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Products => Robotics and Automation => Topic started by: jonovid on April 01, 2019, 07:14:46 am

Title: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: jonovid 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.   

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5iV_hB08Uns (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5iV_hB08Uns)
Handle Robot Reimagined for Logistics

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvz3ODBtFlo (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvz3ODBtFlo)
Boston Dynamics New Robot - Will it Take our Jobs?

this is the video that got me thinking , this is science fact, not fiction.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: TERRA Operative 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:
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: vtwin@cox.net 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?
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: blueskull 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!
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: TERRA Operative 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
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: digsys 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 !!
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: Awoke 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.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: apis 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).
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: Red Squirrel 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.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: OwO 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.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: coppercone2 on April 01, 2019, 03:38:35 pm
in this thread: industrialists get pwned  :popcorn:
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: rstofer 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 (http://libertytree.ca/quotes/Learned.Hand.Quote.6BF7)


Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: vtwin@cox.net 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?
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: rstofer 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 (https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1018724/000101872419000004/amzn-20181231x10k.htm#sF994DEEFE73D5197B11554E409B8620F)
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: rstofer 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 (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.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: coppercone2 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?
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: apis 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.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: rstofer 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 (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 (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?
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: Tomorokoshi 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?
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: apis 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.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: apis 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:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmR5ELoRnSE (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmR5ELoRnSE)
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: Red Squirrel 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.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: apis 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.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: rstofer 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!
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: soldar 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".
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: Zero999 on April 01, 2019, 06:56:08 pm
Yes it's total nonsense that automation harms prosperity. Machines have being replacing humans for a couple of hundred years now, yet the trend for wealth has been upward.

If automation is that bad for the economy, then how about slavery? The Roman economy did quite well, given a supply of cheap labour.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: rstofer on April 01, 2019, 07:05:06 pm
There's an old story that pretty much summarizes things:

When a gazelle gets up in the morning, it knows it has to outrun the fastest lion.
When a lion gets up in the morning, it knows it has to outrun the slowest gazelle.

Whether you are a lion or a gazelle, when you get up in the morning you better be ready to run!

Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: soldar on April 01, 2019, 07:18:05 pm
What is scary is how easy it is to scare people with imaginary threats.

As Mencken said:
Quote
the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.


Brexit is a sad case of a lot of people believing that life would be better if only they were protected from competition. Protectionism has never worked in the past and it sure as hell ain't gonna work this time around.

Unfortunately it seems such thinking is becoming widespread in western countries.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: Awoke on April 01, 2019, 09:08:18 pm
How long before "voice actors" in your anime productions are replaced by AIs?
That's an interesting point, I suppose at that point they would not longer be associated with a real person. And would have to be reclassified, but for now they are.

what about bad dubs and subs?
Dubs are reworks. So the characters would be associated with another real person in that new language. As for subs, it's really just providing the dialog on the screen. Not much of a big deal.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: vtwin@cox.net on April 01, 2019, 09:35:04 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:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmR5ELoRnSE (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmR5ELoRnSE)

I think you missed the ELIZA context ;)
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: vtwin@cox.net on April 01, 2019, 09:45:07 pm
Unfortunately it seems such thinking is becoming widespread in western countries.

Here in the US I think the trend is not about protectionism, but more or less about having a fair playing field on which to compete in other countries.

Other countries may not directly tariff our goods, but they may erect ridiculous restrictions on imported goods which domestic vendors are not expected to comply with.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: soldar on April 01, 2019, 10:04:21 pm
Here in the US I think the trend is not about protectionism, but more or less about having a fair playing field on which to compete in other countries.

Other countries may not directly tariff our goods, but they may erect ridiculous restrictions on imported goods which domestic vendors are not expected to comply with.


Most of the time "level playing field" is a euphemism for protectionism.

The point of view changes radically depending on whose ox is getting gored. If American food exports are required to meet stricter EU standards then those are "ridiculous restrictions" but if America requires imports from third countries to meet American standards then that is a reasonable protection for the American consumer.

Pretty much all countries engage in "technical" barriers and, like everything else, we justify it when our side does it and we condemn it when the other side does it.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: TERRA Operative on April 01, 2019, 10:54:43 pm
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?

Well, with the advent of Hatsune Miku (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hatsune_Miku), we got the voice and characterisation (https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=hatsune+miku+crypton) part down, just need to hook it up to Siri or Alexa to finish it off.  |O :D
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: NiHaoMike on April 01, 2019, 10:59:13 pm
If you're going to tax robots, how would you handle cyborgs that are part human and part machine, where the two parts are permanently attached together? How would that be different from the far more common case of a human operating a machine?
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: soldar on April 01, 2019, 11:57:22 pm
To tax robots you first have to define "robot" which is really just a machine. Robots (machines) have been used for a long time now in manufacturing automobiles and other things. I suppose the first telephone automatic switching equipment could be considered a "robot" as it did the work of a telephone operator and a computer would be a robot doing the work of an accountant.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: Gregg on April 02, 2019, 02:09:59 am
The problem isn’t machines taking jobs; the problem is too many people consuming and not producing. 
Maybe it would serve mankind better long term to implement free birth control and major tax increases for more than one offspring per person.  I know that doesn't sound fair; but life in general isn't fair and how fair is it going to be when things spiral downward?  It is time the general populace starts to realize a big problem on this planet is too many people; and since nobody wants to volunteer to leave (except maybe to Mars) the problem needs to be addressed at the source. 
Historically more machines led to more jobs, more leisure time, more discretionary income with more consumption per person and a growing global economy; but how much longer is this growth sustainable?
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: Zero999 on April 02, 2019, 08:23:26 am
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.
But how is Trump fixing the underlying problem of people who are tied to failing industries? Propping them up is not the answer. It's unsustainable and will only create more problems. It's also a form of socialism.

Quote
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?
I agree that too much socialism is bad because it means people don't get rewarded for their effort, but some is necessary.

It should not be able equal outcomes, but equal opportunity.

Fair enough, your grandson is born to a wealthy family, but what about another child who is born to a less wealthy family? Suppose their ancestors were slaves and live in a crappy neighbourhood, with poor schools. They might have the drive and ability to work, just lack the education to secede.

Some socialism is a good thing. Apart from the moral side, the government should invest in areas which will improve the economy and generate a tax revenue. Pump money into the poor areas to improve the schools so the children can get jobs and pay taxes. Invest money in public healthcare so the sick can return to work and pay it back.

Brexit is a sad case of a lot of people believing that life would be better if only they were protected from competition. Protectionism has never worked in the past and it sure as hell ain't gonna work this time around.
Brexit is a lot more complicated than that. A lot of it is down to the fact that the UK is very different, both socially and politically to most other European countries. Concern about immigration is an issue and that the idea that the UK has little influence over the EU regulations it has to follow. Unfortunately, it's quite likely the UK will remain a member of the single market and customs union, even after Brexit, so will truly have no say over any of the rules.

I voted remain, but if we leave, we must do it properly: no customs union or single market!
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: soldar on April 02, 2019, 12:24:50 pm
Brexit is a lot more complicated than that. A lot of it is down to the fact that the UK is very different, both socially and politically to most other European countries. Concern about immigration is an issue and that the idea that the UK has little influence over the EU regulations it has to follow. Unfortunately, it's quite likely the UK will remain a member of the single market and customs union, even after Brexit, so will truly have no say over any of the rules.

I voted remain, but if we leave, we must do it properly: no customs union or single market!

Yes, Brexit is a complicated, political problem but in the back of everything lies the idea that the UK in many ways needs protection from the EU.  It is being a colossal blunder and can have no good ending. Any ending now will necessarily be a bad ending and what remains to be seen is just how bad it will be. In the worst of cases what we may be seeing here is the beginning of the end of the UK as we have known it all our lives.

In the 19th century the UK was a world power in its own right. In the 20th century the UK's strength was in its allies.  WWII was not won by the UK but by the Allies. In the world stage the UK punched above its weight because it had excellent understanding of world politics and an excellent diplomacy.

In the late 20th century UK had lost its last big colonies and was trying to find its place in the world. There was a dream that it could become the head of a "Commonwealth Common Market" but that was unrealistic and did not work out. The only place where the UK could avoid becoming a nobody was in the EU but they would have to let go of those imperial dreams.  Unfortunately, many politicians and other interested parties are supporting outdated dreams and they might profit from it but the UK will most definitely be harmed.

What happened to the UK that did the industrial revolution and became a world power by innovating and leading? What happened to the UK that dealt in the world stage and lead coalitions? Now the UK is retreating into its burrow hoping to find protection there but will be eaten alive by the wolves.

To say the UK was not having their voice heard in the EU is just silly and totally inaccurate. The public have been sold lies by many interested parties, some of them in the UK, others in the USA and Russia and China, all of which have interest in weakening Europe, and that includes the UK.

Does anybody really think a solitary UK is in any position of strength to negotiate deals with the USA or China? The UK will be eaten alive. Let me tell you something, if the UK leaves with no deal, the first thing that happens is the UK yields to the USA in dropping food requirements so the USA can export food that the EU does not admit right now. I guarantee it. UK farmers will have to adapt to this, if they can, and many will not be able to do it and will go out of business. They were promised Brexit would be a road to freedom and they will discover it was a road to serfdom.

The public has been sold lies and unrealistic expectations. The notion that "we are different" is just silly, empty rhetoric. Everybody is different. We are all unique snowflakes but, come on, it is because we are different that we choose to become part of the group where we can discuss things and come to agreements.

There are several hundred thousand Brits living in Spain voluntarily. Maybe we are not so different after all.

The truth is that there is much xenophobia and desire for protectionism in the vote for Brexit and this has been exploited by interested parties.

The EU has bent over backwards to accommodate the UK but it seems the UK is never satisfied. I think it was Sarkozy who, some years ago, said about Cameron negotiating was like "a man attending a wife swapping party without his spouse". Well, it looks like it will be the UK's turn in the barrel soon ... for a long time.

The UK will be in a very weak position to negotiate anything with anybody, starting with the EU as is becoming painfully obvious. The UK thought they could play one country against another but it had totally miscalculated and the EU countries stand together and talk with a single voice.
See https://www.politico.eu/article/how-uk-lost-brexit-eu-negotiation/ (https://www.politico.eu/article/how-uk-lost-brexit-eu-negotiation/)
The UK alone in the world stage will be taken to the cleaners.

The EU will back any of its members against a UK outside the EU. The EU is 100% behind the Republic of Ireland as the UK is painfully realizing. If the UK departs the EU I expect to see pressure in other points, like Gibraltar.

The UK public have been sold a blurry dream which is just impossible. The UK wants to have its cake and eat it. How can you be outside the EU and not have a border with the EU in Ireland. And yet Auntie May (as the Chinese like to call her) insists that it is possible. It is not "to be or not to be, that is the question". The question here is how can we "be and not be" at the same time. The obvious answer is that it is effing impossible. And yet, here we are.

I am afraid this could well be "the beginning of the end" of the UK. If a backstop is put into place it could well drive Northern Ireland to rejoin the Republic of Ireland. Scotland voted to Remain and this could well be the nail that secures Scotland's independence.  I think the public were never really aware of what all this entailed.

It has been a total and unmitigated disaster and is the responsibility of the political class. The public at large, in any country, are uneducated fools who will follow their leaders. The UK used to have world class leaders and are, sadly, now reduced to people like Cameron and May. The leaders have failed their people.

A hard Brexit would be an unmitigated disaster and UK leaders are very aware of that. A soft Brexit, besides being impossible is, well, impossible. And it makes no sense. The whole thing is a mess.

Go to Youtube and listen to James O'Brien's callers who are for Brexit. Not a single one of them can articulate anything clear and specific. It is all nebulous feelings of xenophobia directed at immigrants, competition, the EU, etc. They do not say it openly and clearly but that is what underlies their feelings.

In China they are having a field day watching the British Circus.
http://video.sina.cn/news/2019-04-02/detail-ihtxyzsm2524544.d.html (http://video.sina.cn/news/2019-04-02/detail-ihtxyzsm2524544.d.html)
http://video.sina.cn/news/2019-03-07/detail-ihsxncvh0655131.d.html (http://video.sina.cn/news/2019-03-07/detail-ihsxncvh0655131.d.html)
They have not forgotten that a bit over a century ago they were invaded and humiliated by the UK and other western countries and I suspect they may be getting some satisfaction seeing how China is growing in power while the UK is mired in this mess of their own making.

And not only in China, here is John Oliver:
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaBQfSAVt0s (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaBQfSAVt0s)
 (BTW, I wonder if that video is censored in the UK.)
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: apis on April 02, 2019, 01:23:59 pm
To me it sounds more likely there will be a hard Brexit no deal. The British parliament keeps saying no to all proposals from their PM and time is running out. The reasonable thing now would be for GB to ask the EU for another delay, so I assume the opposite will happen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3TT1VE8Jq0 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3TT1VE8Jq0)
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: soldar on April 02, 2019, 03:14:41 pm
This is like watching a train wreck in slow motion. The train going steadily towards the cliff and nobody has the common sense to stop it because "that's what the people voted".

Never mind that most people had no idea what they were voting for or the consequences. Never mind that politicians mislead and lied. There is no going back now. Sorry. You voted and now you are going to get it. Good and hard.

Let's get rid of those stupid regulations! Well, yes, but then you can't sell to the EU. If you want to sell to the EU you will have to meet the regulations anyway with the added bonus that now you have no say in the making of the regulations.

It is so easy to excite people's fears. They are coming to take your jobs and your women! Let us stop them! Then it slowly sinks in that if you stop other people from coming in then other countries will do the same to your people and suddenly things are not as simple as they seemed at first.

As Mencken said
Quote
There is always an easy solution to every human problem--neat, plausible, and wrong.

It is so easy to excite people's fears and bigotry, to make them think they can go back to a time when things were better. Except that (1) you can't go back in time and (2) those imaginary better times never existed anyway.

Politicians are not measuring up to the task ahead. All they seek is personal gain at the expense of the country. They will promise anything while knowing full well it is an impossible lie. They promise you will be outside the EU when it comes to obligations but inside when it comes to benefits. And the people want to believe in any lies that promise the impossible.  A pair of comedians in Spain, when elections were coming up, would promise "two women for every man and two men for every woman". A hard Brexit with no border in Ireland is about as possible... unless the Brits want to try invading Ireland again.

The callers to James O'Brien never cease to amaze me but it just shows people are not rational beings. We are social pack animals and we follow the leader and if the leader says the train must head for the cliff we find comfort in numbers and do not want to be left behind.

Look at this guy:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhtYYjV6ITs (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhtYYjV6ITs)

and watch?v=1xWHg2mdUgE
and watch?v=jpxSybfrsLU
and watch?v=2Z16Os05CX0
and many more. People are just afraid of the future and want to go back to the past. That past that never existed.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: Zero999 on April 02, 2019, 04:23:33 pm
Lots of what you say about Brexit is true and yes, the UK will be worse off. However the EU is morphing into something no one in the UK and many other countries for that matter, never voted for: a superstate. When the UK voted to join the EC, they did so for free trade, not to be part of a superstate. The whole thing needs to be reformed and cut back. Lots of eastern Europe weren't really ready to join the EU and were only let in because the EU feared them gravitating towards Russia. Unfortunately this has caused trouble: look at the mess in Ukraine!

Following EU rules which affect trade is fine. For example, we must produce food which satisfies the EU safety legislation, if it is to be exported to the EU. No one has any problem with that, but some of the rules don't affect trade. One which immediately springs to mind is the colour codes for electrical cables in fixed installations. No houses and apartments are exported to the EU, so they have no business in our building regulations and electrical standards. I can understand rules governing supply voltage tolerance and frequency, but not those affecting the fixed installation. I'm sure there are many other similar rules, but haven't looked them up.

It makes sense for Northern Ireland to reunite: Northern Ireland being part of the UK is not good for either party: Brexit or no Brexit.

The Scottish wanting independence from the UK, yet remain in Europe are even more crazy than anyone who voted for Brexit. There will  be a hard border, when there was none before and Scotland do far more trade with the rest of the UK, than the EU.

Yes Brexit is a clusterfuck. I think there should be another referendum. In fact, there should be two separate ones:

Firstly one with the following two questions:

When the UK leaves the EU, do you want membership of the:

If over 50% answer yes to either of the above questions, then another referendum on Brexit: yes or no.

People whine about referendums: they're costly and repeating the same question is silly and undemocratic, but it's more democratic than what's going on at the moment.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: apis on April 02, 2019, 05:04:35 pm
Cameron choose to throw the dice. I don't think the EU wants a member where half the people feel they are being forced to stay against their will, that's a recipe for an even bigger disaster.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: soldar on April 02, 2019, 05:55:11 pm
Lots of what you say about Brexit is true and yes, the UK will be worse off. However the EU is morphing into something no one in the UK and many other countries for that matter, never voted for: a superstate.  When the UK voted to join the EC, they did so for free trade, not to be part of a superstate.

The EU is what it is and it is what the member states have made it. The EU has made it clear that the four freedoms (the free movement of goods, services, capital and persons within the EU) are integral and cannot be separated or curtailed. If the UK does not accept the package that then it wants out.  Nobody gets to pick and choose. Again, this is like the man who does not take his wife the wife-swapping party. If the UK wants the package then they can be a part of the EU and if they won't accept it then they cannot. As for other countries, no one seems to have such serious problems or objections and they manage to live and solve their issues within the EU.

The whole thing needs to be reformed and cut back.


Again, it is what the member states made it and want it. If the UK doesn't like it then they can go find comfort elsewhere.


Lots of eastern Europe weren't really ready to join the EU and were only let in because the EU feared them gravitating towards Russia. Unfortunately this has caused trouble: look at the mess in Ukraine!

Well, that's a horse of another color and you are touching on another topic which I have followed rather closely. It would require rivers of ink to discuss that so I won't get into it too much except to say IMHO the mess in that area is mainly of EU making, and by this I mean Germany and other supporting countries, and not so much of Russian making. After the fall of the USSR the EU, instigated by the USA, has followed a very bad policy of confrontation with Russia when we should have had a much more realist policy of non-confrontation and cooperation.


Following EU rules which affect trade is fine. For example, we must produce food which satisfies the EU safety legislation, if it is to be exported to the EU. No one has any problem with that,

You might think that. But the UK will have to negotiate from a very weak position with the USA who will try to force the UK to accept American food which is not acceptable in the EU. So the UK has to choose what standards to enforce. American food will be cheaper and some farmers may not be able to compete. Any exports to the EU will need to be inspected and certified to meet EU standards which adds cost and delay. A country inside the EU has an advantage as it does not need this. So this is like saying "we want to have the freedom to shoot ourselves in the foot!" Well, OK, go right ahead.

The entire EU is based on freedom of movement of goods. Parts made in Spain may go to the UK to be incorporated into a motor which will be sent to Germany to be installed in a car which will then be sent back to the UK to be finished. Put tariffs, inspections and delays into that chain and it becomes unworkable.

Not to mention that the UK is not prepared for such situation. It would take many years to create the organization and infrastructure.

I think the people are really not aware of the grave consequences. They really believe everything will pretty much continue the same except now we can stop those Polish people who are taking our jobs. Ask business managers, international corporations, etc. They will tell you of the grave consequences.


but some of the rules don't affect trade. One which immediately springs to mind is the colour codes for electrical cables in fixed installations. No houses and apartments are exported to the EU, so they have no business in our building regulations and electrical standards. I can understand rules governing supply voltage tolerance and frequency, but not those affecting the fixed installation. I'm sure there are many other similar rules, but haven't looked them up.

I had no idea having the liberty to set your own colors was a freedom so important to the British people. Personally I see an advantage in having common standards but, in any case, I am not sure the EU does, in fact, set the color of wiring and it may be a canard like the regulation setting the curvature of bananas. I think there is much anti-EU propaganda. Listen to the callers to James O'Brien. He asks them "what EU law or regulation do you object to specifically?" and nobody is capable of giving a specific example. It is just hand waving and vague assertions. Brexiteers are not driven by reason but by feelings. Feelings which have been created by politicians and propaganda.


It makes sense for Northern Ireland to reunite: Northern Ireland being part of the UK is not good for either party: Brexit or no Brexit.

It may be that this mess will be the last straw needed to tip the balance.


The Scottish wanting independence from the UK, yet remain in Europe are even more crazy than anyone who voted for Brexit. There will  be a hard border, when there was none before and Scotland do far more trade with the rest of the UK, than the EU.

The Scotts would have to choose between being part of the UK and having a hard border with the EU or being part of the EU and having a hard border with the UK. Again, this last straw might be what tips the balance.


Yes Brexit is a clusterfuck. I think there should be another referendum. In fact, there should be two separate ones:

Firstly one with the following two questions:

When the UK leaves the EU, do you want membership of the:
  • single market?
  • customs union?

If over 50% answer yes to either of the above questions, then another referendum on Brexit: yes or no.

People whine about referendums: they're costly and repeating the same question is silly and undemocratic, but it's more democratic than what's going on at the moment.

IMHO having the first referendum was a colossal mistake because it created a huge problem which has divided the people and having another referendum would only aggravate the problem. Those who won the first time around would feel they were cheated. Anyone who lost would be even more bitter. The best way out is not by politicians abdicating their responsibilities and shoving them to the people (who are not educated and informed enough anyway). The best way would be for politicians to fess up and say this was all a huge mistake. Obviously this is not going to happen and the UK will muddle forward with each politician trying to save their own skin and the country be damned.

To me the notion that the UK alone could negotiate better trade deals with America, China, Japan than the EU could is just laughable. If this continues the UK will find itself at the mercy of the big powers. Already it has lost a lot of business. It will be left out of many programs, economic, military, etc. The notion that a country like the UK can stand up to the big economic powers is just laughable.

Again, this is a problem created, not by inevitable circumstances, but by politicians elected by the people and for the people. Well, I hope they enjoy what they voted for.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: Zero999 on April 02, 2019, 07:45:53 pm
I agree that we can't have all of the benefits of being in the EU, without having to follow any of the rules and responsibilities. We simply can't have free trade with the EU, without freedom of movement. The leave campaign lied a lot about this.

You're mistaken that each EU member state has equal power. It doesn't. In reality Germany rules the EU. Not everyone wants ever closer union. One of the reasons why the UK is leaving is because they allowed eastern Europe to join. The EU worked well when all of the member states had roughly equal wealth. There was no mass migration to the UK from Europe before then. Although there were gripes about regulation, it was generally accepted it was a good thing.

You've also partly answered your own question regarding why the UK is fundamentally different from the rest of the EU: it once had a large empire and the fact it's an island. If this isn't so, then why is it the only country who's wants to leave? There is anti-EU sentiment in other member states, but it's nowhere near as strong. The EU needs to change and I'm not saying this because I think it should just change in the UK's favour, but for everyone.

Another thing to note is that when the UK joined the ECC, it did so on the back of  a referendum with a big yes vote. Now the same people who voted to join, have voted to leave, because the EU has become something they never voted for.

The recent referendum was because there was a growing number of people who were dissatisfied with the EU and the conservative party worrying about UKIP gaining power. It's possible that if it hadn't happened, then we would have had UKIP in power in a few years time, which would have been much worse

What laws are enforced on the UK which people don't like? The tampon tax is a classic one. The UK government wants to remove VAT on sanitary product, yet the EU forbids it. This is a stupid law. The EU shouldn't have any right to interfere with what taxes our government imposes on what. It is an internal affair, nothing to do with the EU!

I'm cynical leaving will be as bad as you say, in the long run. Lots of other countries are not in the EU and do quite well: Australia, New Zealand, Japan etc. I agree it will be a massive upheaval. It will cause lots of problems and the UK will be worse off, but doubt it will really be that bad. Also note that aforementioined countries have trade deals with the EU, which don't involve being fully signed up to the single market. The UK doesn't have to accept the US food standards if it doesn't want to, but it would have to accept the increase in food prices.

The government have already proven they can't do this and had abdicated responsibility a long time ago. Another referendum is the only sane way out. The lies and electoral irregularities on behalf of the leave campaign are strong enough reasons to nullify the result and have another one. Although the majority of people would probably vote the same again, I think the result would be to remain, because a few will flip, there will be a greater number of younger voters who'll more likely vote remain and less older ones who've died, since the last one.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: apis on April 02, 2019, 08:57:12 pm
What laws are enforced on the UK which people don't like? The tampon tax is a classic one. The UK government wants to remove VAT on sanitary product, yet the EU forbids it. This is a stupid law. The EU shouldn't have any right to interfere with what taxes our government imposes on what. It is an internal affair, nothing to do with the EU!

I'm cynical leaving will be as bad as you say, in the long run. Lots of other countries are not in the EU and do quite well: Australia, New Zealand, Japan etc. I agree it will be a massive upheaval. It will cause lots of problems and the UK will be worse off, but doubt it will really be that bad. Also note that aforementioined countries have trade deals with the EU, which don't involve being fully signed up to the single market. The UK doesn't have to accept the US food standards if it doesn't want to, but it would have to accept the increase in food prices.
Before you joined the EU, could Scotland have decided to subsidise sanitary products on their own, or would that have to be decided in Westminster?

It is not an internal affair since you are part of the EU's internal market. A country can't decide to subsidise certain products on their own since it will affect the entire market. You would have to make such changes on the EU level (which would be quite possible if you get majority support in the EU).

The alternative you want instead, free trade agreements, are quite different. Then you make a bilateral agreement with e.g. the US on what taxes should apply, and once that agreement has been signed it will be nigh impossible to change. In that case you would have to renegotiate the deals every time you want to subsidise something (e.g. sanitary products) and who do you think will come out on top in deals between the UK and the US/Russia/EU/China? If you decide to subsidise it anyway your country will be sued in a investment court system (something the UK have been an enthusiastic proponent of btw). Who, on average, do you think will win those lawsuits?

EDIT: Reality Check: Does the EU control UK VAT rates?
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36430504 (https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36430504)
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: soldar on April 02, 2019, 09:58:59 pm
Yes, the conversation has segued to Brexit.

You're mistaken that each EU member state has equal power. It doesn't. In reality Germany rules the EU.
No, I never said all members have equal power. Obviously Germany has most power. That is the way the world is. Those who have the money have the power. The question is whether those who have less money and less power are better off associating with the more powerful or not.

The United States are powerful because they realize they are better off together than separately even though that means the weaker states often have to yield to the more powerful.


Not everyone wants ever closer union. One of the reasons why the UK is leaving is because they allowed eastern Europe to join. The EU worked well when all of the member states had roughly equal wealth. There was no mass migration to the UK from Europe before then. Although there were gripes about regulation, it was generally accepted it was a good thing.

Yes, that is the naked truth. Xenophobia.


You've also partly answered your own question regarding why the UK is fundamentally different from the rest of the EU: it once had a large empire and the fact it's an island. If this isn't so, then why is it the only country who's wants to leave?


Because it has lousy politicians?

Some decades ago I was working for an electric power company and we were discussing nuclear power and why some were for it and some were against it. Recently two different countries had held referendums on nuclear power, I forget which countries. One had approved and the other had rejected it. We all agreed that nuclear power held the same pros and cons for both countries and the only reason it had been approved in one and rejected in the other was because it had been presented differently. I mean, come on, the average citizen is nowhere near qualified to judge such a complex issue. It becomes a popularity contest. A publicity campaign. If you want to get people to vote one way or the other you do not engage in deep discussions which nobody would understand anyway, no, you get some good looking celebrity to spout good sounding sound bites.

The responsibility of politicians is to make prudent and sound decisions based on studies and advice from experts and they are not doing their job when they kcik the decision back to the people. It is an easy way to renounce their responsibility. Politicians are supposed to be leaders and not followers.


There is anti-EU sentiment in other member states, but it's nowhere near as strong. The EU needs to change and I'm not saying this because I think it should just change in the UK's favour, but for everyone.

This is one of those vague, generic assertions that no one specifies. Again, the EU is what its members have agreed they want it to be. If there was a general consensus that something should change, they would change it.

Of course any voting system or any system of representation can be criticized because there is no system that is objectively superior to all others. Countries with proportional representation will have a hard time understanding "first past the post" UK system where a party can have a huge majority of MPs with a very small majority of vote. It hardly seems fair or even democratic. So, objectively, other countries are probably more "democratic".


Another thing to note is that when the UK joined the ECC, it did so on the back of  a referendum with a big yes vote. Now the same people who voted to join, have voted to leave, because the EU has become something they never voted for.
No, the reason they voted to join and now voted to leave is because their leaders presented it to them that way. Leaders will get the people to vote for whatever they want. The great majority of the British people could not tell you the simplest thing about the EU. They will just repeat the talking points they have heard whatever leader they follow.


What laws are enforced on the UK which people don't like? The tampon tax is a classic one. The UK government wants to remove VAT on sanitary product, yet the EU forbids it. This is a stupid law. The EU shouldn't have any right to interfere with what taxes our government imposes on what. It is an internal affair, nothing to do with the EU!


I am not familiar with the tampon law but I am very cynical because lately it seems every newscast needs to include some women's issue. I have to confess the issue of tampons is not something I follow very closely. There have been complaints in Spain about the same tax and for the same reason: it is a bullshit, made-up problem that some group can take as a cause to fight for.  This sound totally like a populist demagoguery issue. I know in Spain the tax was lowered on tampons so it's not like the EU tells us exactly what the tax should be.  VAT varies a lot among EU member countries so it's not like the EU imposes the rates. I imagine there might be certain bands or ranges it allows with the objective of avoiding huge taxation differences among countries. Again, if this is unacceptable for the UK then the UK does not belong in the EU.

https://infacts.org/new-eu-plans-scrap-tampon-tax/ (https://infacts.org/new-eu-plans-scrap-tampon-tax/)
Quote
The aim of setting lower limits to VAT across the EU is to prevent a race to the bottom in taxation, which could encourage cross-border shopping for many items. This could distort the single market, tie up businesses in red tape and reduce government revenues. The UK was a driving force behind regulating VAT at the time, and remains in favour of coordination.
So, the some in the UK are against something which the UK voted in favor of doing. And all the blame lies with the EU. OK.

The question is whether the UK will be better or worse off outside the EU and the consensus among the better informed and more knowledgeable is that it will be significantly worse. To me that also seems to be the most intuitive answer: that union makes strength and separation means weakness and disadvantage.

The USA is strong (among other reasons) because they have remained united. Latin American countries are weak (among other reasons) because they are divided and easy pickings for the stronger countries. China now is strong because it is united and following a stable direction. Two hundred years ago they were divided and easy pickings for western powers


I'm cynical leaving will be as bad as you say, in the long run. Lots of other countries are not in the EU and do quite well: Australia, New Zealand, Japan etc. I agree it will be a massive upheaval. It will cause lots of problems and the UK will be worse off, but doubt it will really be that bad. Also note that aforementioined countries have trade deals with the EU, which don't involve being fully signed up to the single market. The UK doesn't have to accept the US food standards if it doesn't want to, but it would have to accept the increase in food prices.


To me that's like saying "I'm going to shoot myself in the foot and, yes, it will be painful but I will still be able to walk (with crutches)".


The government have already proven they can't do this and had abdicated responsibility a long time ago. Another referendum is the only sane way out. The lies and electoral irregularities on behalf of the leave campaign are strong enough reasons to nullify the result and have another one. Although the majority of people would probably vote the same again, I think the result would be to remain, because a few will flip, there will be a greater number of younger voters who'll more likely vote remain and less older ones who've died, since the last one.

Well, I agree. But i think it was foolish to decide the issue with such a tiny majority in the first place. It would have made more sense to require a supermajority of two thirds in each of Scotland, Northern Ireland and England and Wales. And ask a question that was clear in what it proposed rather than such a vague question because, strictly speaking Brexit should mean out with no deal at all. Which, by the way, I think pretty much everybody knows by now would be a huge disaster so nobody wants to take responsibility for that. It's like "we're leaving but not yet..."

Reminds me of an old Mexican ballad:
Code: [Select]
Don't threaten me, don't threaten me;
When you've made up your mind to start a new life,
then just leave,
but don't threaten me.
You are old enough, you know life,
you know what you are doing.
Because you say you are leaving,
and you are leaving,
and you are leaving,
and leaving,
but you are still here;
and I am waiting for your love,
waiting for your love,
or waiting for you to forget me.
Just don't threaten me.

Seems oddly appropriate here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZUPlE18VkM (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZUPlE18VkM)

Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: Zero999 on April 02, 2019, 10:27:46 pm
What laws are enforced on the UK which people don't like? The tampon tax is a classic one. The UK government wants to remove VAT on sanitary product, yet the EU forbids it. This is a stupid law. The EU shouldn't have any right to interfere with what taxes our government imposes on what. It is an internal affair, nothing to do with the EU!

I'm cynical leaving will be as bad as you say, in the long run. Lots of other countries are not in the EU and do quite well: Australia, New Zealand, Japan etc. I agree it will be a massive upheaval. It will cause lots of problems and the UK will be worse off, but doubt it will really be that bad. Also note that aforementioined countries have trade deals with the EU, which don't involve being fully signed up to the single market. The UK doesn't have to accept the US food standards if it doesn't want to, but it would have to accept the increase in food prices.
Before you joined the EU, could Scotland have decided to subsidise sanitary products on their own, or would that have to be decided in Westminster?

It is not an internal affair since you are part of the EU's internal market. A country can't decide to subsidise certain products on their own since it will affect the entire market. You would have to make such changes on the EU level (which would be quite possible if you get majority support in the EU).

The alternative you want instead, free trade agreements, are quite different. Then you make a bilateral agreement with e.g. the US on what taxes should apply, and once that agreement has been signed it will be nigh impossible to change. In that case you would have to renegotiate the deals every time you want to subsidise something (e.g. sanitary products) and who do you think will come out on top in deals between the UK and the US/Russia/EU/China? If you decide to subsidise it anyway your country will be sued in a investment court system (something the UK have been an enthusiastic proponent of btw). Who, on average, do you think will win those lawsuits?
No, removing VAT from tampons would not be a subsidy. It's a tax, which is totally different. What products the UK decides to tax or not, does not affect trade with the EU and therefore is none of their business. The EU's VAT regulations is something that needs to change. They're stupid. Each state sets their own level of VAT, but the EU still limits what it can be applied to. :palm:

Even if it was a subsidy, it would be on goods traded internally and apply equally to both imports, as well as UK made ones and doesn't affect the EU. Suppose the UK government decide to subsidise stationary: pencils, paper, etc, sold in UK shops and supermarkets, not imported or exported. They should be allowed to do so, as long as it applies equally, to all stationary.

Your statements about the US, Russia and China are incorrect. They have no control of what taxes and subsidies any foreign power applies to their products. For example, Australia has a trade deal with China, yet China don't tell them what they can and cannot tax or subsidise.

Scotland doesn't have any say what they tax, because they are not a separate state, but part of the UK and have voted to remain so, the same as the local government in the town I live in can't set VAT and subsidies.

Yes, the conversation has segued to Brexit.
Brexit isn't just about xenophobia, although that's part of it. The fact that Germany is the major power is a big problem, because they make the rules to suit themselves, over everyone else. Allowing the poorest countries to join was also a big mistake, because the whole point of the EU is to prevent a race to the bottom right?

Yes, the member states, oh I mean predominantly Germany, have helped to shape the EU, so that must make it perfect then?

If you think the public aren't qualified to make decisions, then why not just have a dictatorship?

The crazy thing is, I actually agree with 90% of what you're saying (the UK is better off in the EU, than alone) but I feel frustrated because you seem to lack the ability to see it from someone else's perspective. You don't understand why some people are dissatisfied with the EU and have voted to leave. There are genuine reasons to be unhappy with the EU, but I think the UK is better being on the inside, so they can continue to press for change, than on the outside.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: forrestc on April 02, 2019, 10:55:15 pm
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?

That isn't the way the system works in in the US.   There are laws on the books which require hospitals to take all patients regardless of ability to pay.    The unfortunate part is that this significantly increases the costs for everyone else, so in effect the people who do pay are paying for those who don't.   

Those who believe we don't have socialized healthcare in the US don't understand how the system works - we still have universal health care, it's just that the 'taxation' is in the form of higher prices for those who pay.   I just wish the politicians would quit pretending that we have a free market health care system (we don't), and fix it either so it is reasonably close to free-market, or just socialize the whole thing.

Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: soldar on April 02, 2019, 11:19:09 pm
No, removing VAT from tampons would not be a subsidy. It's a tax, which is totally different. What products the UK decides to tax or not, does not affect trade with the EU and therefore is none of their business. The EU's VAT regulations is something that needs to change. They're stupid. Each state sets their own level of VAT, but the EU still limits what it can be applied to. :palm:


Again, the UK voted in favor of this so I just cannot see how the UK can complain about something the UK voted for.


Your statements about the US, Russia and China are incorrect. They have no control of what taxes and subsidies any foreign power applies to their products. For example, Australia has a trade deal with China, yet China don't tell them what they can and cannot tax or subsidise.


I do not think anyone has said China has direct control over how any other countries tax anything. But trade negotiations are complex and hard and more leverage is better than less leverage. When the Eu negotiates with China a trade agreement there will be long and hard negotiations where many issues will be discussed and agreed. I will put a lower duty on your chicken exports in exchange for you allowing me to export thingamagigs at half rate. And I will let you invest up to 49% in my country's tech companies in exchange for technology transfer. etc. The EU has leverage that the UK can never hope to have on its own.

Yes, the member states have helped to shape the EU, so that must make it perfect then?


I never said the EU is perfect. It is what it is. The UK government or any other government isn't perfect either but nobody suggests getting rid of it. The question is whether it is better to have the EU or to not have it. I say it is better to have it than to have wars regularly every few decades. But that's just me.

If you think the public aren't qualified to make decisions, then why not just have a dictatorship?


I am not in favor of dictatorships, I am in favor of good governments and these seem to be few and far between these days all over Europe.

The crazy thing is, I actually agree with 90% of what you're saying (the UK is better off in the EU, than alone) but I feel frustrated because you seem to lack the ability to see it from someone else's perspective. You don't understand why some people are dissatisfied with the EU and voted to leave. There are genuine reasons to be unhappy with the EU, but I think the UK is better being on the inside, so they can continue to press for change, than on the outside.

I am sorry if I give you the wrong impression. I know and understand that many Brits feel they want to leave but, again, I have never heard a convincing rational explanation, only feelings based on lies and stereotypes. Listen to James O'Brien's callers. He always asks them the same questions: "How is the EU prejudicial to you now? How is Brexit going to benefit YOU." And all you hear is vague assertions repeated third hand. But even if someone said "I will be paying lower tax when I buy tampons" the next question would be "do you think the price we will pay in other costs is worth the saving a bit when buying tampons?"


There are genuine reasons to be unhappy with the EU, but I think the UK is better being on the inside, so they can continue to press for change, than on the outside.
I totally agree with you.

No country, no government is perfect and the thing to do is to be constructive and work from inside to make things better and not to leave and work from outside. Engage, not retreat.

I have been very much an anglophile all my life and I admire that the British have what is objectively an outdated system of government but they make it work whereas other countries might have wonderful constitutions and laws on paper but the people cannot make them work effectively.

In my view what is happening in the UK with Brexit is out of character for the UK. The British were always very intelligent in their dealings with other countries and with their colonies and this Brexit mess is totally out of character. It is something I might expect from the French or other southern country but not from the Brits.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: rstofer on April 02, 2019, 11:40:22 pm
This is like watching a train wreck in slow motion. The train going steadily towards the cliff and nobody has the common sense to stop it because "that's what the people voted".

I have been watching this show since the beginning.  The EU gave the UK nothing in the negotiations.  They didn't have to so they didn't.  All the EU wanted was the $39B pounds.

Were it me, I would leave on the 12th of April with no deal.  Suddenly, on the 13th, both sides would have a renewed interest in the real issues of trade and defense/security.  What's with the EU locking the UK out of the Galileo project in which they invested 1.2B (dollars, pounds or euros, I don't know which)?  That is a gigantic mistake!  Two of the ground stations are on UK protectorates, the Falklands, for one.

I really wish the UK had left on the 29th of March as intended.  Everything would be settled by now.

Really, the big issue for the UK voters was the truly stupid "Freedom of Movement" that brought everything to a boil.  The voters didn't care how Parliament got the UK out of the EU, they don't, even today, care much about the Withdrawal Agreement, they simply want to be gone and rid of "Freedom of Movement".

Brexit is the most significant political event of the 21st century and probably of the last 100 years.  I wish the UK well.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: soldar on April 03, 2019, 08:17:45 am
Were it me, I would leave on the 12th of April with no deal. 

Well, that's another point of view but I think it misses a lot. It is like saying to someone who has blisters in a foot to just "shoot your foot off and be done with it". Yes, the problem with the blisters will be gone but suddenly you've got a bigger problem.

Everybody has said a hard border in Northern Ireland is a no-no so that rules out a no deal Brexit. There are several hundred thousand Britishers living in Spain. Who is going to be the one to tell them they must pack up and leave overnight? How is the UK going to manage the chaos and shortages? Suddenly UK trucks would not be allowed on EU roads without special permits. The UK is not prepared for a no deal Brexit. It would become the North Korea of Europe.

Brexiteers confidently thought UK could get everything they wanted by playing one country against another. Now their confidence has been shaken because that did not happen. At all. So, understandably, they consider whether taking a next big step might also backfire.

Parliament voted NO to a no deal Brexit because they have realized things are not as simple as they might have seemed at first and it would create a huge problem in Ireland as well as at all other borders. UK is just not prepared for a no deal Brexit.

Parliament voted NO to May's deal because they want a better deal. But that is all the EU is willing to offer and has said the negotiations have ended.

So, UK has rejected all possible options. They want Brexit but they cannot agree on what Brexit means. They have had almost three years to prepare and have done nothing but argue among themselves. UK should have sorted themselves out before invoking article 50 and yet they invoked it thinking things would be fine in the end. That kind of irresponsible acting is what you expect of southern European countries, not of the UK.

This is a tremendous case of irresponsibility and wishful thinking that things would sort themselves out in the end.  Well, they didn't.  It is wise to not take the next step of no-deal Brexit because it would be another miscalculation.

UK has painted itself into a corner so the only option left for Parliament is to hold their breath until they turn purple in the face. Like a spoiled baby who won't eat their dinner.

This will be looked at as an example of how not to do politics and how what remained of a world power dissolved into dust and passed into oblivion.

The EU is like family. A pain to put up with them, listen to them and accommodate them. But you get a lot in exchange. They help you when you need them and you can always count on them being there for you.  It is simple to say "just cut them out of your life" but on the whole it might not be advantageous to do it.

I have to say I have been watching many hours of Parliament proceedings on TV and I find it very entertaining. 

I have started referring to my wife in the third person as "the Right Honorable Lady" but did not anticipate that now, when I start to say or do something she does not entirely like she will say "ORDER, ...... OR-DEEEEER!". :)
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: Zero999 on April 03, 2019, 10:22:41 am
No, removing VAT from tampons would not be a subsidy. It's a tax, which is totally different. What products the UK decides to tax or not, does not affect trade with the EU and therefore is none of their business. The EU's VAT regulations is something that needs to change. They're stupid. Each state sets their own level of VAT, but the EU still limits what it can be applied to. :palm:


Again, the UK voted in favor of this so I just cannot see how the UK can complain about something the UK voted for.
But the public did not vote for this, when the originally voted to join. Fine you correctly state that the UK's elected government allowed this to happen, as they've been a EU member when the regulations were introduced, but this is not the same thing. The EU adds another layer of separation between the voters and rule makers.

The biggest problem with the EU is feature creep, which some people in the UK have found increasing intrusive. I agree being a member brings more benefits, than it does harm, but that doesn't change how some people feel.

Quote
I have been very much an anglophile all my life and I admire that the British have what is objectively an outdated system of government but they make it work whereas other countries might have wonderful constitutions and laws on paper but the people cannot make them work effectively.

In my view what is happening in the UK with Brexit is out of character for the UK. The British were always very intelligent in their dealings with other countries and with their colonies and this Brexit mess is totally out of character. It is something I might expect from the French or other southern country but not from the Brits.
I've seen this coming for a long time, long before the referendum. Lots of people in the EU seem to be shocked at the UK deciding to leave, but it's not new.

Were it me, I would leave on the 12th of April with no deal. 

Well, that's another point of view but I think it misses a lot. It is like saying to someone who has blisters in a foot to just "shoot your foot off and be done with it". Yes, the problem with the blisters will be gone but suddenly you've got a bigger problem.

Everybody has said a hard border in Northern Ireland is a no-no so that rules out a no deal Brexit. There are several hundred thousand Britishers living in Spain. Who is going to be the one to tell them they must pack up and leave overnight? How is the UK going to manage the chaos and shortages? Suddenly UK trucks would not be allowed on EU roads without special permits. The UK is not prepared for a no deal Brexit. It would become the North Korea of Europe.
I agree that the UK government has messed up here, but the EU isn't prepared for a no-deal either. I think even if there is no deal, the EU will ensure there's no hard border with Ireland, for their sake, not the UK's of course and the same goes for many other things. I'm not saying everything will be fine, just that it might not be as bad as some say.

As far as non-UK, former EU citizens' status: I thought that had been already agreed, irrespective of whether there's a deal or not. Anyone from the EU, currently living in the UK can apply to stay and will be accepted, as long as they're not a criminal.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: SilverSolder on April 03, 2019, 12:56:29 pm
A lot of it is down to the fact that the UK is very different, both socially and politically to most other European countries.

Having worked in several European countries, I believe this view is somewhat overdone.   Of course each European country is different, and each has a different national character and language,  but we generally do more things in common than different, when you look under the flags.

Too many British people genuinely feel that (1) their own government is incompetent, and (2) the EU is an international plot against their country. This allows them an intellectual "out" - they wash their hands of both of them and say "Nothing to do with me, mate!" while problems remain unfixed in both spheres, and good things are ignored.



Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: soldar on April 03, 2019, 03:53:18 pm
But the public did not vote for this, when the originally voted to join. Fine you correctly state that the UK's elected government allowed this to happen, as they've been a EU member when the regulations were introduced, but this is not the same thing. The EU adds another layer of separation between the voters and rule makers.

The representatives the people of the UK chose to represent them in the EU voted for something and they got what they voted for. And this proves all that is wrong with the EU? I am afraid I do not quite follow you here.

Again, I think so much nationalism growing, not only in the UK but around the world, is based much more on propaganda and gut feelings than on any objective problems created by international cooperation.

To me nationalism is poison which only leads to bad things.

I am reminded of the story where an optimist and a pessimist are discussing what is going on and the optimist says: "If things continue to deteriorate like this we will end up eating shit", to which the pessimist replies: "Do you think there will be enough shit to go around?"

If a democratically elected body failing to make everybody happy is a reason to dissolve it then the UK should dissolve Parliament and Government and Monarchy, call for a constitutional convention and institute a republican government.

Nations who defensively retreat from engagement in the world stage are nations who soon become irrelevant while nations that bravely go out and face the future and are not afraid of change, of progress, be it trade, industrialization, robots, whatever, are nations that become world leaders. 

https://twitter.com/Scotland/status/1111562008065904640
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: Zero999 on April 03, 2019, 04:20:36 pm
But the public did not vote for this, when the originally voted to join. Fine you correctly state that the UK's elected government allowed this to happen, as they've been a EU member when the regulations were introduced, but this is not the same thing. The EU adds another layer of separation between the voters and rule makers.

The representatives the people of the UK chose to represent them in the EU voted for something and they got what they voted for. And this proves all that is wrong with the EU? I am afraid I do not quite follow you here.
If a group of people in the UK feel strongly about a certain issue, they can lobby their local member of parliament and hopefully stand a chance of getting it changed. If it can't be changed, because it violates an EU law, then getting it through is much more difficult. They have to get the UK representatives, in the EU parliament to back them and then all the other states have to agree. In many cases it's just too difficult, so it doesn't change.

I'm in favour of remaining in the EU, but I think it needs to be scaled back somewhat (fewer laws, not more and a looser, not closer union) although I accept that won't happen. The main reason why I voted to remain is because the EU is heading towards becoming the United States of Europe (USE) and few people want that and we need to be in it, to stop it from going any further. If we leave, it will be in name only, the government won't allow us to leave the customs union and single market with good reason, which means we'll be tied into becoming an associate member of the USE, with no deciding vote on anything.

A lot of it is down to the fact that the UK is very different, both socially and politically to most other European countries.

Having worked in several European countries, I believe this view is somewhat overdone.   Of course each European country is different, and each has a different national character and language,  but we generally do more things in common than different, when you look under the flags.

Too many British people genuinely feel that (1) their own government is incompetent, and (2) the EU is an international plot against their country. This allows them an intellectual "out" - they wash their hands of both of them and say "Nothing to do with me, mate!" while problems remain unfixed in both spheres, and good things are ignored.

The UK should want to be in Europe for the benefits, not because it's scared of leaving. If the UK only remains in the EU due to fear, then is the EU really a union?
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: rstofer on April 03, 2019, 04:24:11 pm
Were it me, I would leave on the 12th of April with no deal. 

Well, that's another point of view but I think it misses a lot. It is like saying to someone who has blisters in a foot to just "shoot your foot off and be done with it". Yes, the problem with the blisters will be gone but suddenly you've got a bigger problem.

Everybody has said a hard border in Northern Ireland is a no-no so that rules out a no deal Brexit. There are several hundred thousand Britishers living in Spain. Who is going to be the one to tell them they must pack up and leave overnight? How is the UK going to manage the chaos and shortages? Suddenly UK trucks would not be allowed on EU roads without special permits. The UK is not prepared for a no deal Brexit. It would become the North Korea of Europe.


Yup, the fear mongering runs rampant!

Every technology based solution to the NI border has been rejected.  All the EU wants to discuss is forcing, at least, NI to remain in the Customs Union regardless of what happens to the rest of the UK.  In other words, a border down the Irish Sea.  Hopefully, not happening.  It's funny, other non-EU countries don't seem to have a problem with borders.

Make no mistake, the only reason for the NI issue is that the ROI is making a run at reuniting the island.  The taoiseach is punching way above his weight.  He's going to be in a world of hurt when the ROI can't use the land route through the UK to get to the rest of the EU.  Or the UK charges tariffs and exit duties on cargo passing through...  That would be my starting position.  After all, damage to highways is caused by trucks, not cars.  Outsiders should pay their fair share - plus everybody else's share.

Then there is Spain making a run at Gibraltar.  Again, they know it's not going to happen but they keep poking a stick in the process.  Do the Spanish really expect the UK to surrender Gibraltar just to have a better deal with the EU?  Not going to happen and everybody knows it.  A lot of Spanish folks are going to lose their jobs in Gibraltar when the border gets locked down.
 
No deal is the only way to avoid being trapped into some kind of Customs Union and "Free Movement" which is, of course, the entire reason for Brexit.  The people who live in the UK don't like some of the 'features' of the EU, most importantly "Freedom of Movement".

Limiting UK trucks would result with similar restrictions on EU trucks.  Who has the most to lose?  The EU enjoys a trade imbalance so it's pretty obvious the EU won't like the outcome.  But why not?  Go ahead and stop trade.  And what happens when China sides with the EU (not exclusively, of course) and the US sides with the UK (exclusively).  Trade wars can get ugly.  But the US has a stronger bond with the UK than it does with the rest of the EU.

I suppose you want to throw in 'landing rights'.  Well, don't forget about 'overflight' and the fact that the UK controls ALL northern routes for all airplanes, regardless of destination.  This is another all-lose battle.  But the EU wants to throw it out there anyway.  They know they will lose but they want to continue to issue threats.  Unfortunately, at some point people dig in their heels.

There are mini-deals, outside the withdrawal agreement that cover things like landing rights, overflight, citizen's rights (I'm not sure about medical) and other mutually destructive issues.  Whether these remain after no deal remains to be seen.

Yes, the EU can go full retard (they already have) and run relations into the ground (they already have).

There's no reason for any agreements in advance.  WTO rules will take care of trade, all countries have hired more inspectors so they should be good to go.  On the 13th of April people will see more clearly which issues need to be resolved in which order.  It will all work out in a couple of years.  But mostly, the UK won't be in an all-lose negotiating position.

Unfortunately, Theresa May wants to push her Chequers deal regardless of the damage it does to the UK.  For a long while I thought she had a handle on things.  Today I am convinced she is the worst negotiator, EVER!

Regardless of how Brexit works out, the relationship between the UK and the rest of the EU is destroyed, probably forever.  Any good will that existed prior to the referendum is gone and relations are at a historic low.  The staggering arrogance of the EU during these negotiations will eventually bite them in the ass.

Even if Brexit were reversed, the relationship will never be as cordial as it was prior to the referendum.

And Italy is right behind followed by Greece.  The dominoes are falling...
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: Zero999 on April 03, 2019, 07:07:58 pm
Yes freedom of movement was a big factor in Brexit.

The trouble is, although the US would love it, not everyone here would be happy with a trade deal with the US and it has nothing to do with anti-Americanism. People here wouldn't accept many US food regulations. Take chlorine washed meat for example. The EU hygiene laws prevent shit from getting on the meat during slaughter and butchery. It's all carried out as cleanly as possible. In the US a less clean approach is allowed, as long as it's cleaned afterwards.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: Rick Law on April 03, 2019, 08:10:49 pm
There are many forms of machines making our lives better.  The discussion thus far has been conflating these different forms.  I think it may be helpful to discuss each form by itself.

But first, let me bring this point in:

Not too far from where I live, there is a community-college-size facility for the mentally retarded.  This charity-run facility houses them, care for them, and it also contracted local businesses to employ them.  They do really simple jobs - to the extend of their mental ability.  In many cases, when you include logistics of moving the work there and moving the product back, their productivity is negative - they produce less than the cost of production.  BUT, such work give the workers a sense of dignity of having a job and earning an income.

I am almost 100% sure that no one in this forum will want to eliminate this type of negative-productivity outfits.

Back to my first paragraph on many ways machines making our lives better.

The different levels or types of automation matter.  Not being a robotics guy, this is the way I divide them:
 
- At the simplest is mechanization such as farm tractors for farming or steam-engines for a boat.  At the mechanization level, a human operator or operators are deciding and controlling at every point in time.  It may have simple "decision power" that is based on objective targets.  A steam-engine's governor is an example of such "decision power."  The spinning mechanism uses centripetal force of the balls at the ends of a spinning rod to pull the shut-off to prevent it from going too fast.  The target is the set-speed.  No reasoning but just "is the target reached?"

- At the next level is repetitive automation such as early (1980's) automotive manufacturing robots repeating the tasks on each car and with only very simple decision making power.  This is rather like the airport's automated train running the circle stopping at every terminal in the enclosed airport.

- At the 3rd level is AI - now machines are using reasoning powers, objective and subjective judgments to make decisions and execute without human intervention.  This would be like a fully automated self-driving car.  Single function (driving), and bolted to the car.

- At the 4th is AI+Robotics  with ability to execute and with mobility - not a bolted down machine anymore, and can be multi-function.  This is rather like the robots and automated machines depicted in the movie i.Robot.  Not just "Sonny" but the house wracking machines since it can wrack anything else.

I believe type 4 (AI+Robotics) is the one most "worrisome" and the one that should be discussed.  Simple mechanization or simple repetitive automation takes jobs too, but that is something one can overcome.  AI+Robotics is an automation that may exceed our ability to adapt.

I don't want to debate the exact IQ numbers, but I believe all of us here would agree that human beings have a spread of IQ and some tasks require very high IQ to do while some other tasks require little.  The types of tasks an individual with average IQ can do is more than the types of tasks an individual with an IQ one standard deviation below average can do.

As AI+Robotics improves, what it can do will exceed what a person with average IQ can do.  What then?   Would we accept half the population without employment?  People without a function and without the dignity of self-sufficiency would likely be a very unhappy population and perhaps a trouble-causing population.  As AI improves, it could get to a point only top 1% IQ can have a dignify life of being self-sufficient.  What then?


Right now, I think AI+Robotics can probably replace most with IQ less than say 3SD below average, perhaps 2SD below, perhaps even 1SD blow.  Can society exist with that many unhappy individuals?  Should we use drones to control such large and potentially disruptive individuals?

(edited for spelling and wording correction)
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: apis on April 03, 2019, 09:02:36 pm
What laws are enforced on the UK which people don't like? The tampon tax is a classic one. The UK government wants to remove VAT on sanitary product, yet the EU forbids it. This is a stupid law. The EU shouldn't have any right to interfere with what taxes our government imposes on what. It is an internal affair, nothing to do with the EU!

I'm cynical leaving will be as bad as you say, in the long run. Lots of other countries are not in the EU and do quite well: Australia, New Zealand, Japan etc. I agree it will be a massive upheaval. It will cause lots of problems and the UK will be worse off, but doubt it will really be that bad. Also note that aforementioined countries have trade deals with the EU, which don't involve being fully signed up to the single market. The UK doesn't have to accept the US food standards if it doesn't want to, but it would have to accept the increase in food prices.
Before you joined the EU, could Scotland have decided to subsidise sanitary products on their own, or would that have to be decided in Westminster?

It is not an internal affair since you are part of the EU's internal market. A country can't decide to subsidise certain products on their own since it will affect the entire market. You would have to make such changes on the EU level (which would be quite possible if you get majority support in the EU).

The alternative you want instead, free trade agreements, are quite different. Then you make a bilateral agreement with e.g. the US on what taxes should apply, and once that agreement has been signed it will be nigh impossible to change. In that case you would have to renegotiate the deals every time you want to subsidise something (e.g. sanitary products) and who do you think will come out on top in deals between the UK and the US/Russia/EU/China? If you decide to subsidise it anyway your country will be sued in a investment court system (something the UK have been an enthusiastic proponent of btw). Who, on average, do you think will win those lawsuits?
No, removing VAT from tampons would not be a subsidy. It's a tax, which is totally different. What products the UK decides to tax or not, does not affect trade with the EU and therefore is none of their business. The EU's VAT regulations is something that needs to change. They're stupid. Each state sets their own level of VAT, but the EU still limits what it can be applied to. :palm:

Even if it was a subsidy, it would be on goods traded internally and apply equally to both imports, as well as UK made ones and doesn't affect the EU. Suppose the UK government decide to subsidise stationary: pencils, paper, etc, sold in UK shops and supermarkets, not imported or exported. They should be allowed to do so, as long as it applies equally, to all stationary.

(...)

Scotland doesn't have any say what they tax, because they are not a separate state, but part of the UK and have voted to remain so, the same as the local government in the town I live in can't set VAT and subsidies.
A tax break is a form of subsidy (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subsidy (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subsidy)).

Scotland couldn't decide to reduce taxes on a specific item themselves because they were part of the same internal market as England, so those issues had to be decided together with England. In exactly the same way, since the UK joined the EU it choose to became part of the EU's internal market (or common market if you will), and so if you want to subsidise certain products it would have to be decided on the EU level together with the other member states that you share the market with.

It might be as you say, that reducing vat on sanitary products wouldn't affect the market in an unfair way, but it would still have to be managed at the EU level since the UK are part of the EU's internal market.

I'm not sure if you saw it, I edited it in later, but this page from the BBC discuss the issue:
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36430504 (https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36430504)

Your statements about the US, Russia and China are incorrect. They have no control of what taxes and subsidies any foreign power applies to their products. For example, Australia has a trade deal with China, yet China don't tell them what they can and cannot tax or subsidise.
You forgot the EU in your list and I did not say the countries would sue you. Free trade agreements works like this: you make a deal with another country outlining which taxes, environmental and labour rules should apply (etc, all regulations that affect the market). After you have made that deal you can't easily change any regulations without renegotiating the deal (which of course will be a serious obstacle to any new reforms). If you do change regulations anyway you will be sued, not by the other state, but by the corporations that feel they are being adversely affected by the new regulation.

Australia, for example, was sued not by the US but by Philip Morris for putting health warnings on cigarette packages.

The US and Canada also has such a free trade deal (NAFTA):
Quote
S.D. Myers v. Canada
Between 1995 and 1997 the Canadian government banned the export of toxic PCB waste, in order to comply with its obligations under the Basel Convention, of which the United States is not a party. Waste treatment company S.D. Myers then sued the Canadian government under NAFTA Chapter 11 for $20 million in damages. The claim was upheld by a NAFTA Tribunal in 2000.[40][41]

Ethyl Corporation v. Canada
In April 1997 the Canadian parliament banned the import and transport of MMT, a gasoline additive, over concerns that it poses a significant public health risk. Ethyl Corporation, the additive's manufacturer, sued the Canadian Government under NAFTA Chapter 11 for $251 million, to cover losses resulting from the "expropriation" of both its MMT production plant and its "good reputation".[43]
A similar challenge was launched by three Canadian provinces, under the Agreement on Internal Trade, and was upheld by a Canadian dispute settlement panel.[44] Consequently, the Canadian government repealed the ban and paid Ethyl Corporation $15 million as compensation.[45]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Investor-state_dispute_settlement (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Investor-state_dispute_settlement)

You might want to take a careful look at the Wikipedia article on Investor-state dispute settlement since it will be very important to your country in the future.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: SilverSolder on April 03, 2019, 10:46:38 pm
  • Brexit has proven our own government is incompetent.
  • Just read back through the last page of comments by those in other European countries and note some of the language used i.e. UK being in a barrel. Is it any surprise some people feel that way about Europe?

It is hard for the government to "do the right thing" when the country is evenly split, with passionate voices on both sides that have valid points.  The incompetence, if any, probably lies in getting into this mess in the first place, with no plan.

Some of the brexiter politicians have made unfortunate statements about the EU which at least some people in other countries are bound to take personally.  Even if you disagree with the treaties your country has signed and lived with for 45 years, is there any reason for senior politicians to resort to insulting other people? (Boris, we're thinking of you.)  British people have a reputation for being civil and polite, so people don't know what to make of the vitriol.


The UK should want to be in Europe for the benefits, not because it's scared of leaving. If the UK only remains in the EU due to fear, then is the EU really a union?

I would think many Europeans have adopted an attitude similar to yours, i.e. that the EU is a "necessary evil" for a number of different reasons, trade being one of them, influence another ("ganging up" is the only way European countries are ever going to have a say vs. Trump or Xi).  As one Scandinavian chap told me after being introduced to the power of 4 Bitters, "all politicians are @rseholes, but we need to make sure at least some of the @rseholes in Brussels are OUR OWN!!"  :-DD

Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: SilverSolder on April 03, 2019, 10:53:28 pm

There are many forms of machines making our lives better.


Ever since the first caveman picked up a club and found it a good tool for various jobs,  we have been going down the path to increasing technology.

At some point it will get so sophisticated that it will all be indistinguishable from magic (hat tip Arthur C. Clarke).

At that point, the concept of a "job" and "earning a living" will be very different from what they are today!

The challenge of living a happy and fulfilled life, whatever our current level of technology, has always been with us and is probably the one thing that won't become too much easier no matter what level of technology we achieve...
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: rstofer on April 03, 2019, 11:11:26 pm
Some of the brexiter politicians have made unfortunate statements about the EU which at least some people in other countries are bound to take personally.  Even if you disagree with the treaties your country has signed and lived with for 45 years, is there any reason for senior politicians to resort to insulting other people? (Boris, we're thinking of you.)  British people have a reputation for being civil and polite, so people don't know what to make of the vitriol.

And you consider Juncker, Tusk and Barnier as polite?  To be fair, Barnier isn't as bad as the other two.  What about Verhofstadt or the German Minister Michael Roth?  Macron?  About the only high level EU representative that hasn't trashed the UK is Merkel and she has her own problems.  Not least because she championed this Freedom of Movement deal.  What about Varadkar?

Then we have Spain and Pedro Sanchez.

As I posted earlier, it doesn't matter how Brexit works out, there is irreparable damage to the working relationships.  Nobody in the EU will ever trust the UK again and I suspect the UK feels the same.

The EU could have made this process clean and easy.  Instead they went out of their way to make it as difficult as possible and humiliating for the UK at every point along the way.

We'll just have to see how it works out.




Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: apis on April 03, 2019, 11:39:27 pm
As I posted earlier, it doesn't matter how Brexit works out, there is irreparable damage to the working relationships.  Nobody in the EU will ever trust the UK again and I suspect the UK feels the same.
Divide and conquer. The enemies of the EU and the UK are no doubt celebrating right now.

The EU could have made this process clean and easy.  Instead they went out of their way to make it as difficult as possible and humiliating for the UK at every point along the way.
BS. The EU is bending over backwards to accommodate Theresa May. They are screwing the EU and they want EU to thank them for it? Leaving was never going to be pain free, especially when some people go out of their way trying to make us mistrust each other.

The EU's 'SECRET' Brexit Negotiation EXPOSED 🙄
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agZ0xISi40E (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agZ0xISi40E)
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: rstofer on April 04, 2019, 12:10:40 am
As I posted earlier, it doesn't matter how Brexit works out, there is irreparable damage to the working relationships.  Nobody in the EU will ever trust the UK again and I suspect the UK feels the same.
Divide and conquer. The enemies of the EU and the UK are no doubt celebrating right now.

The EU could have made this process clean and easy.  Instead they went out of their way to make it as difficult as possible and humiliating for the UK at every point along the way.
BS. The EU is bending over backwards to accommodate Theresa May. They are screwing the EU and they want EU to thank them for it? Leaving was never going to be pain free, especially when some people go out of their way trying to make us mistrust each other.

It's a mess, no doubt!  But has anybody in the EU given even an inch on the backstop once they realized is was a no-go?  What's the story with Spain and Gibraltar?  How about Galileo?  When are they going to move the ground stations?  The EU hasn't given anything at all, or at least that's the view from the UK (AFAICT).

I think you're right, there's a lot of mistrust and there simply didn't need to be any.  But all the EU wanted was $100B (of which they MIGHT get $39B).  That was the first topic on the agenda.  Trade isn't even on the agenda until after Brexit.  The EU wants the UK to pay vast sums without even a hint that there will be a trade deal at some long distance in the future.  I sure wouldn't sign up for that!  But the agenda was driven by the EU.  Their ball, their rules.  Ask them...

This whole thing should settle out to complete separation and WTO rules.  It's all very simple!  If other topics need refinement, deal with them after the exit.  Over time, trade agreements can be reached that will reduce the tariffs but, on day one, use the rules.  Lots of countries trade using WTO rules.

As to NI, leave it be.  Let it run as it runs today and see how it works out.  The idea that NI can be left in a customs arrangement is nonsense and it isn't going to happen.  Still, with technology and trusted traders, there is no reason for a hard border.  But, no, the ROI thinks they can make a run on NI.  Not going to happen!

This thing would be so much cleaner if the UK had just turned in their notice and walked away.  Kind of like leaving a job.  Turn in your notice, walk out the door.  Pretty darned simple!

In a way, it's kind of like Paul Simon's "Fifty Ways To Leave Your Lover".  Just drop off the key, Lee!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABXtWqmArUU (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABXtWqmArUU)
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: apis on April 04, 2019, 01:34:04 am
It's a mess, no doubt!  But has anybody in the EU given even an inch on the backstop once they realized is was a no-go?
The backstop has nothing to do with EU, it's the UK that is arguing about what to do internally.

The EU just wants to get it over with. In fact patience in the EU is running out, the UK will not be able to delay past may 22 since that means they would have to participate in elections to the EU parliament, and for obvious reasons many in the EU doesn't want a parliament full of brexiters. So unless the UK can make up their mind before that date it will likely be a no-deal Brexit.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1Yv24cM2os (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1Yv24cM2os)
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: rstofer on April 04, 2019, 04:17:22 am
The UK should have been held to Mar 29.  If issues couldn't be resolved in 2 years, a couple of weeks or even a couple of  months aren't going to change things.

It will be interesting to see if the UK Supreme Court agrees that, by UK law, the UK left on the 29th of March.  Wouldn't that be a hoot!  I suppose there is some validity to the idea that Mar 29th was set by law and the law itself was never changed.

I clearly don't have any skin in the game but it has been an interesting couple of years.  Were I the EU, I wouldn't extend the date beyond April 12th.  This uncertainty has gone on long enough.  For both sides!  It's time to move on.

Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: soldar on April 04, 2019, 09:37:22 am
The EU could have made this process clean and easy.  Instead they went out of their way to make it as difficult as possible and humiliating for the UK at every point along the way.

It is not that you see things differently, is is that you are very much misinformed about reality and facts. You can have your own opinions and interpretations but you are not entitled to a different reality.

The problem is not that the EU will not give the UK something, the problem is that the UK does not know what they want. They say they want to be totally out of the EU but will not admit to having a border with the EU which is impossible.  Two words: Im-Possible!

The UK has three options: Hard Brexit, Mayś deal or remain (for now). Those are the three options and the UK rejects all three. This is not a problem with the EU, this is the UK (SPQUK) acting like a baby throwing a tantrum because it cannot get something which is impossible and the grown ups are acting calmly and trying to explain.

Watch the excellent videos posted by apis.


And you consider Juncker, Tusk and Barnier as polite?  To be fair, Barnier isn't as bad as the other two.  What about Verhofstadt or the German Minister Michael Roth?  Macron?  About the only high level EU representative that hasn't trashed the UK is Merkel and she has her own problems.  Not least because she championed this Freedom of Movement deal.  What about Varadkar?

Then we have Spain and Pedro Sanchez.


I dislike Pedro Sanchez with passion. Please give me some proof of anything rude he has said about the UK or any of it leaders. I would love to see it. Again, you are not entitled to make up your own reality unless you are making up stuff just for the sake of trolling.  Have a look at this video and then show me similar acts by EU politicians.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dranqFntNgo (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dranqFntNgo)


As I posted earlier, it doesn't matter how Brexit works out, there is irreparable damage to the working relationships.  Nobody in the EU will ever trust the UK again and I suspect the UK feels the same.


They said that about Germany around 1940. Time heals everything. Hopefully. Future UK generations will look back at their grandparents and ask "WTF were they thinking?"

Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: Siwastaja on April 04, 2019, 10:02:15 am
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!

Basic income was never tested in Finland, in any meaningful way. (To be fair, it's difficult to test without major changes). Our government indeed did a project which was called "basic income test", with the only intention to just show that it's been tested now and it doesn't work, and "STFU". Clearly they succeeded, even on the international level.

It may be hard to see there, but our society throws a hugely massive amount of taxpayer cash into "social welfare" - but that social welfare being targeted at ridiculously oversized number of public officers running all the bureaucracy, and companies near corrupted politicians providing "welfare services" - such as totally bullshit courses you need to attend to receive the compensation.

Meanwhile, almost everyone is eligible to obtain handful of different kinds of transfer payments, and a lot of time is spent on doing your paperwork right to get the right benefits; even for the so-called middle class! The catch here is that the total taxpayer money spent is multiple times the total transfer payments obtained by their receivers, since it costs a lot to run this multi-organization public system (hence, it's social welfare for the officers).

Another catch is, while most of the people are eligible to receive at least several types of social compensation, there are always small groups that "fall through" and remain completely without any social security whatsoever. For example, choosing entrepreneurship automatically shuts down any possibility to many forms of social security access. (This is what I decided to go with, and while being an entrepreneur might be considered normal anywhere else, here it's a massive "WOW! You are CRAZY! OMG, what do you do if you get sick!?!??! YOU'LL DIE!" element.)

Currently, many social benefits are highly discriminating, since someone gets 2000€/month, some other gets 500€/month, and someone gets nothing, for doing exactly the same: being unemployed and applying for the unemployment benefit. At the same time, the system is specifically designed to keep unemployed people unemployed, through various nasty mechanisms which are out-of-scope here. This is because unemployment keeps the money flowing to: 1) social security workers, 2) "welfare service companies" close-by to the government.

The average compensation is stunningly high; almost any form of universal basic income would automatically and with 100% certainty both save a huge amount of taxpayer money, and at the same time, provide way better social security for those most vulnerable, and, finally, increase the real employment ratio (i.e., people actually employed by either private sector or themselves as entrepreneurs). But, this is no good for those who decide - and those who benefit from the current system.

I understand very well that you are against legally stealing and then redistributing the money. But that's what happening in most societies, at some scale. The purpose of basic income should be to greatly reduce the amount of stealing happening, and make this small amount redistribute more fairly. It might not work well in countries that already have very low social security costs, but in high social security cost countries (Scandinavian especially), it would be the best thing since sliced bread.

No one has actually been able to calculate the total taxation level in Finland, since the tax system is so complicated and has hidden taxes left and right, but for a typical median middle class citizen, it's easily somewhere around 60-80%. Income tax alone is around 50% (compare this to yours!), and VAT is 24%. There are cases in entrepreneurship where you may end up with tax levels over 1000% (i.e., you pay taxes based on approximations of value of your work, not real income), which of course means you are going under very quickly.

A large part of this tax jackpot goes to support the system I described. The percentage that ends up to actually benefit a poorer fellow citizen, is totally minuscule. Welcome to Finland.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: blueskull on April 04, 2019, 10:17:46 am
Right now, I think AI+Robotics can probably replace most with IQ less than say 3SD below average, perhaps 2SD below, perhaps even 1SD blow.  Can society exist with that many unhappy individuals?  Should we use drones to control such large and potentially disruptive individuals?

Not a problem to me. People always want to be competitive -- to be one notch above average, hence hierarchy. Serving other people and being served will replace the current manufacturing-based job market.

You don't want a robot serving you meal, you don't want a robot to teach your kids, and you don't want other general service sections to be replaced with robots.

Manufacturing is on sunset, but it doesn't mean other industries won't rise. Robots can replace humans in manufacturing, and R&D to certain extent, but the technology is still far from being able to give the human-like care to other human beings.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: soldar on April 04, 2019, 11:10:02 am
Manufacturing is on sunset, but it doesn't mean other industries won't rise. Robots can replace humans in manufacturing, and R&D to certain extent, but the technology is still far from being able to give the human-like care to other human beings.


No. Contrary to what many misinformed people believe, industrial output in the world, in America, in Europe (not to mention some other countries) has risen steadily over the years. The issue is that *productivity* has also risen and it takes now fewer workers to produce more value. And that, I hope we can all agree, is a good thing as it frees workers to do other jobs.

More cars are being made and sold than ever before. Better cars than we have ever seen before. How many man-hours did it take to make a 1950s car? How many man-hours does it take to make a car today? 

Just like America and other countries are producing more food than ever with fewer workers than ever, which, again, is a good thing. It is not that agriculture is disappearing, not at all; it is that it employs a diminishing percentage of the workforce. Same thing happens with Industry. As it becomes more efficient it will employ a lower percentage of the workforce.

Industry and manufacturing are here to stay and grow.  Machines, robots, automation, mean they can grow faster with lower amount of work invested.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: soldar on April 04, 2019, 11:36:25 am
This whole thing should settle out to complete separation and WTO rules.  It's all very simple! 

Why do you think the Parliament of the UK is rejecting such a simple and obvious solution? How would you explain it? Or could it be that they see something you might be missing?

As Mencken said
Quote
There is always an easy solution to every human problem--neat, plausible, and wrong.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: Zero999 on April 04, 2019, 01:11:23 pm
To be fair to the EU, I believe the UK did sign up to various agreements promising to pay x amount for so long and suddenly reneging on them is wrong, hence the reason for the divorce bill. On the other hand it works the other way: the EU has also promised money to the UK, although it was the UK's decision to leave.

Yes there's been vitriol on both sides. I don't think the UK is acting in a childish manner at all, no more so than the EU. I agree that some of our politicians are immature a-holes and the same goes for the EU. The problem is when people voted for Brexit, they didn't all vote for the same thing and the same is true for our politicians. The division has impeded the ability for the UK to negotiate properly with the EU. On the other hand, the EU is united. As I said before, the only solution would have been another referendum on the type of Brexit deal (i.e. whether it involves single market/customs union membership). Then we would stand more of a chance, but that would have been too sensible.

Lots of people don't understand the consequences of Brexit. Let's put it from a USA centric perspective. Suppose a state, say California wants to leave the USA, for whatever reason. Unless a trade deal is struck with the USA there will be tariffs, a hard border with the US, including customs checks. One couldn't simply travel to and fro without a visa. Imagine how disruptive that would be. Who do you think would be worse off: the remaining US or California? It may be the most wealthy single state, but alone it would still be smaller and poorer, than the US. I admit it's an exaggeration, as the UK isn't tied to the EU as strongly, but you get the idea.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: apis on April 04, 2019, 02:37:38 pm
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-45712670 (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-45712670)
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: soldar on April 04, 2019, 03:14:28 pm
Yes there's been vitriol on both sides. I don't think the UK is acting in a childish manner at all, no more so than the EU. I agree that some of our politicians are immature a-holes and the same goes for the EU.
I will start off by saying I always appreciate your posts on any topic.

"Childish" is a loaded word which I do not think anyone has used here. But I think the UK as a whole (and I am not talking of any particular individual) has been and is now acting in an unpredictable, irrational, way and I think the same cannot be said of the EU which has had from the very beginning a very stable and clear policy.

The UK has a choice to make and it seems it is not willing to make it. The EU has accepted the "backstop" solution which is just a way of kicking the (insolvable) Irish problem down the road. The EU could have said "look, just make up your mind for fux sake!" but the EU accepted this silly time-delaying, face-saving solution and yet the UK can't even get behind that.

The UK is a mess. The Goverment disagrees with the Parliament and the Parliament disagrees with the people.  Nobody knows who is in charge, if anybody. The EU is talking with a goverment that has no authority or capacity to act or implement anything. The UK needs to get its act together. Not the EU who have had their act together since day one.

The EU negotiating with Theresa May is a waste of time if she has no authority to bind the UK to anything. The EU authorities do not have this problem because they have the authority to make deals on behalf of the EU.

This is like the Middle East problem. Anyone can have any ideas on what side is in the right and what side is in the wrong but much above that there is a bigger problem. If you sign a deal with Israel you know you are dealing with an entity who can keep and enforce whatever deal they agree to but if you sign a deal with the Palestinian Authority you are signing a deal with one guy because the rest of Palestinians will do what they wish.

The problem is when people voted for Brexit, they didn't all vote for the same thing and the same is true for our politicians. The division has impeded the ability for the UK to negotiate properly with the EU. On the other hand, the EU is united.


Yes, pretty much the way I see it.  Division is lethal to any country or enterprise.
United we stand, divided we fall. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_we_stand,_divided_we_fall)

I always liked a story by Rudyard Kipling called "Her Majesty's Servants (http://www.telelib.com/authors/K/KiplingRudyard/prose/JungleBook/majestysservants.html)".

In 1885 Kipling was covering a meeting between the Viceroy of India, representing Queen Victoria, and the Amir of Afghanistan. He wrote a story about the (talking) animals serving in the army and the story itself is just one more story about animals but it has a very memorable ending. The British/Indian army put on a huge show of military maneuvering which greatly  impresses one of the Afghans who had come in the Afghan Emir's retinue.

Quote
The rain began to fall again, and for a while it was too misty to see what the troops were doing. They had made a big half-circle across the plain, and were spreading out into a line. That line grew and grew and grew till it was three-quarters of a mile long from wing to wing—one solid wall of men, horses, and guns. Then it came on straight toward the Viceroy and the Amir, and as it got nearer the ground began to shake, like the deck of a steamer when the engines are going fast.

Unless you have been there you cannot imagine what a frightening effect this steady come-down of troops has on the spectators, even when they know it is only a review. I looked at the Amir. Up till then he had not shown the shadow of a sign of astonishment or anything else; but now his eyes began to get bigger and bigger, and he picked up the reins on his horse’s neck and looked behind him. For a minute it seemed as though he were going to draw his sword and slash his way out through the English men and women in the carriages at the back. Then the advance stopped dead, the ground stood still, the whole line saluted, and thirty bands began to play all together. That was the end of the review, and the regiments went off to their camps in the rain;

Then I heard an old grizzled, long-haired Central Asian chief, who had come down with the Amir, asking questions of a native officer.

‘Now,’ said he, ‘in what manner was this wonderful thing done?’

And the officer answered, ‘There was an order, and they obeyed.’

‘But are the beasts as wise as the men?’ said the chief.

‘They obey, as the men do. Mule, horse, elephant, or bullock, he obeys his driver, and the driver his sergeant, and the sergeant his lieutenant, and the lieutenant his captain, and the captain his major, and the major his colonel, and the colonel his brigadier commanding three regiments, and the brigadier his general, who obeys the Viceroy, who is the servant of the Empress. Thus it is done.’

‘Would it were so in Afghanistan!’ said the chief; ‘for there we obey only our own wills.’

‘And for that reason,’ said the native officer, twirling his moustache, ‘your Amir whom you do not obey must come here and take orders from our Viceroy.’

A weak and divided UK will be taking orders from countries with stronger economies.

Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: rstofer on April 04, 2019, 04:49:11 pm

Lots of people don't understand the consequences of Brexit. Let's put it from a USA centric perspective. Suppose a state, say California wants to leave the USA, for whatever reason. Unless a trade deal is struck with the USA there will be tariffs, a hard boarder with the US, including customs checks. One couldn't simply travel to and fro without a visa. Imagine how disruptive that would be. Who do you think would be worse off: the remaining US or California? It may be the most wealthy single state, but alone it would still be smaller and poorer, than the US. I admit it's an exaggeration, as the UK isn't tied to the EU as strongly, but you get the idea.

Careful with that analogy, there are Agricultural Inspection Stations along the major highways entering California that can, and do, inspect truck shipments as well as passenger vehicles.  Arguably, they are looking for illegal fruits and vegetables but if they run across guns and drugs, well, the Highway Patrol is right there.  Make no mistake, we have border control.  No visas but definitely border control.

https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/plant/pe/ExteriorExclusion/borders.html (https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/plant/pe/ExteriorExclusion/borders.html)

Americans can travel to the EU without a visa (limited to 90 days with a process change in the works), why wouldn't the Brits, a close neighbor, have the same privileges?

https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/us-citizens/ (https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/us-citizens/)

BTW, it's not clear what 'proof' of financial resources will be acceptable.  It appears this is left to the discretion of the agent.

Sovereign countries do have the right to control their borders regardless of how badly we do it in the US.

Also, do be careful with the California secession thing.  There are a LOT of voters who want that very badly.  We would still be the 5th largest economy in the world, just ahead of the UK, and in total control of our destiny.  If it is ever put to a vote, it would probably lose due to San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego counties but it is very popular and tied into the idea of dividing up the state into 6 distinct political entities.  Whether they become 'states' is very much a question.  The 'State of Jefferson' is a search term.  Actually seceding is a very complicated political process.  It's as though joining the union was a one way function, not reversible.

Apparently the game in Parliament today is to keep voting until they wear the members down.  Sort of like the multiple ROI votes on joining the EU.  Keep voting until people surrender because they're tired of hearing about it.

Hopefully we're coming to the end of the process and the beginning of a new era.  I have no idea what that's going to look like.

Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: SilverSolder on April 04, 2019, 04:57:32 pm
Americans can travel to the EU without a visa (limited to 90 days with a process change in the works), why wouldn't the Brits, a close neighbor, have the same privileges?

Today, any EU citizen can move to any European country provided they have a job or run a business there.  It is an amazing privilege that goes way beyond a 90 day tourist visa.

It is really hard for an American to get a work permit in Europe, just like it is very hard for a European to get an American green card...

I hope that one day, this barrier too will give way!
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: rstofer on April 04, 2019, 05:29:38 pm
A weak and divided UK will be taking orders from countries with stronger economies.

The UK, by itself, is the 6th largest economy in the world, just behind California.  The important GDPs are:

US $19.4T
EU $15.9T after removing $2.6T for the UK
China $12.2T
California $2.7T
UK $2.6T

The UK isn't tied to the Eurozone and once the UK no longer contributes to the EU, it will be left to Germany to provide the finances for many failing economies.  I don't think the Germans are going to like that very much.  They already don't like all the immigration.

The UK is technically advanced and well beyond the small EU players.  I think they can do quite well for themselves on the world stage.  They're already a financial powerhouse!  And outposts in Frankfurt aren't going to change that!

I had really hoped everything would be settled by Mar 29th.  The parties had two YEARS to work this stuff out and now everybody is counting days without really knowing the end date.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: soldar on April 04, 2019, 05:40:24 pm
Americans can travel to the EU without a visa (limited to 90 days with a process change in the works), why wouldn't the Brits, a close neighbor, have the same privileges?


Why would they? Why should they? You tell us.  Mexico is a close neighbor of the USA. Do Mexicans have the privilege of traveling to the USA without a visa?

If the UK is requiring visas of EU nationals then sure as hell the EU should start requiring visas for Brits.  And if it were up to me they would have to fill out the application in German. And, for good measure, answer (in German) some idiotic questions like they ask in American visa applications. Do you find Angela Merkel sexy? Do you enjoy French kissing? Etc.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: apis on April 04, 2019, 06:25:09 pm
A weak and divided UK will be taking orders from countries with stronger economies.
The UK, by itself, is the 6th largest economy in the world, just behind California.  The important GDPs are:

US $19.4T
EU $15.9T after removing $2.6T for the UK
China $12.2T
California $2.7T
UK $2.6T
I suppose this graph shows why Trump & Co are so happy about this:
(https://mgmresearch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/US-vs-EU-GDP-Comparison-1980-2018.png)
https://mgmresearch.com/us-vs-eu-a-gdp-comparison/

The UK is technically advanced and well beyond the small EU players.  I think they can do quite well for themselves on the world stage.  They're already a financial powerhouse!  And outposts in Frankfurt aren't going to change that!
50% of UK's exports and imports are to/from the EU. They are completely dependent on the EU. They will be dancing to the tune of the EU, US and China in the future which I suspect you know perfectly well.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: soldar on April 04, 2019, 06:28:32 pm
The UK, by itself, is the 6th largest economy in the world, just behind California.  The important GDPs are:

US $19.4T
EU $15.9T after removing $2.6T for the UK
China $12.2T
California $2.7T
UK $2.6T

So it seems California should also seek independence so they do not have to support backwards, poor states.

There are three *huge* economies right now: USA, EU & China. Then you have some *big* economies: Japan, UK, India, Brazil, Canada, Korea, Russia, etc. but they are in another league where their GDP is only a fraction of any of the big three.

The UK is welcome to exit the EU and play in the second league. If they would just make up their minds!

But to think the UK can negotiate on an equal level with any of the big three is just silly. That is not how things work in the real world. Even Japan is almost double the UK.

Second rate countries have a certain, limited independence and in reality will need to follow closely what their "Big Brother" says.

I am much better at predicting the past than I am at predicting the future but if current trends continue my guess is in some years USA's economy will have fallen to #3 with China and EU having surpassed it. China is very aggressively pursuing trade deals world wide but especially in Asia and I expect to see an "Asian Economic Free Trade Common Market Zone" with no other political integration.  America is heading towards protectionism and isolationism so I expect its influence to decrease.

A UK outside of the EU can definitely survive well but I believe it would do much better inside the EU, just like California does better united to those other backwards states than it would do independently.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: soldar on April 04, 2019, 06:39:10 pm
I am watching The Lords discussing the seriousness of the situation. Very entertaining.

https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-eu-banks/brexit-fallout-on-uk-finance-intensifies-think-tank-idUSKBN1QS00B (https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-eu-banks/brexit-fallout-on-uk-finance-intensifies-think-tank-idUSKBN1QS00B)
Quote
Brexit fallout on UK finance intensifies -

More than 275 financial firms are moving a combined $1.2 trillion (£925 billion) in assets and funds and thousands of staff from Britain to the European Union in readiness for Brexit at a cost of up to $4 billion
...
Nearly 90 percent of all firms moving to Frankfurt are banks, while two-thirds of those going to Amsterdam are trading platforms or brokers. Paris is carving out a niche for markets and trading operations of banks and attracting a broad spread of firms. 


UK might be leaving the EU but many businesses would rather stay in the EU and so are moving out of UK. And Brexit hasn't even happened yet.

How many businesses have moved or are planning to move from the EU to UK in anticipation of Brexit?

Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: rstofer on April 04, 2019, 06:39:47 pm
Americans can travel to the EU without a visa (limited to 90 days with a process change in the works), why wouldn't the Brits, a close neighbor, have the same privileges?


Why would they? Why should they? You tell us.  Mexico is a close neighbor of the USA. Do Mexicans have the privilege of traveling to the USA without a visa?
Were it not for 12 million illegal aliens from the south living in the US, a visa might not be required to travel beyond the immediate border area.  Note that they can cross without a visa to do shopping.  Canadians, equally close, do not require a visa to visit the US.  But they're tourists, not economic refugees.
Quote
If the UK is requiring visas of EU nationals then sure as hell the EU should start requiring visas for Brits.
Fair enough!  If the UK is going to require visas then so should the EU.  Whatever scheme seems acceptable.  The problem is the difference between a tourist and an economic refugee.  Everybody wants to control economic migration.
Quote
And if it were up to me they would have to fill out the application in German. And, for good measure, answer (in German) some idiotic questions like they ask in American visa applications. Do you find Angela Merkel sexy? Do you enjoy French kissing? Etc.
That would be fair!  We require our entry forms to be in English so German forms should be in German.  Estonian?  That will be a stretch.

I was stationed in Mannheim in '66-'67.  Great place to serve and excellent beer.  Dinkelacker was my favorite!
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: rstofer on April 04, 2019, 06:52:09 pm
So it seems California should also seek independence so they do not have to support backwards, poor states.
A ballot initiative to break California into 6 'states' was rejected by some unelected judge.  The idea of the entire state seceding comes up fairly often.

People think California is like what they see of San Francisco or the government in Sacramento.  From a population point of view, that is correct.  But vast areas of the state are solid red conservative and want nothing to do with San Francisco, Los Angeles or San Diego.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_Californias

I actively supported the idea even though the county I live in would have become the poorest in the US.  We might be broke but we would be free of Sacramento and San Francisco.

Maybe it will make the ballot next time.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: soldar on April 04, 2019, 07:30:16 pm
What I find sad is that the voters who vote for nationalist demagogs are mostly the least educated and the ones who are most hurt by the downturn that ensues. It happens everywhere.

Businesses are pretty much all against Brexit.


https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/feb/04/japans-eu-deal-threatens-post-brexit-uk-industry (https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/feb/04/japans-eu-deal-threatens-post-brexit-uk-industry)

Japan's EU deal 'threatens post-Brexit UK industry'
Alarm raised after Nissan decision to halt expansion of Sunderland car plant
Business groups estimate that the potential benefit of the EU-Japan deal to the UK would be £3bn a year if Britain stayed in the EU.



https://www.ft.com/content/61c35b04-5540-11e9-91f9-b6515a54c5b1 (https://www.ft.com/content/61c35b04-5540-11e9-91f9-b6515a54c5b1)

UK manufacturing growth vulnerable to post-Brexit tariffs
Four industries most responsible for sector’s recovery also rely on close ties with EU
Vehicle manufacturers added as much to growth between 2012 and mid-2016 as the next five industries combined
The manufacture of food, motor vehicles and other transport equipment and the repair of machinery accounted for 30 per cent of the manufacturing sector’s weight, but 86 per cent of its growth over the 10-year period from 2008




https://www.smmt.co.uk/industry-topics/brexit/ (https://www.smmt.co.uk/industry-topics/brexit/)

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders warns on the consequences.

Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: rstofer on April 04, 2019, 08:28:48 pm
What I find sad is that the voters who vote for nationalist demagogs are mostly the least educated and the ones who are most hurt by the downturn that ensues. It happens everywhere.

Businesses are pretty much all against Brexit.

And businesses can't vote!  At least not directly, although they can financially affect the campaigning.

It comes down to people voting for what they want.  That's the problem with democracies (and ours is no exception), people find they can vote themselves benefits and, sure enough, that's the way they vote.  Until they run out of other people's money.

I don't think the voters in the UK view the government in Brussels as friendly toward their views (the EU certainly did Cameron no favors) and they would rather lead in hell than serve in heaven.  I think they don't favor the fishing arrangement, the freedom of movement or several other 'features'.  Nationalist?  Maybe, but that isn't inherently wrong.

There are a lot of countries, with far smaller GDPs than the UK's, that don't belong to the EU.  Somehow they get by.  They won't be world powers but that suits them.

Do you really expect the EU to survive the problems of Germany financing the Eurozone?  Clicking on the Net Contributor button gives a startling graph.  Absent the UK, Germany will contribute 2-1/2 times as much as the Netherlands and more than 3 times as much as France.  But, in effect, all of Germany's contributions go to support Greece.  The Netherlands combined with France, in effect, go to pay Spain.  Is this really sustainable?  Why would voters, nationalists or not, put up with that nonsense?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8036097.stm#start (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8036097.stm#start)

And, yes, I realize that the European Commission has said that there are at least 30 different ways to calculate 'net contributions'.  At least the UK was smart enough to negotiate a guaranteed rebate.

What the EU is asking of the UK as part of the Withdrawal Agreement is to match 6 years of Germany's contributions to support Greece.  You can see where the UK voters may not favor that.  And from Germany's point of view, it is just kicking the can down the road.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: apis on April 04, 2019, 08:43:28 pm
Germany is also the largest country in EU so it makes sense they contribute the most. Somehow things work out in the United States so it will probably work out here as well.

How about a Texit?
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jun/19/texas-secession-movement-brexit-eu-referendum (https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jun/19/texas-secession-movement-brexit-eu-referendum)
:-DD
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: apis on April 04, 2019, 08:57:27 pm
Interesting read:
Quote
For example, we have no idea who provided the £435,000 channelled through Scotland, into Northern Ireland, through the coffers of the Democratic Unionist party and back into Scotland and England, to pay for pro-Brexit ads. Nor do we know the original source of the £8m that Arron Banks delivered to the Leave.EU campaign.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/feb/13/dark-money-hard-brexit-targeted-ads-facebook (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/feb/13/dark-money-hard-brexit-targeted-ads-facebook)
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: rstofer on April 04, 2019, 09:26:06 pm
Germany is also the largest country in EU so it makes sense they contribute the most. Somehow things work out in the United States so it will probably work out here as well.
If you think things are working out in the US, you haven't been paying attention.  You could be witnessing the inevitable death of a democracy (none have lasted more than a couple of hundred years) and the divide between left and right is no longer fixable.  The positions are simply too far apart.  The Trump thing exacerbates the problems, the Hillary supporters just can't believe their candidate failed to get elected.  And, no, getting rid of the Electoral College won't solve the problem.
Quote
How about a Texit?
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jun/19/texas-secession-movement-brexit-eu-referendum (https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jun/19/texas-secession-movement-brexit-eu-referendum)
:-DD
Not a surprise!  Texas is the only state with a written guarantee that they can divide into as many as 5 separate states without approval by anyone:

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/more-150-years-texas-has-had-power-secede-itself-180962354/ (https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/more-150-years-texas-has-had-power-secede-itself-180962354/)

Secession comes up every once in awhile.

The "United" part of "United States" gets more fragile as time goes on.  The more California races to the left, the more ridicule we get from the residents of other states.  Mind you, they're all living in trailers, but they keep picking at us.  One day we're almost bound to get fed up with feeding them.

If I didn't have family here, I would have moved out decades ago.  You see, the Democrats have a 'super majority' in the Legislature so they don't need a single Republican vote to do anything they want.  Those of us in the 'red' areas aren't happy about that.  We're REALLY not happy about that!  Republican legislators should just stay home and quit spending the per diem money.  What's the point of the commute?  They have no input whatsoever into our state government.

Sooner or later things will come to a head and it will be fun to watch how it turns out.

Don't use the "United States" as a model, it isn't all that "United".
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: soldar on April 04, 2019, 09:46:50 pm
And businesses can't vote!  At least not directly, although they can financially affect the campaigning.

They can't vote but they can create jobs. If they leave in droves to remain in the EU the UK will be losing jobs.

So the Brexiteers promise that after a hard Brexit the UK's economy will grow more than the EU's and the EU, USA and China will be grovelling at their feet.

How about this alternative scenario: In the years following a hard Brexit the UK's GDP has shrunk by 10%, thousands of jobs were lost to the EU and things are not going as well as had been hoped. Ulster, tired of being half in and half out votes to join the Republic of Ireland thus depriving the UK of a substantial part of their GDP which returns to the EU. Scotland, who was anti-Brexit from the start is now even more so and votes to secede and join the EU thus depriving the (no longer) UK of more of its GDP. The economy of what is left of England and Wales is now the size of a third or fourth rate country.

At that point the remains of the pro-Brexit crowd will still be blaming the EU for all their sorrows because if there is one thing I know about human nature is that we always find the fault lies with others.

England will be a quaint little country like Croatia. Yes it will manage to get by, just like Croatia or Slovenia. But I don't think that is what the pro-Brexit crowd have in mind.

As for Germany supporting the PIGS, that is just as silly as saying California is supporting the backwards southern states. Yes, there is a transfer of wealth but the richer states also benefit. Germany is selling their stuff all over Europe. There is a great benefit and savings in having common regulations, borders, foreign treaties, etc. The savings and increase in productivity far outweigh the expenses.

England will find out how much it costs to duplicate all of that.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: Zero999 on April 04, 2019, 10:17:00 pm
Yes, many other counties do quite well and are not in the EU: Australia and New Zealand aren't being eaten by the US, China and Russia. The idea that the UK will be easy pickings for the rest of the world, if it leaves the EU without a deal is part of project fear.

The problem with Brexit is change. The UK might have done nearly as well, as it does today, if it had never joined the EU in the first place, but that's because it would have adapted over time. When the UK joined the EU, it lost lots of trade with the commonwealth, but that didn't matter so much, because the EU more than made up for it. If it didn't join, then arguably then the trade with the commonwealth would have increased and the UK would have probably negotiated some kind of trade deal with the EU anyway. Of course this is speculation.

The only reason why some Brits want to hang on to Northern Ireland is nationalism. The UK would be better off if Ireland reunited. I'm pretty sure Northern Ireland gets more money from the rest of the UK, than the other way round.

Scotland will not leave the UK, because they don't want a hard border with the England, even if they are pissed off with Brexit. Scottish independence has many parallels with Brexit. A lot of it is down to nationalism, rather than pragmatism. Fortunately common sense prevailed and they opted to remain in the UK.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: apis on April 04, 2019, 10:43:10 pm
At that point the remains of the pro-Brexit crowd will still be blaming the EU for all their sorrows because if there is one thing I know about human nature is that we always find the fault lies with others.

England will be a quaint little country like Croatia. Yes it will manage to get by, just like Croatia or Slovenia. But I don't think that is what the pro-Brexit crowd have in mind.
Tourism could become important.

The "United" part of "United States" gets more fragile as time goes on.  The more California races to the left, the more ridicule we get from the residents of other states.  Mind you, they're all living in trailers, but they keep picking at us.  One day we're almost bound to get fed up with feeding them.
From what I can tell it is those pesky Californians that are feeding the rest of you. Yet you have managed to stay united for 240+ years. Political polarisation seems to be a big problem in the US today (something the US might have inherited from the British political system). Thankfully we have a different political system in most of Europe. There are no doubt problems in the EU, like everywhere else, but most of us understand that the benefits far outweigh the problems, and the problems will be fixed with time.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: SilverSolder on April 04, 2019, 11:17:36 pm
The UK might have done nearly as well, as it does today, if it had never joined the EU in the first place

A bit of history is in order here...   when the UK joined the EU, it was the "sick man of Europe" - it was bailed out by the IMF around that time.

Britain's strategy became being the "gateway to Europe" where the rest of the world could use Britain as a springboard to access the Single Market via an English speaking country with a reputation for political stability.  This worked - it attracted a lot of financial services to the City of London and boosted that sector enormously.  Thatcher invited the Japanese motor companies to create a manufacturing base (with a lot of skilled jobs) in the UK, with the idea of exporting to the Single Market.  Other Japanese industry has followed suit. Tons of British suppliers to these industries have also done well out of it, in addition to the managers and workers.

Given enough time and resources, Britain could of course develop new ways of making a living...   but (1) why not just do that while keeping the existing golden geese?  and (2) nothing is ever as easy as it looks,  or as easy as politicians with an agenda make it sound.

Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: SilverSolder on April 04, 2019, 11:40:10 pm
I'm pretty sure Northern Ireland gets more money from the rest of the UK, than the other way round.

The "cost" of NI is not much - the UK pays around the same to NI as it pays to be in the EU, i.e. a tiny fraction of GDP. 

But that wasn't always the case, NI has been a net positive in the past.

It is always dangerous to divide the country into "productive" and "non-productive" -  most areas of the UK are a net negative if you disregard how these areas support the success of London by sending a lot of their best people there!
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: Rick Law on April 05, 2019, 12:57:32 am
Right now, I think AI+Robotics can probably replace most with IQ less than say 3SD below average, perhaps 2SD below, perhaps even 1SD blow.  Can society exist with that many unhappy individuals?  Should we use drones to control such large and potentially disruptive individuals?

Not a problem to me. People always want to be competitive -- to be one notch above average, hence hierarchy. Serving other people and being served will replace the current manufacturing-based job market.

You don't want a robot serving you meal, you don't want a robot to teach your kids, and you don't want other general service sections to be replaced with robots.

Manufacturing is on sunset, but it doesn't mean other industries won't rise. Robots can replace humans in manufacturing, and R&D to certain extent, but the technology is still far from being able to give the human-like care to other human beings.
[RL: Bold Added ]

I'm not talking about people like you or me and others in this forum.  Like many on this forum, you and me are both college grads.  College students as a group is about 1 Standard Deviation above average by most studies.

How about the fellow who is say 85 (and below) in the USA?  That is about 10%-15% of us at one SD below average.  He/she (as adult) doesn't have the ability to (in your words) "want to be competitive -- to be one notch above average," however hard he/she tries.  As adult, his childhood development is done.

Now it is fair for those who can do 15% less to earn 15% less.  In general, robot cannot do 85 IQ equivalent yet - one can certainly drive a car well at 85 IQ (and below) - ever since we have cars; but self-driving cars are still being tested and refined.  But when robots can do most of what 85 IQ (and below) can do, what are these guys going to do?

I think as a society, we need to address that.

[EDIT: modified "85" to say "85 and below".  The context should be clear even without the mod, but I just want to make sure it is not taken to mean only those at exactly 85.]
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: blueskull on April 05, 2019, 01:52:28 am
I'm not talking about people like you or me and others in this forum.  Like many on this forum, you and me are both college grads.  College students as a group is about 1 Standard Deviation above average by most studies.

How about the fellow who is say 85 in the USA?  That is about 10%-15% of us at one SD below average.  He/she (as adult) doesn't have the ability to (in your words) "want to be competitive -- to be one notch above average," however hard he/she tries.  As adult, his childhood development is done.

They can do well in service industry well. One doesn't need to be smart to master the art of dealing with people.

Competitive is not only for IQ. EQ is becoming more and more important, especially considering the rise of AI. The smartest people are always needed to steer AI, but more repetitive jobs yet requiring high level of training are being replaced by AI.

There are a lot of human qualities that are not qualified by IQ, and those qualities are not yet under threat by AI.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: Rick Law on April 05, 2019, 02:19:03 am
I'm not talking about people like you or me and others in this forum.  Like many on this forum, you and me are both college grads.  College students as a group is about 1 Standard Deviation above average by most studies.

How about the fellow who is say 85 in the USA?  That is about 10%-15% of us at one SD below average.  He/she (as adult) doesn't have the ability to (in your words) "want to be competitive -- to be one notch above average," however hard he/she tries.  As adult, his childhood development is done.

They can do well in service industry well. One doesn't need to be smart to master the art of dealing with people.

Competitive is not only for IQ. EQ is becoming more and more important, especially considering the rise of AI. The smartest people are always needed to steer AI, but more repetitive jobs yet requiring high level of training are being replaced by AI.

There are a lot of human qualities that are not qualified by IQ, and those qualities are not yet under threat by AI.

IQ and Conscientiousness are the two qualities most tied to performance.  IQ is closely tied to how fast one learns (a task) whereas conscientiousness is closely tied to how well one does a job.  We may not like that, but that is what the studies has shown.  Clearly IQ is not the same as the value of an individual.  Human has value far beyond IQ or Conscientiousness.  That said, higher IQ does mean that the person can learn faster in so far as studies have shown.

As we are increasing the ability of robots, however how high one's IQ is today, there will be a point when that high IQ individual is stuck at a level below what the robots can do.

If it is only 5% of people out-performed by robots, society can probably absorb that and handle it easily.  If however 95% of the people are out-performed by robots, what then?  I don't think we will have a stable or livable society if we fail to address this issue.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: rstofer on April 05, 2019, 02:21:50 am
The US Military has a cutoff at an IQ of 85.  They don't have jobs for people lower than this, not even peeling potatoes.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: blueskull on April 05, 2019, 02:25:15 am
If it is only 5% of people out-performed by robots, society can probably absorb that and handle it easily.  If however 95% of the people are out-performed by robots, what then?  I don't think we will have a stable or livable society if we fail to address this issue.

Well, with more jobs taken by robots, we just get granted more time and resource doing human things, rather than repetitive robot things.
200 years ago in UK, machines "ate" certain people. 100 years ago in Australia, goats "ate" certain people. Nowadays worldwide, AI "ate" certain people.
But we as a race survived and pursued higher average quality of living.
For those being "ate", my condolences. For the rest, let's not forget the merit automation and industrialization had granted us.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: rstofer on April 05, 2019, 02:25:38 am
AI is no danger as long as it requires programmers.  They can't even keep an airplane from falling out of the skies.
Now, if AI is self-replicating or self-programming, we're in serious trouble.

AI Stop Button problem:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3TYT1QfdfsM (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3TYT1QfdfsM)
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: Rick Law on April 05, 2019, 02:34:03 am
AI is no danger as long as it required programmers.  They can't even keep an airplane from falling out of the skies.
Now, if AI is self-replicating or self-programming, we're in serious trouble.
...

"if AI is self-replicating or self-programming, we're in serious trouble. "

Machine (self) learning is the rage these days, and one can hardly find any factory without some degree of automation...  It is coming...

By then, we stay home and watch the movie "The Terminator" ... and wait.

-OR-

We gene-edit ourselves so each generation of human is x-times the ability of robots.  That may be the alternative.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: onesixright on April 05, 2019, 06:42:36 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?
That's a silly comparison. Each anime character is closely associated with a real person, namely the voice actor/actress.
And that’s as well over soon. The perfect actor is waiting around the corner (as in not human).


Sent from my X using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: rstofer on April 05, 2019, 03:33:33 pm
From what I can tell it is those pesky Californians that are feeding the rest of you. Yet you have managed to stay united for 240+ years.

Hm...

Well, West Virginia did split away from Virginia at the beginning of the Civil War.  Virginia was Confederate and West Virginia was Unionist.  We do have pairs of states: North Dakota/South Dakota and North Carolina/South Carolina.

I live at the northern end of the California Central Valley where all the farming occurs.  I'm surrounded by it!

Farming in California is quite productive and, yes, we provide a lot of food to other states.  But, farming uses 80% of our allocable water and produces just $54B of California's $2.5T GDP.  So, for 2% of our GDP, we give up 80% of our water.  Does that make sense?

Where does the water go?  China!  It turns out that Almond production consumes about 1 gallon of water per nut and China is the largest market for California Almonds.  So, in effect, we export our drinking water.  Does that make sense?

https://newrepublic.com/article/125450/heres-real-problem-almonds (https://newrepublic.com/article/125450/heres-real-problem-almonds)

Apparently, Alfalfa uses far more water, has less value per acre, and grows almost anywhere.  It doesn't need to be grown in California.  But Alfalfa fields can be left fallow during droughts.  Almond trees need to be watered no matter what or they die.

Hence the water wars in California...

The petty cash box at Google probably has more money than farming produces so I'm kind of a proponent of getting rid of farming.  Let's build condos!  Uh, no, the Sierra Club has just about halted construction into farming areas.  We'be been sued into building infill projects, trying to make old buildings into new housing without so much as scratching the heritage building.  Separate issue...

But what about the food?  Turns out, when we go to the grocery store, everything on the shelves is imported from South America.  I don't know where California products go but AFAICT, it isn't California.

Stockton claims to be the Asparagus Capital of the World.  They even have a big celebration.  But the asparagus on the shelves is from Chile.  Apparently, asparagus is a high labor product and labor is expensive so the acreage continues to decine.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/asparagus-farms-california_n_7029836 (https://www.huffpost.com/entry/asparagus-farms-california_n_7029836)

On the automation note:  We do see more advanced machinery used in farming.  With better sensor technology, I expect that to increase.  There simply must be some way to get the labor out of farming.  And get the farming out of California.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: rstofer on April 05, 2019, 06:15:45 pm
Here's a fluff article on the subject of automation:
https://www.foxbusiness.com/technology/the-robots-are-here-new-unheard-of-job-titles-signal-growing-industry-in-digital-age (https://www.foxbusiness.com/technology/the-robots-are-here-new-unheard-of-job-titles-signal-growing-industry-in-digital-age)

They mention how Amazon has employed 80,000 robots while increasing headcount from 45,000 to 600,000.  What they don't mention is that even though Amazon has added a LOT of employees, they have probably forced as many out of the small mom and pop stores they bankrupted.

Way back in the late '60s, I went to the Ford Motor Company Pico Rivera Assembly Plant (Los Angeles).  I watched wheels and tires come down the track and I watch a machine mount the tire and inflate it.  Then it spun the tire to find the balance weight requirements, painted some colored dots on the tire and stopped while a union operator banged on the proper weight.

I didn't for one minute believe that a machine couldn't install the weight.  What I did believe is that the Autoworkers Union was alive and well in Pico Rivera.  The plant was closed in 1980, bought by Northrop Grumman for building the B2 Bomber and finally demolished in 2001.

I've seen a lot of changes since I started working in aerospace 50 years ago.  I was heavily involved with automation of manufacturing equipment and the installation of large scale Numerical Control equipment.  It is a fact that these huge machines with hundreds of cutting horsepower, all controlled by a 1" paper tape drove me back to college.  I simply HAD to know how this worked.  It's been an interesting ride!

I have worked in a number of industries but none as interesting as aerospace.  Sure, computer manufacturing was fun, wafer fab was challenging but, like many firsts, I remember my time in aerospace as the best of times.  I'll bet I would have enjoyed automating auto manufacturing.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: SilverSolder on April 05, 2019, 06:34:49 pm
I'll bet I would have enjoyed automating auto manufacturing.

Who is going to automate the automation of auto manufacturing?   :scared:
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: soldar on April 05, 2019, 10:05:07 pm
Farming in California is quite productive and, yes, we provide a lot of food to other states.  But, farming uses 80% of our allocable water and produces just $54B of California's $2.5T GDP.  So, for 2% of our GDP, we give up 80% of our water.  Does that make sense?

Where does the water go?  China!  It turns out that Almond production consumes about 1 gallon of water per nut and China is the largest market for California Almonds.  So, in effect, we export our drinking water.  Does that make sense?


Yes, there's a lot of nuts in California ;)

China buys from America and Europe much more than westerners can imagine. It is not only almonds. In food markets you can find oranges and apples from America. Really nice looking, beautifully packed and very expensive. There are many western products. Wine, Danish cookies, etc.  I once saw a street vendor selling pomegranates from Spain. I (we) asked the guy how he got them and he said at the whole sale market. Asked if he knew where they came from he didn't seem to know or care.

Regarding agriculture, both the EU and the Fed are racquets for agriculture. If it were up to me I would shut down all those programs. In Spain we have the same problems: water shortages, subsidies to maintain prices, etc. Those programs cost a fortune.  And, what is worse, they shut out of competition poorer countries who could make a living of this if it were not for the subsidized competition. And then we complain they come to our countries illegally.  Just stop subsidizing agriculture, let the market do its work, let poorer countries make a living. Yeah, it will never happen.

Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: apis on April 05, 2019, 11:19:15 pm
Scotland will not leave the UK, because they don't want a hard boarder with the England, even if they are pissed off with Brexit. Scottish independence has many parallels with Brexit. A lot of it is down to nationalism, rather than pragmatism. Fortunately common sense prevailed and they opted to remain in the UK.
Scottish independence made a whole lot more sense imo. Scotland would still have been in the European union, so they would benefit from the common market, free movement and they would still gain autonomy regarding local issues. I suppose people in the rest of Europe didn't fully understand why independence from Westminster was so important to the Scottish people, but that has become clear now.

The reason Scotland couldn't leave before was because the UK threatened to kick them out of the EU if they voted for independence. Now that the UK is leaving there is no one preventing an Independent Scotland from staying in the union. I feel sympathy for those who voted to remain but there is no reason to drag Scotland and Northern Ireland down with you.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: soldar on April 06, 2019, 09:28:14 pm
This Brexit business has gone from being a tragedy to being a farce. Deadlines come and go and UK authorities are acting like teenagers with bad excuses.

The phrase "shit or get off the pot (https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=shit%20or%20get%20off%20the%20pot)" comes to mind.

I do not understand how or why many UK leaders are still supporting Brexit.  The only explanation I can find is that people are stubborn and will double down before admitting they were wrong. We've seen it many times in many places and countries and now in the UK.

Before the referendum the Brexit side made predictions which are just not happening:

- UK will negotiate individually with EU countries on on one where it has a stronger position. Individual EU countries will value more their exports to UK than their EU membership. Did not happen. The EU made it clear that the negotiation was with Brussels and not with individual states and all countries, including and very specially Ireland. That put UK at a disadvantage.

- UK will save 350 million GBP per week that will go directly to NHS. Ha. That was a good one.

- The turks are about to join the the EU and we don't want anything to do with them. Well, not yet.

- We will have total control over immigration and kick out many immigrants. Not so easy. UK has already guaranteed anyone who was already in the UK can stay. Any restrictions it puts on EU nationals will be reciprocated by the EU on to UK nationals. Better tread lightly here.

- UK can negotiate better commercial deals with other countries. This looks less and less likely.

- UK will be more attractive for businesses. Nope. Businesses are voting with their feet. UK economy has taken a downturn and businesses are leaving in droves. Before referendum the UK economy was growing faster than the EU's but now it's growing slower.

And yet Brexit leaders continue to push for Brexit but they can't deliver Brexit either. They are mentally constipated and can't shit nor get off the pot.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: Zero999 on April 06, 2019, 10:42:12 pm
Scotland will not leave the UK, because they don't want a hard boarder with the England, even if they are pissed off with Brexit. Scottish independence has many parallels with Brexit. A lot of it is down to nationalism, rather than pragmatism. Fortunately common sense prevailed and they opted to remain in the UK.
Scottish independence made a whole lot more sense imo. Scotland would still have been in the European union, so they would benefit from the common market, free movement and they would still gain autonomy regarding local issues. I suppose people in the rest of Europe didn't fully understand why independence from Westminster was so important to the Scottish people, but that has become clear now.

The reason Scotland couldn't leave before was because the UK threatened to kick them out of the EU if they voted for independence. Now that the UK is leaving there is no one preventing an Independent Scotland from staying in the union. I feel sympathy for those who voted to remain but there is no reason to drag Scotland and Northern Ireland down with you.
That's not true at all. It wasn't the UK who threatened to kick Scotland out of the EU, if they left the UK. The UK can't expel another state from the EU. Whether an independent Scotland could remain in the EU or not, would be the EU's decision. It would be unlikely Scotland would be allowed to immediately join the EU, as it would have been a new state, which would need to exist for long enough and prove it met the criteria for EU membership. Yes, Westminster did point this out in their remain campaign but it's true.

If Scotland leave the UK, the whole of the UK will be in an even worse position, with possibly another land border and more tariffs, although I hope Westminster would be more reasonable than that.

Scotland already have a reasonable amount of autonomy and aren't the only part of the UK disheartened with Westminster for many reasons, excluding Brexit. Scotland and Northern Ireland were not the only UK regions who to voted to remain: London and Cambridge also did. I resent the "dragged down with you" statement, because I also voted to remain, as I've repeatedly stated and the fact so many other people did, is the reason for this mess.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: soldar on April 06, 2019, 11:08:09 pm
That's not true at all. It wasn't the UK who threatened to kick Scotland out of the EU, if they left the UK. The UK can't expel another state from the EU. Whether an independant Scotland could remain in the EU or not, would be the EU's decision. It would be unlikely Scotland would be allowed to immediately join the EU, as it would have been a new state, which would need to exist for long enough and prove it met the criteria for EU membership. Yes, Westminster did point this out in their remain campaign but it's true.
Not really. This needs clarification. The UK can't expel another state but if Scotland becomes an independent state the member states need to agree unanimously to admit the new state and the UK could block that admission if they wanted.

That is the reason Catalonia would have a hard time getting into the EU if Spain vetoed them.

Now, if the UK leaves the EU then it has no say in whether an independent Scotland can join or not. And the EU have *already* said that if the UK leaves and Scotland gains independence they would be fast-tracked into the EU so fast that England would feel dizzy.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: rstofer on April 06, 2019, 11:40:35 pm
Scottish independence made a whole lot more sense imo. Scotland would still have been in the European union, so they would benefit from the common market, free movement and they would still gain autonomy regarding local issues. I suppose people in the rest of Europe didn't fully understand why independence from Westminster was so important to the Scottish people, but that has become clear now.

I thought I read where the EU told Scotland that if they became an independent country, independent of the UK, they would have to APPLY for membership like any other outside country.  Gaining admittance could take years.

Only Nicola Sturgeon believes they would gain immediate membership.  First they would have to PROVE a stable economy before the EU would even answer the phone.  And the idea that they could continue to use the Pound Sterling for stability is nonsense.  The remainder of the UK would have no interest in propping up the Scottish economy.

Scotland does 4 times as much trade with the rest of the UK as it does with the other members of the EU.

Maybe I read it wrong...
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: soldar on April 06, 2019, 11:59:01 pm
I thought I read where the EU told Scotland that if they became an independent country, independent of the UK, they would have to APPLY for membership like any other outside country.  Gaining admittance could take years....
Maybe I read it wrong...

You know, posting "I thought I read" BS is not right. Again, let us try to stay in this reality and not make up other realities. You post false things and then ignore everything that contradicts it or any questions put to you.

Please, check your information before you post "I thought I read" because it gets tiring.

Searching google for "Scotland fast track EU" gives a lot of links to articles where EU officials have said Scotland would get speedy admittance.

Independent.co.uk (https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/scotland-rejoin-eu-indyref-2-german-mep-elmar-brok-cdu-party-scottish-independence-referendum-a7669561.html):
Scotland rejoining EU would be 'relatively speedy', says senior German MEP.  'If the political agreement would be there, then the process would be relatively speedy. Scotland is a member of the European Union and fulfils all of the conditions,' says CDU member Elmar Brok


euroactiv.com (https://www.euractiv.com/section/uk-europe/news/50-mps-meps-support-fast-track-eu-membership-for-independent-scotland/)
50 MPs, MEPs support fast-track EU membership for independent Scotland


scotsman.com (https://www.scotsman.com/news/an-independent-scotland-could-be-fast-tracked-into-the-eu-1-4371192)
An independent Scotland could be ‘fast-tracked into the EU’

Here is how it might go: If the UK brexits, if and when Scotland has a referendum on independence the EU will already have given assurances that they will be immediately admitted as soon as they apply. So it would be like: day 0, referendum, day 1 morning, Scotland applies to join EU, day 1 late morning, EU accepts and Scotland becomes a member.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: rstofer on April 07, 2019, 12:50:12 am
You know, posting "I thought I read" BS is not right. Again, let us try to stay in this reality and not make up other realities. You post false things and then ignore everything that contradicts it or any questions put to you.

Please, check your information before you post "I thought I read" because it gets tiring.
There was really no "I thought I read", I know damn well I read...

The problem is that too many people are talking and none with the authority to talk for all member states as a whole.  Even Sturgeon admits it probably won't be 'immediate'.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/may/14/sturgeon-independent-scotland-may-need-phased-return-to-eu (https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/may/14/sturgeon-independent-scotland-may-need-phased-return-to-eu)

Here's an older article by the President of the European Commission saying that it would be extremely difficult for Scotland to join the EU.  If not impossible...  He was pretty high up for a while.

ETA:  This was during the Scottish referendum and the thought was that the UK would block Scotland's entry.

https://www.bbc.com/news/av/uk-politics-26215579/extremely-difficult-for-scotland-to-join-eu-barroso (https://www.bbc.com/news/av/uk-politics-26215579/extremely-difficult-for-scotland-to-join-eu-barroso)

Then what should be said about Scotland adopting the Euro:

https://www.channel4.com/news/factcheck/factcheck-independent-scotland-would-have-to-adopt-euro-after-joining-eu (https://www.channel4.com/news/factcheck/factcheck-independent-scotland-would-have-to-adopt-euro-after-joining-eu)

Again, not entirely consistent.  Is their tiny little economy going to be granted an exception?  Maybe, for a while.  As the article points out, two countries don't use the Euro and the last 3 countries joining are in the process of adopting it.  It seems reasonable to believe that Scotland will have to transition.  The Euro is the guiding principle of the EU and it would seem that Scotland would need an independent currency before converting to the Euro.
Quote

Searching google for "Scotland fast track EU" gives a lot of links to articles where EU officials have said Scotland would get speedy admittance.


Well, according to the 'experts', it could take about 4 years (from today) to gain membership:

https://www.scotsman.com/news/an-independent-scotland-could-be-fast-tracked-into-the-eu-1-4371192 (https://www.scotsman.com/news/an-independent-scotland-could-be-fast-tracked-into-the-eu-1-4371192)

They're talking 2023 but they don't really give a start date.  Hardly 'immediate' or even 'fast'.

All of this is just a guess.  Nobody of authority has put down a solid statement of fact conforming to the views of the remaining members.  I don't know why Scotland would want to threaten 80% of their trade to join up with the EU at only 20% but Sturgeon must have a plan.

I think those in Scotland looking at the sunny side of leaving the UK are being as mislead as the Brexit supporters.  It will be interesting to see how it works out.

Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: apis on April 07, 2019, 01:30:42 am
It's as Soldar explained.

The UK had a lot of influence in the EU. It was the UK who didn't want to let Scotland remain if they voted for independence. If the UK leave there is no one left who would keep them out. It would be both in Scotland's and the EU's best interest to let Scotland join immediately so I don't see why anyone would oppose that.

It's a bit ironic, England wants independence from EU but they wouldn't allow Scotland to become independent from the UK.

First they would have to PROVE a stable economy before the EU would even answer the phone.  And the idea that they could continue to use the Pound Sterling for stability is nonsense.  The remainder of the UK would have no interest in propping up the Scottish economy.
Maybe you are thinking of the Eurozone? I'm not so sure it would be in their best interest to adopt the Euro right now anyway, it's not exactly a great success. It's problematic having a common currency without also having the same economic policy which isn't going to happen anytime soon. Even if the UK would punish them by not letting them use the pound, they also have the option to create their own currency.

I don't know why Scotland would want to threaten 80% of their trade to join up with the EU at only 20% but Sturgeon must have a plan.
It's 60% to UK, 18% to EU and 22% to the rest of the world (source (https://www2.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Economy/Exports/ESSPublication)).
The situation is similar for the UK who have 50% of their trade with the EU. Brexiteers say they will solve this problem by negotiating a free trade agreement with the EU. If Scotland is independent and a member of the EU they would also benefit from the same free trade deal with the UK.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: rstofer on April 07, 2019, 02:22:27 am
It's as Soldar explained.

The UK had a lot of influence in the EU. It was the UK who didn't want to let Scotland remain if they voted for independence. If the UK leave there is no one left who would keep them out. It would be both in Scotland's and the EU's best interest to let Scotland join immediately so I don't see why anyone would oppose that.


Yes, the UK was acting a little vindictive.  I don't know that they would have actually blocked Scotland's membership but the thought was always running around.

Quote

It's a bit ironic, England wants independence from EU but they wouldn't allow Scotland to become independent from the UK.


Scotland had a referendum, the voters turned it down.  England didn't do anything to block the referendum.
Now that Theresa May has pushed toward a second referendum on Brexit, there might as well be a second Scottish referendum.

Quote
First they would have to PROVE a stable economy before the EU would even answer the phone.  And the idea that they could continue to use the Pound Sterling for stability is nonsense.  The remainder of the UK would have no interest in propping up the Scottish economy.
Maybe you are thinking of the Eurozone? I'm not so sure it would be in their best interest to adopt the Euro right now anyway, it's not exactly a great success. It's problematic having a common currency without also having the same economic policy which isn't going to happen anytime soon. Even if the UK would punish them by not letting them use the pound, they also have the option to create their own currency.
Yes, the Euro will probably damage Scotland.  Italy would be much better off if they had a currency they could devalue to increase competitiveness.  In theory, subject to the whim of the EU, Scotland would need an independent currency that was stable for 2 years before being allowed to transition to the Euro.  I certainly don't see why the EU would waive that requirement.

There are two immutable facts on the table:

Fact #1: The EU has stated they will not renegotiate the Withdrawal Agreement, it is cast in stone.
Fact #2:  The Parliament has voted that the Withdrawal Agreement is not satisfactory as long as the backstop is included.  By a large majority!

The Withdrawal Agreement can not be changed and the Withdrawal Agreement is not satisfactory.  What's left to talk about?  Does Parliament keep voting until members capitulate from exhaustion?  It sure seems that way.

Or perhaps the EU gets tired of unending extensions.  If a deal couldn't be done in 3 years, why does anybody expect magic in 4 years?
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: SilverSolder on April 07, 2019, 03:06:03 am
Italy would be much better off if they had a currency they could devalue to increase competitiveness.

I don't know if that is true nowadays.  E.g. the British car industry imports many of the components that go into a car -  not all of it is British labour and raw materials, so the value of Sterling going down doesn't result in prices going down very much for other countries.

After the referendum Sterling dropped dramatically, but it hasn't resulted in an economic boom (Britain dropped from top performer to bottom).
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: Zero999 on April 07, 2019, 08:20:02 am
It's total nonsense that Scotland would be fast tracked into the EU, when the UK leaves. It's something the EU are saying to discourage the UK from leaving. The northern Irish border is perceived as an obstacle to Brexit and if it really is, then the EU would be hesitant about allowing Scotland to join, creating another one! The EU can't have it both ways. There's a lot of propaganda on both sides of the debate.

Yes, the UK did threaten to block Scotland from joining the EU, but it doesn't mean it would actually happen: we wouldn't want a land border and customs checks. I suspect many of the EU's threats to the UK are empty too.

I find it ironic how Scotland wanted freedom from Westminster, where they have a lot of influence, only to cede more power to Brussels, where they'd have less. Scotland leaving the UK would had a far greater negative impact, than the UK leaving the EU and just to be crystal clear, I don't support either.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: soldar on April 07, 2019, 08:21:16 am
IMHO a country having its own currency so it can devalue it is not sound policy because while the country might gain the ability to overcome a short bump in the economy in reality it is giving up a lot of trade and business permanently. Everything else being equal countries will prefer to trade with countries with stable exchange rate and a common currency is the best case of this. Even China controls their currency so it fluctuates within a narrow margin of the USD.

Having a common currency is a huge advantage and Euro countries recognize that. American states share the dollar and no state thinks it would be better off with its own currency. On the contrary, they know full well they are much better off with the common currency. It is the same in Europe. And it is the same in China where factories are using things that come from other factories and are selling to other factories in China. A refrigerator or a TV manufacturer are assembling components that come from dozens of manufacturers and that is made possible by having a common currency and good transportation.

Some EU countries have had problems (PIGS) and none chose to crash out of the Euro or the EU and Germany did not push them to get out, on the contrary, Germany recognizes that those countries being a part of the EU means they have a wider market for their products and cheaper suppliers for their industries.

The idea that devaluing the country's currency is going to work some miracle can be easily debunked by asking Venezuela or any other of the countries who have relied on devaluing their currency. For a country to be economically prosperous the main thing is to have high productivity, to produce value. That would be encouraged by low taxes, low bureaucracy, low cost of energy and other necessities, ease for trading, including good transportation infrastructure, banking, etc.

China's currency has been steadily increasing in value over the years and yet China's economy has been steadily growing. The important thing is to be productive.

If Scotland were to gain independence they would have no difficulty issuing their own currency (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banknotes_of_Scotland) and/or simultaneously adopting the Euro and beginning the transition to the Eurozone.

But all these political issues are not driven by a cool analysis of the economic consequences, rather they are mostly driven by politicians with an ax to grind appealing to the emotional side of people. If Brexit happens, especially if it is a hard Brexit, I expect the Scottish to focus a lot on "why would we want to remain with a country that forced on us something we did not want?"

You know, just like the Brexit side is doing now with respect to the EU.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: soldar on April 07, 2019, 08:38:38 am
The northern Irish boarder is perceived as an obstacle to Brexit and if it really is, then the EU would be hesitant about allowing Scotland to join, creating another one! The EU can't have it both ways. There's a lot of propaganda on both sides of the debate.

Oh, please! Come on! Really! I don't know how old you are but I am not even British and I remember the Troubles, the shootings, the bombs, the killings, the violence in Ireland. Every day the news would begin with what was going on in Vietnam and in Northern Ireland.

The EU has zero problem with putting a border (sorry but please note the correct spelling) wherever Ireland and UK want it. It is Ireland and UK who have said they would rather not have the violence return. It is Ireland and UK who signed the Good Friday agreement which stipulates no border between the two Irelands. The EU has no problem with whatever they both agree on but noting that if one side is in the EU and the other side is out of the EU there necessarily must be a border.

This could be solved by the Republic of Ireland leaving the EU but the RoI has stated forcefully and inequivocally that it is remaining and it is up to the UK to square that circle. The UK wants to be outside the EU but have no border in Ulster and that is impossible unless you get creative like the "backstop" solution or just have Ulster rejoin the rest of Ireland. This problem is entirely of UK manufacture. It is impossible to solve and that is why the UK just keeps kicking it down the road in the hopes that... what? That magic may happen?

So don't make this a EU issue because it is 100% a UK issue. They want two different things which are contradictory in nature.

The Scottish border has none of the issues so any comparison is just misplaced. Or is there a Scottish Good Saturday agreement that I am unaware of?
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: Zero999 on April 07, 2019, 08:56:33 am
Oh I didn't know they were different spellings of boarder and border. Thanks for pointing out my dyslexia.  :palm:

Borders have everything to do with the EU, Ireland is part of the EU and the newly independent Scotland would be seeking EU membership. Irrespective of the history, neither the UK nor Scotland would want a land border. If one country left the EU, but the other remained, not having a land border would be essential. More traffic flows between England and Scotland, than Scotland and the continent, so it would be far more disruptive.

Yes a common currency is generally a good thing. Converting from one currency to another costs time and ultimately money, so it makes sense to avoid it where possible. Just try shopping online from sites with prices in different currencies is a pain. Doing the conversions makes comparing prices more challenging, especially when the amount one pays can fluctuate widely.

The main downside I can see with a common currency is it gives less local control of the economy and instability in one region can have a greater impact on the rest, as we saw with Greece. I've always had mixed views on whether the UK should join the Euro. It would make things easier, but would mean we'd have less control. Yet again, I think the biggest mistake with the Euro was allowing the poorer countries in the EU to join, before they were really ready.

I'm all for more local autonomy. Scotland should have as much local power as possible, yet not have any trade barriers with the rest of the UK and the EU. Ideally there should be fewer politicians in Westminster and more in local government around the whole of the UK, not just Scotland.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: soldar on April 07, 2019, 09:31:44 am
This is a very interesting article well worth reading in its entirety. I have extracted a few key paragraphs.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/apr/05/brexit-eu-club-belonging-members-britain (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/apr/05/brexit-eu-club-belonging-members-britain)
Quote
The EU is a club worth belonging to
The past two years have shown the EU united and fighting for its members’ interests. Britain will be weaker outside it

For some, it manifests itself in making a clean break not from the EU, but from their senses. So many MPs are talking so much rubbish at the moment, it can be hard to keep up. Witness Boris Johnson, asked to name a just-in-time supply chain that did not rely on the single market, floundering before offering the example of aeronautical parts transferred from Germany to the UK – both of which are in the single market.

It may fray a little at next week’s European council, but what we have seen since Britain triggered article 50 is the extraordinary solidity, even solidarity, of the 27 countries we are leaving behind. Who would have thought that a bloc representing more than 400 million citizens, stretching from frozen Nuorgam in Finland to balmy Santa Cruz de Tenerife in Spain, would remain united, no daylight between them – while the departing country has a split parliament, split government, split opposition and split cabinet? Put 22 British cabinet ministers in a room, and they can’t agree on anything. But, despite the Brexiter predictions that the EU27 would rapidly turn on each other and look out only for themselves – Germans cutting a deal to help their carmakers, Italians breaking away for the sake of their prosecco producers – they have maintained total discipline.

That’s impressive in itself, but it says two important things about the EU that Britons might not have appreciated in 2016. First, this is why the EU tends to get its way, as it will again next week when it once more dictates extension terms. It’s a big bloc with serious clout, an equal across the table when it faces the world’s other two economic superpowers, China and the US. When Britain comes to negotiate a trade deal with Donald Trump, we’ll get eaten for breakfast – with a side dish of chlorinated chicken. But in the EU, Washington or Beijing meet their match.

If that’s what the EU can achieve as a group, look what it can do for an individual member state. The key obstacle to passage of May’s deal has been the Northern Ireland backstop. Why has that issue persisted? Because the EU has thrown its collective weight behind the border concerns of a single, small member – Ireland. For several centuries, an iron rule of any dispute between Ireland and Britain was that Britain, the bigger nation, would always win. Not any more. Because Ireland is now part of a bigger bloc. The backstop has made vivid what perhaps was abstract in the British imagination: that by pooling together with other nations, a country might give up a modicum of theoretical sovereignty, but it gains a whole lot of practical strength. Britain used to benefit from that obvious fact of geopolitics; now we are suffering from it. In an arm-wrestle with our once-weak neighbour, we are being outmuscled.

The Brexit experience has pointed up a related truth that was overlooked in 2016: the fact that both Britain and Ireland were in the EU had helped neutralise many of the tensions that had riven these islands for so long, with the border being the most obvious. The Good Friday agreement rested on scores of delicate, complex balances that, despite everything, worked in the shared context of the EU. Britain’s exit upsets that intricate geometry. In the process, it reopens wounds that had been healing for two decades, wounds some in Westminster had apparently forgotten or never understood.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: soldar on April 07, 2019, 09:49:30 am
Borders have everything to do with the EU, Ireland is part of the EU and the newly independent Scotland would be seeking EU membership.

You are missing the key point here which is that the UK and the RoI have a treaty called the Good Friday Agreement (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_Friday_Agreement) which would be in conflict with a UK outside the EU. It is not a problem of the EU and it is not even a problem of the RoI, it is a problem that the UK wants to be outside the EU and yet maintain the Good Friday Agreement in full force. This is impossible as both things are contradictory. UK authorities have painted themselves into a corner and now blaming the EU. The UK has gone full psychotic (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychosis) and have trouble distinguishing reality from fantasy.

Somebody has to come out and tell the people clearly that with respect to the Irish border question there are only three possibilities  (once an exit of Ireland of the EU is ruled out). In the hands of the UK are only three choices: (1) Remain in the EU, (2) Brexit and impose a border in Ireland and (3) Scotland, England and Wales exit the EU while Ulster remains (so-called "backstop").  These are the three only possible options but the UK Government, Parliament and people refuse to accept that reality and keep going around in circles.

They have said "Brexit means Brexit" so #1 is out. Abrogating the Good Friday Agreements (#2) has also been ruled out (with good sense IMHO). So the only option left is #3, the backstop. Theresa May has negotiated a deal which is based on this option but the Parliament refuses to accept it. What does Parliament want? Nobody knows. We only know what they don't want: they don't want to face reality.

They have painted themselves into a corner where they have to decide among those three choices and they just refuse to make a choice. What are they waiting for? The whole world is waiting while they just talk nonsense and refuse to face reality.  It is not like the EU or anybody else has forced this on the UK. The UK alone has created this mess and put themselves where they are. Now, please, shit or get off the pot!

ETA: Theresa May's position with respect to the EU reminds me of Monty Python's Black Knight. They won't give up no matter what.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmInkxbvlCs (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmInkxbvlCs)
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: Zero999 on April 07, 2019, 01:59:28 pm
I see your point about how the border with Northern Ireland and Scotland differ: the former have a formal treaty with the UK stipulating no border shall ever exist, and the latter doesn't. If Northern Ireland leaves the EU, without a deal, the EU are mandating there shall be a border, which is in breach of the treaty. Note that the breech won't be from the UK, if the UK don't enforce any border controls from their side: whether there will be a hard border or not, will be down to the Republic of Ireland who are controlled by the EU, not the UK. Other solutions have been proposed, which don't involve a hard border or the whole of Ireland remaining or leaving the customs union, yet they've been rejected by the EU.

I can see the other side: the EU told the UK there would be a Northern Ireland border, if they leave without a deal, so don't do it.

In spite of the tone of my previous remarks. I don't think it's as simple as blaming the EU or UK for the this conflict. The EU as a whole, including the UK, drafted Article 50 and didn't consider the implications of any state leaving, because it was never seriously considered that it would happen. Blaming either party is counterproductive.

Yes the EU seem united from the outside, but it's questionable how deep it really goes, considering how there are fractions within each country, let alone the entire bloc. Having a pool of smaller nations does make them stronger, but it's also a disadvantage as implementing any change requires them to all agree and compromise. I'm pretty sure opinions range from expelling the UK, with no deal, to giving them an easier deal to protect jobs. As mentioned before, there are many other counties with similar levels of wealth and proseity as the UK, who aren't in the EU and haven't been eaten by the US, so that's nonsense and is part of project fear.

I agree the UK is more divided than Europe, but I think it's the main reason for their weakness, rather than size. The problem is no one agreed with what Brexit should consist of, because no one believed the result of the referendum would be to leave.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: soldar on April 07, 2019, 02:59:01 pm
Look, you just can't have it both ways. Either you are in or you are out, You cannot be in and out at the same time.

You cannot have a Good Friday Treaty with Ireland stating there cannot be a border and another treaty with Ireland (as a EU country) stating there can be a border.  It is either one or the other.

I am beginning to understand how frustrated they must be in Brussels having to deal with the UK.

UK: We want to have control of our borders so we want out of the EU

EU: OK then but that means abrogation of Good Friday Treaty with Ireland.

UK: Well we don't really intend to have any border controls just that we could if we wanted

EU: That makes no sense but, in any case, that also goes against the Good Friday agreements. So what is it? Are you in or out?

UK:  :-//
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: Zero999 on April 07, 2019, 03:21:29 pm
Look, you just can't have it both ways. Either you are in or you are out, You cannot be in and out at the same time.

UK: We want to have control of our borders so we want out of the EU

EU: OK then but that means abrogation of Good Friday Treaty with Ireland.

UK: Well we don't really intend to have any border controls just that we could if we wanted

EU: That makes no sense but, in any case, that also goes against the Good Friday agreements. So what is it? Are you in or out?

UK:  :-//

You've missed the point. If the UK leaves the EU, as they're legally entitled to do so, by invoking Article 50, whether there's a border on the Republic of Ireland's side or not, will be out of the UK's control. It will be a matter for the Irish republic and EU to decide. The UK/Northern Irish side of the border could be wide open, but if the Irish Republic's side is closed, there's nothing the UK could do about it. The Irish Republic could also keep their side border open, but without agreement from Brussels, they would be in breech of their treaty with the EU, yet if they close it, they'll be in breech of the Good Friday treaty. You can blame the UK for starting it by invoking Article 50, if you like, but it doesn't change that fact that once the UK has left, the ball is in the EU/Republic of Ireland's court.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: soldar on April 07, 2019, 05:23:17 pm
Ryanair wants to remain in the EU and not in the UK... which I am satisfied to hear as I have a claim/lawsuit against them pending.

Ryanair pushes button on plan to disenfranchise UK shareholders in event of no-deal Brexit (https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/comment/ryanair-brexit-uk-shareholders-airline-ownership-eu-airline-rules-no-deal-cliff-edge-a8817391.html)
Airline says that UK investors will be barred from voting, speaking at or attending AGMs. British citizens and institutions will also no longer be able to buy shares in the company, to ensure that it is majority owned and controlled by EU citizens


https://investor.ryanair.com/brexit/ (https://investor.ryanair.com/brexit/)
UK shareholders may continue to hold shares post Brexit, but these shares will lose their voting rights under Article 41(J) of Ryanair’s Articles of Association.
When a UK shareholder decides to sell post a hard Brexit they will only be permitted to sell to an EU national.
The combination of these two restrictions will mean that Ryanair will continue to be majority EU owned and controlled post hard Brexit.


Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: soldar on April 07, 2019, 05:40:49 pm
Really, UK Parliament cannot agree on anything but it is all the fault of the EU.

What would be acceptable to the UK? Nothing is acceptable to the UK. And it is all the fault of the EU.

In the meanwhile...

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-04-01/easyjet-issues-cautious-outlook-with-demand-softened-by-brexit (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-04-01/easyjet-issues-cautious-outlook-with-demand-softened-by-brexit)
EasyJet Issues ‘Cautious’ Outlook With Demand Softened by Brexit
Company issues cautious outlook as revenue falls in first half
Brexit issues add to woes for low-cost airlines in Europe



https://www.ft.com/content/4de95ff8-4419-11e9-a965-23d669740bfb (https://www.ft.com/content/4de95ff8-4419-11e9-a965-23d669740bfb)
Low-cost airline easyJet is stockpiling parts for its aircraft in continental Europe, in case a no-deal Brexit severs its supply chains.
Johan Lundgren, chief executive, said easyJet had also been transferring three aircraft a week to its new Austrian subsidiary, which now had a fleet of 130.
He said the airline was “stockpiling” spare parts for the Austrian fleet, “so as part of our Brexit preparations we’re making sure we’re not reliant on spare parts . . . only in the UK”. He said easyJet had “pre-purchased a number of spare parts” and allocated them to the right facilities.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: apis on April 07, 2019, 05:52:25 pm
The northern Irish border is perceived as an obstacle to Brexit and if it really is, then the EU would be hesitant about allowing Scotland to join, creating another one!
No, it's the Irish who doesn't want a border through Ireland, and Westminster has promised there would never be one again. That's not a problem with the Scottish border.

The UK said they want a border to the rest of the EU, that is the very definition of Brexit so stop trying to pin this on the EU, the UK created this mess all by themselves.

Yes, the UK did threaten to block Scotland from joining the EU, but it doesn't mean it would actually happen: we wouldn't want a land border and customs checks. I suspect many of the EU's threats to the UK are empty too.
Right, just like the UK would never vote to leave the EU. The UK tried pretty hard to get guarantees from the EU that Scotland wouldn't be allowed to remain before the Scots even had a chance to vote.

UK promising to kick Scotland out of EU if they voted for independence was indeed a threat.

I haven't heard EU making any threats. Pointing out the consequences of leaving, which the EU has no control over, isn't a threat.

I find it ironic how Scotland wanted freedom from Westminster, where they have a lot of influence, only to cede more power to Brussels, where they'd have less.
That's not true at all. One of the core principles in the EU is that EU only decides about things that affect all the member states, i.e. the subsidiarity principle:
Quote
Under the principle of subsidiarity, in areas which do not fall within its exclusive competence, the Union shall act only if and in so far as the objectives of the proposed action cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States, either at central level or at regional and local level, but can rather, by reason of the scale or effects of the proposed action, be better achieved at Union level.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subsidiarity#General_principle_of_European_Union_law

With Westminster it's the other way around. Scotland was forced to join the UK against their will. Scotland might be allowed to make a decision every now and then, but only if Westminster lets them.

In the next independence referendum Scotland will choose between Freedom and Westminster. They will choose between borders with England or borders with the rest of Europe. They will chose between EU's inner market (18.5T) or the UK's (2.5T).

I wouldn't bet on them choosing Westminster.

I'm all for more local autonomy. Scotland should have as much local power as possible, yet not have any trade barriers with the rest of the UK and the EU. Ideally there should be fewer politicians in Westminster and more in local government around the whole of the UK, not just Scotland.
That would have been the effect of the first Scottish independence referendum (if the UK didn't kick Scotland out of EU). They would have gained local autonomy while still being on the EU's common market and have free movement within Europe (no borders).
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: rstofer on April 07, 2019, 05:53:55 pm
Ryanair? 

A reasonable person would have dumped the stock back in August of 2018 at about $100 USD, down 20% from a high of $125 USD in March 2018.  OR, they rode it down to $75 USD with just the slightest recovery since a low of about $65 USD in Jan 2019.  A 40% slide is pretty breathtaking.

Disenfranchising?  Interesting idea!  I wonder how it will affect stock price.  It doesn't seem like it would be positive.

I don't know anything about retirement plans in the UK but I sure would hate to be holding Ryanair in my 401(k).  I just looked!  I don't...

Mr O'Leary is facing a lot of headwinds.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: soldar on April 07, 2019, 06:21:34 pm
I have no sympathy for Ryanair and would be glad to see them go under but not before I get some compensation out of them.

But that has nothing to do with that Ryanair and many other companies are scrambling to get out of the UK and into the EU before Brexit happens.

UK can say what they want but that is not a sign that inspires confidence.

I can imagine the Cubans in 1959 when people were scrambling to get out with what they could and the Communists were confidently predicting a rosy future now that the people were in charge of their own destiny. The best laid plans of mice and men ...
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: soldar on April 07, 2019, 06:38:53 pm
11 Brexit promises the government quietly dropped
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/ng-interactive/2018/mar/28/11-brexit-promises-leavers-quietly-dropped (https://www.theguardian.com/politics/ng-interactive/2018/mar/28/11-brexit-promises-leavers-quietly-dropped)
Leaving aside the £350m for the NHS, Brexit has promised quick and easy trade deals with the EU and the rest of the world, an end to ECJ jurisdiction and free movement, and British control of North Sea fishing. None of this has come to pass. Here are 11 key abandoned claims
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: Zero999 on April 07, 2019, 07:05:33 pm
Ryanair are cunts and I'm glad to see the back of them.

People talk a lot of doom and gloom about Brexit, and the rest of the EU clearly blame the UK, but once the UK leaves, a lot of it will happen will be determined by the EU, rather than the UK: deal or no deal. The UK clearly don't want a border with the EU in Ireland, and nor does Ireland and there needn't be one, if the EU permits it. There could be huge barriers on trade with long queues in the ports or goods might be waved though, with no checks.

I can't believe people are now comparing the UK with a communist state. I agree the UK government have gone total retard on Brexit but comparing it to Cuba is beyond parody. Well perhaps if they don't honour the referendum result, a more fair comparison can be made to an authoritarian state. My hope is for another referendum. I can see how that would be unpopular, but I think it's the least worst option, at the moment.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: apis on April 07, 2019, 07:22:23 pm
People talk a lot of doom and gloom about Brexit, and the rest of the EU clearly blame the UK, but once the UK leaves, a lot of it will happen will be determined by the EU, rather than the UK: deal or no deal. The UK clearly don't want a border with the EU in Ireland, and nor does Ireland and there needn't be one, if the EU permits it. There could be huge barriers on trade with long queues in the ports or goods might be waved though, with no checks.
You seem to be in denial about this. It's understandable.

The UK wants a border with the EU (brexit). The republic of Ireland is a member of the EU. It follows that the UK wants a border with the Republic of Ireland. The UK can either put it between Norther Ireland and the Republic of Ireland (well, they really can't because of the Good Friday Agreement), or they can have it between Great Britain and Ireland (backstop). It's entirely up to the UK. (The EU would prefer no borders at all, of course).

The EU is just waiting for the UK to make up their mind and get on with it. (They won't let you delay forever.)

EDIT: For your convenience I'm gonna post this video again since it explains the situation better than I can.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1Yv24cM2os (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1Yv24cM2os)
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: Zero999 on April 07, 2019, 08:01:27 pm
I've never heard of the term "maximum Brexit" before and isn't a term used by the British. We have hard and soft Brexit, which represent a continuum ranging from total isolation from the EU, to leaving in name only and remaining in the single market and customs union. Of course that patronising video doesn't explain this.

In reality no one wants a border through Ireland. So why not put it through the Irish sea? No, the DUP doesn't want that, even though most of the UK would be happy with it. Others have proposed a gap in the border with the EU, between Northern and the RoI, but the EU won't allow that and oddly enough that video hasn't covered it, perhaps because it doesn't fit in with their political views? If the UK leaves on the 12th without a deal, Northern Ireland could theoretically keep the borer open, but the Republic would no doubt close it.

My own view is we should not leave, but if the public can't be persuaded, then we must do so properly. The UK should leave the Irish border open, then Ireland and the EU can make the decision whether or not to close the other side.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: rstofer on April 07, 2019, 08:23:26 pm
My hope is for another referendum. I can see how that would be unpopular, but I think it's the least worst option, at the moment.

But the people already voted to leave!  Should the UK go to 'do-overs' like the ROI?

There has been some ugly comments made re:  the UK and the UK voters over the last two years.  I would imagine some moderates are pretty unhappy with leaders of the EU.  What happens if the margin to leave (even with no deal) increases.  Substantially...

Another 3 year delay?  I was hoping this thing would be implemented in my lifetime so I could see how it worked out.

I know, the young people are convinced the old people who voted leave are dead or dying off but if they stopped to think, there are more old people being created just by virtue of the aging 'boomer' generation.  As I understand it, the young people think they can sway the vote.  Where were they during the first vote?  Are they actually going to vote on the next go-around?

A conservative is a liberal who has been mugged by reality.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: apis on April 07, 2019, 08:32:18 pm
I've never heard of the term "maximum Brexit" before and isn't a term used by the British. We have hard and soft Brexit, which represent a continuum ranging from total isolation from the EU, to leaving in name only and remaining in the single market and customs union.
Maximum Brexit == Hard Brexit

(Over here a hard Brexit usually refers to a no-deal Brexit, so maybe they deliberately avoid that term to prevent confusion.)

My own view is we should not leave, but if the public can't be persuaded, then we must do so properly.
That makes sense.

The UK should leave the Irish border open, then Ireland and the EU can make the decision whether or not to close the other side.
That is not an option. The UK wants a border, that was the whole point of Brexit. If you leave the border to the EU open you have no Brexit at all. People and goods will enter and exit the UK without the UK's control, Brexit was supposed to prevent that.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: soldar on April 07, 2019, 09:58:26 pm
The UK should leave the Irish border open, then Ireland and the EU can make the decision whether or not to close the other side.
That is not an option. The UK wants a border, that was the whole point of Brexit. If you leave the border to the EU open you have no Brexit at all. People and goods will enter and exit the UK without the UK's control, Brexit was supposed to prevent that.

UK: We don't want open borders, we want to close the border.
EU: That presents a problem because YOU have a treaty where you say you want OPEN border with Ireland which is the EU
UK: Yes we want open border with Ireland
EU: So you want to remain as you are?
UK: NO, we want to close the borders so we have control.
EU: But that contradicts what you are saying that you want an open border with Ireland
UK: Yes, we want an open border with Ireland
EU: But that is what you have now which you say you don't want. So what is it?
UK: We want open borders with Ireland but not with the EU
EU: But Ireland IS the EU
UK: You just don't like me and you are trying to make things difficult for me! It's all your fault! That is why I don't like you either! Go away! I want to close the border!


I feel like just banging my head against the wall will be less painful.  |O
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: rstofer on April 07, 2019, 10:04:33 pm
The UK wants a border, that was the whole point of Brexit. If you leave the border to the EU open you have no Brexit at all. People and goods will enter and exit the UK without the UK's control, Brexit was supposed to prevent that.

As to economic migrants, Northern Ireland isn't a high value target.  In fact, since the Brexit vote, the number of immigrants has declined by 26%

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-44642297 (https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-44642297)

A goodly percentage (20%) of farm workers in NI are economic migrants.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-45722054 (https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-45722054)

In total, the number of immigrants is fairly small and manageable.  Just let them move back and forth to Romania and call it good.  In farming, you're only talking about 1400 people.  Not an overwhelming issue!

As to goods and services, goods transiting NI can be tagged for inspection in one of the other UK countries.  Products originating in NI can be tagged such that no further inspection is required.  This is solvable!

Is it perfect, beyond hacking?  Of course not!  But what percentage of cargo is checked today?  How much of it is contraband including human smuggling?  The US checks just about 4% of incoming containers in the US and 1% in foreign ports.  Somehow we survive.  Trusted traders and such.  But that leaves over 10 million containers coming into the US without inspection.  Seems like a lot.

http://www.westarusa.com/u-s-lawmakers-say-new-technology-time-inspect-inbound-containers/ (http://www.westarusa.com/u-s-lawmakers-say-new-technology-time-inspect-inbound-containers/)

Before the NI border can be solved, the primary players need to sit down with the WILL to solve it.  Veradkar has no interest in solving it as long as he thinks he can use it as a lever to reunite Ireland or force NI to remain in the EU.  No technical solution was ever acceptable.

Once the exit is over and done with, people will figure out how to solve the border.  Gamesmanship will be over and the players will be facing reality.  The EU and ROI will have more interest in coming up with a workable solution since, although Brexit created the issue, it is an issue to the EU and ROI, not the UK.

One thing about getting the 'exit' over with is that all the side issues can then be ranked by importance and dealt with in a much more realistic and less political manner.  Did anybody ever believe the 'landing rights' debate?  It was absurd to think that UK airlines couldn't land in EU countries!  Did anybody think about reciprocity?  EU airlines couldn't land in UK?  That would shut Ryanair down!  It sure got a lot of press at the time.  Part of project fear I suppose.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: apis on April 07, 2019, 10:29:25 pm
Before the NI border can be solved, the primary players need to sit down with the WILL to solve it.
The negotiations are already over. They've been at it for three years. Now we're waiting for the British parliament to make up their mind. Next week Theresa May is going to ask the EU for a delay, but it's not certain she will get one (although it's likely, because the EU is too nice/soft to just kick them out without a deal).

Not sure what you are saying about the border? It sounds like you are arguing for the backstop which is what Theresa May wants, but the British parliament voted no to her three times in a row.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: SilverSolder on April 08, 2019, 12:59:15 am
Some leave voters are changing their minds, as understanding increases.  For example:

https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/opendemocracyuk/i-was-strong-brexiteer-now-we-must-swallow-our-pride-and-think-again/ (https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/opendemocracyuk/i-was-strong-brexiteer-now-we-must-swallow-our-pride-and-think-again/)
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: Siwastaja on April 08, 2019, 06:10:00 am
Ireland IS the EU

You really don't see anything wrong in this statement?

Like, on the fundamental level.

If not, let me fix it for you: Ireland is a member of a political and economical union called EU.

EU has always been, legally is, and IMHO, should remain, a "club". This is what people voted for when joining EU. This is the EU I support.

If you start treating it as a country, you end up with such ridiculous contradictions, and unhappy people wanting to leave it before it indeed becomes a country. This is not surprising at all. Brexit has one positive side to it: it shows that it is possible to leave EU, and this means competition of ideas: EU has to prove itself useful and good for the people in the remaining EU countries, to avoid more *xits; this can only lead to more democratic, and more widely accepted decisions in the future. This kind of freedom of choice can only work to prevent a slide into totalitarism; it's a protective measure, very good to have within EU I like. I find it very peculiar how certain people flip this over and compare choosing not being a part of EU to totalitarism.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: Zero999 on April 08, 2019, 09:50:58 am
The UK should leave the Irish border open, then Ireland and the EU can make the decision whether or not to close the other side.
That is not an option. The UK wants a border, that was the whole point of Brexit. If you leave the border to the EU open you have no Brexit at all. People and goods will enter and exit the UK without the UK's control, Brexit was supposed to prevent that.

UK: We don't want open borders, we want to close the border.
EU: That presents a problem because YOU have a treaty where you say you want OPEN border with Ireland which is the EU
UK: Yes we want open border with Ireland
EU: So you want to remain as you are?
UK: NO, we want to close the borders so we have control.
EU: But that contradicts what you are saying that you want an open border with Ireland
UK: Yes, we want an open border with Ireland
EU: But that is what you have now which you say you don't want. So what is it?
UK: We want open borders with Ireland but not with the EU
EU: But Ireland IS the EU
UK: You just don't like me and you are trying to make things difficult for me! It's all your fault! That is why I don't like you either! Go away! I want to close the border!


I feel like just banging my head against the wall will be less painful.  |O
It's not that simple.

There are not two parties in this dispute, but four: Westminster, the DUP (who govern Northern Ireland), the Irish Republic and the EU and it's impossible to please them all.

Westminster are happy with the idea of a border across the Irish sea and for Northern Ireland to remain in the customs union, allowing the internal Irish border to remain open.

The DUP are unhappy with Northern Ireland being treated differently to the rest of the UK. If the UK leave the customs union, they want to follow, but it would involve closing the internal Irish border and breaching the Good Friday treaty.

The Irish Republic don't want a border inside Ireland, as it would contradict the Good Friday agreement.

What I was proposing was Northern Ireland, along with the rest of the UK to leave the customs union, with some kind of arrangement with the Irish Republic to keep the border as open as possible, but the EU will not allow this.

Most people in Northern Ireland voted to remain in the UK, accept Brexit will happen, but want to remain within the customs union, even if the rest of the UK leaves, to prevent this problem, but the DUP are holding firm. It could be argued that the DUP are to blame here, especially as they don't represent the view of those they govern.

When the UK leaves, they will have a choice of which borders they want to close or not. They could theoretically keep the Northern Irish side open, irrespective of the EU's decision. If that happens, the EU could be blamed, as if it wasn't for them, no doubt the RoI would have been happy with an open border with Northern Ireland. I think if that happens, the RoI would rather piss of Brussels, than risk the IRA reforming.

So you can still blame Westminster for starting this, but saying well you started it, is the standard response in the playground.

We shouldn't play the blame game, but try to seek a compromise which will upset as few people as possible and keep the peace.

Ireland IS the EU

You really don't see anything wrong in this statement?

Like, on the fundamental level.

If not, let me fix it for you: Ireland is a member of a political and economical union called EU.

EU has always been, legally is, and IMHO, should remain, a "club". This is what people voted for when joining EU. This is the EU I support.

If you start treating it as a country, you end up with such ridiculous contradictions, and unhappy people wanting to leave it before it indeed becomes a country. This is not surprising at all. Brexit has one positive side to it: it shows that it is possible to leave EU, and this means competition of ideas: EU has to prove itself useful and good for the people in the remaining EU countries, to avoid more *xits; this can only lead to more democratic, and more widely accepted decisions in the future. This kind of freedom of choice can only work to prevent a slide into totalitarism; it's a protective measure, very good to have within EU I like. I find it very peculiar how certain people flip this over and compare choosing not being a part of EU to totalitarism.
Yes that's a very strong reason behind Brexit. Although the members of the EU have a say over how it is run, the centre of power is far too distant from the people and lacks accountability. Many voted leave, because they don't like the way the EU is heading: ever closer union, which they see as the path to a superstate. One of the biggest reasons why I voted to remain was because of this, just that it's better to be on the inside and  have some say on the direction of the EU, than on the outside, but still affected by it and have no influence over it.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: apis on April 08, 2019, 02:09:20 pm
The Irish Republic don't want a border inside Ireland, as it would contradict the Good Friday agreement.

What I was proposing was Northern Ireland, along with the rest of the UK to leave the customs union, with some kind of arrangement with the Irish Republic to keep the border as open as possible, but the EU will not allow this.
No it's the Irish people who doesn't wan't a border on the island of Ireland and the UK has promised there would never be a border through Ulster again, that is the problem.

The Republic of Ireland is a member of the EU and negotiate through the EU, but to all the other EU members it doesn't matter where the border is. So it is just silly to blame this on the EU.

The brexiteers should have predicted this problem, the Good Friday Agreement was a known fact. At the same time they are blocking the British parliament from making a decision and try and blame the EU for it. That requires some serious mental gymnastics and it's just plain ridiculous.

The British parliament voted no to Theresa May's deal three times in a row, are you saying that is only because DUP is against it?
"Theresa May's Conservative party has 316 seats, and it has also secured the support of the 10 seats from the DUP."
DUP doesn't have that kind of influence.

So you can still blame Westminster for starting this, but saying well you started it, is the standard response in the playground.
Why then do you insist on blaming the UK's troubles on the EU? The whole Brexit circus is characterised by lies, vitriol and smear campaigns directed against the EU and remainers. One of the remain campaigners were even murdered by brexiters. This isn't childsplay, even if it's on the same mental level.

The brexiteers doesn't simply want to the UK to leave, they want to destroy the EU. EU has a right to defend itself from false accusations and anti-EU propaganda.

UK kicks someone.
Someone: Ouch, why did you do that?
UK: It wasn't me, it was the EU.
EU: No it was the UK, here's the proof.
UK: We're both equally at fault and it is childish to say who started it.
EU: |O
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: Zero999 on April 08, 2019, 02:33:37 pm
The Irish Republic don't want a border inside Ireland, as it would contradict the Good Friday agreement.

What I was proposing was Northern Ireland, along with the rest of the UK to leave the customs union, with some kind of arrangement with the Irish Republic to keep the border as open as possible, but the EU will not allow this.
No it's the Irish people who doesn't wan't a border on the island of Ireland and the UK has promised there would never be a border through Ulster again, that is the problem.
Same thing. No one in Ireland wants an internal border.

Quote
The Republic of Ireland is a member of the EU and negotiate through the EU, but to all the other EU members it doesn't matter where the border is. So it is just silly to blame this on the EU.
That's part of the problem, the rest of the EU have to agree. If it were just the RoI, then it would be easier to reach an agreement.

Quote
The brexiteers should have predicted this problem, the Good Friday Agreement was a known fact. At the same time they are blocking the British parliament from making a decision and try and blame the EU for it. That requires some serious mental gymnastics and it's just plain ridiculous.
And the whole of EU, which included the UK at the time, should have considered this when they drafted the Lisbon treaty and Article 50, but it wasn't, because no one ever thought it would be used.

Quote
The British parliament voted no to Theresa May's deal three times in a row, are you saying that is only because DUP is against it?
"Theresa May's Conservative party has 316 seats, and it has also secured the support of the 10 seats from the DUP."
DUP doesn't have that kind of influence.
You're right, it's not just the DUP and Brexiteers, but many of the remainers too. The backstop is only one of the numbers reasons why it was rejected. Lots of the remainers want a softer Brexit deal and would never allow May's deal to pass. I personally support it, because it's the least worse option.

Quote
So you can still blame Westminster for starting this, but saying well you started it, is the standard response in the playground.
Why then do you insist on blaming the UK's troubles on the EU? The whole Brexit circus is characterised by lies, vitriol and smear campaigns directed against the EU and remainers. One of the remain campaigners were even murdered by brexiters. This isn't childsplay, even if it's on the same mental level.

The brexiteers doesn't simply want to the UK to leave, they want to destroy the EU. EU has a right to defend itself from false accusations and anti-EU propaganda.
I don't blame all the UK's troubles on the EU. I can understand why many people voted to leave. I agree with about 10% of what the leave campaign said. Sympathising with the other side and agreeing with them are different matters. Yes there was a lot of anti-EU propaganda and lies going around with Brexit, which is why I support another referendum.

I seriously don't think that many people want to destroy the EU. Perhaps some on the extreme right do, but most in favour of Brexit don't and just want to leave the EU. I don't want to destroy the EU. It just needs reform, for the good of everyone.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: apis on April 08, 2019, 04:02:43 pm
I seriously don't think that many people want to destroy the EU. Perhaps some on the extreme right do, but most in favour of Brexit don't and just want to leave the EU. I don't want to destroy the EU. It just needs reform, for the good of everyone.
Not the "sheeple" who voted for Brexit, but many of the politicians and the people who are funding and organising the Brexit campaign do. After the referendum they were cheering and gleefully proclaiming that other countries would follow suit and that it would lead to a complete collapse of the union. The foreign influencers are of course from the EU's competition and many of them seem to think it is in their interest if europe descend into a circus of infighting (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divide_and_rule). There are problems with EU, most people agree with that, but those problems are fixable and we would be far worse off without the EU. If the UK were campaigning for more transparency and democracy reforms I would be on the barricades with you, but Brexit is just self goal.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: Zero999 on April 08, 2019, 04:13:41 pm
Thinking this through again. Yes, the UK government are largely to blame for this. The reason for my defensiveness, was because I felt personally attacked, by the assertion that the UK citizens are at fault. Don't forget that the government's position is very different to that of most people, even those who voted to leave. My father voted to leave for various reasons and destroying Europe is not one of them. I voted to remain, despite my misgivings about Europe, largely because it's good for the economy, as well as hopefully being able to put the brakes on the ever closer union nonsense. There are many things I dislike about some of the Eurocrats, but I also hate many of out own politicians, especially those in UKIP.

The government should have drafted up a workable Brexit plan before the referendum. The reason they didn't was because they didn't believe the Brexit vote would ever win. Then Nigel who supported Brexit left, which was retarded. May then messed up when she called for another general election, otherwise she might've been able to get her deal though. I admit, I think the EU could have handled it better, but they're not as bad as the UK government, who have produced a catalogue of failures!

I wouldn't be surprised if there was some foreign interference in Brexit, but a lot of it came from within and has been there for a long time. I believe a lot of people weren't happy with the Mastricht treaty, then came the expansion of the EU into the former Eastern Bloc which many disapproved of, but I wouldn't advocate undoing any of that.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: soldar on April 08, 2019, 05:34:50 pm
The referendum was a colossal blunder. The common person on the street is not informed or capable of making decisions on complex issues. People do not have time for that and that is why they elect representatives who can inform themselves and hire experts to study issues in depth. To pretend that the average person on the street is capable of deciding these things is just populist pandering. Representative democracy has worked well in the UK since forever and the referendum should never have taken place. Cameron will go down in history as one of the people who did most damage to the UK. 

The referendum was not binding in any way. Final responsibility for government decisions rests with Parliament and they are cowards for not doing their jobs. If they had a spine they would say "after taking the advice contained in the results of the referendum and having considered all the facts we have, we are going to do what we consider is in the bests interests of the UK". And they would show their leadership and the people would support them.

You cannot lead by following. Just to give one example, America in the 1960s was deeply racist and in favor of segregation and it took strong leaders to lead America away from that. A country needs leaders not idiots who just follow the common, ignorant man on the street.

Having made one huge blunder the correct thing to do is change course. Only a fool would insist on continuing charging ahead towards slaughter, like the Light Brigade. I forget who, when confronted with someone accusing him of having changed his mind said something like "Yes, when the information I have available changes I change my mind. What do you do?" (Searching I see it is attributed to Keynes and/or Paul Samuelson.)

I was going to copy a few significant paragraphs of the following article but I decided anyone interested really needs to read it in full because it is outstanding.  Really good.  I strongly recommend it. 

https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/opendemocracyuk/i-was-strong-brexiteer-now-we-must-swallow-our-pride-and-think-again/ (https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/opendemocracyuk/i-was-strong-brexiteer-now-we-must-swallow-our-pride-and-think-again/)
I was a strong Brexiteer. Now we must swallow our pride and think again
If we are to leave the European Union we want a sensible Brexit. There’s no chance of that just now.

E.T.A.: I just saw this link was posted in #138 by SilverSolder. Good recommendation.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: rstofer on April 08, 2019, 09:10:41 pm
The referendum was a colossal blunder. The common person on the street is not informed or capable of making decisions on complex issues. People do not have time for that and that is why they elect representatives who can inform themselves and hire experts to study issues in depth. To pretend that the average person on the street is capable of deciding these things is just populist pandering. Representative democracy has worked well in the UK since forever and the referendum should never have taken place. Cameron will go down in history as one of the people who did most damage to the UK. 

And yet the voters did right when they voted to remain in what would become the EU in a similar referendum in 1975 after Edward Heath's government signed on in 1973.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1975_United_Kingdom_European_Communities_membership_referendum

Seems they misunderstood that time too!  What if they had voted no?  Would they have had a do-over like the ROI?  Keep voting until they got it right?

People vote for representatives that are supposed to represent their views.  They don't elect dictators.  It makes no sense for a majority of voters to approve something only to have their elected representatives say 'no, you can't have that even though we let you vote for it'.  Woe be the representative that says 'you're too stupid to understand what you voted for'.

What they voted for was simple and didn't require any thought on their part.  Leave the EU!  Simple as that.  Do whatever is necessary to restore the UK's sovereignty.  And get it done soon!  The details are left for their representatives to work out.  But the goal remains unchanged.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: soldar on April 08, 2019, 09:50:32 pm
What they voted for was simple and didn't require any thought on their part.  Leave the EU!  Simple as that.


Yeah, so what if it reignites a civil war in the Irish border? Who cares? We said we want out regardless of consequences.

Thank goodness that Parliament have not totally taken leave of their senses.


Do whatever is necessary to restore the UK's sovereignty.  And get it done soon!  The details are left for their representatives to work out.  But the goal remains unchanged.

Yeah. We voted for something impossible and our representatives better work out the details ASAP.

The voters voted for something impossible. If you have the formula to make it happen I am sure in Westminster they would love to hear from you.

Like populisms have any good record at all. I can't think of any populism that ended well and, frankly, when outsiders preach for populisms under the guise that it's "democracy" I get suspicious of their intentions.

I do not consider populist democracy to be an end in itself. I consider good government, stability, order, progress to be good ends and forms of government are means towards those ends. In the UK and elsewhere representative democracy has a pretty good record while populist movements that ostensibly give power directly to the people have a pretty bad record. Outsiders preaching for populist governments and populist measures are very suspicious to me.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: SilverSolder on April 09, 2019, 12:04:08 am
the expansion of the EU into the former Eastern Bloc which many disapproved of

You are aware that this expansion was instigated and driven by the UK, with the other large members protesting?  (Tony Blair's government)
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: SilverSolder on April 09, 2019, 12:09:01 am

The referendum was a colossal blunder. The common person on the street is not informed or capable of making decisions on complex issues.


The problem was that the Vote Leave campaign lied, and lied, and lied...   hardly any of the things they said turned out to be true, or implementable. 
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: soldar on April 09, 2019, 07:33:39 am
The problem was that the Vote Leave campaign lied, and lied, and lied...   hardly any of the things they said turned out to be true, or implementable.


To be fair, all politicians lie whenever they are trying to get votes. A Spanish politician not too long ago acted surprised when they confronted him with some lie he had said. Basically he said nothing said while campaigning can or should be taken seriously. "Yes, we lie but we all know we are lying so it is not really a lie." Others like to maintain a polite fiction but that is the truth of it.

The Brexit tragedy is a concatenation of dishonest lies and blunders. Cameron organized the referendum, not because he was trying to solve any existing problem in the UK but because he was trying to solve a problem within his party. He thought his position, "remain" would win easily and that would shut the mouth of his opponents within his party. The whole thing backfired spectacularly.

It opened a can of worms in the UK and has created a division in society which was totally unnecessary. The leave campaign used not only lies but also illegal funds and the results of the referendum should be dismissed on that fact alone. Fake media accounts from outside come into western media and social networks with the intention of influencing results. It has been show to happen in the USA's last presidential election and in recent elections in Europe. But it is not limited to elections, it happens all the time. Fake accounts will defend positions which are contentious and create division in our societies. They do not need to advocate any one position necessarily, they just create argument and division. Russia, China and maybe others have an interest in creating divisions among us. They gain by having a divided Europe and a divided America so they just sow distrust and division. They use our own freedoms against us. They have created a divisive issue where there was none.

Most people are quite ignorant of any complicated issues and they just follow others who they trust or feel emotionally attached to. It is just human. Also we have a tendency to oppose what we consider is anyone opposed to our group. If our group says something then it is a good idea but if the same idea comes from the other side then it must be bad.

These fake accounts give credence to ideas that are just totally idiotic. People feel that if others are supporting them they cannot be entirely stupid or impossible. It is not only Brexit in the UK; we are seeing similar issues in other western countries. China and Russia benefit from any division in western countries so that is what they aim to create and they are doing quite well.

Fake Russian accounts are everywhere supporting divisive issues and Brexit is no exception. That is why I am suspicious of "concerned" accounts who defend populist "democracy" to the bitter end and let the chips fall where they may. It may be somebody with little information and simplistic views and I have to say we should be understanding and try to inform and educate rather than dismiss those people but I am also afraid we are seeing an increment of people who are not sincere in such views and cause damage by making those views look like they are reasonable and have ample support. There is a lot of agitprop being planted among us under the guise of people's free views.

British politicians have failed and have grave responsibility in this mess. Yes, politicians lie but if they go on to believe their own lies they become harmful idiots.

In the 1980s the Socialist Party in Spain based their campaign on being against NATO (and against the USA). They had no thoughts of winning the elections and this was a platform that appealed to their core voters. Then they went on to win the elections by a landslide and were more surprised than anybody else. What to do now? They could have said "no to NATO" means what is says and we will take Spain out of the western sphere but they were better than that and they did a 180 turn thereby betraying all their voters. Looking at it 35 years later it is obvious they did the best thing and having done the contrary would have taken Spain down the way of Venezuela.

Representative democracy works well when the voters trust their representatives and give them the authority to make decisions. Populist politics are destructive and that has been proven in every case where they have been tried.

 Populist, nationalist, divisive issues and parties are gaining strength and Russia and China are simply delighted with what is going on.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: soldar on April 09, 2019, 05:09:08 pm
I found an interesting article in the New Yorker Why facts don't change our minds (https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/02/27/why-facts-dont-change-our-minds).

The gist of it is that being social animals gives us a very big advantage as knowledge does not need to be in every one of us but individual knowledge add to the knowledge of the group. This is good for all of us but leads to the individual illusion that we individually know much more than we actually do.  People think they know how simple things like a flush toilet or a zipper work but they don't and cannot explain it when asked. When the crisis in Crimea most people could not place Crimea on a map and the greater their ignorance about the Crimea and its position on the map the more they were in favor of going to war over it.

As an individual I can benefit from the knowledge of engineers who design and build automobiles, computers, mobile phones; doctors who can operate and treat diseases, etc. All those things would be totally out of my reach individually. Now, I can choose what car to buy or what doctor to go to but I am not qualified to take their place.  And if I choose wrong I might pay a price. If I choose to follow a quack that says he can treat my brain tumor with bleach and some magic incantations I might suffer consequences. My point is that I should not try to become a brain doctor/surgeon myself but I should try to find the most competent doctor.

Politics is the same. It is absurd to pretend every citizen should have deep knowledge of economy, international politics, etc. As citizens we should try to choose those who sound honest, knowledgeable and responsible and those who are elected should do their best to be well informed and make the best decisions.

To pretend all voting citizens should be deeply and solidly informed on all matters of government is silly and unrealistic. People do not have the time or the inclination to do that. Come on. Most people cannot explain how a toilet works, where Ukraine is or what is the problem with Brexit.  They have not the foggiest idea.

It is the political class who have failed here which may be just the UK degrading into a more natural state of things. Good government is rare and requires continuous effort to keep that way. If you look at the world it seems bad, corrupt, inefficient government is much more common. Populism tends to degrade the quality of governments. But some people would like to see the Cultural Revolution (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_Revolution) all over again.

Getting back to the article, it says we think we know more than we actually do because we rely on what others in our group know and when confronted with information which contradicts what we know not only do we not question our beliefs but we re-affirm them.

"You can't reason a person out of a position where they did not arrive by reason."

Or, as Paul Simon might put it, a man believes what he wants to believe and disregards the rest.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: rstofer on April 09, 2019, 07:27:10 pm
Politics is the same. It is absurd to pretend every citizen should have deep knowledge of economy, international politics, etc. As citizens we should try to choose those who sound honest, knowledgeable and responsible and those who are elected should do their best to be well informed and make the best decisions.

To pretend all voting citizens should be deeply and solidly informed on all matters of government is silly and unrealistic. People do not have the time or the inclination to do that. Come on. Most people cannot explain how a toilet works, where Ukraine is or what is the problem with Brexit.  They have not the foggiest idea.


The voters don't need to know that stuff, they hire people to make it happen.  Politicians work for the voters, not the other way around.  Sometimes they seem to forget that fact.

When I worked for a living, way back when, the boss would come in with a project, a schedule and a hope for the cost.  He wasn't worried about design issues, code compliance, contractor selection, materials or any of that technical stuff.  He really didn't care how hard it was, he wanted it built and it was my problem to work out the details.  That's why he was paying me!

If I didn't deliver on a project, I would be down the road.  It was a simple relationship.  I built stuff, I got paid!

Same with politicians:  Voters tell them what they want and leave the details to them.  But the goal is to get it done!

Politicians need to remember who they work for.  If the fail to do so, they won't be politicians long.  The next round of elections in the UK should be very interesting.

Heck, the next elections in the US should be interesting.  Some serious campaigning should be starting up pretty soon.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: soldar on April 09, 2019, 08:50:58 pm
Bosses who demand impossible things from their subordinates do not remain bosses for very long.

People who demand impossible things from their government are going to be very disappointed.

This is just silly talk.

 the best way to understand Theresa May’s predicament is to imagine that 52 percent of Britain had voted that the government should build a submarine out of cheese. (https://www.thepoke.co.uk/2018/12/11/brexit-analogy-went-viral-funny-totally-nails-prompted-sorts-cheesy-puns/)
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: Zero999 on April 09, 2019, 08:56:44 pm
the expansion of the EU into the former Eastern Bloc which many disapproved of

You are aware that this expansion was instigated and driven by the UK, with the other large members protesting?  (Tony Blair's government)
No, I wasn't, but that doesn't matter. As I said before, not everything the government does is supported by the people. Tony Blair's government also did a lot of bad things wit the US, in Iraq, which most of the British public deplored.

I don't care who was responsible for the problems the EU currently has. We should remain in it, to stop it from getting worse.
And yet the voters did right when they voted to remain in what would become the EU in a similar referendum in 1975 after Edward Heath's government signed on in 1973.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1975_United_Kingdom_European_Communities_membership_referendum

Seems they misunderstood that time too!  What if they had voted no?  Would they have had a do-over like the ROI?  Keep voting until they got it right?
No, because the Northern Ireland wasn't in the ECC back then. There was a border, a lot of guns, terrorism and on the brink of civil war. I think its likely both countries joining the EU helped to ease tensions. Later on Tony Blair did good with the Good Friday agreement, which put an end to it.

This again illustrates another issue: not every government/politician is bad or good. Many deamomnise Tony Blair over Iraq, but also praise him for helping to end the troubles in Ireland.

Quote
People vote for representatives that are supposed to represent their views.  They don't elect dictators.  It makes no sense for a majority of voters to approve something only to have their elected representatives say 'no, you can't have that even though we let you vote for it'.  Woe be the representative that says 'you're too stupid to understand what you voted for'.

What they voted for was simple and didn't require any thought on their part.  Leave the EU!  Simple as that.  Do whatever is necessary to restore the UK's sovereignty.  And get it done soon!  The details are left for their representatives to work out.  But the goal remains unchanged.
I agree in principle, but what happens when the citizens vote for something that would most likely make them worse of and by a fairly small majority?

It's not right that 48% of the population have to suffer because the rest decides to do something which will probably be bad for them. Then there were all the lies told.

I suspect enough people have changed there mind for it to be worth a second referendum. I've recently changed my mind about this. I used to think it was a bad idea and whilst it's not good, it's certainly the least worse option.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: rstofer on April 09, 2019, 09:24:37 pm
Bosses who demand impossible things from their subordinates do not remain bosses for very long.

People who demand impossible things from their government are going to be very disappointed.

Who said anything about 'impossible'.  We solved 'impossible' back on July 20, 1969.  Everything else is just details.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: soldar on April 09, 2019, 09:29:29 pm
It's not right that 48% of the population have to suffer because the rest decides to do something which will probably be bad for them. Then there were all the lies told.


The notion that the will of the people is whatever they want at each moment is silly. In every country there are rules. There is a Constitution , there are election rules, etc.

To guarantee stability many countries require a supermajority of 2/3 for constitutional changes and, further they may require that the change be approved by the legislature by a supermajority and by the following legislature also by supermajority following an election. That makes sense because the intervening election in a way is a referendum on the change. This guarantees that changes will not be done on passing whims or tiny majorities. It is the Schmit trigger of politics. Once that measure has passed all the process then undoing it requires a major change in public opinion. It is not good to have major decisions done with a 51% majority because that can turn the other way very easily.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: Zero999 on April 09, 2019, 09:55:45 pm
Bosses who demand impossible things from their subordinates do not remain bosses for very long.

People who demand impossible things from their government are going to be very disappointed.

Who said anything about 'impossible'.  We solved 'impossible' back on July 20, 1969.  Everything else is just details.
Let's put Brexit into a US perspective again.

Suppose Texas wants to leave the US, forming a sovereign state. The leave campaign promise they'll be able to keep the existing trade relationship with the rest of the US, with most things staying the same, but be no longer bound by the constitution, follow any of the rules, or have to pay any tax to Washington. The remain side tell them this is impossible. Leaving would result in a huge economic upheaval and to keep tariff free trade with the US, they'll end up having to follow most of the rules anyway, along with paying some charges. Most people vote to leave, then are pissed off when it all starts to unravel.

Fortunately the UK isn't so closely tied to the EU as Texas is to the US, but you get the general ideal.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: SilverSolder on April 09, 2019, 10:36:25 pm

I love this quote, which sums up a lot of what can go wrong (has gone wrong) with referendums:

"When the people want the impossible, only liars can satisfy.”    
Thomas Sowell, American economist and social theorist

Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: rstofer on April 09, 2019, 11:09:19 pm
Let's put Brexit into a US perspective again.

Suppose Texas wants to leave the US, forming a sovereign state. The leave campaign promise they'll be able to keep the existing trade relationship with the rest of the US, with most things staying the same, but be no longer bound by the constitution, follow any of the rules, or have to pay any tax to Washington. The remain side tell them this is impossible. Leaving would result in a huge economic upheaval and to keep tariff free trade with the US, they'll end up having to follow most of the rules anyway, along with paying some charges. Most people vote to leave, then are pissed off when it all starts to unravel.]
Unless the other 49 states turned vindictive, I don't see why there would be any trade issues at all.  Texas would buy, Texas would sell, life would go on.  I'm not having much success finding the exact number but, AFAIK, California is the only net contributor to the US.  I believe Texas is a net recipient.  Not paying taxes to the US but not getting benefits isn't necessarily in Texas's favor but I doubt that it is a consideration in any event.

We sure as hell wouldn't have a Civil War over Texas leaving.  If they really wanted to raise hell, they would split into 5 states and gain 8 more senators.  They have the legal authority to do this as part of their admission to the Union.
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Fortunately the UK isn't so closely tied to the EU as Texas is to the US, but you get the general ideal.

California talks about secession all the time.  Breaking into 6 states almost made the ballot on the last go-around but for some law creating Federal Judge invalidating the proposal.  I don't know when it will get on the ballot but I have no doubt about if it will get on a ballot.  There is simply too much dissatisfaction in the state for it to continue the way it is today.  In a way, it's a micro image of the EU thing.  Sacramento doesn't represent the views of the majority of the area of the state even though it represents the majority of the population.  Pendulums swing and this liberal sanctuary crap won't last forever.

But the process is complicated, requiring approval from the other states and such.  It would be far easier to secede and then subdivide.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: soldar on April 10, 2019, 07:16:41 am

I love this quote, which sums up a lot of what can go wrong (has gone wrong) with referendums:

"When the people want the impossible, only liars can satisfy.”    
Thomas Sowell, American economist and social theorist

Very good!  I looked it up and found
Quote
The fact that so many successful politicians are such shameless liars is not only a reflection on them, it is also a reflection on us. When the people want the impossible, only liars can satisfy them, and only in the short run.


Which puts part of the responsibility on the public who choose to believe the lies.


I looked him up and he also said
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When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: Zero999 on April 10, 2019, 08:20:17 am
Let's put Brexit into a US perspective again.

Suppose Texas wants to leave the US, forming a sovereign state. The leave campaign promise they'll be able to keep the existing trade relationship with the rest of the US, with most things staying the same, but be no longer bound by the constitution, follow any of the rules, or have to pay any tax to Washington. The remain side tell them this is impossible. Leaving would result in a huge economic upheaval and to keep tariff free trade with the US, they'll end up having to follow most of the rules anyway, along with paying some charges. Most people vote to leave, then are pissed off when it all starts to unravel.]
Unless the other 49 states turned vindictive, I don't see why there would be any trade issues at all.  Texas would buy, Texas would sell, life would go on.  I'm not having much success finding the exact number but, AFAIK, California is the only net contributor to the US.  I believe Texas is a net recipient.  Not paying taxes to the US but not getting benefits isn't necessarily in Texas's favor but I doubt that it is a consideration in any event.
Texas would become a new country, so would need to have a trade deal with the US, to avoid tariffs. It would need to follow the US laws regarding things such as food standards and so on.

There are other things you don't seem to have considered, such as no longer being bound by the US constitution. Suppose the new government wanted to stop black people from voting? No US state can do that, because it's unconstitutional. I think the other states would be pissed off with one being able to do what they want.

For two countries to have tariff free trade, lots of laws need to be harmonised, in order for both parties to agree. For example take farming for example. One country X has higher animal welfare standards than country Y, so the cost of meat in X will be higher than Y. Country X uses pesticides on their crops, which Y doesn't think are safe. The farmers in country X don't want to have to compete with cheap imports from country Y and they don't want to lower their animal welfare standards, for ethical and cultural reasons, so they impose huge tariffs on their meat. Country Y does the same with X's crops, as they don't like the pesticides and their farmers can't compete. Both countries impose tariffs on each other in retaliation.

The trade barriers are harming both countries' economies, by making everything more expensive and there are long delays at the borders, for everything to be checked. One day the two countries' governments get together and decide to solve the problem. Eventually they come to a trade agreement. Country Y decides to adopt X's higher animal welfare standards and X abolishes the use of the pesticides which Y disapprove of. Now they both remove the tariffs and trade with each other more freely.

This is how the EU works, except it's a large collection of countries who all agree on common laws and standards, which affect them all, so they can trade freely with one another. The British public and no doubt people in other EU states bitch about some of the laws, but they have to put up with them to get the benefits of free trade. One of the EU rules states that trade with any non-EU state is governed by world trade organisation rules and no better, unless they have a specific trade agreement with them. This means if a country leaves the EU, without some kind of agreement, there will be tariffs imposed on them, border checks etc. The EU won't allow the UK to leave and still give it the same access to the single market, without having to follow all of the rules, because if they did it would defeat the whole point of agreeing common laws and standards affecting trade.

The Irish troubles are much more recent than the US civil war. Part of their resolution involved removing the border controls between the UK and Republic of Ireland, with the declaration of a legally binding treaty: The Good Friday Agreement. The RoI is in the EU and their rules state that border checks must be in place with states which are not in the customs union. The Northern Irish government want to leave the EU, under the same conditions, as the rest of the UK, who want to leave the customs union. This means there can't be a border through the Irish sea. It must run through Ireland, but that would be in breach of the Good Friday agreement and risk reignition of the troubles, so it can't go there either. The EU could make an exeption for the Northern Irish border, when the UK leaves, but that would set a precedent and all other EU states must agree. I think the EU will somehow resolve this, irrespective of whether there's a deal, since they don't want a war.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: soldar on April 10, 2019, 10:22:05 am
The EU could make an exeption for the Northern Irish border, when the UK leaves, but that would set a precedent and all other EU states must agree.
How is that supposed to work? Suppose there is no border between the EU and the UK. Then anything and anyone can just go from the EU into the UK without control. Which, if I am not mistaken, is precisely what the UK does not want. Can you explain how these two contradictory issues can be reconciled?

I think the EU will somehow resolve this, irrespective of whether there's a deal, since they don't want a war.
So the answer is "magic"? What is "somehow"? How can you "somehow" have and not have a border at the same time?

For now I think the backstop is the most probable outcome. If that is what happens we shall have to wait and see what effect that has on the "unity" of the "United Kingdom".
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: Siwastaja on April 10, 2019, 11:24:56 am
How is that supposed to work? Suppose there is no border between the EU and the UK. Then anything and anyone can just go from the EU into the UK without control. Which, if I am not mistaken, is precisely what the UK does not want. Can you explain how these two contradictory issues can be reconciled?

Note that a "border" is not a binary thing. They can do whatever control they decide they want to do - for example, prevent certain people or certain goods passing, while allowing something else. Border control level is also a continuous variable from none to extremely strict. Too strict, and it can slow everything down and stop the economy, or it can be very lightweight but still existent, or something inbetween. It works, or doesn't work, based on much more complex conditions than just being part of EU or not.

All of this is fairly meaningless, because EU already has border control on inner borders. I have been in a border control and passport check between two EU countries in 2018. This is the reality, despite any ideology.

Political decisions can be made when there is a need and willingness to do it, it's not a child's simplified checkbox game. Agreements and unions are extremely complex; agreements can be changed, renegotiated, or even broken, especially in a situation where the another party (or collectively no one) isn't following the agreement either, which is actually fairly typical, we just don't talk about it when things work out.

Pro-brexit propaganda was utterly simplified and wrong in many parts, but anti-brexit propaganda was not any better. It's actually a very complex and delicate matter.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: soldar on April 10, 2019, 11:59:12 am
Note that a "border" is not a binary thing. They can do whatever control they decide they want to do - for example, prevent certain people or certain goods passing, while allowing something else.


That already implies and requires border controls which the UK has committed to not having in Northern Ireland. I really do not see how this is so difficult to understand. 

All this going around in circles is getting tiring.

The reality is (and I am repeating myself) that the available options are:

1- Remain in the EU - Britain says NO because "Brexit means Brexit".

2- The entire UK exits - Requires borders in Northern Ireland so they don't want this either.

3- Northern Ireland remains under EU rules and a "backstop" in the Irish sea.

Those are the only options now and anything else is handwaving and BS. 

Theresa May understands it, Angela Merkel understands it, the entire EU understands this, the British government understands this, even I understand this, and yet we still have people waving their hands a lot and making vague assertions that "something can be found".

Any agreement that allows border controls in NI is in breach of the Good Friday agreement. You don't have to put the controls to be in breach. But, furthermore, if you are not going to put them why fight to have the right to do so when it causes a huge problem and you won't do it. It is utterly stupid.

The UK and the RoI have an agreement where they both agree there will be totally free movement of persons and goods and no border controls between both Irelands. How can they possibly now sign another treaty that contradicts that without abrogating the first treaty? How can they possibly both be in force? It makes no sense.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: Siwastaja on April 10, 2019, 01:14:32 pm
In any political question, there are always people who don't want something. In any political question, there are conflicts. It ends up being a mixture of compromises, which can even be illogical.

You can go around in loops screaming how this is illogical and everybody's stupid, and you are indeed mostly right, but this doesn't have a lot of meaning IMHO.

Also, any agreement and commitment can be changed, some easily, some painfully. Some agreements come with penalties if terminated early (the reason for the penalties are exactly to give you a way out), but fundamentally, people in a free democracy are still free to, through their democratically elected politicians, change any legally binding agreement. Only in a totalitarian system is an agreement "absolute". Not saying I'm expecting anyone to break their agreement willy-nilly, just pointing out an important principle about the democratic process. If people understood this, it would save us from a lot of useless "this isn't an option because of agreements" argumentation, which is fundamentally flawed, and we could concentrate on the more important questions of: what do we want to do? what's most optimal? what's the Right Thing to do?

Also remember that the question about being in EU is a long term one (measured in multiple decades; no one joins and exits EU regularly), while a lot of the discussion is focused on a small timescale (months, a few years) issues - what happens right after brexit and how it's handled. While these questions are important, it's easy to lose track and start comparing apples to oranges.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: rstofer on April 10, 2019, 05:02:26 pm
Texas would become a new country, so would need to have a trade deal with the US, to avoid tariffs. It would need to follow the US laws regarding things such as food standards and so on.
And yet we somehow trade with the entire world!  Sure there may need to be some formality to the trade relations but it isn't like we don't have models already printed up and functioning elsewhere.  This just isn't a big deal unless the opposing forces become vindictive.  First draft in a week, final agreement in a month.  Meanwhile, unrestricted traffic.
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There are other things you don't seem to have considered, such as no longer being bound by the US constitution. Suppose the new government wanted to stop black people from voting? No US state can do that, because it's unconstitutional. I think the other states would be pissed off with one being able to do what they want.
I am not aware of the voting situation in Australia or New Zealand or even Germany.  Not my circus, not my monkeys.  The point is, if Texas was an independent country they could do whatever their people wanted.  I doubt that they would go full retard.
Quote
For two countries to have tariff free trade, lots of laws need to be harmonised, in order for both parties to agree. For example take farming for example. One country X has higher animal welfare standards than country Y, so the cost of meat in X will be higher than Y. Country X uses pesticides on their crops, which Y doesn't think are safe. The farmers in country X don't want to have to compete with cheap imports from country Y and they don't want to lower their animal welfare standards, for ethical and cultural reasons, so they impose huge tariffs on their meat. Country Y does the same with X's crops, as they don't like the pesticides and their farmers can't compete. Both countries impose tariffs on each other in retaliation.
Again, the US trades with the entire world (AFAIK) and it all works out.  We have treaties and tariffs for models, creating one for a new country is no big deal.  As long as everyone cooperates.  That's been the problem with Brexit:  The EU hasn't conceded a single point.  It's been the EU's way or no-way since the beginning.  It has not been a meeting of equals.  The UK has been treated like crap from the beginning.  That the UK still talks to the EU is both amazing and disheartening.
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The trade barriers are harming both countries' economies, by making everything more expensive and there are long delays at the borders, for everything to be checked. One day the two countries' governments get together and decide to solve the problem. Eventually they come to a trade agreement. Country Y decides to adopt X's higher animal welfare standards and X abolishes the use of the pesticides which Y disapprove of. Now they both remove the tariffs and trade with each other more freely.
Again, this is already worked out for hundreds of countries.  The EU is hardly unique in trading with other countries.
Quote
This is how the EU works, except it's a large collection of countries who all agree on common laws and standards, which affect them all, so they can trade freely with one another. The British public and no doubt people in other EU states bitch about some of the laws, but they have to put up with them to get the benefits of free trade. One of the EU rules states that trade with any non-EU state is governed by world trade organisation rules and no better, unless they have a specific trade agreement with them. This means if a country leaves the EU, without some kind of agreement, there will be tariffs imposed on them, border checks etc. The EU won't allow the UK to leave and still give it the same access to the single market, without having to follow all of the rules, because if they did it would defeat the whole point of agreeing common laws and standards affecting trade.
I don't think the UK is complaining about compliance with standards.  What they don't want is the attendant freedom of movement and, of course, their fishermen want their waters back.  To boil Brexit down to just one complaint item:  Freedom of movement is not welcome.  As I understand things...  Of course, nobody wants to be controlled by a foreign government or institution.  That's kind of the whole point of being a sovereign country.
Quote
The Irish troubles are much more recent than the US civil war. Part of their resolution involved removing the border controls between the UK and Republic of Ireland, with the declaration of a legally binding treaty: The Good Friday Agreement. The RoI is in the EU and their rules state that border checks must be in place with states which are not in the customs union. The Northern Irish government want to leave the EU, under the same conditions, as the rest of the UK, who want to leave the customs union. This means there can't be a border through the Irish sea. It must run through Ireland, but that would be in breach of the Good Friday agreement and risk reignition of the troubles, so it can't go there either. The EU could make an exeption for the Northern Irish border, when the UK leaves, but that would set a precedent and all other EU states must agree. I think the EU will somehow resolve this, irrespective of whether there's a deal, since they don't want a war.
So, there is no possible answer to this problem!  The UK should totally surrender to the EU forevermore because of ROI vs NI.  Seriously? 

The EU won't make an exception before Brexit but they're going to have to after Brexit because the Irish border isn't an issue for the UK.  Stuff coming north will either be destined to NI, and they aren't a very big market, or it will transit and ship out where it will be inspected on reaching the Great Britain borders.  Not a problem for the UK.

The EU is the only organization worrying about the NI border.  I don't pretend to understand the complexities of the Troubles.  When I visited Dublin for a project meeting back in '80 everybody agreed not to discuss the matter and we went out for pints after work.

So, allow passenger vehicles, foot traffic, buses and small vans unfettered access.  Side stream the large trucks for inspection inside the ROI.  Consider 'trusted trader' agreements to give nearly all large trucks unimpeded flow.     NI isn't worried about mass migration because it hasn't happened even with freedom of movement.

Come on!  This thing is solvable were it not for the EU and ROI wanting to use it as a wedge.  But first there needs to be meetings of people of good will and that hasn't happened.

This should be an interesting week!
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: SilverSolder on April 10, 2019, 11:09:49 pm
The UK should totally surrender to the EU forevermore

Like Texas or any of the other 49 states are all surrendering to the USA forever more?   Let's face it, this is a minority view in the USA, and also in the EU (even in the UK)!
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: Zero999 on April 11, 2019, 08:54:55 am
And yet we somehow trade with the entire world!  Sure there may need to be some formality to the trade relations but it isn't like we don't have models already printed up and functioning elsewhere.  This just isn't a big deal unless the opposing forces become vindictive.  First draft in a week, final agreement in a month.  Meanwhile, unrestricted traffic.

I am not aware of the voting situation in Australia or New Zealand or even Germany.  Not my circus, not my monkeys.  The point is, if Texas was an independent country they could do whatever their people wanted.  I doubt that they would go full retard

Again, the US trades with the entire world (AFAIK) and it all works out.  We have treaties and tariffs for models, creating one for a new country is no big deal.  As long as everyone cooperates.  That's been the problem with Brexit:  The EU hasn't conceded a single point.  It's been the EU's way or no-way since the beginning.  It has not been a meeting of equals.  The UK has been treated like crap from the beginning.  That the UK still talks to the EU is both amazing and disheartening.

Yes, the whole world trades and that won't stop after Brexit, nor would it stop if Texas left the US. The problem is all the upheaval and that afterwards Texas would be in a weaker position, than before, without the backup of the other states, who would be stronger together.

The EU has been so difficult to deal with, because the UK government have made unreasonable and conflicting demands. The Brexiteers want all the benefits of EU membership without any of the responsibilities. When one leaves a club, they also lose the benefits of membership, along with gaining the freedom of not having to follow the rules.

Quote
I don't think the UK is complaining about compliance with standards.  What they don't want is the attendant freedom of movement and, of course, their fishermen want their waters back.  To boil Brexit down to just one complaint item:  Freedom of movement is not welcome.  As I understand things...  Of course, nobody wants to be controlled by a foreign government or institution.  That's kind of the whole point of being a sovereign country.
The idea behind freedom of movement is it helps companies to hire people from different countries, without having to worry about visas. It worked well for the UK, when the rest of the EU had similar levels of wealth. I imagine a similar thing could work between US and Canada or New Zealand and Australia, with most people being happy with it. It only became a problem, when poorer parts of Europe joined the UK. Of course you could blame the UK government at the time for not stopping it, but that doesn't help the current situation.

The trouble is, if the UK wants to preserve the current level of tariff free trade and access to the single market, they're stuck with it now. The EU has made it clear that two are inseparable. The EU can't allow each state to do what it wants because that would defeat the purpose of having a group of states which agree. If the EU allow the UK to leave, not pay any tax or have freedom of movement, then what's to stop other countries from doing the same? Then there may be other countries who are happy with freedom of movement, but disagree with some other EU rules, perhaps they should be able to leave and keep all the benefits too? That would result in the dissolution of the EU which would not be welcome by most of the EU states.

The EU could make an exeption for the Northern Irish border, when the UK leaves, but that would set a precedent and all other EU states must agree.
How is that supposed to work? Suppose there is no border between the EU and the UK. Then anything and anyone can just go from the EU into the UK without control. Which, if I am not mistaken, is precisely what the UK does not want. Can you explain how these two contradictory issues can be reconciled?
Because it's not that simple.  Remember the UK and EU are not single bodies, each with uniform ideas and desires.

Not all of the UK wants Brexit and even some of those who do, would be happy with a border across the Irish sea but the DUP doesn't want that. The problem with the backstop is the DUP want to leave the EU, under the same terms as the rest of the UK. If the UK leave the customs union, they must also leave it too.

The EU wants border controls with states, who are not in the customs union. Remember they don't want to give anyone the benefits of membership, without the responsibilities.

No doubt the RoI would be happy to have a more open border with NI after Brexit, irrespective or whether they're in the customs union or not. All they're bothered about is keeping the peace.

Irrespective of who is to blame for Brexit. It doesn't mean the EU shouldn't strive to achieve some sort of a compromise. Allow the UK, along with Northern Ireland to leave the EU and customs union, whist keeping the border open. Number plate recognition technology could be used to keep track of vehicles crossing the border and have passport checks, only when the authorities have reasonable grounds to suspect someone might be a criminal.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: dzseki on April 11, 2019, 10:08:32 am
Switzerland is not part of the trade union either, still for example one can go with car from Geneve to France without basically any control, so I don't see much problem in this, yet taxation of foreign goods are in effect, and AFAIK it actually works.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: Zero999 on April 11, 2019, 11:16:15 am
Switzerland is not part of the trade union either, still for example one can go with car from Geneve to France without basically any control, so I don't see much problem in this, yet taxation of foreign goods are in effect, and AFAIK it actually works.
Switzerland may not be in the EU, but is in the Schengen passport-free zone, which the UK has never been part of and is in the Single market, so has to accept free movement.

Switzerland are more closely tied to the EU, than anyone who voted for Brexit wants the UK to be. I believe a Swiss style agreement is very popular amongst remainders in the government, because it would allow them to officially stick to the result of the referendum to leave the EU,  but without really leaving. I don't back it because it would not be what people voted for. The only moral and right way to allow that kind of agreement, would be to have another referendum or general election with a party committed to such a deal, winning a clear majority.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switzerland#Switzerland_and_the_European_Union
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: FreezeSSC on April 11, 2019, 03:29:16 pm
I have to laugh at the idea that Texas leaving the union wouldn't effect them at all.  Every major engineering firm with government contracts would immediately move to the U.S. side not to mention every company that needs or wants access to the u.s. financial market.  As you're seeing with brexit many corporations will move to the bigger financial market creating a drain on Texas and reducing their economic activity, in order to sustain their economy Texas will have to substantially raise their taxes and create job crippling their own citizens or let their economy deflate as people flee to the U.S. side. 
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: apis on April 11, 2019, 06:01:25 pm
The reality is (and I am repeating myself) that the available options are:

1- Remain in the EU - Britain says NO because "Brexit means Brexit".

2- The entire UK exits - Requires borders in Northern Ireland so they don't want this either.

3- Northern Ireland remains under EU rules and a "backstop" in the Irish sea.
Actually, the UK parliament has passed a law now that forbids option no. 2 (https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/apr/03/mps-pass-motion-to-debate-article-50-extension-by-one-vote), so the only remaining options are 1 or 3: Remain in the EU or accept the deal that Theresa May has negotiated with the EU (backstop). (Something in-between might also still be possible, if Theresa May drops some of her "red lines".)

Theresa May understands it, Angela Merkel understands it, the entire EU understands this, the British government understands this, even I understand this, and yet we still have people waving their hands a lot and making vague assertions that "something can be found".
Embarrassingly there are still some brexiteers in the uk Gov/Tories that doesn't understand this, but Theresa May and her faction probably does. Maybe the others Tories do too and are only putting on a show so they wont loose too many of their Brexit voters to UKIP/Farage, but I think that is to give them too much credit.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: soldar on April 11, 2019, 06:03:32 pm
Exactly, banks and other corps are leaving the UK in flocks and Brexit hasn't even happened yet.  I read that many banks and financial institutions are now requiring new hires to sign in their contracts an agreement to relocate to the continent if so required. The economy has taken a nosedive and Brexit hasn't even happened yet. Just wait until it really does happen.

We are not talking of a single club but a group of treaties with different members each treaty. There is already a very good youtube video posted in this thread. I know some people are not interested in facts but those interested in reality should see it as it explains the different treaties.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Supranational_European_Bodies-en.png

The referendum resulted for Brexit without explaining or going into any detail of what that meant. Sensing the disaster ahead Cameron, wisely, stepped aside. Theresa May became leader of her party and prime minister and was totally lost with regards to the issue. She spent months saying vague platitudes like "Brexit means Brexit" which alarmed pretty much everybody. Those who wanted a hard Brexit thought they would be swindled, those who wanted to remain thought she might go for a hard Brexit and those who wanted a soft Brexit thought it looked like she didn't have a clue as to what was going on or what to do next.

After much fuddling she came up with her "red lines".

- Leave the European single market (and retake control of the movement of goods and persons)

- Not be in the European Customs Union

- Regain "control of our borders" and control flow of goods, services and people. (I think capitals too.)

- No longer submit to jurisdiction of the European Court

- No contribution to the general expenses of the EU (although maybe the UK could participate in specific programs)

- A "free trade agreement" with the EU

- No border in Ireland.


This program of red lines had two main problems:

1- It was vague and sounded like a hard Brexit which would provide all the "Brexity" things with no disadvantage. But not all who voted for Brexit voted for a hard Brexit in the first place.

2- She was in denial about the contradictions contained in her program.


I mean, she was going to have a "free trade agreement" while pulling out of the treaties that gave UK that free trade.

And she was going to have "control of our borders" while not having border controls in Ireland.That's the squaring of the circle and when it was pointed out they replied with vague "technological measures" which are impossible and therefore non-existant. 

Unfortunately, she encouraged the pie in the sky crowd who believe anything is possible if you just wish it hard enough.

After that everything has gone downhill from there.


The pie in the sky crowd who believe anything is possible, even the impossible is possible, have taken the position that if the impossible is not being delivered it must be the fault of the EU. So the same people who blamed the EU for their problems while they were in, now blame their problems on the EU for not letting them leave ... or something. The people who said the EU would bend over backwards to accommodate the UK are now blaming the EU for the mess and chaos in Westminster. UK do not know what they want but they want the Eu to deliver PDQ.


This is like someone saying: you know that car we have? It uses too much gasoline and I have a solution to that. I have found out it is the motor that uses up so much gasoline so all we have to do is take out the motor and gasoline consumption will decrease a lot.


I know a couple where she was pretty much using the guy. Two young daughters with problems, he got to take care of everything at home while she went out with her friends. Then she got sick and needed care at home from him. For years he got no sex. Then she got a bit better from her sickness and decided she was tired of him and it was all his fault so she divorced him. She thought she was attractive and intelligent and guys would line up for the privilege of her company.  Needless to say things did not quite work out that way. Yes, plenty of guys willing for a one night thing and only as long as children, ex-husband or health issues were not brought up. Middle aged people with baggage and health issues are not in great demand. She didn't appreciate what she had and she thought she was so attractive she would have the world at her feet.

I feel the UK has miscalculated. They didn't want to pay for their share of the gasoline that made things move along and are surprised that if you take the motor out of the car it no longer moves. And they thought they were so attractive the world would line up to beg them for commercial deals when in reality the three big trading blocks will screw you tonight and not even call you in the morning.

For now the only solution to these conundrums is to kick the can down the road.

At this point I think Theresa May is totally burnt out and exhausted and the only thing holding her in place is that nobody want to assume the royal mess. 

I would tell them to pound sand and get lost but obviously that would be no good for anybody so the EU patiently wait for the fool to stop fooling and return to reality. 

I guess as long as they do not demand the Sudetenland we're OK. We can just point and laugh while we wait.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: apis on April 11, 2019, 06:16:36 pm
Voters tell them what they want and leave the details to them.  But the goal is to get it done!
We have representative democracies (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Representative_democracy). We vote for a representative who shares our values, and more pragmatically, our interests. If they get elected they go off and becomes experts on the politics and hopefully make the best possible choices in line with those values and interests. If they realise something isn't possible or would be really bad it's their responsibility to say so and do what they believe is right.

Yes, the politicians work for the citizens, but they are supposed to think by themselves and make the best possible decisions. You don't just hand the politicians a list of how to vote. That would be direct democracy (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_democracy).
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: soldar on April 11, 2019, 06:31:57 pm
Actually, the UK parliament has passed a law now that forbids option no. 2 (https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/apr/03/mps-pass-motion-to-debate-article-50-extension-by-one-vote), so the only remaining options are 1 or 3: Remain in the EU or accept the deal that Theresa May has negotiated with the EU (backstop). (Something in-between might also still be possible, if Theresa May drops some of her "red lines".)
Yes I am aware of that. In reality Parliament have rejected all three and therein lies the problem. When I proposed those three choices I was talking about a practical point of view, not what Parliament are thinking (which is anybody's guess).

There is an aside discussion to be had about voting systems. There are infinite number of voting systems and there is no one system that is better than all others. This is something simple people fail to grasp as they have this notion that there must be some ideal system.

Now, in the UK Parliament they vote for/against bills. Suppose you have 1/3 who favor bill A, 1/3 who favor bill B and 1/3 who favor bill C/ None of them will pass because 2/3 will always vote against any of the bills.

This is the case where countries cannot form a government because there is always a majority opposed to whatever is proposed.

A solution is to not vote Yes/No on each measure but to introduce all alternative bills and each voter can vote for one and the bill which gets most votes carries the day and the others are rejected. That would solve the Brexit issue PDQ.

This puts voters in a different frame of mind. They cannot just obstruct by voting against everything. Now they know some measure is going to be approved and they better really vote for the one they consider least bad.

It is easy to gain the approval of a majority *against* something, anything. It is much more difficult to get people to unite in support of something.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: apis on April 11, 2019, 06:34:59 pm
I guess as long as they do not demand the Sudetenland we're OK. We can just point and laugh while we wait.
It's like a little child who wants to bring the cute lion cubs home from the Zoo, and the parents try to explain why it's not possible, but the child is angry and crying and thinks the parents are just being mean. It's not so funny when it's the leaders of a big country behaving like that though, because the consequences will be dire for everyone.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: soldar on April 11, 2019, 07:01:06 pm
It may be just me getting old but I grew up in the longest period of peace and the most prosperous the western world has known and there was a feeling that things were always getting better.

The Anglo countries, especially US and UK were examples of stability and good government. You could disagree with many of their policies, and I did, but overall they had responsible leaders and good government. They did not do *really* stupid things, only moderately stupid. They did not damage the system.

For the last few years I have a feeling that these countries are decomposing from within and losing weight in the world. And it makes me sad because this is my culture, my family if you will.

We are like children playing to be grown ups but without responsibility, without thinking there are real consequences to what we do. We are like the monkeys in the Jungle Books.

We think that we are superior to other cultures just because of who we are but other cultures are catching up fast and we better wake up or we will be surpassed.

I don't want to imagine the day when people visit the ruins of Westminster, like we visit the ruins of Rome today, and think "this was once a great place that ruled an empire".
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: soldar on April 12, 2019, 08:06:09 am
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/apr/11/switzerland-court-overturns-referendum-as-voters-were-poorly-informed (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/apr/11/switzerland-court-overturns-referendum-as-voters-were-poorly-informed)
Quote
Court overturns referendum as voters were poorly informed ... in Switzerland

Incomplete detail and lack of transparency invalidated vote on tax laws, says supreme court

Switzerland’s supreme court has overturned a nationwide referendum for the first time in the country’s modern history, on the grounds that the information given to voters was insufficient.

In a ruling that may resonate in Britain, where remain campaigners have long argued that voters in the 2016 Brexit referendum were not adequately informed, the court said incomplete detail and a lack of transparency had violated the freedom of the vote, which could now be re-run.

Maybe the UK can learn something.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: Zero999 on April 12, 2019, 08:37:02 am
There are other things you don't seem to have considered, such as no longer being bound by the US constitution. Suppose the new government wanted to stop black people from voting? No US state can do that, because it's unconstitutional. I think the other states would be pissed off with one being able to do what they want.
I am not aware of the voting situation in Australia or New Zealand or even Germany.  Not my circus, not my monkeys.  The point is, if Texas was an independent country they could do whatever their people wanted.  I doubt that they would go full retard.
The whole point of having a constitution is to prevent governments from going full retard.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/apr/11/switzerland-court-overturns-referendum-as-voters-were-poorly-informed (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/apr/11/switzerland-court-overturns-referendum-as-voters-were-poorly-informed)
Quote
Court overturns referendum as voters were poorly informed ... in Switzerland

Incomplete detail and lack of transparency invalidated vote on tax laws, says supreme court

Switzerland’s supreme court has overturned a nationwide referendum for the first time in the country’s modern history, on the grounds that the information given to voters was insufficient.

In a ruling that may resonate in Britain, where remain campaigners have long argued that voters in the 2016 Brexit referendum were not adequately informed, the court said incomplete detail and a lack of transparency had violated the freedom of the vote, which could now be re-run.

Maybe the UK can learn something.
The UK referendum wasn't legally binding, as I believe those in Switzerland are, so the government wouldn't have to go to court, but in order to stop Brexit, they need to do so in a manner which appears to be legitimate, otherwise there's a risk of serious civil disorder and even more distrust in government. Another referendum because court deciding the result was invalid would be a good way to keep the peace.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: soldar on April 12, 2019, 11:32:01 am
The whole point of having a constitution is to prevent governments from going full retard.

OTOH, when a people/country want to go full retard a constitution isn't going to stop them. They will change it or ignore it or pretend it means whatever they want.  Any constitution (including religious texts) can be creatively interpreted to mean whatever the user wants.

A constitution is no better than the people who implement it and use it. Decades ago I used to give an example to people who thought a well written constitution is the answer to everything.  I would ask them, what do you think is better? A country with a written constitution that guarantees civil rights, jobs, housing, no state religion, etc. Or a country with no written constitution, with no such guarantees, with the state endorsing a certain religion, etc.

When they would answer that the first is obviously better I would ask "so you would rather live in the Soviet Union than in the UK?"

The UK has a strange system of government which logically makes no sense and yet it has given excellent results over the centuries because the people and their representatives were bound by tradition and they used good judgment and tolerance. That culture is much more important than any written constitution.

I want my country to participate in international treaties. I believe it is good that we give up some sovereignty in exchange for having a say in other countries affairs. That makes international relations and commerce easier and better and makes wars less likely.  That is a sign of civilization. Countries that want to not have limits or bounds are dangerous to world stability.   A civilized individual submits to the laws that his society has chosen to impose and a civilized country submits to the laws that have been agreed by all nations.


The UK referendum wasn't legally binding, as I believe those in Switzerland are, so the government wouldn't have to go to court, but in order to stop Brexit, they need to do so in a manner which appears to be legitimate, otherwise there's a risk of serious civil disorder and even more distrust in government. Another referendum because court deciding the result was invalid would be a good way to keep the peace.

Part of the mess is that the referendum is considered binding and not binding at the same time. Legally it is not binding as Parliament is supreme and sovereign.  OTOH politically the "winners" want to make it look like it is binding in spite of the confusion and irregularities.

Everybody involved have messed up big time and it is a shameful spectacle the UK is giving.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: soldar on April 12, 2019, 11:40:17 am
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/apr/11/uk-stands-down-6000-no-deal-brexit-staff-after-spending-15bn (https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/apr/11/uk-stands-down-6000-no-deal-brexit-staff-after-spending-15bn)

Quote
UK stands down 6,000 no-deal Brexit staff - after spending £1.5bn

Civil service to stand down its no-deal contingency plans in light of new departure date

The government has stood down an army of 6,000 civil servants who had been preparing for a no-deal Brexit, at an estimated cost of £1.5bn.

The civil servants who had been seconded from elsewhere will now return to their normal duties, but there is no clear role for an estimated 4,500 new recruits after article 50 was extended until Halloween.

More than 16,000 civil servants in total have been working on Brexit.
You know... money that could have gone to the NHS.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: Zero999 on April 12, 2019, 12:15:25 pm
At least Brexit has created some extra jobs. ;)

Yes, a constitution doesn't prevent the government from going full retard. The country's government's power needs to be limited. There needs to be checks and balances, rule of law and an independent judiciary, able to block any stupid decisions.  The Soviet Union had none of the above, whilst the UK had pretty strong rule of law at the time. Look at what's recently happened with Trump in the US. Imagine what would happen with no restrictions on his power.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: soldar on April 12, 2019, 03:43:56 pm
A prudent policy is to not make major changes in a hurry. Think it over, discuss it. Especially issues which are divisive and of great importance. If in any doubt, leave things as they were and think some more. If you cannot get a consensus just leave it be and maybe bring it up again in the future.

This policy has worked well for the UK. The abolition or substitution of the House of Lords has been gradually and very slowly going on for over a century now just because it is a complicated subject where agreement is difficult to find.

It took decades to build the EU and UK's part in it and it was a grave mistake to want to undo all that on a slim majority and in a hurry.

If you want to move in that direction then take whatever you like least and start working on that. Say your most hated issue is the curvature of bananas. Then start working on getting the UK out of that and allowing the importation and sale in the UK of bananas of any curvature up to and including straight bananas. Once you have completed that step and with the advantage and knowledge you have gained you can go on to negotiate another issue. That way you are moving slowly and not creating huge problems. You have time to set up you banana inspectors unit at every border.

Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fools_rush_in_where_angels_fear_to_tread)
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: rstofer on April 12, 2019, 04:17:46 pm
The whole point of having a constitution is to prevent governments from going full retard.
In the US, each state has its own constitution subordinate to the US Constitution.  In theory, rights enumerated under the US Bill of Rights can not be trashed by states.  In theory...

If you are paying attention to the marijuana issue, you will notice a divergence between the state and federal governments.  Marijuana remains illegal under federal law but legal under some state laws.  There is some conflict going on below the surface.  For example, legal marijuana growers can't use banks or credit card companies as these are regulated by the federal government and subject to federal law.  It is a strictly cash business!  This makes it awkward to pay taxes - most notably Federal Income Tax where they have to take boxes of cash to the IRS offices and the IRS has no way to deal with cash.  Note that while marijuana may be illegal on the federal level, they are not averse to collecting taxes on the business transactions.  I suppose there is also a problem paying into employees Social Security accounts.  I haven't heard how that is working out.  I guess 401(k) retirement plans are right out the window.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: electromotive on April 12, 2019, 05:39:12 pm

In the US, each state has its own constitution subordinate to the US Constitution.  In theory, rights enumerated under the US Bill of Rights can not be trashed by states.  In theory..

States rights were presumably (per the Federalist Papers and other such essays) permitted so that the states could govern over issues of immediate need without needing to wait on congressional approval. As such, it would seem the original intent was for them to exist as a stop gap measure so that a true resolution could eventually be worked out in Congress. For the most part, this worked well for 150 or so years before the era of the loophole politician. Unfortunately today, we see both ends of that spectrum:

--States like California and New York use the concept of states rights to suppress rights they find inconvenient (questionable restriction of firearms rights, car idling, consumption of corn sugar products) through tyranny of the majority party.
--States like Colorado and Washington use the concept of states rights to expand or protect rights that may not be specifically enumerated (death with dignity, tolerance of marijuana, same sex marriage and related rights, etc).
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: rstofer on April 12, 2019, 07:22:18 pm

In the US, each state has its own constitution subordinate to the US Constitution.  In theory, rights enumerated under the US Bill of Rights can not be trashed by states.  In theory..
--States like California and New York use the concept of states rights to suppress rights they find inconvenient (questionable restriction of firearms rights, car idling, consumption of corn sugar products) through tyranny of the majority party.
Of course, the other side complains about tyranny of the minority - the Electoral College is one example (depending on the outcome) as is requiring super majorities for some legislative actions including raising local taxes.  Prop 13 was the best thing to ever happen in California!

Whether you are in the majority or the minority, tyranny is on the menu.  But it's always 'the other guys'.  I wouldn't use the US as an example of good government.  OTOH, I don't have any better examples either.

The Founding Fathers didn't want a strong central government (think modern day EU/Brussels) because they simply didn't trust governments - any governments, including the one they were creating.  So, conceding that there would be a strong central government, they gave the people the right to protest against such government (1st Amendment) and the ability to keep the 1st Amendment with the 2d Amendment.  Everything else is derived from there.  It's not a quirk or whim that these are the first two amendments.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: apis on April 12, 2019, 07:29:43 pm
It may be just me getting old but I grew up in the longest period of peace and the most prosperous the western world has known and there was a feeling that things were always getting better.

The Anglo countries, especially US and UK were examples of stability and good government. You could disagree with many of their policies, and I did, but overall they had responsible leaders and good government. They did not do *really* stupid things, only moderately stupid. They did not damage the system.
People sobered up a little after the mistakes from the first parts of the 20'th century, but the last generation of people who experienced that are dying, it's people who grew up sheltered in the peace and prosperity that followed that are now in charge.

We think that we are superior to other cultures just because of who we are but other cultures are catching up fast and we better wake up or we will be surpassed.

I don't want to imagine the day when people visit the ruins of Westminster, like we visit the ruins of Rome today, and think "this was once a great place that ruled an empire".
I don't know if there have ever been any "great" empires, they might be impressive in some ways but they are usually built upon the misfortune of others. Either way, nothing good ever came from civilisations crashing and burning, the way forward is more peaceful cooperation.

Everybody involved have messed up big time and it is a shameful spectacle the UK is giving.
This mess is mainly created by Cameron and the Tories with the help of the populists on the far right. The referendum was held for selfish reasons by people who clearly care more about their own careers than what happens to the people. Maybe not so surprising when the religion they follow nowadays is quite literally selfishness (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Objectivism_(Ayn_Rand)).
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: rstofer on April 12, 2019, 07:37:55 pm
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/apr/11/uk-stands-down-6000-no-deal-brexit-staff-after-spending-15bn (https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/apr/11/uk-stands-down-6000-no-deal-brexit-staff-after-spending-15bn)

Quote
UK stands down 6,000 no-deal Brexit staff - after spending £1.5bn

Civil service to stand down its no-deal contingency plans in light of new departure date

The government has stood down an army of 6,000 civil servants who had been preparing for a no-deal Brexit, at an estimated cost of £1.5bn.

The civil servants who had been seconded from elsewhere will now return to their normal duties, but there is no clear role for an estimated 4,500 new recruits after article 50 was extended until Halloween.

More than 16,000 civil servants in total have been working on Brexit.
You know... money that could have gone to the NHS.

In other words, 4500 civil servants will immediately leave the payroll as redundant and the 1500 others will return to their previous positions which apparently didn't miss them all that much so perhaps they should leave the payroll as well.

How much do you want to bet that nobody leaves the payroll and the numbers are an accounting game.  And the people already on the payroll had to work on something so it might as well be Brexit.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: apis on April 12, 2019, 07:49:32 pm
The Founding Fathers didn't want a strong central government (think modern day EU/Brussels) because they simply didn't trust governments - any governments, including the one they were creating. 
The European Union does not have a strong central government like the USA. Everything about EU is designed to be weak and decentralised and democratic. That is the main reason for many of the problems right now, because EU have no power to do anything about anything if there is the slightest disagreement. As is evident by the whole Brexit spectacle: if the UK wants to leave they can leave. The EU is based on voluntary cooperation.

So, conceding that there would be a strong central government, they gave the people the right to protest against such government (1st Amendment) and the ability to keep the 1st Amendment with the 2d Amendment.  Everything else is derived from there.  It's not a quirk or whim that these are the first two amendments.
So much for the First Amendmend:
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/apr/12/julian-assange-extradition-wikileaks-america-crimes (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/apr/12/julian-assange-extradition-wikileaks-america-crimes)
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: SilverSolder on April 13, 2019, 12:39:00 am

The European Union does not have a strong central government like the USA.

That is correct, everything the EU does has to be agreed by all 28 members (in both the Council and the European Parliament).

There is real power behind 28 countries agreeing on something, whatever that "something" is!

The downside is that it can take a long time (and lots of patient negotiations) to get agreements in place.  But even that process has advantages, since most "bad ideas" never make it to the implementation stage, and even the "good ideas" have been strengthened by so many people being involved.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: rstofer on April 13, 2019, 02:14:06 am
So much for the First Amendmend:
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/apr/12/julian-assange-extradition-wikileaks-america-crimes (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/apr/12/julian-assange-extradition-wikileaks-america-crimes)

The First Amendment doesn't cover stealing classified information and then publishing it.  Whether Assange stole the information or got Manning to do it for him doesn't change the charges which revolve around domestic terrorism.  His actions seriously endangered service members serving in the Middle East (and elsewhere).

Whether he is extradited is up to UK courts, whether he is convicted will subsequently be up to US courts.  It will be years and years before the trial is over.  He'll likely die of old age before this case is adjudicated.  He looked pretty ragged when they arrested him in the UK.

There is some issue about Statute of Limitations, he might have hidden out long enough that he can't be charged.  Obviously, the DOJ isn't accepting this argument. 

Manning was sentenced to 35 years until Obama cut it to 7 and he got out for time served.  Meanwhile the taxpayers paid for his sex change operation.  Manning did have a charge of 'aiding the enemy' and that carries the death penalty.

There is another argument about whether Assange is 'media' and the 'freedom of the press' even applies.

We'll see! 
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: Rick Law on April 13, 2019, 02:46:35 am
So much for the First Amendmend:
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/apr/12/julian-assange-extradition-wikileaks-america-crimes (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/apr/12/julian-assange-extradition-wikileaks-america-crimes)

The First Amendment doesn't cover stealing classified information and then publishing it.  Whether Assange stole the information or got Manning to do it for him doesn't change the charges which revolve around domestic terrorism. His actions seriously endangered service members serving in the Middle East (and elsewhere).

Whether he is extradited is up to UK courts, whether he is convicted will subsequently be up to US courts.  It will be years and years before the trial is over.  He'll likely die of old age before this case is adjudicated.  He looked pretty ragged when they arrested him in the UK.

There is some issue about Statute of Limitations, he might have hidden out long enough that he can't be charged.  Obviously, the DOJ isn't accepting this argument. 

Manning was sentenced to 35 years until Obama cut it to 7 and he got out for time served.  Meanwhile the taxpayers paid for his sex change operation.  Manning did have a charge of 'aiding the enemy' and that carries the death penalty.

There is another argument about whether Assange is 'media' and the 'freedom of the press' even applies.

We'll see!
[ RL: Bold added ]

re: "... The First Amendment doesn't cover stealing classified information and then publishing it.  Whether Assange stole the information or got Manning to do it for him doesn't change the charges which revolve around domestic terrorism. ..."

June, 1971: The Supreme Court ruled in the "Pentagon Papers" case that NY Times has the First Amendment right to publish the Pentagon Papers.  The ruling was made with full consideration of NY Times fully knew that the papers were stolen, and its exposure being damaging to US Defense/ war effort.  As long as NY Times did not did not participate in the theft, NY Times was in the clear and has the First Amendment right to publish.

The notable Alan Dershowitz (Professor (emeritus) Harvard Law)  commented on the Manning/Wikileak case noting that there is "no constitutional difference between WikiLeaks and The New York Times" ...

You can read Dershowitz comments here:
https://thehill.com/opinion/judiciary/438578-alan-dershowitz-is-julian-assange-another-pentagon-papers-case (https://thehill.com/opinion/judiciary/438578-alan-dershowitz-is-julian-assange-another-pentagon-papers-case)

By the way, that is why right now the case is the allegation that Wikileak assisted in Manning's computer break in instead of a case of Wikileak publishing the info.

[Edit: broken link fixed]
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: rstofer on April 13, 2019, 01:21:45 pm
All of the above is correct.   The NY Times didn't participate in the theft and had every right to publish the papers.  The case against Assange is based on his involvement with the theft.  Did he, or did he not, conspire with Manning to steal the documents.

A secondary consiideration is whether Assange and WikiLeaks are legitimate media sources.  The NY Times clearly is a media outlet, maybe the case for WikiLeaks is not so clearcut.  Just because somebody has a web site and a keyboard doesn't make them a media outlet nor does it give them 1st Amendment protections.

We'll see!  That's what the trial is set to establish.

The military should have never dropped the death penalty against Manning and Obama should have never commuted his sentence.  Manning should have been a poster child for what happens when you disclose classified information.

The Rosenbergs were executed in 1953 for providing Russia with the designs for our nuclear weapons.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: apis on April 13, 2019, 03:28:01 pm
I see, the First Amendment only applies as long as you don't criticise the system. And if the justice system doesn't do what the politicians want (murder dissidents) they punish people by legally harassing and persecuting them until the day they die. Or why not incite a mob to do the job for you, who needs courts! So much for civil rights, freedom of speech and the rule of law in the US these days. What was the term... loophole politics? banana republic?

This thread was originally about robots. :-BROKE
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: soldar on April 13, 2019, 03:44:56 pm
To be honest I think we are getting into topics that do not lend themselves to quiet discussion and will probably result in tempers flaring and moderators intervening so I would ask everybody to please keep away from these topics or we risk getting the thread locked.  Just my humble opinion.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: snx on April 13, 2019, 04:01:20 pm
Another very intersting question is:

Does taxation of anything makes any usefull sense. Or more precisely, does the current system makes sense.

By creating a continous source of income, thats not directly connected to a result, is generating the motivation to just be lazy, or use up the income.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: Rick Law on April 13, 2019, 05:34:30 pm
To be honest I think we are getting into topics that do not lend themselves to quiet discussion and will probably result in tempers flaring and moderators intervening so I would ask everybody to please keep away from these topics or we risk getting the thread locked.  Just my humble opinion.

You are quite right.  First Amendment discussion really doesn't belong in this thread.

While I had not made any comments about BREXIT, I think BREXIT in some ways do belong.  Depending on the nation's law, taxation applies to citizenry of the nation and to non-citizen who works within that nation.  For citizens of the USA, USA citizens owe the USA income tax even if the income is earned in another country.  So to the extend that EU/UK differs in taxation, BREXIT has an impact.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: Zero999 on April 13, 2019, 05:48:12 pm
To be honest I think we are getting into topics that do not lend themselves to quiet discussion and will probably result in tempers flaring and moderators intervening so I would ask everybody to please keep away from these topics or we risk getting the thread locked.  Just my humble opinion.
This whole thread is off topic and political which breaks the rules. I'm surprised it hasn't been locked.

I'm impressed at how well-behaved most people here have been, discussing controversial subjects such as tax and Brexit.

Automation and cheap labour are interesting subjects. They both cause job losses in high wages areas, yet seem to only increase prosperity. Governments can't really directly tax automation, but they can tax energy. Cheap labour can also be taxed by tariffs on products from low wage countries. Immigration is a bit of a headache for the UK at the moment. Yes, cheap migrant labour does cause economic growth, but is that because it increases the population size? I'm not convinced that it really improves living standards, which have fallen in the UK since the doors have opened to eastern Europe, although it could be coincidental. People who criticise immigration are labelled racist xenophobes, by the liberals, but everyone's entitled to their opinion. It's true that migrants from the same places stick together, forming ghettos, as can be seen with Brits living in Spain, various ethnic groups in the UK, which can cause social problems, if it's not managed properly.

I'm well aware that the rest of the world thinks the UK has gone full retard on Brexit, apart from the US far right perhaps, but how many others have thought about why some people want to leave? I saw an Australian politician, I can't remember who, criticising Brexit but would they support Australia joining the EU's single market, including the high levels of immigration which will probably come with it? I don't think so.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: soldar on April 13, 2019, 06:14:59 pm
Governments need money to function (and in the case of Spain to waste and steal in huge quantities) but the tax structure must be carefully designed so it does not discourage economic activity and productivity. 

One of the major causes of the economy being so bad in Spain is the terrible tax structure. Taxing energy is what the geniuses in Spain do and the result is industries that use large amounts of energy are not competitive and go elsewhere. Aluminum manufacturer Alcoa just closed a factory in northern Spain.

In my view it is bad to have a culture where the people believe they are owed jobs (meaning salaries) and that the government should protect them from competition from automation, imports, or any other cause. The result of protectionism in any way, shape or form is always that the general public pays higher prices for lower quality products.

Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: apis on April 13, 2019, 07:33:52 pm
To be honest I think we are getting into topics that do not lend themselves to quiet discussion and will probably result in tempers flaring and moderators intervening so I would ask everybody to please keep away from these topics or we risk getting the thread locked.  Just my humble opinion.
This whole thread is off topic and political which breaks the rules. I'm surprised it hasn't been locked.

I'm impressed at how well-behaved most people here have been, discussing controversial subjects such as tax and Brexit.
Agreed and personally I won't shed any tears if the thread is locked. I found the original topic about tax of robots to be somewhat interesting. Automation will not stop and there need to be some way for people to make a living in the future, there's a lot that can be said about that. Then it turned into another Brexit thread. It presented an opportunity to correct some misconceptions about the EU though, so maybe something good came out of it.

I'm well aware that the rest of the world thinks the UK has gone full retard on Brexit, apart from the US far right perhaps, but how many others have thought about why some people want to leave?
They think so too, they just think the USA benefits from a weak EU and and an even weaker UK which would be easier for them to manipulate. (I'm aware that's not the majority view in the US though.)
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: Rick Law on April 13, 2019, 08:28:18 pm
Governments need money to function (and in the case of Spain to waste and steal in huge quantities) but the tax structure must be carefully designed so it does not discourage economic activity and productivity. 

One of the major causes of the economy being so bad in Spain is the terrible tax structure. Taxing energy is what the geniuses in Spain do and the result is industries that use large amounts of energy are not competitive and go elsewhere. Aluminum manufacturer Alcoa just closed a factory in northern Spain.

In my view it is bad to have a culture where the people believe they are owed jobs (meaning salaries) and that the government should protect them from competition from automation, imports, or any other cause. The result of protectionism in any way, shape or form is always that the general public pays higher prices for lower quality products.

The issue of "robot tax" goes beyond keeping government function.  As I brought up before the thread gone full BREXIT, robots are getting more and more capable.  There will be a point when robots are improved to a point where robots out perform 50% of the human population, and then there will be a point when robots out perform 90% the population...  So eventually, we get to a percentage where almost all human are out performed by robots.  What then?

If you accept my premise that "robot outperforms a certain percentage of humans and the percentage keep increasing.  Somewhere between 10% to 99.99%, society will break down."   The acceptance of this premise implies that you also accept "we must do something to changes how society functions" or you accept that "civilization as we know it would be gone."

Taxing robo-workers may be a way, upgrading humans by enhancing human capability with technology may be is another way.  I don't really like the idea that my grand-children are Borgs, but may be that is inevitable.

I am a small government low tax guy.  ie: I personally would not like robot-worker tax either.  So I am eagerly awaiting some clever suggestion this forum may bring.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: Zero999 on April 13, 2019, 09:02:24 pm
I don't accept that robots replacing humans in all jobs is 100% certainty, but I wouldn't say it's an impossible either. In any case, I cant see it happening in my lifetime and even the next generation's is probably unrealistic.

I doubt computers will achieve the same conscience and awareness levels as humans and the idea of them becoming self-replicating is very unlikely. Even if building a computer with the capability of human consciousness becomes a possibility, I doubt it will become popular, because it would defeat the purpose of giving jobs to machines: they don't get bored, tired etc.

As machines improve, humans just do less work and what they do is better paid and I can't see this changing any time soon.

Any tax theoretically is burden on the economy, unless it's reinvested into something which will improve the economy such as transport infrastructure and welfare programmes which make more people employable and get them into work. Some taxes may be bad for the economy, but it could be argued that it's a fair price to pay for environmental reasons, i.e. energy taxes on the most polluting fuels. The only downside is the pollution just moves abroad, which is what's happened in the UK: no one wants to shit in their own backyard!
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: rstofer on April 13, 2019, 09:17:29 pm
If you accept my premise that "robot outperforms a certain percentage of humans and the percentage keep increasing.  Somewhere between 10% to 99.99%, society will break down."   The acceptance of this premise implies that you also accept "we must do something to changes how society functions" or you accept that "civilization as we know it would be gone."

The tax money to support those who can't or don't want to work has to come from somewhere and it can't keep coming at the same total amount from fewer and fewer workers to more and more non-workers.

I have no idea how it's going to work out.  Raising the minimum wage increases the use of robotics as the low end jobs are the easiest to automate.  Walmart is going all in on janitorial robots and this should cause some alarm.  Taxing the robots?  Beats me!  But one thing is certain, Walmart won't be the only company doing this.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/05/walmart-will-use-hundreds-of-ai-robot-janitors-to-scrub-store-floors.html (https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/05/walmart-will-use-hundreds-of-ai-robot-janitors-to-scrub-store-floors.html)

And Amazon:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/10/technology/amazon-robots-workers.html (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/10/technology/amazon-robots-workers.html)

I started working on Numerical Control machines way back in '69.  Over the 50 years since, I have seen some pretty staggering changes.  Heck, today everybody has CNC Mills and 3D Printers in their garage workshops.  The next 50 years should be exciting!

Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: Rick Law on April 14, 2019, 06:04:59 am
If you accept my premise that "robot outperforms a certain percentage of humans and the percentage keep increasing.  Somewhere between 10% to 99.99%, society will break down."   The acceptance of this premise implies that you also accept "we must do something to changes how society functions" or you accept that "civilization as we know it would be gone."

The tax money to support those who can't or don't want to work has to come from somewhere and it can't keep coming at the same total amount from fewer and fewer workers to more and more non-workers.

I have no idea how it's going to work out.  Raising the minimum wage increases the use of robotics as the low end jobs are the easiest to automate.  Walmart is going all in on janitorial robots and this should cause some alarm.  Taxing the robots?  Beats me!  But one thing is certain, Walmart won't be the only company doing this.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/05/walmart-will-use-hundreds-of-ai-robot-janitors-to-scrub-store-floors.html (https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/05/walmart-will-use-hundreds-of-ai-robot-janitors-to-scrub-store-floors.html)

And Amazon:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/10/technology/amazon-robots-workers.html (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/10/technology/amazon-robots-workers.html)

I started working on Numerical Control machines way back in '69.  Over the 50 years since, I have seen some pretty staggering changes.  Heck, today everybody has CNC Mills and 3D Printers in their garage workshops.  The next 50 years should be exciting!

I don't know how that would work out either, but I think my reasoning there is sound that biological evolution is going to improve human a lot slower than human can improve robots, so the clash is coming.  If you are IQ=50, robot will out perform you soon.  If you are IQ=200, robot will out perform you later but it will out perform you.

In fact, it looks like because we evolved compassion and as a result we are reversing some biological evolution resulted improvements - we are helping the "evolution-wise less fit" stay alive and reproduce because we are compassionate people.  A good thing to do but it has consequences that we must deal with.

So, reasoning would say, we will also use our technology to exercise our compassion - use technology to help those at a disadvantage to "even the playing field".  That kills two birds with one stone - we help the less fit be equally fit and we make our own improvement at a pace that can catch up with or even exceeds robotic-improvements.  Wonderful solution and it is all good and fine, but we would have to accept ourselves turning into Borgs.

In some ways, I am glad I am old and retired.  I wont be pleased to play ball with a great-grand-child who can throw a ball at near super-sonic speed and has a open in the skull for additional optional feature cards.  Then again, a child with an on-off switch could be a god send when you really need some peace and quiet.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: rstofer on April 14, 2019, 08:35:31 am
In some ways, I am glad I am old and retired.  I wont be pleased to play ball with a great-grand-child who can throw a ball at near super-sonic speed and has a open in the skull for additional optional feature cards.  Then again, a child with an on-off switch could be a god send when you really need some peace and quiet.

I'm also old and 15 years retired so I clearly don't have much skin in the game.  I'm not sure how things will work out for my grandson but I am sure it will work out better with an engineering degree.  Somebody has to design and program the 'bots until Skylab goes live and robots become sentient and self-replicating...
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: soldar on April 14, 2019, 10:15:57 am
Again, when 95% of the population worked in farming and agriculture the notion that machines would replace most of them was terrifying. What would all those displaced do?

Computers replaced accountants and other clerical jobs.

The net result for societies that underwent those changes has been a huge raise in the standard of living for all. Today in rich countries those out of jobs are better off than those who had farming or mining  jobs 200 years ago.

A more productive society is a society where less work provides higher standard of living for its members. If I can produce the same result with half the effort it means I can have more leisure time or I can work more and produce more.

The notion that automation makes things worse for anybody is just not supported by history or by careful thinking. People have been freed to do other things and also to enjoy more leisure time.

"But this time it's different!" has been repeated since the dawn of time.

OK, if you don't want to share the results of progress and automation you can easily go to places in the third world where they enjoy life as it was centuries ago. No lack of jobs there. Just surviving each day is a full time job. Your day will be filled just with finding some water to drink and finding a rat to eat. You will live a "sustainable lifestyle", "in balance with nature". No unemployment problems there.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: soldar on April 14, 2019, 04:21:40 pm
Probably the next jobs to be replaced by automation will be vehicle drivers, truck drivers, cab drivers, etc.  That should reduce the cost of shipping and transportation substantially and make life better for everybody. Just like railways, automobiles, trucks and steamships did in their day.

The problem is not that jobs are lost. The problem is that the new jobs require higher training and knowledge than the old jobs.

It used to be that any able-bodied man could get a job which only required physical ability. Digging, carrying, loading, etc. were open to anyone. Other jobs required a little more training and experience: soldier, sailor, tinker, tailor...

Communities were tighter and anyone could find informal work in exchange for basic necessities like food and lodging. Young women could become servants in a richer household until the day they got married.

Later came simple jobs like assembly line jobs, telephone operators, etc.

The problem today is not that some jobs are disappearing. The problem is that the requirements for any sort of productive job have increased exponentially and people with no education or training have it more difficult than before. Another negative consequence is that inequality is increasing. This is a natural consequence of the difference in productivity between jobs also increasing.

The solution is not protectionism of any kind. The solution is to have a better educated and trained workforce and a social organization that foments investment and entrepreneurs.

There is no way to have millions of people flipping burgers and making higher middle class salaries. No way. Salaries are commensurate with the value produced by the job done and if the job produces low value then it will be compensated accordingly.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: apis on April 14, 2019, 05:23:07 pm
Again, when 95% of the population worked in farming and agriculture the notion that machines would replace most of them was terrifying. What would all those displaced do?

Computers replaced accountants and other clerical jobs.

The net result for societies that underwent those changes has been a huge raise in the standard of living for all.
Yes, the improvements to our living standard that technology has created is quite amazing. I believe I've heard that today only about 3% of the workforce is working with essential infrastructure such as food and energy production. So in theory 97% could go unemployed and we would still have food an heating for everyone. But instead of working less than we used to we work more!

Today in rich countries those out of jobs are better off than those who had farming or mining  jobs 200 years ago.
Mining perhaps, but farmers have always been doing quite well. (Well, not always, but for the most part). They owned land, and probably ate better and had healthier lifestyles than the majority of people today.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: soldar on April 14, 2019, 06:05:43 pm
Mining perhaps, but farmers have always been doing quite well. (Well, not always, but for the most part). They owned land, and probably ate better and had healthier lifestyles than the majority of people today.

Before machinery cereals were harvested by hand, with a scythe, the grain separated from the straw manually. It was backbreaking work for young strong people and the productivity was dismal. The work that went into making a loaf of bread was huge.

Today one combine harvester machine does in one day the work hundreds of workers did in a month. I could go into growing grapes or other fruits or crops. Things have changed drastically. A century or two ago farming was backbreaking work with productivity that was infinitesimally low compared to today's.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: apis on April 14, 2019, 06:30:40 pm
Mining perhaps, but farmers have always been doing quite well. (Well, not always, but for the most part). They owned land, and probably ate better and had healthier lifestyles than the majority of people today.
Before machinery cereals were harvested by hand, with a scythe, the grain separated from the straw manually. It was backbreaking work for young strong people and the productivity was dismal. The work that went into making a loaf of bread was huge.

Today one combine harvester machine does in one day the work hundreds of workers did in a month. I could go into growing grapes or other fruits or crops. Things have changed drastically. A century or two ago farming was backbreaking work with productivity that was infinitesimally low compared to today's.
Sure, they had to do a lot of work for their loaf of bread, but the quality of the food they had is something most people can't afford today. Physical activity (within reason) isn't bad for you. They owned their own house and land and they had animals. They usually weren't starving, if they did it was because of the weather/climate not because they were poor.

The improvements in technology means that only 3% has to work in the fields today, compared to 95% in the past, but that doesn't automatically mean that everyone is better off today. Still, I wouldn't want to live back then, mainly because of improved healthcare.

https://maisonneuve.org/post/2013/09/18/us-income-inequality/
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: Zero999 on April 14, 2019, 09:43:44 pm
Probably the next jobs to be replaced by automation will be vehicle drivers, truck drivers, cab drivers, etc.  That should reduce the cost of shipping and transportation substantially and make life better for everybody. Just like railways, automobiles, trucks and steamships did in their day.
Driverless road vehicles won't become mainstream any time soon. Just because it's technically possible, it doesn't mean it'll happen. The technology to fully automate railways has existed for a long time, yet most trains still have human drivers. Driving on the road is much more technically difficult, than rail, which adds more doubt to this. People obviously don't feel comfortable with this technology.

What we really need to work on is having less environmental impact: doing more, using less energy and producing less waste.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: Rick Law on April 14, 2019, 10:49:31 pm
Again, when 95% of the population worked in farming and agriculture the notion that machines would replace most of them was terrifying. What would all those displaced do?

Computers replaced accountants and other clerical jobs.

The net result for societies that underwent those changes has been a huge raise in the standard of living for all.
Yes, the improvements to our living standard that technology has created is quite amazing. I believe I've heard that today only about 3% of the workforce is working with essential infrastructure such as food and energy production. So in theory 97% could go unemployed and we would still have food an heating for everyone. But instead of working less than we used to we work more!
...
...

I think it is important to draw the distinction between prior and current automation.  Up until this decade, automation were mainly dumb mechanization - machine-decision based on largely single or very limited number of variables such as "is the field level?" as determined by reflecting laser.  Now, the automation is AI based with AI doing important decision making with multiple inputs from direct sensors and machine's own learned experiences.

An automated floor cleaner has the intelligence of perhaps an insect.  A self-driving car needs intelligence at or above that of a bird.  So improving AI will keep the pressure on work with low IQ requirement.

The talk that the machines will need programmer is probably true for the immediate future.  That AI is improving in ability and able to do work with higher IQ requirement is probably also true.  AI displaying high IQ workers is what differs between today's automation and mechanization of prior years.  With more and more works being done by AI, how would living standard of the replaced improve?

With that said, I still do not believe that taxing robot is a good solution or even an adequate solution.  Beside income, the lost of occupation for an individual also cause a lost of self-worth, dignity, so on.  Some propose that leads to drug addiction.

I really hope I am wrong that if we stay on the current trajectory, an increasing percentage of the population cannot contribute to the society they live in.  The solution will rest on the shoulders of the young today.  They will have to figure out how to operate a society where most cannot contribute, or they need to find a path where the less-able can continue to participate and to contribute to the society they belong.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: coppercone2 on April 14, 2019, 11:47:25 pm
robots suck at customization. you can customize stuff to make it more useful to make premium quality goods. Imagine all those 'drones' start becoming their own engineers. There is plenty of things people want done on the planet that can't be done economically with robotics.

I think thin exo-skelletons and bio implants will level the playing field between man and machine. Imagine snow plow guys running around with power suits getting the snow out of everywhere (not just the concrete walking areas). The dexterity and intelligence of man will beat out a machine so long his strength and stamina can be increased for many if not most jobs. Not to mention brain implants and advanced nootropic drugs. 

Or construction workers scaling bare structural frames with a grider in one arm and welders attached to their suit. And they would actually make stuff thats strong and looks nice, not some concrete 3d printed concrete igloo shit. Magnetic shoes and all..

All you need to do is reduce 'hand fitting' time in assembly to beat out complex machinery and robotics, because you can do things by hand it just takes a while (but it never needs to be calibrated unlike some giant machines). You just need to make the 120 pound guys into 300lb gorillas with x-ray vision some how.

I think once the technology is developed, making a better man is going to be cheaper and more economical then making a advanced machine that needs a advanced support staff to replace man.

Yea you can mass produce, but its not customized, does not fit well into the envisioned engineering spec (how much stuff comes out looking and working like ASS because of off the shelf parts?) and its of low quality and you can get systemic failures which result in catastrophes (imagine a pre-made structural materials plant having spec problems and failing to catch a bad batch of mass produced stuff. If it was made by people, it would be way more likely to be noticed. #1 reason its not pursued is because of capital cost of machinery and long ROI's.

All engineering designs can be honed to do their job better in the relevant 'design quadrant (i.e. reliability, weight, cost) if their fully customized. Trades people used to do this more.. and even now it can turn into a logistical nightmare (i.e. you spend 3 days looking for some bracket online rather then being able to make it yourself). I personally think you can develop technologies in such a way that many more products and services on earth become 'boutique'. I think its a healthy and important avenue of human individuality and expression, so you don't feel like a uniform drop in a bucket.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: SilverSolder on April 15, 2019, 01:23:07 pm
many more products and services on earth become 'boutique'.

...That sounds right, and has been the path of history so far.  -  And it will be the source of future jobs.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: IDEngineer on April 16, 2019, 03:33:48 pm
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.
"Companies should be expected"? That is literally a government telling someone how to run their company. Do we really want that?

Example 1: Say an Engineer invents some technology. She creates an LLC to control her liability, and licenses that technology to multiple companies who pay her ongoing royalties. She makes a couple million dollars a year in this way, all 100% legal and moral and ethical, and pays taxes in the usual way. Above and beyond that, what is the "certain amount of employees" she should be REQUIRED to hire? What jobs should they perform?

Example 2: An artist who works alone in his studio creates a painting that is wildly successful. So he creates a limited edition run of 100 "signed originals" and sells those over the course of a few years, netting income of several million dollars all 100% legal and moral and ethical, and pays taxes in the usual way. Above and beyond that, what is the "certain amount of employees" this artist should be REQUIRED to hire? What jobs should they perform?

Sometimes ideas can sound good - until you think them through. Letting a government tell a businessperson how to run their business has to be very near the top of that list.
Title: Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
Post by: rstofer on April 16, 2019, 03:43:24 pm
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.
"Companies should be expected"? That is literally a government telling someone how to run their company. Do we really want that?

Example 1: Say an Engineer invents some technology. She creates an LLC to control her liability, and licenses that technology to multiple companies who pay her ongoing royalties. She makes a couple million dollars a year in this way, all 100% legal and moral and ethical, and pays taxes in the usual way. Above and beyond that, what is the "certain amount of employees" she should be REQUIRED to hire? What jobs should they perform?

Example 2: An artist who works alone in his studio creates a painting that is wildly successful. So he creates a limited edition run of 100 "signed originals" and sells those over the course of a few years, netting income of several million dollars all 100% legal and moral and ethical, and pays taxes in the usual way. Above and beyond that, what is the "certain amount of employees" this artist should be REQUIRED to hire? What jobs should they perform?

Sometimes ideas can sound good - until you think them through. Letting a government tell a businessperson how to run their business has to be very near the top of that list.

Other times, the ideas are patently absurd and don't need any thought at all.  Governments can't even arrange their own finances, the last thing we need is having politicians getting involved with business.  Don't forget, the world is a very big place.  There is plenty of room to off-shore a business with a much more favorable tax structure.  Apple comes to mind...  Ireland and Gibraltar are considered tax havens.