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    Default Taxing Robots?

    The link that I found is a cpl years old now, but I just saw a writ on it in the current issue of Material Handling and Logistics magazine.
    But they don't seem to have their mag available for download w/o "subscribing", so I found a nother link.

    Bill Gates: the robot that takes your job should pay taxes — Quartz



    But what gits me the most, is that this is put forth by the one guy most responsible for lost human jobs in history!
    The computor has automated MANY jobs.
    What makes the redundant Manuel jobs taxworthy, but the order taking jobs OK to automate?

    Then - how doo you define a "robot"?
    Is this just anything that looks like C3PO, or your std 6/7 axis Motoman?


    So - the same folks that are incorporating robots, AND have a "help wanted" ad in every mass mailer and bilboard, and kan't git help - at least not that is willing to show up everyday and pass a piss test - needs to pay another tax, all the while still competing with overseas markets?

    I would ask what moron brainstormed this - but I guess we know who ....



    ... and it's always - "doo it for the kids" BS...



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    Ox

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ox View Post
    The link that I found is a cpl years old now, but I just saw a writ on it in the current issue of Material Handling and Logistics magazine.
    But they don't seem to have their mag available for download w/o "subscribing", so I found a nother link.

    Bill Gates: the robot that takes your job should pay taxes — Quartz



    But what gits me the most, is that this is put forth by the one guy most responsible for lost human jobs in history!
    The computor has automated MANY jobs.
    What makes the redundant Manuel jobs taxworthy, but the order taking jobs OK to automate?

    Then - how doo you define a "robot"?
    Is this just anything that looks like C3PO, or your std 6/7 axis Motoman?


    So - the same folks that are incorporating robots, AND have a "help wanted" ad in every mass mailer and bilboard, and kan't git help - at least not that is willing to show up everyday and pass a piss test - needs to pay another tax, all the while still competing with overseas markets?

    I would ask what moron brainstormed this - but I guess we know who ....



    ... and it's always - "doo it for the kids" BS...



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    Ox
    the old 'do as i say, not as i do' routine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ox View Post
    The link that I found is a cpl years old now, but I just saw a writ on it in the current issue of Material Handling and Logistics magazine.
    But they don't seem to have their mag available for download w/o "subscribing", so I found a nother link.

    Bill Gates: the robot that takes your job should pay taxes — Quartz



    But what gits me the most, is that this is put forth by the one guy most responsible for lost human jobs in history!
    The computor has automated MANY jobs.
    What makes the redundant Manuel jobs taxworthy, but the order taking jobs OK to automate?

    Then - how doo you define a "robot"?
    Is this just anything that looks like C3PO, or your std 6/7 axis Motoman?


    So - the same folks that are incorporating robots, AND have a "help wanted" ad in every mass mailer and bilboard, and kan't git help - at least not that is willing to show up everyday and pass a piss test - needs to pay another tax, all the while still competing with overseas markets?

    I would ask what moron brainstormed this - but I guess we know who ....



    ... and it's always - "doo it for the kids" BS...



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    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox
    OK, but I don't think using the pc as a metric is entirely fair. I am not arguing that is hasn't taken jobs, but it has also improved quality/ease (I know I'll get jumped for that ) of life for almost everyone. If it not were for puters and the internet, we wouldn't have this forum to even talk about it. No more ordering parts/mat's online (everyone loves McMaster because of their awesome website), no comparing prices, at least literally at your fingertips, etc etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1974 View Post
    OK, but I don't think using the pc as a metric is entirely fair. I am not arguing that is hasn't taken jobs, but it has also improved quality/ease (I know I'll get jumped for that ) of life for almost everyone. If it not were for puters and the internet, we wouldn't have this forum to even talk about it. No more ordering parts/mat's online (everyone loves McMaster because of their awesome website), no comparing prices, at least literally at your fingertips, etc etc.

    Same issue has a writ about California updating the laws about sub-contractor/employee - mostly to include owner/opperator truck drivers as employees - for the benefit of the Teamsters Union. The list of similar jobs that are NOT covered by the law is very long and growing. (Lawyers, accountants, and Tupperware sales)


    Not saying that the putor isn't a swell thing, and that the jobless rate is not currently suffered for it, but regardless, the putor has taken more jobs than it has produced.
    Kind'a like robotics. Certainly it is about reduced labour, but it has produced a similar amount of better jobs b/c of it. There are likely less human order takers at McMaster now than there was a cpl years ago.

    How can the guy responsible for the one, point a finger at the other?


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    I'm about 80% with you on this, Ox. Would add a few points, though:

    1) Not sure about owner/operator thing. But, years ago I spent a bit of time researching the trucking industry for a new product development customer (they were a first tier supplier). Back then the industry was changing. Large fleets were one market. The owner/operators another one. But then the large companies started hiring owner/operators, dictating terms, routes, arrival times etc. Gone were the days of the wife scheduling loads and the husband driving them. So, could be owner/operators are getting jacked around and now need protections. Someone more current on the trucking industry might know.

    2) There is a coming problem that needs to be addressed as we automate more and more work out of existence. One thing I recently learned is that someone who works a single hour in a week is counted as "employed" -- at a time when more and more jobs are part-time to avoid paying benefits, overtime, or just getting stuck with a full time employee in the next downturn. Machinists' jobs are sort of an outlier. We used to have them, shipped their jobs overseas, didn't train many new ones, now need more than we have. But most of the new jobs are Amazon stock pickers, Home Depot clerks, Walmart cashiers, etc. -- most of 'em with variable part-time schedules.

    So even after we've injected over a trillion of borrowed money (unfunded tax breaks) and a half trillion of repatriated profits (which went mostly to stock buybacks and CEO bonuses for raising stock values) into the economy, some cracks are showing. The "for the kids" thing is real. Lots of 'em end up with a lot of college debt, and a crappy or no job, and (in urban areas) all the housing $$$ or bought up by developers for the $$$ rentals they end up with.

    3) Problem is we really don't have good solutions. Some say give everyone a guaranteed income. That might work at small scale in a place like Denmark. But people (IMO) need to be doing something productive not just for our economy but for their own self-respect.

    At the other extreme it's been pretty clear (e.g. the Piketty analysis, etc.) that the very richest will be buying machines rather than people to do work whenever they can. Amazon automates the heck out of their warehouses and only hires people (lots of 'em for now) where robots aren't quite good enough. Automakers more automated than ever. Pharma and oil/chemical industries down to very few production workers. Furniture and appliances increasingly automated. Consumer electronics both gone and automated overseas. We no longer have typing pools, travel agents, elevator operators . . . we're our own sales clerks online . . . and at more and more stores we're also our own cashiers.

    Shop owners in this forum with a handful of CNC machines -- and maybe thinking of adding a new tool changer or material handling robot -- are a drop in the bucket of an economy where jobs have been sent to cheaper places and places like China also and already have more robots and CNC machines than we do. Inequality has been rising. And it will continue to shrink the middle class and shove more of them into "poor" as time goes by.

    4) So while Gates' proposal is a bit hypocritical and probably not very effective -- and likely onerous for the small company users of robots -- there is a problem. One with no clear solutions on the horizon. Not a bad thing we're thinking and talking about it, IMO.

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    In the same issue - along the same lines as the Teamsters issue, there is a writ about UPS starting an autonomous trucking program.

    So - again - what defines a "robot"?

    The truck is OK as long as the seat is empty?
    Lest you toss an orange guy named ABB on the seat to opperate the machine - then it's roboticized - as opposed to automated?
    Cat has been building autonomous mining trucks now for a few years.
    I expect a chum of mine that runs one of them in Fairbanks to get laid off one day.


    My 1935 National Acme multi-spindle (as well as many newer units) benchmarked automation.

    CNC hasn't taken handle cranking jobs?


    On the surface, absolutely!
    A little deeper thought enlightens one to the fact that (since we still have a 4% unemployment rate) automation has apparently increased our life status. (and allowed us to plunder natural resources at an alarming rate)


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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteM View Post
    4) So while Gates' proposal is a bit hypocritical and probably not very effective -- and likely onerous for the small company users of robots -- there is a problem. One with no clear solutions on the horizon. Not a bad thing we're thinking and talking about it, IMO.

    <30 yrs ago I struggled with this issue. Was it ethical to go to automatic screw machines? To buy a CNC? Then thinking about the world around me as the addition of robots came to be....

    The additional 30 yrs of depth perception has made me not struggle with that so much.


    If you have under employed THAT WANT A JOB - send them our way. We have oodles of factories around here looking for more help.
    One that my wife deals with - she says is 30% understaffed. They work 7 days a week. There are others that are less so, but ....


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    Beyond all the issues this brings up. I find myself asking the same questions....Would giving more money to government (taxes) improve anything? I understand I am ignoring many issues raised......I just find it difficult to believe that anyone outside of the government would benefit from taxing robots.
    I remember one of the 1st shops I worked in had about 5 or 6 Bridgeport mills lined up in a row each with a different fixture on it. We had a part that was high production that required machining on different faces of a cube. We started at the 1st Bridgeport and then moved the part down the line of machines doing something different at each station. That sort of machining was labor intensive and took a little bit of skill and concentration. I quite honestly do not think I could find enough people today to hire to do that sort of thing on a scale that we would need to in order to satisfy production needs....they arent there.

    And half of those you could hire for it would be out on medical within 6 weeks with some sort of chronic motion related injury.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ox View Post
    . . . My 1935 National Acme multi-spindle (as well as many newer units) benchmarked automation. . .
    Ox
    This got me thinking. My first full-time job out of grad school was at a Ford plant (I wanted to learn manufacturing processes). Back then we had around 5800 employees, running three shifts, and just about every machining, stamping, and assembly process . . . including near a near football-field-sized line up of Acme Gridley screw machines. We were pretty automated even back then - lots of transfer lines, parts feeders, etc.

    Just checked. The same plant is hiring to meet demand for F150 transmissions. Maybe a hundred. Everyone is excited! Thing is, total employment is now under 1500, with some part-timers added (never had those before).

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    There are many places open to taking in part timers now - if that is all that they can git.
    If a soccer mom feels that she can make a 9-2 job fit her schedule - there are several places that would take her in under those terms.

    Now I am sure that - should times git tight - she would be one of the first to git laid off, but ...
    On the other hand, in a few years when the kids git a little older, maybe she could go full time too.



    And your press lines were semi automated too I would expect.
    Self feed presses with motorized uncoilers / straighteners....


    The first automation (industrialized anyhow) AFAIK was a single spindle screw machine, back before 1900.






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    Quote Originally Posted by Ox View Post
    . . . And your press lines were semi automated too I would expect.
    Self feed presses with motorized uncoilers / straighteners.... Think Snow Eh!
    Ox
    This was in the mid 70's. Self-feed in, ka-chunk, ka-chunk, but a lot of 'em (torque converter housings) were still manual unload. One of our worst operations.

    Going to be interesting times in the decades ahead.

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    Monroe, Mich!

    I bought an older Marvel saw out of the Maint dept at their closing sale during The Crash.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Ox View Post
    ......

    So - again - what defines a "robot"?

    Ox
    A ways back Japan began taking work from the US.
    Widely quoted were words and numbers about how Japan had so many more robots than the USA.
    Then we got invited to visit and found out that any automation that moved a part or replaced manual labor was a robot. So a bar feeder was a robot in the "count".
    This was actually a shock to many and would lead to a big slowdown in US robotic companies.

    Is the PC that automates your payroll a "robot". You no longer have to look up tax tables in the book, write it all down in ledgers, etc.
    Certainly office automation has costs lots of jobs.

    Very hard to draw a line for taxing. A bar feeder? A unload and stacking chute? The computer that tracks work and does job scheduling?
    A cnc vmc or lathe is a robot doing things faster than a manual and thereby putting someone in the unemployment line.
    Should your cnc machine tools pay taxes?
    Without these things there would be more low level jobs.

    Bob

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarbideBob View Post
    A ways back Japan began taking work from the US.
    Widely quoted were words and numbers about how Japan had so many more robots than the USA.
    Then we got invited to visit and found out that any automation that moved a part or replaced manual labor was a robot. So a bar feeder was a robot in the "count".
    This was actually a shock to many and would lead to a big slowdown in US robotic companies.

    Is the PC that automates your payroll a "robot". You no longer have to look up tax tables in the book, write it all down in ledgers, etc.
    Certainly office automation has costs lots of jobs.

    Very hard to draw a line for taxing. A bar feeder? A unload and stacking chute? The computer that tracks work and does job scheduling?
    A cnc vmc or lathe is a robot doing things faster than a manual and thereby putting someone in the unemployment line.
    Should your cnc machine tools pay taxes?
    Without these things there would be more low level jobs.

    Bob
    Interesting train of thought. You vmc is a robot of sorts. It automatically changes tools thru a pre-determined cycle with a simple - M6T1/T1M6 command, same thing with a lathe (and even more so when throwing in a bar loader and parts counter!).... In a bridgy type machine, I have to change tools (even a power drawbar I have to hit a button, etc), I have to manually move the quill down to a defined point, that only I know (well there are stops to set, but still...), I have to lock the Y axis, engage the powerfeed on X, etc, FOR EVERY SINGLE PART (I know this is done in a sense with a cnc machine, but once a program is loaded it is one button press to initiate it all....)

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    The idea I got from the book Empty Planet is that population is already in decline....we just don't recognise it. The lack of jobs could slowly shift to a lack of workers, and then the automation aspect will seem to have been forward thinking. It is a tough phase we are in now.

    But when you look at what has been successfully automated, it seems that the work would be mind numbing, and dangerous or too heavy for humans to handle comfortably and that makes it crazy to think of reverting to what once was, voluntarily. Much as I might hate pushing a button all day, I'd hate to have to manually do what my automatic machine can do all day.

    If population decline is real, then in the future, low population could make goods and services more expensive, due to a smaller market size. At such a time, then even the cost of full automation could begin to look prohibitive, if the costs can not be distributed over enough units.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ox View Post
    The first automation (industrialized anyhow) AFAIK was a single spindle screw machine, back before 1900.
    Ox
    I would have guessed screw machines went back further than that. One boss bought a couple of 1916? Davenports just to have them. I did not spend much time looking at them but they did not look much different than the 9 Davenports that were running on the floor. Maybe way before 1900.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FredC View Post
    I would have guessed screw machines went back further than that. One boss bought a couple of 1916? Davenports just to have them. I did not spend much time looking at them but they did not look much different than the 9 Davenports that were running on the floor. Maybe way before 1900.
    Yes, Davenports haven't changed much in 100 years.
    I don't have any Davenports (although I about had a job for several of them - that in the end went to .... China - yet aggin...) but a chum deals in rebuilt attachments, and will build a machine now and aggin. I have worked on many attachments over the years.
    As an Acme man, I cannot help but to feel that the Davenports are a lightweight POS, while at the same time I am in awe of the engineering that went into their design from just after the turn of the century.


    Wiki says 1870's, which sounds right. It's been a while since I have read from Don Wood (Automatic Machining Mag) so forgive me.

    Automatic lathe - Wikipedia


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    "Taxing Robots? "
    So the I.R.S. is replacing agents ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    "Taxing Robots? "
    So the I.R.S. is replacing agents ?
    That's worth a grin . . . but the answer is sort of "yes."

    IRS has all sorts of brand new computers and a machine scans returns first. Actual employment at the IRS has gone down about 30,000 since 1995, while the number of returns has gone up.

    Sad thing about how this works -- for something like 2/3rd of workers (those with wages and a standard deduction) has enough computing power to figure your taxes for you. You'd just accept or go through the filing process yourself. Could save the average Joe a bunch of time -- and still give access to all the usual deductions if they were there for the taling.

    Intuit/TurboTax lobbied Congress heavily -- just another hidden lobbyist -- to keep things complicated enough so they could keep charging for their software. So, we've automated the IRS to take money. Then automated the filing process to get some back. Then had a deal to keep automating stuff (TurboTax) at taxpayer's expense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteM View Post
    That's worth a grin . . . but the answer is sort of "yes."

    IRS has all sorts of brand new computers and a machine scans returns first. Actual employment at the IRS has gone down about 30,000 since 1995, while the number of returns has gone up.

    Sad thing about how this works -- for something like 2/3rd of workers (those with wages and a standard deduction) has enough computing power to figure your taxes for you. You'd just accept or go through the filing process yourself. Could save the average Joe a bunch of time -- and still give access to all the usual deductions if they were there for the taling.

    Intuit/TurboTax lobbied Congress heavily -- just another hidden lobbyist -- to keep things complicated enough so they could keep charging for their software. So, we've automated the IRS to take money. Then automated the filing process to get some back. Then had a deal to keep automating stuff (TurboTax) at taxpayer's expense.
    Maybe, maybe not, I don't know if that is true or not, but, still about 10x cheaper than going to a local HR Block or Jackson Hewit(?).... for the average joe taking standard deductions anyways. Last time I went to an actual brick and mortar place the guy just kept changing "answers" in his software (probably same one we use with turbotax/taxact etc! haha) until he got the 'desired' result....


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