A robot tax: An answer to automation and job loss?

Automated robots fetch merchandise from aisles at the Hudson’s Bay Company distribution center in Toronto, Canada. (Fred Thornhill / Reuters)

Question: Should companies that automate, using robots for example, have an additional tax levied to cover training and severance costs?

Bobs Answer: No

An additional tax on robots would be detrimental to businesses and impede innovation. Jobs most at risk from automation include those that rely on mundane tasks. Robots are less likely to replace humans in roles that require critical thinking and creativity. A tax on robots, over and above taxes that are already in place, is absurd and would stop progress in its tracks. What’s next—taxing smart appliances because they utilize artificial intelligence?

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