Last February, Bill Gates held an interview with the U.S. economic magazine Quartz. During the interview, he announced that he supports the “Robot Tax”. He also stated that “if human used robots as a replacement for humans, then users of robots have to pay taxes similar to income tax.” How many jobs have been replaced by robots? According to World Economic Forum, about 710,000 jobs are likely to disappear by 2020. To minimalize human suffering due to the loss of jobs, the regulation toward robots will be an essential part. Considering these circumstances, the introduction of the “Robot Tax” will be a great solution in many ways.
Firstly, through the “Robot Tax”, we can make positive effects in that the profit generated by robots could be returned to society, including providing new chances to retrain or welfare benefits. According to the McKenzie Report in 2015, robots can replace about 45 percent of human jobs. When robots fill most of jobs instead of humans, benefits derived from taxes imposed by humans will reduce unavoidably because imposing taxes on robots only costs a little bit compared to humans. Therefore, Bill Gates argued that “We have to introduce the “Robot Tax” to compensate for the insufficient taxes and return the rest of the profits to society.” For example, jobless workers can get vocational training, and we can guarantee the constant income of the poor, or assist them with social services through the Robot Tax.
Secondly, we can prevent unemployed workers from increasing rapidly, and secure tax. In lots of statistics, there are many prospects that human jobs will be greatly reduced in future society. The problem is the jobless person. Humans have the obligation to pay taxes, but robots don’t have to pay. As A.I. replaces more human jobs than before, there has been more an increase in unemployed workers, and government come to support more people than before. They have to use more taxes for supporting people, but there are reduced tax resources left caused by the increasing number of robots. This is a vicious circle. If government chooses to raise the tax rate, the resistance of the employed workers’ will increase. As a result, under these circumstances, imposing a new tax can be a solution. For instance, if government impose taxes on companies which possess robots, there will be more costs associated with robots, so it can help reduce the number of workers losing their job as a result.
Lastly, we can prevent income polarization and narrow the gap between the rich and the poor. If robots are introduced more widely, there will be many major enterprises to accumulate wealth and profits using the low cost of robots. However, in the case of the lower-income group or minor enterprises, they don’t have enough money to invest in state-of-the-art robots. If the “Robot Tax” is imposed, it can be used to maintain social fairness. Recently, in Korea, the government imposed a “Robot Tax” on major companies. If enterprises introduce hi-tech robots for improving their productivity, the tax benefits they have received decrease. There are positive effects resulting from the introduction of Korea’s Robot Tax.
Robots have been approaching to us. The intelligence of robots is increasing day-by-day, and even now, the area of our jobs is threatened by robots. We can lose our rights to the very robots we made to increase our convenience, and then that would be a reversal of the order of host and guest. For these reasons, as the “Robot Tax” introduces, it can not only alleviate unemployment problems, but also bring a positive effect on society. I hope that humans and robots blend together through the introduction of “Robot Taxes.” < 저작권자 © 중앙헤럴드 무단전재 및 재배포금지 >