A colleague sent me this -- and it's spot on for this topic of taxing robots -- and using truck drivers as a prime example:
The video is libertarian-leaning ex judo champ Joe Rogan interviewing Andrew Yang. The first 15 minutes are maybe worth watching.
- We're already starting to automate near half our jobs, starting with truck drivers. The average truck driver is white, male, 49 years old, high school grad. He isn't going to get retraining as something like a software programmer. In fact, current retraining programs are 0-15% effective at best. So what happens to these people? And others to follow (sales clerks, cashiers . . .)?
- He thinks we ought to have a small basic guaranteed income for each citizen, paid by a value-added tax (these days mostly on tech companies). You don't get to double dip with other welfare, disability, etc. So, it's sort of like an automation tax (value added instead) and it goes to citizens sort of like each Alaska resident gets an energy dividend. According to Wang, hi tech is the new "oil." And a value-added tax at about half the European level would fund it - thus assuring that little-to-no-tax companies like Apple, Facebook, and Amazon wouldn't go scot free.
- Later he points out that we're replacing old jobs about 3-4x faster than during the Industrial Revolution and there were riots from the displaced back then. Could be a bumpy ride ahead if we don't figure this out?
- Later he also notes how job insecurity is taking a toll (fewer marriages, less mobility, more drugs & suicides, lower life expectancy, greater inequality, etc.).
- While I doubt voters will buy his notion of a small guaranteed income (and I'm skeptical on two fronts), he lays out some compelling points. Which later he said politicians said "we can't talk about that."
- Largest single job category is retail. Something like 30% of malls are about to close (main street stores already closing), mainly due to e-commerce. The average retail worker there is a 39 year old woman with a high school education.
- There are 2.5 million employed in call centers (sales & support). Those jobs are about to be automated with voice recognition.
- Worried about illegals taking jobs? Automation is taking an order of magnitude more.