Should U.S. Implement a New Tax on AI to Fund Worker Benefits?

Should the government create a new tax on AI that helps to fund future displaced workers' benefits?

  • 7,809
    larubia
    03/29/2024

    AI is going to continue to displace workers for the benefit of corporations. This isn't the first time in our history when innovation or technology displaced workers. 

    I'm not convinced that a tax is the answer. I will need to know about the tax, where the monies go & what they provide. 

    What I do know is that over the course of 50 years, wages for those of us working have not kept up, while CEO''s on average make $272 to every $1 of their employees. That will grow with AI. 

    Two things: 1. We need strong unions. 2. We need a labor party that will represent us. 

  • 186
    ceobart
    Voted Support
    03/29/2024

    Dearest lawmakers - Please act before it's too late. We need your leadership on the coming risks posed by AI and have an opportunity now to tilt the future in the favor of humanity, and not just rich people and robots. 

  • 82
    Sean
    Voted Oppose
    03/31/2024

    No.  Allow our free-market system to work.  Please politicians - stay out of it.  Allow adults / workers to make smart decisions that work best for them to prepare for job opportunities that best serve and meet their own needs and desires.  The last thing we / America needs is central planning and "state" ownership of private business.  We need to return to allowing business and labor to drive our economy and freedom of choice for all Americians. 

  • 93.1k
    LeslieG
    03/28/2024

    Need a "maybe" on this one as it depends how it's done. Currently the tax code is out of alignment on how corporations are taxed for employees versus automation. Employees cost corporations a 25% tax rate while automation is 5% which encourages companies to automate to reduce taxes as well as employee costs.

    House Republicans instead of addressing this misalignment want to further boost write offs for investments in machinery, equipment, and buildings, over and above what was in the 2017 Trump Tax Legislation.

    According to the IMF, 50% of jobs in developed economies will be impacted by AI, with half benefiting, and the other half being replaced or paid significantly less. IMF recommends governments develope strong regulatory frameworks to balance innovation with employment needs.

    The EU already has a strong regulatory environment protecting workers. Anyone that has had to layoff workers in Europe knows it can take years. They also have developed a regulatory framework for AI based on risk.

    The US lags behind on both.

    "A research brief for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 2020 shows that workers have cost employers a 25% tax rate, while the rate on software and equipment has stood at around 5%. This lopsidedness in tax code gives employers more reason to invest in automating goods like machines and computer software instead of workers, the paper said."

    "“Why do you get a tax credit if you buy a computer, but if you train two human beings to do better you don’t get any of the same benefits?” asked Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) in an interview, noting that businesses can write off those costs with research and development tax incentives, among other capital breaks in the code."

    "But House Republicans are proposing to boost incentives for capital investment in a tax package Ways and Means Republicans advanced Tuesday. Bonus depreciation, which the MIT study authors recommend eliminating, would increase under the legislation."

    "The tax provision allows business owners to deduct 100% of costs for short-term investments—such as machinery, equipment, and buildings—in the first year they make the purchases, which some say only reinforces automation’s favoritism in the tax code."

    "Full bonus depreciation was first enacted in the 2017 Trump administration tax package. Since then, more companies are taking advantage of the deduction and writing off expenses related to automation, said Daron Acemoglu, an economics professor at MIT and an author on the 202"

    "In advanced economies, about 60 percent of jobs may be impacted by AI. Roughly half the exposed jobs may benefit from AI integration, enhancing productivity. For the other half, AI applications may execute key tasks currently performed by humans, which could lower labor demand, leading to lower wages and reduced hiring. In the most extreme cases, some of these jobs may disappear."

    "Guided by the insights from the AI Preparedness Index, advanced economies should prioritize AI innovation and integration while developing robust regulatory frameworks."

    "To help countries craft the right policies, the IMF has developed an AI Preparedness Index that measures readiness in areas such as digital infrastructure, human-capital and labor-market policies, innovation and economic integration, and regulation and ethics."

    "Using the index, IMF staff assessed the readiness of 125 countries. The findings reveal that wealthier economies, including advanced and some emerging market economies, tend to be better equipped for AI adoption than low-income countries, though there is considerable variation across countries. Singapore, the United States and Denmark posted the highest scores on the index, based on their strong results in all four categories tracked."

    "Guided by the insights from the AI Preparedness Index, advanced economies should prioritize AI innovation and integration while developing robust regulatory frameworks."

    "The EU AI Act divides the technology into categories of risk, ranging from unacceptable to high, medium and low hazard. AI systems considered high risk—such as those used in critical infrastructure, education, health care, law enforcement, border management or elections—will have to comply with strict requirements."

    https://www.causes.com/comments/95791

    https://www.causes.com/comments/79459

    https://www.causes.com/comments/79617

    https://www.causes.com/comments/79939

    https://www.causes.com/comments/80662

    https://www.shrm.org/topics-tools/employment-law-compliance/european-parliament-passes-eu-ai-act

    https://www.imf.org/en/Blogs/Articles/2024/01/14/ai-will-transform-the-global-economy-lets-make-sure-it-benefits-humanity

    https://ipc.mit.edu/research/work-of-the-future/

    https://news.bloomberglaw.com/daily-labor-report/ai-fueled-job-displacement-fears-trigger-tax-code-scrutiny

  • 13.3k
    MrGeer
    Voted Support
    03/29/2024

    yes, but workers, not corporations, should have full say in what AI is used for as well.

    AI could make many jobs easier, and many more obsolete.this is not inherantly bad if its in workers control with strong government oversight.

  • 2,592
    530 East Hunt Highway
    Voted Oppose
    03/30/2024

    Why would anyone support a tax on a new technology? Technology evolves all the time! 

  • 2
    Brianna
    Voted Support
    04/15/2024

    As A.I and robotics progress on their exponential path of growth, more human humans will be displaced, forced into unemployment, made homeless, and made desperate.

    Companies which unleash the burden of systematic unemployment onto society, without meaningful ways and sufficient timeframes for workers to realign within the financial framework, should be required to share the revenue that they've mined.

    AI/robotics and their ability to learn and be of service, is built on the backs of human ingenuity. AI itself has no need for money, aside from that required for it to run on electricity and maintain/improve the systems that contain it. With only a handful of profiteers found in those companies, there is no need for such a small few to hold all of that wealth. 

    I propose that individuals making a certain amount of income perhaps $10 million annually shall pay 98% tax on any amount thereafter, and should not have the ability to defer to other years, have dealings "offshore", or spend with impunity to reduce profits.

    It's also necessary to find a suitable financial threshold for corporations to make/hold before a 95-98% tax, with extensive governmental oversight and auditing to ensure all Taxable money allocated to the Society Fund is not diminished in any way or tampered with.

    If an entire financial ecosystem changes, (as it will) the old rules cannot apply. A complete financial overhaul is required.

    We have not seen societal disruptions of this magnitude during this period of Civilization and the necessity to approach it prepared, before it's too late is imperative to avoid complete societal collapse.

    It sounds alarmist, I recognize this, but as many AI futurists and enthusiasts have stated, "we're on the back half of the chessboard now", AI is moving quick and will continue whether we do something about it or not.  

    Let's not be caught unprepared.

  • 3,455
    Surender
    04/05/2024

    When disposable income contracts or disappears ... which it already is

    who are these 'greedy monsters' going to sell to? 

  • 1,423
    The Rev Dr Edward
    Voted Support
    03/31/2024

    You can't expect to collect taxes from people who don't have jobs.

  • 128
    John
    Voted Support
    03/30/2024

    Tax AI into nonviability. It isn't even actually AI at this stage (far from it) and has so many more problems and it seems to provide solutions for. The environmental impact of the computing resources and the complete lack of validation for information it provides without any cross checking by many users alone are enough of an issue without going any deeper. But if it is going to continue, at least make it provide some benefit to the people impacted by poor leadership choices, and make it so that the persistent tax evaders have no way out of paying for it.

  • 6,656
    Bruce
    Voted Support
    03/29/2024

    Yes.  

    These corporations must contribute to funding all the lost jobs their "innovation" will create.  

     

    Additionally, they need to contribute to a fund to repair the damages their "Artificial Intelligence" will cause.

  • 1,161
    Donna
    Voted Support
    03/29/2024

    It greatly bothers me that we have become so Dependent on AI a/k/a machines, since machines break down & can only do what they have been programed to do! We need human input to solve problems that come up, not Machines! Everyone should understand this, if they have dealt with computer run answering systems. WHen you say you need something not in their program they try to reroute you into what they're programed for! By the time you get to talk to a human, you're already horribly frustrated! I once had a colonoscopy where the computer system was down & the doctor didn't have a pper file to refer to, & didn't know what he was supposed to look for!! We really need to re-evaluate how much we really want to rely on AI! I do believe that the government needs to fund retraining of the people who lose jobs to AI, otherwise they will need wellfare & medicaid, which is paid by the government!

  • 2,929
    Arlys
    03/29/2024

    I don't have a problem with this.  Worst case scenario would be the businesses would refuse to pay the taxes and Congress using that same money to support wars in other parts of the world that we have no business involving ourselves in.  Congress has a bad habit of using our tax dollars as their personal  "piggy bank" and seem to spend it where it doesn't protect our own work force and the  citizens of this country.  And if you think that this will lower the cost to the public, you had better think again.  God forbid the business lose their profit margin.  As far as I am concerned, this is just another political "game playing" tactict to get more money out of the everyday citizen.  

    Don't get me wrong.  I don't believe in wasting our tax dollars on wars based on religion.  It's been going on for thousands of years.  Wars based on expansion of territory with control over the human factor is a different matter.  While I support the Ukraine, I do not support the war mongering of Isreal.  

    As for A I, I don't trust it one bit.  Nobody or business needs information on how I spend my money, what products I prefer, my political preferences, not to mention my religious beliefs.  How I live, what I think, and how I vote is nobody's business.  Period.  

  • 3,302
    Steph
    Voted Support
    03/29/2024

    Yes.  As no one wants to regulate it and people are now loosing their incomes because of it, yes, yes, and yes!

  • 404
    Mac
    Voted Support
    03/29/2024

    Since AI is being developed to replace workers, it should be taxed to pay for the loss of job and retraining of the displaced workers. 

  • 956
    Luleo
    Voted Support
    03/29/2024

    I'm voting "support" only because the tax to support displaced workers is a good idea... given that we are Hell bent to keep using AI when it is clearly a danger to humanity. Any time I am offered an opportunity to use AI by an app or a program I turn it down. In fact, it is a 100% guarantee that an app or a program that is AI run or has AI as an offering is deleted from my tech. I accept that AI is here to stay, but, at 65 years of age, I can only hope I am long gone and not coming back before AI runs the show. I have seen how technology and social media have caused more stress, more anxiety, and even more suicide and murder... in what Fresh Hell is this considered an improvement for humanity???

  • 116
    Richard
    Voted Support
    03/29/2024

    AI will soon become the biggest threat to job security of the digital age.

  • 3,868
    Lisa
    Voted Support
    03/29/2024

    Now there is an idea I'm behind!! 

  • 2
    Digelsrud
    Voted Support
    03/29/2024

    This scenario, of technological job displacement, cannot simply be solved with re- training and re-skilling. With the far-reaching consequences of this tech; because it crosses multiple sectors - we can’t only limit ourselves to small solutions - for a problem this enormous. 

    Economist Daron Acemoglu, who is an institute professor at MIT, and is perhaps the world’s leading expert on technology’s effects on the economy. In his research, talks about how automation does two “opposite things simultaneously: It steals tasks from humans, and it also creates new tasks for humans. How workers ultimately fare ... depends ... on the balance of those two [things].”1 

    “When the newly created tasks offset the stolen tasks, workers do fine ... but when they outpace the new ones, workers have nowhere to go.” 2 

    In one of his studies, he decided to focus on robots and their effects. What his research found, was that “[s]ince 1990 - the introduction of every additional robot, reduced employment by approximately six humans, and measurably lowered wages.” 3 

    With genAI, this tech is much faster than past technologies. It’s pervasive, it’s flexible, and it’s going to be applied in pretty much every sector. 

    He goes on to say, “People will still be working, but at lower wages ... [and] the skills of large numbers of workers will be less valuable ... so their incomes will not keep up.” 4 

    “In [another more] recent study, he found that ... companies who hired more AI specialists over the past decade went on to hire fewer people overall.” 5 

    He suggests, “employers [are] using AI to replace their human workers with software, rather than using it to make human workers more productive,” 6 and he recommends that we need to be thinking about ways we can help put AI development onto a more human-complementary path, rather than the human-displacing path it seems to be on. 

    One of the principles Acemoglu discusses, is adjusting the tax system. “Right now we place a heavier burden on firms that hire labor; than we do on those that invest in algorithms which automate work.” 7 So, the suggestion is, to create a more symmetrical structure, which balances marginal tax rates for labor with those of investing in equipment and software. In essence, taxing wages less, and software more - that way companies won’t be incentivized to replace their workers with technology. 

    ---------------------------------

    1,2,3,4,5,6 - Aki Ito, “The AI heretic: How a leading economist learned to start worrying and fear artificial intelligence,” Business Insider, Sep. 18, 2023 https://www.businessinsider.com/ai-chatgpt-replace-jobs-unemployment-salaries-technology-economist-daron-acemoglu-2023-9


    7 - Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson, “Rebalancing AI,” Finance & Development Magazine: IMF, Dec. 4, 2023 https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/fandd/issues/2023/12/Rebalancing-AI-Acemoglu-Johnson 

  • 2,405
    Martha
    Voted Support
    03/29/2024

    Works for me.  The money from that tax should be put towards job training/retraining for displaced workers so they will be employable.

  • 1,814
    George
    Voted Support
    03/29/2024

    This will bring alot of tax revenue to pay off the deficit