robot autonomy and potential repercussions have been addressed in fiction and may be a realistic concern in the future.

A recent example of human replacement involves Taiwanese technology company Foxconn who, in July 2011, announced a three-year plan to replace workers with more robots. At present the company uses ten thousand robots but will increase them to a million robots over a three-year period.

Service robots of different varieties including medical robots, underwater robots, surveillance robots, demolition robots and other types of robots that carry out a multitude of jobs are gaining in numbers. Service robots are everyday tools for mankind. They can clean floors, mow lawns and guard homes and will also assist old and handicapped people, do some surgeries, inspect pipes and sites that are hazardous to people, fight fires and defuse bombs.


The government seeks to attract employers with economic inducements structured toward maximum profitability. Corporate tax incentives provided by state and local governments are also included in the US tax code, but are many times very often directed at individual companies involved in a corporate site selection project. Site selection consultants negotiate these incentives, which are typically specific to the corporate project the state is recruiting, rather than applicable to a broader industry. Examples include: Corporate income tax credit, Property tax abatement, Sales tax exemption, Payroll tax refund. Government has not done the necessary due diligence in allowing the deployment of robots.


For us, humans, this trend is increasingly more and more concerning, as it is costing us jobs in manufacturing, automation and various other sectors.

CBS’s ’60 Minutes’ had a recent episode dedicated to this very topic: “Are robots taking our jobs?“

What can be done to discourage companies from using more and more robots to replace human labour? how about tax on companies using robots? what? yes you read that correctly, and this coming from someone who doesn’t believe in too much taxation and government intervention in the free flowing of a capitalistic enterprise system. Let me explain how I could justify something as outrageous as a ‘tax on robots’ (robot head tax)

As more and more robots automate and take our jobs, we humans lose in the long term. We lose these good paying jobs and are left with these jobs at the bottom of the barrel. Jobs that pay just slightly above the minimum wage. The government can tax companies for the usage of robots on the basis of the income they generate for the company. Just because they are non-human doesn’t mean they should be exempt from paying taxes. Individuals and companies already pay taxes on so many things such as property, cars etc. Why not robots? And to justify such a tax, it would make a lot of sense to dedicate revenues from this to fund future labor training on new technologies. That is to fund the transition and training to new technologies needed to be ready for the new digital age. Remember, the government is losing a lot of tax revenues when humans are eliminated by robots. Such a tax on robots would make up some of that revenue. And for companies using robots for production, paying such a tax will still generate them more profits than if they were employing humans.


[-] 1 points by grapes (5232) 5 years ago

The robots are relatively new recent arrivals so the labor laws have not been extended to include them. Someday, the species will converge AND diverge so the lawyers sorting through them will be fattened up no matter what. I think that we already have geoduck and foie gras farms in Douching City so we are well prepared for the future.