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최종편집 : 2017.9.2 토 20:43
CoverControversial Issues
A Necessary Step Before Robot Tax Introduction: Understanding the 4th Industrial RevolutionWritten by Bae-geun Choi (Department of Economics Professor at Konkuk University)
Kim Min-sok  |  phil98@cau.ac.kr
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승인 2017.09.01  15:13:27
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           The necessity for the introduction of robot tax must accompany an understanding of the 4th Industrial Revolution, which not only means the advent of various industries, but also the social innovation of pre-existing lifestyles, values, and laws altogether. For example, the current educational system is a legacy of the previous Industrial Revolution and thus cannot train a person to meet the prerequisites of the 4th Revolution. The worldwide unemployment crisis thus stems from the mismatch between post-industrialization and the educational system of the industrial society. In fact, as the 3rd Industrial Revolution centering on IT technology gained momentum, USA’s workplace increase rate gradually fell. The hole in manufacturing businesses was temporarily filled with jobs of service industries, but the 4th Industrial Revolution is now countering such efforts. In other words, if the 3rd Industrial Revolution caused “workplace polarization” by attempting to fill up holes with low-quality jobs, the 4th is aggravating it (hyper-polarization) by potentially eliminating most of service industries.
           The 4th Industrial Revolution is leading to a hyper-connected society where every component of human society is linked together, thus introducing platform operators or data economies. Therefore, how quick the 4th Industrial Revolution settles will depend on whether society can generate new desires and production potentials on its own. For this to be possible, there needs to be a brand-new human version, business model and social & and political order. First, an interconnected economy will no longer require individualistic economic activities aimed towards success. Instead, humans capable of co-creation will substitute their roles. Second, in a society where everyone shares information and skills to accomplish a common vision, cooperation and sharing ought to be the engine of value creation. Third, in order to routinize cooperation on a social scale, the evolution towards autonomous democracy, where autonomy outweighs freedom, must happen.

           Such social evolutions require a considerable amount of time to take place. Therefore, the introduction of robot tax will act as a buffer to minimize the shocking impacts of hyper-polarization and workplace crisis and at the same time opening up the road to technological advance. But imposing robot tax accompanies a lot of difficulties regarding income tax. For instance, while the wage of workers laid off by automatized workplaces increases over time, it is not easy to discuss a change for robot tax. Thus the introduction of a “universal basic dividend” obtained from capital profits seems appropriate. A universal basic dividend will make the social sharing of production and profit from automatized industries possible. 

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