February 05, 2014

Income derived from protected intellectual property should be taxed at higher rates than income obtained from competing naked.

Sir, Martin Wolf refers to “the role of rental income, particularly from intellectual property” as one explanation of “rising inequality of labor income and of the distribution of income between labor and capital”, “If robots divide us, they will conquer” February 5.

In this respect I would just want to note that for years I have argued that all income which results from an intellectual property that is being protected should be taxed at a higher rate, than any income that is produced by competing in the markets naked.

But I need also to express certain uneasiness with the concept of capital getting more and more rewarded than labor, because the truth is that, currently, because of artificially low interest, very much capital is almost not being rewarded at all. Many pensioners are not receiving what they should be receiving for that capital they worked and saved so hard to obtain.

Finally, with respect to the prospect of robots conquering us, I would hate that to happen, but, on the other hand, these would never ever come up with such crazy notions of basing the capital requirements for banks, those that should primarily be there to cover for unexpected losses, on the perceptions about the expected losses, and much less on these perceptions being correct.