Autonomous vehicles will likely be safer than ones driven by

Picking on robots won’t deal with job destruction

canada goose outlet store toronto I usually agree with Bill Gates on matters of public policy and admire his emphasis on the combined power of markets uk canada goose and technology. But I think he went seriously astray in a recent interview when he proposed, without apparent irony, a canada goose factory sale tax on robots to cushion worker dislocation and limit inequality. The Microsoft co founder is right about the gravity of the problem and need for action, but he’s profoundly misguided in his proposed solution and in ways that point up problems with the current public debate. canada goose outlet store toronto

canada goose outlet online uk First, I cannot see any logic to singling out robots as job destroyers. What about kiosks that dispense airplane boarding passes? Word processing programs that accelerate the production of documents? Mobile banking technologies? Autonomous vehicles? Vaccines that, by preventing disease, destroy jobs in medicine? There are many kinds of innovation that allow the production of more or better output with less labor canada goose uk outlet input. Why pick on robots? Does Gates think uk canada goose outlet anyone, let alone Congress, the Trump administration or a commission composed of his fellow technocrats, can distinguish labor saving Canada Goose Parka activities from labor enhancing ones? Surely even Canada Goose Jackets if experts could draw such distinctions, the ability of canada goose coats the Internal cheap canada goose uk Revenue Service cheap Canada Goose to administer them is in doubt. canada goose outlet online uk

canada goose outlet website legit Second, much innovative activity, even Canada Goose Coats On Sale of a robotlike canada goose uk black friday variety, involves producing better goods and services rather than simply extracting more output from canada goose the Canada Goose online same input. Autonomous vehicles will likely be safer than ones driven by humans. Robotics already help surgeons perform certain operations better than they can on their own. Online buy canada goose jacket reservation systems are faster and more convenient than travel agents. Moreover, because of emulation and competition, innovators capture only a small part of the benefit of their innovation. It follows that there is as much a case for subsidizing as taxing types of capital that embody innovation. canada goose outlet website legit

canada goose kensington parka uk Third, and perhaps canada goose uk shop most fundamentally, why tax in ways that reduce the size of the pie rather than ways that assure that the Canada Goose sale larger pie is well distributed? Imagine that 50 people can produce robots who will do the work of 100. A sufficiently Canada Goose Online high tax on robots would prevent them canada goose clearance sale from being produced. Surely it would be better for society to instead enjoy the extra output and establish suitable taxes and transfers to protect displaced workers. It is hard to see why shrinking the pie, canadian goose jacket rather than enlarging it as much as possible and then redistributing, is the right way forward. canada goose kensington parka uk

canada goose outlet black friday This last point has long been standard in international trade theory. Indeed, it is common to point out that opening a country to international trade is like giving it access to a technology for transforming one good into another. The argument, then, is that since one surely would not regard such a technical change as bad, neither is trade, and so protectionism is bad. Gates’s robot tax risks essentially being protectionism against progress. canada goose outlet black friday

canada goose outlet vip None of canada goose coats on sale this is to minimize the problem of job destruction buy canada goose jacket cheap and rising inequality (although it is a major paradox that we seem to be seeing unprecedentedly rapid job destruction by machinery while at the same time observing extraordinarily low productivity growth). Rather, it is to suggest that staving off progress is a poor strategy for helping less fortunate workers. In addition to difficulties of definition and collateral costs, there is the further problem that in an open world, taxes on technology are likely to drive production offshore rather than create jobs at home. canada goose outlet vip

canada goose outlet legit There are many better approaches. Governments will, however, have to concern themselves with problems of structural joblessness. They likely will need to canada goose clearance take a more explicit role in ensuring full employment than has been the practice in the United States. Among other things, this will mean major reforms of education and retraining systems, consideration Canada Goose Outlet of targeted wage subsidies for groups with particularly severe employment problems, major investments in infrastructure and, possibly, direct public employment programs. canada goose outlet legit

canada goose outlet vancouver This will be a major canada goose black friday sale debate that I suspect will define a large part of the politics of the industrial world over the next decade. Little is certain. But we will do better going forward than backward. That means making America even greater, not great again. canada canada goose outlet goose store And it means embracing rather than rejecting technological progress canada goose outlet vancouver.

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