A Tax on Automation?

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Submitted by:  Greg Conder, PE

Tax Automation

According to an article from manufacturing.net, people in San Francisco are considering a tax on robots as a way to confront the possibility of job loss due to automation.  The article centered on service based jobs such as security guards, food servers and hotel workers.  Some locales are even considering a universal basic income to guarantee income to workers displaced by robots and automation.

This type of issue is always difficult.  One the one hand, we, as a society, do not like to see job loss negatively affect people and their families.  One the other hand, we, as a society, enjoy less expensive goods and services allowed by robots, automation and innovation.  Haven’t we been having this discussion in manufacturing for quite some time?

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