Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Instead of finding new jobs and industries for workers, the WEF is suggesting governments tax robots to give people lifetime welfare

Two of the most discussed topics in economic academia over the past two years has been the elimination of cash, and the creation/implementation of a Universal Basic Income.  And while both of these experiments have actually begun to take place in a few of the Scandinavian countries, the real test for the rest of the world may come when a large portion of jobs are eliminated by robots and computers.

So to counter this inevitable trend for the future, the World Economic Forum on August 1 discussed the option of taxing these automated workers and using the money to support a Universal Basic Income since the elites appear incompetent in imagining ways to create new jobs and industries that require human labor.

By replacing low-wage cashiers and other retail workers with robots, the retail sector’s struggling companies can engineer a potentially life-saving boost in profits. But as advances in artificial intelligence continue to accelerate, according to the World Economic Forum, large swaths of laborers are going to lose their jobs, leading to unprecedented levels of unemployment. 
How to distribute the profits that will accrue to corporations thanks to this paradigmatic shift in labor-market conditions has been the subject of intense debate, as it has the capacity to create a sharp drop in living standards across developed economies. 
So how can governments ameliorate this diminution of the American workforce? The WEF has an idea: Tax the robots and use the proceeds to fund a universal basic income for all Americans. As the paper notes, the once-controversial UBI has never been more poplar, thanks to tech luminaries like Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk and Bill Gates – all of whom have spoken in glowing tones about the policy’s potential to save America from dystopia. Yet, for all this talk, Zuckerberg & Co. have glossed over a crucial question: 
How, exactly, will taxpayers afford this? 
The WEF says it looked to the private sector for answers, and came up with this simple conclusion: Tax the robots. 
“Companies will profit significantly from workforce automation,” WEF writes. “So the private sector will be able to afford shouldering this burden, while at the same time still making greater profits.” - Zerohedge

It is a given truth that productive people are in better health and happiness than unproductive people, and simply extending the country's welfare system to reward the unemployed will only lead to greater discontent and a life without purpose.  And without any type of motivation to both succeed and survive in life, future innovation and growth will wane and decline, making humanity look almost like the fat slobs envisioned in the animated movie Wall-E.

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