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Bill Gates said that robots should pay taxes if they steal American jobs

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Bill Gates: We should tax the robot that takes your job

WATCH | Bill Gates explains why robots shouldn't get a free pass when it comes to taxes

The development of self-serve kiosks at fast food chains, like McDonald's, has fueled anxiety among American workers--fearing that they'll be replaced by droids and robots. 

So Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates believes that, in order to curb the spread of automation, robots should be taxed to fund other types of employment, he said in an interview with Quartz.

"Certainly there will be taxes that relate to automation," Gates said. "Right now, the human worker who does, say, $50,000 worth of work in a factory, that income is taxed and you get income tax, social security tax, all those things. If a robot comes in to do the same thing, you’d think that we’d tax the robot at a similar level."


Gates said the tax can be applied to the profits that are generated by the extra productivity. 

"I don’t think the robot companies are going to be outraged that there might be a tax. It’s OK," he continued.

It's important to begin this conversation now, the entrepreneur said, because he doesn't want society to approach innovation with hesitancy.


"It is really bad if people overall have more fear about what innovation is going to do than they have enthusiasm," he said. "That means they won’t shape it for the positive things it can do. And, you know, taxation is certainly a better way to handle it than just banning some elements of it."

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