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Fri Jan 11, 2019, 07:54 PM

Should robots be forced to pay income tax and Social Security?

That would make it easier for people to compete with them. Also, we're going to get to a time where we will have retirees depending on "workers" for Social Security checks. Robot workers won't help with that. Every worker a robot displaces is actually one less to support retirees.

It would be interesting to track the social benefit of robots. Sure, they produce lower cost goods. But since they earn no money, don't eat, don't live anywhere (so they don't participate in the real estate market), don't get haircuts, require no transportation or education, etc., their overall effect might be really, really bad.

It seems to me like robots are conceptually a kind of legal immigrant that requires no naturalization, is not subject to any quotas, and works at low wages (no wages). Also, they aren't human.

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Arrow 42 replies Author Time Post
Reply Should robots be forced to pay income tax and Social Security? (Original post)
gulliver Jan 11 OP
InAbLuEsTaTe Jan 11 #1
NurseJackie Jan 11 #28
grumpyduck Jan 11 #2
gulliver Jan 11 #7
Hotler Jan 11 #25
WillowTree Jan 11 #3
gulliver Jan 11 #6
mahatmakanejeeves Jan 11 #8
gulliver Jan 11 #11
Doodley Jan 11 #4
unblock Jan 11 #5
MrGrieves Jan 11 #36
MichMan Jan 11 #9
mahatmakanejeeves Jan 11 #10
mahatmakanejeeves Jan 11 #17
bitterross Jan 11 #19
MichMan Jan 11 #20
MichMan Jan 11 #21
RockRaven Jan 11 #12
MichMan Jan 11 #14
rownesheck Jan 11 #13
Wounded Bear Jan 11 #15
bitterross Jan 11 #23
gulliver Jan 11 #24
Joe941 Jan 11 #16
samnsara Jan 11 #18
bitterross Jan 11 #22
mahatmakanejeeves Jan 11 #26
dweller Jan 11 #27
jberryhill Jan 11 #29
NBachers Jan 11 #33
jberryhill Jan 11 #34
NBachers Jan 11 #38
NBachers Jan 11 #30
WeekiWater Jan 11 #31
Hoyt Jan 11 #32
sl8 Jan 11 #35
brooklynite Jan 11 #37
cynatnite Jan 11 #39
doc03 Jan 11 #40
Voltaire2 Saturday #41
Kaleva Saturday #42

Response to gulliver (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 07:56 PM

1. Only makes sense... those who take the jobs of others should help support those who are displaced.

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Response to InAbLuEsTaTe (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 08:48 PM

28. And tractor tillers and harvesters...

... they replace workers too.

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Response to gulliver (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 07:56 PM

2. Don't go there!

That's how the whole mess with the Terminator series started - the robots refused to pay taxes.

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Response to grumpyduck (Reply #2)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 08:03 PM

7. LOL

Hope they aren't scanning DU.

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Response to gulliver (Reply #7)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 08:41 PM

25. Angent Mike is.

Hi agent Mike .

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Response to gulliver (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 07:57 PM

3. Forced to pay income tax and Social Security out of what, since they don't get paid?

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Response to WillowTree (Reply #3)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 07:58 PM

6. A surcharge on their operators/owners, maybe.

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Response to gulliver (Reply #6)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 08:04 PM

8. Oh, like personal computers.

Think of all the workers they've replaced -- sales clerks, letter carriers.

You're right: the owners/users of personal computers should be taxed accordingly.

{ETA, after you replied}: Start with 100 percent of the cost of the computer and any internet connection fees, to be paid annually.

It's only fair.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #8)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 08:09 PM

11. Yes, some sort of tariff schedule might include those.

The point would be to allow humans to compete with machines at some level. I realize, people make some of the machines and so forth, so robot making is a good job. I didn't say it would be easy.

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Response to gulliver (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 07:57 PM

4. If they are given the same rights as humans.

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Response to gulliver (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 07:57 PM

5. Forced? Never! They should be programmed to do it voluntarily!

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Response to unblock (Reply #5)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 09:17 PM

36. hehehehe

programmed to do it voluntarliy. LOL!

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Response to gulliver (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 08:06 PM

9. Why not add computers, tractors, cars, trucks, & microwave ovens too?

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Response to MichMan (Reply #9)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 08:08 PM

10. In "The Ten Commandments," Edward G. Robinson had people to

carry him around. Now he'd have a car. Tax it.

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Response to MichMan (Reply #9)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 08:18 PM

17. Don't forget refrigerators.

Think of all the icemen who lost their jobs.

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Response to MichMan (Reply #9)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 08:21 PM

19. We already do for most of those

We tax the heck out of vehicles.

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Response to bitterross (Reply #19)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 08:24 PM

20. A FICA tax every year on them to make up for the wages of people ?

Every person working 40 hrs per week making $15 per hour pays $4680 per year into Social Security and Medicare

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Response to bitterross (Reply #19)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 08:25 PM

21. That would be for every single job replaced

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Response to gulliver (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 08:09 PM

12. There should probably be some sort of value added tax for robot and computer productivity

whether the use of it is Social Security for retirees, or minimum basic income, or some other use... I would be open to considering a number of different uses for the revenue.

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Response to RockRaven (Reply #12)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 08:14 PM

14. FICA tax is 15%

If you assume one worker displaced at $15 per hour x 40 hours per week x 52 weeks a year. That would equal $4680 per worker not needed.

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Response to gulliver (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 08:10 PM

13. No.

I have the solution. Let the robots take over all the jobs, but give the displaced workers the pay. I'd love to get paid and not have to work. Hell, I'd take less pay. Like bill hicks used to say, "i imagine a world where we all get paid to do nothing!"

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Response to gulliver (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 08:15 PM

15. Silly question...

the real problem is that corporations who replace human workers with robots don't pay enough taxes.

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Response to Wounded Bear (Reply #15)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 08:29 PM

23. Your response is correct.

Your response is the exact reason this should be done. Alternate way of raising revenue.

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Response to Wounded Bear (Reply #15)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 08:38 PM

24. Good idea.

Works for me.

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Response to gulliver (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 08:17 PM

16. I'll wait to see what Bernie says.

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Response to gulliver (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 08:19 PM

18. they should at least pay the cost of batteries, repairs and upgrades...

Ö..I mean its only fair.

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Response to gulliver (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 08:26 PM

22. I think that's a great idea!

One can conceptually equate the productivity of robots to humans. So tax them at half or a third of the taxes for people. Put meters on them and tax by the hour.

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Response to gulliver (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 08:41 PM

26. Good idea! In addition, railroads should be required to go back to steam locomotives.

When the railroads dieselized, hundreds of thousands of perfectly good coal mining and railroad jobs were lost.

Boiler makers, coal tipple operators, roundhouse hostlers, the men who greased the bearings of side rods. Gone; all gone.

Replaced by ... well, no one.

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Response to gulliver (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 08:45 PM

27. along the vein of

"corporations are people too" ?
🤔

✌🏼️

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Response to gulliver (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 08:50 PM

29. The entire infrastructure for dealing with horse drawn vehicles...

...is hard for us to appreciate now.

Horses were part of the urban landscape. They needed to be shoed, housed, fed, harnessed, unharnessed, and required the care and attention of a slew of specialized workers simply to deal with the fact that they were the primary source of power for transportation of goods and people.

There were thousands of them. They filled the streets of cities.

We need to start with back pay for all the people now who would have otherwise been engaged in the care and management of horses.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #29)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 09:08 PM

33. Orange Alley, outside my San Francisco apartment, is lined with former horse stall space.

Many of the buildings still have the second-story lofts with a hayloft pulley hanging over the alley, where bales of hay were hoisted to feed the horses. Wide doors open directly above the alley. A block away was a corral and yard for horses and their vehicles. Plenty of buildings are still standing that were originally part of the horse transportation industry.

My sister's house has a ramp along the side, leading into the area beneath the house. It's now living quarters, but the ramp used to be the way for horses to enter and exit their under-the-building stalls.

My Erie Canal hometown of Spencerport has nice wood-framed homes in the central village part of town. Many of these homes, when I grew up, still had the large concrete block along the street, where people would step out of their horse-drawn carriages.

If you keep your eyes open and know how to look, you can see these remnants of not-so-long-ago all over the place. You only have to go back a couple of generations to find people who were familiar with all this.

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Response to NBachers (Reply #33)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 09:11 PM

34. Interesting.


Iíll be taking a bike trip down the Erie Canal later this year (from Syracuse to Albany at least).

Iíll have to look sharper in some of the older neighborhoods of Philadelphia, because I do wonder where all that stuff went. Maybe I just donít know what to look for.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #34)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 09:24 PM

38. I think a lot of it's still there; it's just been re-purposed. Detached old garage buildings; second

story doors opening directly onto the alley; old firehouse buildings with wide, heavy - hinged doors that would be thrown open for the horse-drawn fire engines to race down the street . . .

I sure miss my old Erie Canal hometown.

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Response to gulliver (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 08:55 PM

30. There will emerge a Microsoft / Apple / Google / Amazon / Facebook style of robot production

and implementation. Look there for clues on how socially responsible their policies will be. But, hey- they'll be Disruptive!

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Response to gulliver (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 08:57 PM

31. This one seems really simple to me.

No.

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Response to gulliver (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 08:58 PM

32. Clearly something will have to be done at some point. Theoretically, companies "employing" robots

will make more money, at least for a time. Hence, corporate taxes and capital gains tax should be increased.

Also, more people will be employed in producing and maintaining robots, increasing employment at least in that segment. Automation does not necessarily replace people one for one. In the best case, it makes a worker much more productive. In other cases, we might need to have some new tax to offset any loss in employment taxes from automation.

Glad I won't be around to see just how bad the long-term is unless we figure out some balance between people, workers, companies and government. Countries like Denmark seem to have pulled it off, at least at this time, but I'm not sure America is smart or cooperative enough.

Maintaining a balance between tax and sufficient economic activity to produce revenue needed for healthcare, education, safety net, retirement, etc, is a political challenge that will get more difficult. I'd rather that challenge is met by Democrats, but not ones who think investment can't be pulled from America and made elsewhere.

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Response to gulliver (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 09:15 PM

35. Including Roombas?

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Response to gulliver (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 09:22 PM

37. How much does your cell phone pay?

You presumably don't demand that an operator place all of your calls?

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Response to gulliver (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 09:29 PM

39. No, not for a simple automated machine type of robot...

If you're talking about more advanced AI that can handle more complex jobs, have capability to make decisions, reason and so on, then that's a whole different bushel of apples. Then the question would be if they're sentient and have a sense of self. Perhaps, then, they should be considered the same as human.

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Response to gulliver (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 09:55 PM

40. How do you define a robot? Is a continuous mining machine a robot?

How about a backhoe? How about a hay baler or combine? A nail gun? They all eliminate jobs and have been around for decades.

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Response to gulliver (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2019, 07:12 AM

41. No.

Should a truck pay income tax?

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Response to gulliver (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2019, 07:26 AM

42. Retirees have always been supported by workers

Your comment:

" Also, we're going to get to a time where we will have retirees depending on "workers" for Social Security checks."

The above has been the case since the very beginning of SS. Ida May Fuller paid $24.75 in tax until she retired and then collected $22,888.92 in Social Security benefits until she passed away at the age of 100.

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