That said, Bill Gates is even worse on economics and so Gates is one of the few he can take on and come out ahead, And so
During an interview with Marktplace, he took head on the crazy Gates idea to tax robots.
"At the practical level, why robots?" sSummers said during the interview."Word processing programs displace secretaries; dishwashers, the automated kind, displace dishwashers, the human kind; electricity means many fewer people in jobs carrying things from one place to another. Why would one single out among possible technologies, robots?"
Additionally, Summers said, the notion doesn't make sense from a philosophical standpoint.
"There's a deeper question, which is, should it be the objective of policy to encourage more rapid technological improvement or should it be the objective of policy to retard technological improvement?" he said. "It’s always seemed to me that enlarging the pie as much as possible and then figuring out a set of policies that are directed at making sure the pie is allocated in a fair way is a much better strategy than seeking, for some other reason, to slow the growth. I think the best course is not to be an ostrich and pretend we can ignore disruption. Too many people do that."
Summers does become something of a central planner when he calls for "figuring out a set of policies that are directed at making sure the pie is allocated in a fair way."
But outside of this, his attack on Gates is sound.