Robot-tax: Bernie Sanders backs Bill Gates to kill automation impact on humans

Senator Bernie Sanders’s new book proposes taxing robot owners for taking over human jobs.
Baba Tamim
Bernie Sanders backs Bill Gates to tax robot automation.
Bernie Sanders backs Bill Gates to tax robot automation.

Wikimedia Commons /imaginima/iStock 

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders has asked for robots to be taxed for taking over human jobs in his new book titled "It's OK To Be Mad About Capitalism."

The longest independent senator in U.S history argues for the adoption of a "robot tax" to mitigate the impact of automation on human workers, according to the book released on Tuesday. 

"If workers are going to be replaced by robots, as will be the case in many industries, we're going to need to adapt tax and regulatory policies," Sanders writes in the book. 

This is "to assure that the change does not simply become an excuse for race-to-the-bottom profiteering by multinational corporations."

Sanders represents Vermont as the senior senator from the United States, a position he has held since 2007 and is famous for his anti-capitalist stand.

The tax, according to him, might be used to take into consideration how automation will affect workers, particularly those who will be replaced by robots.

This is necessary to ensure that the transformation does not only serve as a pretext for profiteering, the senator asserts.

'A misguided idea,' disputes analyst

While the concept of a robot tax has gained support, others have expressed doubts about its efficacy.

According to an analysis by Robert Seamans for Brookings, the tax may have detrimental effects on businesses, employees, and the overall economy.

These taxes "may be well-intentioned" but are "a misguided idea that would have negative consequences for firms, their workers, and ultimately the economy," notes Seamans.

Sanders is not the only representative who thinks robots should be subject to taxes; other ideas for legislation have also been put out, such as compelling businesses to contribute a percentage of payroll taxes to a fund for retraining displaced people.

Bill Gates's proposal finds Sanders's approval 

If workers are going to be replaced by robots, the government needs to adjust tax and regulatory laws, according to Sanders, who also cited Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates' views on the matter.

Sanders mentions Bill Gates' support for a robot tax in his book, adding that according to the Microsoft founder, it might help pay for occupations that require "human empathy and understanding."

Elder care, smaller class groups, or assisting kids with special needs are a few examples. Sanders also mentions other legislative proposals that would stop automation from cutting into tax collections.

By putting these policies into place, we can solve the problems brought on by automation without jeopardizing the well-being of workforce, Sanders resonates Bill's opinion.