Author Topic: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense  (Read 12100 times)

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Offline jonovid

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Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
« on: April 01, 2019, 07:14:46 am »
if robotics with ever improving artificial intelligence could now do what was once exclusively work of humans.
does the taxation of robotics make any sense. for the compensation of the loss of human jobs.
robots can work 24/7 with no sick leave, no weekend penalty rates , no coffee breaks.  :scared:
now the robotics cat is out of the bag, or is it an ostrich.   


Handle Robot Reimagined for Logistics


Boston Dynamics New Robot - Will it Take our Jobs?

this is the video that got me thinking , this is science fact, not fiction.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2019, 07:32:56 am by jonovid »
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Offline TERRA Operative

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Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2019, 07:40:36 am »
Machinery is already taxed in Japan.
My friend has a factory, stamping out shapes from thin plastic that are folded into boxes (like cardboard, but for plastic packaging), signage, inserts, anything needing shapes from thin plastic etc.

All his die cutters, guillotines, and stamping machines are taxed as if they were a worker, the reasoning being "They are taking the place of a worker that could do the job" even though a worker is needed to operate the machine anyway....  Of course, the money just goes into the pockets of the government, not to people who cannot get a job due to this 'automation'  ::)

Japan, the land of Anime and taxes.....  :rant:
« Last Edit: April 01, 2019, 07:42:24 am by TERRA Operative »
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Offline vtwin@cox.net

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Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2019, 09:25:06 am »
"They are taking the place of a worker that could do the job"

by this logic, shouldn't anime characters be taxed, since a real person could be used to make a movie?
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Offline blueskull

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Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2019, 09:26:41 am »
"They are taking the place of a worker that could do the job"

by this logic, shouldn't anime characters be taxed, since a real person could be used to make a movie?

Precious!
 
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Offline TERRA Operative

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Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2019, 10:45:19 am »
by this logic, shouldn't anime characters be taxed, since a real person could be used to make a movie?

Well, depending who you ask, some would say that their favourite character is as real as any flesh and blood person..... :D
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Offline digsys

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Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2019, 11:34:55 am »
Well, I'm ready for when machines take over ! I've made friends with my toaster and washing machine, and they'll vouch for me ! Suckers !!
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Offline Awoke

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Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2019, 02:34:19 pm »
"They are taking the place of a worker that could do the job"

by this logic, shouldn't anime characters be taxed, since a real person could be used to make a movie?
That's a silly comparison. Each anime character is closely associated with a real person, namely the voice actor/actress.
 

Offline apis

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Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2019, 02:40:23 pm »
It's a bad idea since it will only serve to slow down the automatisation process, which in itself is a good thing. If they want to tax something it should be something else that doesn't hurt a specific industry (unless it's an industry we'd like to get rid of like tobacco or fossil fuels).
 

Offline Red Squirrel

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Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2019, 03:15:07 pm »
I think it should be more generalized, to also combat outsourcing.  Companies should be expected to have a certain amount of employees based on their profits, and get taxed heavily if they are under that amount.  It's natural to want to automate anything that can be automated though, and it can be a good thing to reduce the amount of tedious tasks but they should create more positions to compensate.

Though a good start would be to simply enforce existing tax laws on corporations instead of allowing all the loopholes.  Amazon for example does not pay any taxes.  This sort of thing needs to stop.   

If corporations paid their fair share of taxes, it would make universal basic income more viable as well since there would be money going into the system.
 

Offline OwO

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Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2019, 03:27:31 pm »
It's very easy to sit at a desk proposing laws that sound good on paper without fully appreciating all the unintended consequences that never occurred to you or all the people that will be unfairly and unnecessarily screwed over by the new law.

Tax law is already complex enough, it is the main reason why it is a major pain to start a business these days. I do however think a universal policy of "be lenient with the small and strict with the large" is a good idea. Specifically what I mean by that is don't treat tax evasion as a major felony if you are an individual or small business with net income < $500k. It should be made an official stance that small scale tax evasion or playing fast and loose with taxes is acceptable, and there will be far less friction and overhead costs (=man hours wasted) associated with running a small business. That way we can have a booming electronics industry like Shenzhen.
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Online coppercone2

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Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2019, 03:38:35 pm »
in this thread: industrialists get pwned  :popcorn:
 

Online rstofer

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Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2019, 03:49:17 pm »
I think it should be more generalized, to also combat outsourcing.  Companies should be expected to have a certain amount of employees based on their profits, and get taxed heavily if they are under that amount.  It's natural to want to automate anything that can be automated though, and it can be a good thing to reduce the amount of tedious tasks but they should create more positions to compensate.
Businesses are supposed to make profits by any legal means possible in order to increase their share price and my retirement account.  They are NOT in the social welfare business.  That is the job of governments and they take taxes for that very purpose.

Quote
Though a good start would be to simply enforce existing tax laws on corporations instead of allowing all the loopholes.  Amazon for example does not pay any taxes.  This sort of thing needs to stop.   

If corporations paid their fair share of taxes, it would make universal basic income more viable as well since there would be money going into the system.
According to Judge Learned Hand, everybody should be free to organize their financial affairs so as to pay the lowest possible tax.  Same for businesses...

If Amazon doesn't pay taxes, they must be investing their profits in expansion.  Growing the business!  And nobody I know has ever seen their tax returns so I suspect the bit about "Amazon pays no taxes..." is more urban legend than fact.  BTW, taxes are on profits and there is no legal requirement to be wildly profitable - especially while growing the business.

The entire idea of universal basic income is nonsense!  Why does the .gov want to steal from me to give to somebody not inclined to get a job?  Why would I want to pay for it?  It failed in Finland - research it!  In California, you couldn't give away enough money to keep up with the cost of living.

This socialism crap doesn't work!  All it creates is uniform misery.  It has never worked and it won't work now.

Everybody is jumping on the bandwagon for equal outcomes but leaving out the requirement for equal effort.  I didn't spend 6 years in college, at night, working a full time job + overtime, to ride on public transit.  And I damn sure don't want to give up my earnings to somebody disinclined to work.

http://libertytree.ca/quotes/Learned.Hand.Quote.6BF7


 
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Offline vtwin@cox.net

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Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2019, 03:54:47 pm »
"They are taking the place of a worker that could do the job"

by this logic, shouldn't anime characters be taxed, since a real person could be used to make a movie?
That's a silly comparison. Each anime character is closely associated with a real person, namely the voice actor/actress.

I was at Secureworld this past week, and one of the keynotes had a section on "dueling AIs", where two AIs attempt to detect whether they are speaking to an AI or not.

Personal assistant AIs are becoming so life-like, you can't tell you're speaking to a computer.

How long before "voice actors" in your anime productions are replaced by AIs?
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Online rstofer

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Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2019, 03:56:41 pm »
BTW, according to Amazon's SEC Form 10-K, they put aside nearly $2 Billion for taxes in 2018 on net income of $11.3 Billion - about 11%.  Clearly not in the same bracket as I am but they have better accountants.

I think the "Amazon doesn't pay taxes..." thing is BS.

https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1018724/000101872419000004/amzn-20181231x10k.htm#sF994DEEFE73D5197B11554E409B8620F
 

Online rstofer

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Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2019, 04:03:46 pm »
Tax law is already complex enough, it is the main reason why it is a major pain to start a business these days. I do however think a universal policy of "be lenient with the small and strict with the large" is a good idea. Specifically what I mean by that is don't treat tax evasion as a major felony if you are an individual or small business with net income < $500k.

The law itself has to be the same for everyone.  OTOH, the IRS would probably like to put more effort into auditing large businesses than small businesses.  But large businesses have large tax returns so it take a LOT of effort to audit them.  And large businesses have accountants and lawyers - smarter accountants and lawyers than the government has.

General Electric's tax return is 57,000 pages:
https://www.weeklystandard.com/john-mccormack/ge-filed-57-000-page-tax-return-paid-no-taxes-on-14-billion-in-profits

Everybody SHOULD take advantage of every loophole they can.  If there is an issue, the lawmakers have to remove the loopholes.  Whatever mess this may be, it is caused by the lawmakers, not the sole proprietors or even large business.  They're just doing what they are supposed to do:  Maximize profit for the sharholders.
 

Online coppercone2

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Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
« Reply #15 on: April 01, 2019, 04:07:12 pm »
"They are taking the place of a worker that could do the job"

by this logic, shouldn't anime characters be taxed, since a real person could be used to make a movie?
That's a silly comparison. Each anime character is closely associated with a real person, namely the voice actor/actress.

what about bad dubs and subs?
 

Offline apis

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Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
« Reply #16 on: April 01, 2019, 04:17:50 pm »
Things like Tobin tax makes more sense. Automatisation is a good thing, it's the reason we have been able to improve the living standards so much the last couple of centuries.

The entire idea of universal basic income is nonsense!  Why does the .gov want to steal from me to give to somebody not inclined to get a job?  Why would I want to pay for it?  It failed in Finland - research it!  In California, you couldn't give away enough money to keep up with the cost of living.
Nonsense, it didn't fail in Finland. It has also been tried in the US which was also mostly successful.

I seriously doubt your government steal from you nor that anyone expect you to pay for basic universal income of someone else. (Yes, I realise you mean taxes, but saying that taxes are theft is doublespeak.) The government of the country you are a citizen of provides regulations and infrastructure that benefits you (enables you to make money) and in return you pay taxes which mostly is spent on maintaining the same system that feeds you. Others may not be so lucky. In many places the unemployment rate is kept artificially high, not because people don't want to work but because it means labour becomes cheaper (supply and demand). The people that are least suited for work (low iq, bad health, whatever) are doomed to be permanently unemployed. This is projected to get worse and worse since the demand for workers are going to drop, and only the smartest and most skilled will be able to do work that can't be handled cheaper by a robot.
 

Online rstofer

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Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
« Reply #17 on: April 01, 2019, 04:50:15 pm »
Nonsense, it didn't fail in Finland. It has also been tried in the US which was also mostly successful.
Well, they cancelled it!  I count that as a failure, not a roaring success.
https://www.postandcourier.com/opinion/editorials/finland-s-failed-universal-income-experiment/article_4788d736-2efe-11e9-93c0-17ac4f1fcab3.html

A California city, Stockton, is trying the same experiment with 130 people getting $500 worth of drug money without working for it:

https://www.sacbee.com/news/local/article226280230.html

The only good news is that this isn't taxpayer money.

Quote
I seriously doubt your government steal from you nor that anyone expect you to pay for basic universal income of someone else. (Yes, I realise you mean taxes, but saying that taxes are theft is doublespeak.)
At some tax rate, it seems a lot like usury.  I remember when I was doing a bit of consulting during the Carter administration and the government was taking half of the money I made working extra hours and didn't send anyone to help.  Half!
Quote
The government of the country you are a citizen of provides regulations and infrastructure that benefits you (enables you to make money) and in return you pay taxes which mostly is spent on maintaining the same system that feeds you. Others may not be so lucky. In many places the unemployment rate is kept artificially high, not because people don't want to work but because it means labour becomes cheaper (supply and demand). The people that are least suited for work (low iq, bad health, whatever) are doomed to be permanently unemployed. This is projected to get worse and worse since the demand for workers are going to drop, and only the smartest and most skilled will be able to do work that can't be handled cheaper by a robot.
Spare me the civics lesson, I know how it works.  You are aware that we have record low unemployment, record high incomes and all that neat economics stuff, right?  Trump's doing good for workers AND investors.  Still, there are industries that are dying (coal, for example) and people tied to that industry are not usually capable of moving into different jobs.  That's a problem!  We need to re-educate workers whose jobs are eliminated.

We have systems that help those truly in need - always have.  Nobody has a problem with helping the truly needy.   But we also removed the requirement to work to receive welfare and taxpayers DO have a problem with that.  Somehow, even with record low unemployment, especially among minorities, we can't seem to reestablish the requirement.  Why should able-bodied people live off my taxes?  There are plenty of jobs!

Robots are the reason we are paying to put my grandson through a decent university in a Mechanical Engineering program.  It's a little far out in the future but we will probably pay for a master's in engineering and a master's in business administration.  We want him to be capable of competing in whatever the future may bring.

As to Basic Income:  Unless it is near the median income, it just leaves people in poverty at a slightly higher level.  Around here, the median income is $70k while over in Mountain View (Silicon Valley), the median income is around $120k with median home prices above $1M.  How do we provide basic income for someone who wants to live in Mountain View?  Or do we just bus them all South Dakota where the median income is $23k.

How much do we owe those who are disinclined to get a job?
« Last Edit: April 01, 2019, 05:28:24 pm by rstofer »
 

Online Tomorokoshi

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Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
« Reply #18 on: April 01, 2019, 05:15:46 pm »
...

Personal assistant AIs are becoming so life-like, you can't tell you're speaking to a computer.

...

Why do you feel this way?
 

Offline apis

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Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
« Reply #19 on: April 01, 2019, 05:41:04 pm »
Nonsense, it didn't fail in Finland. It has also been tried in the US which was also mostly successful.
Well, they cancelled it!  I count that as a failure, not a roaring success.
They didn't continue the experiment which the researchers had been hoping for. That's not because it went badly, but because the political climate had changed and there were no interest in financing a followup study. There's been a fair amount of trials done with basic income around the world (including the US) and as far as I know results are still inconclusive. Certainly not failures. Not saying basic income is the way forward, it's so complex that it's hard to tell what effect a full scale long term implementation would have, but it would have a lot of advantages if it worked out as proponents envision.
 
We have systems that help those truly in need - always have.  Nobody has a problem with helping the truly needy.
Maybe I'm mistaken but the way I understand it, if someone in the US get cancer and can't afford the cure you leave them to die in the street basically, that's not what "helping those who truly need it" means in this part of the world?

There are plenty of jobs!
Not for everyone, not with a salary you can survive on. Companies doesn't want to hire people they can't use, and they want a high unemployment rate since it increase the demand for work and the supply of workers which means they can keep salaries down.

Robots are the reason we are paying to put my grandson through a decent university in a Mechanical Engineering program.  It's a little far out in the future but we will problem pay for a master's in engineering and a master's in business administration.  We want him to be capable of competing in whatever the future may bring.
Good for him, but what about the kids who doesn't have as loving and thoughtful grandparents?

As to Basic Income:  Unless it is near the median income, it just leaves people in poverty at a slightly higher level.  Around here, the median income is $70k while over in Mountain View (Silicon Valley), the median income is around $120k with median home prices above $1M.  How do we provide basic income for someone who wants to live in Mountain View?  Or do we just bus them all South Dakota where the median income is $23k.
I don't know if universal basic income is a good idea, but I don't think it should be dismissed out of hand either. It was unfortunate they weren't allowed to continue the study in Finland.
 

Offline apis

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Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
« Reply #20 on: April 01, 2019, 05:45:34 pm »
...

Personal assistant AIs are becoming so life-like, you can't tell you're speaking to a computer.

...
Why do you feel this way?
Maybe he's thinking of something like this:
 

Offline Red Squirrel

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Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
« Reply #21 on: April 01, 2019, 05:52:17 pm »
I think it should be more generalized, to also combat outsourcing.  Companies should be expected to have a certain amount of employees based on their profits, and get taxed heavily if they are under that amount.  It's natural to want to automate anything that can be automated though, and it can be a good thing to reduce the amount of tedious tasks but they should create more positions to compensate.
Businesses are supposed to make profits by any legal means possible in order to increase their share price and my retirement account.  They are NOT in the social welfare business.  That is the job of governments and they take taxes for that very purpose.


Which is  a problem. Instead of greed being encouraged it should be discouraged and corporations should have an obligation to give back to society.  Either through providing employment, or paying their fair share of taxes instead of finding ways to avoid paying.
 

Offline apis

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Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
« Reply #22 on: April 01, 2019, 06:12:35 pm »
How much do we owe those who are disinclined to get a job?
Actually we owe them quite a lot:
Quote
As of 2007, the richest 1% held about 38% of all privately held wealth in the United States. while the bottom 90% held 73.2% of all debt. According to The New York Times, the richest 1 percent in the United States now own more wealth than the bottom 90 percent.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wealth_inequality_in_the_United_States

The situation is similar in the rest of the world. That's the effect of the current system.
 
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Online rstofer

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Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
« Reply #23 on: April 01, 2019, 06:36:13 pm »
People worry too much about what other people have instead of just getting a job and making the system work.

The idea that the 1% owe the 99% is nonsense.  Whatever the 1% got, they either inherited or earned, one way or another.  Good for them.  I have what I earned and I don't want to lose it to socialism.

I don't get up in the morning feeling that I owe anybody anything.

We have a big choice to make next year.  We'll see how socialism sells in the central US.  It may seem cool in the liberal population centers but that won't win an election as Hillary found out.  Rust belt voters aren't fools!
 

Offline soldar

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Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
« Reply #24 on: April 01, 2019, 06:50:18 pm »
I find it sad and disheartening to see how many people have such little understanding of how the economy works and how they believe things that are totally contrary to obvious observations. People seem to have no problem believing things that are obviously wrong.

Machines and automation have always been good to raise productivity and well-being and yet it seems like they are always introduces over the protests of those who want to make us believe life is better if we create more "work" and more "jobs". No, make-work is never a good idea. What we want is to make wealth, value, with the least expenditure in effort and investment.

We should always look for the most efficient way to do the job and create value. If a machine does it better then use a machine, if a factory in China then use that. Let us dedicate our efforts to the most productive use and not to work for the sake of working.

Every country that has put "job creation" as its goal has gone to shit. There was no unemployment in the old USSR or old communist China but their productivity was abysmal and there was little to share. Again, the goal is productivity, not work.

It seems for centuries workers have been complaining that machinery was taking their jobs and millions would soon be jobless. Two centuries ago it took 95% of the population to farm and feed everybody. Then came industrialization and now less than 5% can feed the rest. So did 90% become jobless? No, they started producing other things we enjoy and that we could not enjoy had that population not been released from agriculture.

I remember some decades ago people were talking about how a computer could do the work of a thousand accountants and how thousands of accountants would soon be out of work.

Really, fighting against progress, against automation, against competition, shows great ignorance of history and how economies work.

Germany is doing great and it is not by taxing or discouraging automation, on the contrary, it is by creating high value goods and services which they sell all over the world.

Trying to erect barriers to competition is a losing game always. I just wish people would stop and read some history and learn something about how economies work before spouting so much nonsense. And I am not referring to people in this forum but to people on TV shows who talk about everything they know nothing about. Instead of taxing robots we should tax the mothers of these talking idiots for bringing them to the world.

So, "Does the taxation of robotics make any sense"? No, unless you are trying to make the economy worse off.

A guy with a bulldozer can do the work of a hundred guys with shovels so let us tax bulldozers. Yes but a guy with a shovel can do the work of twenty guys with a spoon in their hands so let us tax shovels. Remember: a guy with a shovel in his hands is stealing the jobs of a bunch of guys with spoons.

Like comedian Paul Rodriguez used to say: "They are not stealing our jobs, they're doing our jobs".
« Last Edit: April 01, 2019, 07:01:24 pm by soldar »
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