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Should robots pay taxes? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Dave Consiglio, Chemistry and Physics High School Teacher and Community College Professor, on Quora:

Should robots pay taxes? No. Capitalism should change.

Capitalism works reasonably well as an economic system – provided that human beings are required to do effectively all of the labor. It worked far better than previous systems (slavery most notably).

But capitalism has a long list of grievances, not the least of which is that human labor has slowly become devalued over time. Fifty years ago in Detroit, an unskilled laborer could make a living wage on the assembly line. The reason for that was simple: the assembly line, and the company that made its profits off of it, needed those workers. There was a need, and the car companies were more than willing to pay workers to fill those needs. The workers won, the company won, it was a positive sum game.

But that game is changing, thanks to robots.

Right now, robots have replaced numerous unskilled jobs, and the jobs they are going to replace are about to explode. Consider people who drive a vehicle for a living. These are truck drivers, cab drivers, delivery people, the USPS, etc. Today, as I write this, there are machines that either can already do most of that job, or will very soon be able to do most (or all) of that job. The outcome of this revolution will be the unemployment of millions of people. Those “drivers” can drive 24/7/365 without a break, without insurance, without being paid.

Surely companies should pay back into the system via taxation in order to offset the amount of money they are no longer paying their employees.

It seems like a good enough idea, and I think it might actually happen. But I’d like to see something…