United States Commerce Treasury Wilbur Ross has finally gotten something right: taxing robots is a bad idea. After making a serious blunder on Mexico and the minimum wage last week, he renewed himself by dismissing calls for a robot tax.
Speaking in an interview with CNBC, the Commerce Secretary said that he doesn’t think an income tax on robots is the solution to employment automation, an idea being floated around by the likes of Bill Gates (SEE: Bill Gates’s Robot Tax Is a Terrible Idea).
“I’m not in favor of trying to hold back technological advance,” Ross told the business news network. “We need technological advance. And if we don’t employ robots, the Chinese will, the Vietnamese will, the Europeans will, the Japanese will. Everyone will.”
He further explained that the best answer to the current trend is to properly train American workers for the workforce of the future and not actually attempt “to hold back technology.” He also added that even more taxation and regulation would hurt the national economy.
Remember, a robot is another type of capital and, therefore, they are not being given an income and thus do not pay any taxes. Robots are meant to increase productivity and allow workers to shift into other needed roles in the company or in-demand industries.
Would Bill Gates want to tax Microsoft Office or the Windows operating system? Nope. Just because Gates is the world’s richest man it doesn’t mean he is an omnipotent being (SEE: What you can learn from Bill Gates, Donald Trump & Pope Francis about economics).