Robots will enable rich to get richer

According to columnist Ted R. Bromund, “Taxes are not the cure . . . taxes are the disease” [“Bill Gates takes aim at the robots,” Opinion, March 12].

Like most neocon talking points, Bromund’s blather simply ignores a real problem, while substituting smoke and mirrors for a thoughtful solution.

To Gates, unemployment and the resulting loss of tax revenue are mutually reinforcing diseases caused by robotization. A robot tax would address both problems by delaying job loss and by providing wherewithal for employment of the robotically displaced. Business certainly won’t do any of that, because the business purpose for robotization is to eliminate the cost and hassle of labor.

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When I was a kid, we were taught that automation would reduce the 40-hour work week to 20. In the more civilized America of my youth, everyone would benefit. Instead, people are now forced to work two or three jobs to make ends meet. So it seems that robots, like outsourcing and H-1B visas, are just another way to redistribute more wealth from workers who created it to those who profit most from their work.

James Moyssiadis, Mount Sinai