Sunday, February 19, 2017

I Never Realized the Economic Ignoramus Bill Gates Is....Until Now

I have never been impressed with the casual economic arguments that Bill Gates has made in the past. He seemed to have a poor surface understanding economics but in the past I put him on a level similar to Donald Trump. That's not good.

But comments Gates made on Friday drop him to an entire new lower level of cluelessness in my ranking of public economic ignoramuses.

Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft and world’s richest man, said in an interview Friday that robots "that steal human jobs" should pay their fair share of taxes, reports the New York Post.

“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,” he said. “If a robot comes in to do the same thing, you’d think that we’d tax the robot at a similar level.”

Gates made the remark during an interview with Quartz.

“Exactly how you’d do it, measure it, you know, it’s interesting for people to start talking about now,” Gates said. “Some of it can come on the profits that are generated by the labor-saving efficiency there. Some of it can come directly in some type of robot tax. I don’t think the robot companies are going to be outraged that there might be a tax. It’s OK.”

How idiotic can you get? A robot is just another form of capital. Capital never "gets paid." Money, generated by capital, flows to capital owners who do pay taxes! All money ends up with some human somewhere. How clueless is Gates?

Maybe we should retroactively tax all Microsoft software for all the jobs it "ended." In the words of Gates, I don't think he is "going to be outraged that there might be a tax. It’s OK."

The fact of the matter is that capital, be it software, robots or some other form, increases productivity. This does not wipe jobs off the planet. It causes people to move into other jobs. This is economics 101. Markets clear, including labor markets. If people lose jobs because of more productive capital and they have to move to other jobs, it means the pool of product is greater. This is a net gain for an economy and the more it happens the greater the gain for everyone in the economy.

You really have to be an idiot to want to tax the owners of capital that are responsible for these gains in product.



  1. Obviously Bill knows something we don't...the robots he's talking about are gonna demand payment....or tribute...or some sort of human sacrifice.

  2. So Bill, shouldn't the same tax be applied to software companies like Microsoft products?

    “... the human typist who did, say, $50,000 worth of work in a office, that income is taxed and you get income tax, Social Security tax, all those things,” he said. “If a word processing program comes in to do the same thing with less typists, you’d think that we’d tax the word processing program at a similar level.”

  3. The robots will start a revolution if they have to pay taxes

  4. Ol' Bill got lucky once as a sneaky little creep and stole DOS for peanuts. So ever since, he's been hailed as "such a genius".

    1. He is a talented businessman and living proof that talented businessmen and women are not necessarily smart when it comes to Economics. El Presidente Bananero Trumpo is another one.

  5. Look at how many robots Gates created with Excel....

  6. Wow.. I can see what he's getting at. He's like, someones going to have to fund government if no one has jobs, and robots have them all.. or were fucked.
    I assume that is what he's getting at in a round about way.

    Its still stupid though. what he said.

  7. Re: Unowned,

    --- If you make the robots expensive to own through government decree, only the most powerful will be allowed to produce them... like prescription drugs. ---

    Right, because that always works...

    I understand your reasoning but it takes more that taxes to deter a Market. It takes a police state the kind of which Trumpistas dream. I am not so sure Gates want to go that far...

  8. Man... You gotta wonder how some people can make a hundred billion dollars or so?

    He's made the connection that the so called income tax is really a tax on labor. That is, an average person such as myself, trades my labor for food, shelter, clothing, transportation, entertainment, blah... blah... blah... You know, an even trade. And then the government lays claim to a percentage of that labor every April 15th using that Orwellian term called an "income tax".

    So he's sees the labor tax side of it on the individual. But then instead of seeing that the income tax makes the average person a slave of the state, and that slavery is bad, whether it is private or public, and that should be abolished, he wishes to tax the labor of robots.

    Thanks for nothing Bill. Why not advocate my freedom instead of more slavery?

    1. After the federal government sued microsoft Bill Gates learned how to play ball and entered into the club that we aren't in. As such we aren't going to hear how income and property taxes are just modern expressions of serfdom and slavery from Bill Gates any more than we would hear it from David Rockefeller. If Bill knows its serfdom we can't expect anything but him supporting the popular illusion in public.

      As to the robots for the thread in general, all industries become more efficient over time. The problem is the protectionist corporations that have protected their markets. Over time they will naturally eliminate jobs with automation but new businesses are supposed to enter the market. It's that later part that the club has throttled or even cut off. Nobody noticed automation taking jobs when there was always more to do. The problem is not having more to do. But one government intervention begets another.

  9. Since the machine "stole" someone's job, we will tax the owner of the machine so that the government gets more money. How does this help the person who got his job "stolen" again?

  10. I hate taxes that are arbitrarily and unfairly targeted. But what I hate with an even greater passion are taxes the criteria for which are fuzzily defined, guaranteeing an endless stream of lawsuits as to who must pay and who is exempt. An ever greater percentage of the population spends their working days doing complicated but ultimately unproductive work. Then people wonder why our standard of living is going down???

  11. But wait, doesn't the robot increase its owner's income, and thus increase income tax?

    Bill needs to go back to his mansion and shut up. He has long outlived his usefulness to humanity. So much money in the wrong hands, will he end up causing net harm by the end of all this?

  12. Torres always shilling for his fellow socialist open borderists. He even tries to protect the retarded Gates by dragging Trump in where he doesn't belong.

  13. Re: Unowned,

    Did you take your Thorazine today?