June 30, 2017

What’s wrong with having the best robots work for you, if you know how to tax them correctly?

Sir, Gillian Tett writes: “Robots will be the real winners if US president goes ahead with curbs on steel imports” June 30. Of course! As I wrote to her and you in January “does Ms. Tett really need researchers from McKinsey to wake her up on what robots or automation could signify to jobs in general… is this really new news?”

And with respect to Trump’s announcement on tariffs, in January I tweeted “Beware robot manufacturers might lobby President Trump for higher tariffs and minimum wages” and linked there to a letter to you titled “The real winners of President Trump’s animosity towards cars built in Mexico could be robot manufacturers

But, on the other hand, what’s wrong with having the best robots working for you, taxing these, and paying out a universal basic income to all? Because what we do need though, in time, before social cohesion breaks down, are some worthy and decent unemployments.

Now, if end up with 3rd class robots and dumb artificial intelligence doing most work, then we would really be in deep shit.

PS. Would the recent US election have taken the same route if that “fascinating recent paper by economists Daron Acemoglu and Pascual Restrepo shows, American industry has been replacing workers with robots on a startling scale in recent years, particularly in sectors such as car manufacturing” had appeared in 2016 or earlier instead of in March 2017.

PS. Sir, do you really think you are behaving appropriately shutting me up, just because you have to be careful with some big-weak-egos of some prima donnas?