San Francisco's robot tax

Going to cost you to use a robot to replace a human:

San Francisco Might Soon Tax Robots, but Who Does It Benefit?


  • Wow, ignorance at its finest! I could easily argue that nearly every robot used in manufacturing displaced a human worker. Where do we draw the line? That automated board unloader after the reflow oven took away someone's job right? The selective soldering machine took the place of 4 hand soldering operators (crap, I have 3 of those machines at work and Parallax has one too....)

    Would be nice if City Supervisors focused on real issues for once.....
  • I know. The robots who work at the facility based at the Presidio are furious. They just finished their protest against the other operating system on cell phones.

    ButI how come you both wrote that with two individuals watching you? One was a rather large cat, and the other was a visiting erco designed robot.;
  • yeah, sort of funny

    Where do we start?

    Pick&Place is way to late.

    We have to start taxing telephone and email, think about all them unemployed errant boys!



  • ercoerco Posts: 19,766
    Silly, robots make jobs too. They need to be designed, built, programmmed, serviced, etc. Just raises the workforce IQ and that's good.
  • erco wrote: »
    Silly, robots make jobs too. They need to be designed, built, programmmed, serviced, etc. Just raises the workforce IQ and that's good.

    Problem is they create fewer but higher paying jobs than they replace. Good for the better educated, not so good for the less educated.
  • That's why people need to take the effort and learn marketable careers. It's absolutely crucial that not only people like us, but everyone, is more educated. We're going to be facing a very serious problem in the not too distant future. I don't think this law is the right way to handle it. Maybe making public schools less boring would be a better approach.
  • That's why people need to take the effort and learn marketable careers......

    That's a good point, but what about those who seem to be incapable of understanding the basics needed to learn those marketable careers? At one time I was of the opinion that almost any individual was capable of learning the required skills for most careers, but as time passed I have come to the conclusion that that is not the case. Robots and automation in general are taking over the unskilled jobs that required minimal levels of education.

    It's not that I am against automation, most of my career was in that area, but I think we need to address the issues of how to educate a larger percentage of the population and provide meaningful work and a reasonable income for those with limited learning ability and skills.
  • Bill Gates explains his view on taxing the use of Robots to displace workers since that is loss of Income Tax, although Income Tax was supposed to be a temporary tax and is not implemented in every state in the US.

    Sorry, I still do not know how to embed Videos on this site.

    So, should they Tax the users of Python, or similar tools, considering it is used to automate testing thus reducing the Engineers/Techs needed to run tests?

    Perhaps the Robots could pay some sort of Social Security or Maintenance Tax considering they will be harder to maintain as they age.

    And a bit off topic, but when I was at HP and seeing most of the Engineering jobs being sent offshore, I was told that HP got a tax break for such actions. This could be the same with the Robot worker displacement. I'm sure the Pointed-Haired Bosses are thinking of this.

  • The problem is that if you don't use robots, the company will not be able to compete with offshore companies such as China, so then the remaining workers jobs are at risk. Which is the lesser of two evils???

    I have noticed that many jobs are not lasting for one's working life !!!

    In 1974 I was training Computer Field Engineers to repair (mainly trace to board level and swap and fix mechanical aspects) mini computers. Basically, those jobs haven't existed for 20 years. So, 30 year life for those jobs.

    Typesetters, shorthand and typists, lots of manual labor jobs on farms, roads, etc have all shrunk or disappeared entirely, to name a few.

    Taxing robots is not the solution. It only increases the cost of the product, making it less competitive with overseas products.

    IMHO, companies using offshore tax havens is a major problem to the developed countries. But this is probably not a topic to be discussed on this forum.
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