Bill Gates: Working robots should pay income tax (WTF?)


Robots are taking human jobs. But Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist, Bill Gates, thinks he has the solution to make up for job losses due to automation. He wants robots to pay income taxes, just like working folks are still doing.

In an interview with the website Quartz, Bill Gates says:

“Certainly there will be taxes that relate to automation. Right now, the human worker who does, say, $50,000 worth of work in a factory, that income is taxed, and you get income tax, social security tax, all those things. If a robot comes in to do the same thing, you’d think that we’d tax the robot at a similar level.”

Bill Gates says that the governments should tax companies’ use of robots, as a way to at least temporarily slow the spread of automation and to fund other types of employment.

Gates says that a robot tax could finance jobs taking care of elderly people or working with kids in schools, for which needs are unmet and to which humans are particularly well suited.

He argues that governments must oversee such programs rather than relying on businesses, in order to redirect the jobs to help people with lower incomes.