Points were made.
Feel the Bot
Alongside billionaires, outspoken senator Bernie Sanders also wants us to tax the robots — and honestly, it doesn't sound like the worst idea.
In a CBS interview ahead of the release of his new book titled "It's OK To Be Angry About Capitalism," Sanders resuscitated the "robot tax" rhetoric popularized by futurists in the 1980s and 90s that, back then, used to feel like sci-fi.
The argument is pretty simple: in order to head off business owners from replacing paid human workers with robots and automation, governments should establish taxes that would disincentivize the practice to the point that it would be punishing to do so.
For years now, Bill Gates has led the robot tax charge — and now, Sanders is, ironically, on the side of a billionaire.
"This is a huge issue," Sanders told journalist Margaret Brennan. "There is a revolution taking place now with artificial intelligence and robotics. Millions of workers are going to lose their jobs — who’s making those decisions, Margaret? Do you hear a debate in Congress? I don’t."
In his book, as excerpted by Insider, Sanders offers a deeper perspective on his take.
"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 to assure that the change does not simply become an excuse for race-to-the-bottom profiteering by multinational corporations," the Brooklyn-born Vermont senator wrote.
The two-time presidential candidate emphasized in his "Face The Nation" interview that although he's not "anti-technology," he wants to make sure that workers are involved in the decision-making process about where and how AI and robotics should be implemented. If left unchecked, Sanders suggested, these technologies could be used only to benefit the already-rich to the detriment of the people who lose their jobs to automation.
"We're talking about a transformational moment throughout the world and the United States," he said. "I want working people to be involved."
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