Nobelovec Robert Schiller ima glede nasprotovanja davku na robote zelo preprosto vendar razumno stališče: v redu, toda kakšno drugo manj distorzijsko ali manj nezaželeno alternativo predlagate? Če robotizacija in avtomatizacija res odpravljata številna delovna mesta, odpuščeni pa ne morejo dobiti ustreznih ali primerljivo plačanih služb, zaradi česar se povečuje neenakost in socialna razslojenost, je edino smiselno, da se jih obdavči.
Podobno stališče je pred mesecem dni izrazil tudi Bill Gates, ki je povedal, da ko robot nadomesti eno delovno mesto, izpadejo tudi vsi fiskalni prihodki zatadi tega (dohodnina, socialni prispevki za zdravstvo in pokojnino), medtem ko država dobi na grbo nezavarovanega brezposelnega, ki ga mora financirati. Z nečim je treba nadomestiti ta izpad davkov in financirati povečanje izdatkov države. Alternativi davku na robote sta zgolj dve: (1) bolj progresivni davki na dohodke, ali (2) univerzalni temeljni dohodek. Če ničesar od obojega ne marate, boste morali razmisliti, koliko obdavčiti robote kot neposredne krivce za nastanek problema.
If these and other labor-displacing innovations succeed, surely calls to tax them will grow more frequent, owing to the human problems that arise when people lose their jobs – often jobs with which they closely identify, and for which they may have spent years preparing. Optimists point out that there have always been new jobs for people replaced by technology; but, as the robot revolution accelerates, doubts about how well this will work out continue to grow. A tax on robots, its advocates hope, might slow down the process, at least temporarily, and provide revenues to finance adjustment, like retraining programs for displaced workers.
Discussion of a robot tax should consider what alternative we have to deal with rising inequality. It would be natural to consider a more progressive income tax and a “basic income.” But, these measures do not have widespread popular support. […]
So, taxes must be reframed to remedy income inequality induced by robotization. It may be more politically acceptable, and thus sustainable, to tax the robots rather than just the high-income people. And while this would not tax individual human success, as income taxes do, it might in fact imply somewhat higher taxes on higher incomes, if high incomes are earned in activities that involve replacing humans with robots.
A moderate tax on robots, even a temporary tax that merely slows the adoption of disruptive technology, seems a natural component of a policy to address rising inequality. Revenue could be targeted toward wage insurance, to help people replaced by new technology make the transition to a different career. This would accord with our natural sense of justice, and thus be likely to endure.
Vir: Robert Schiller, Project Syndicate