Re: Robots don't pay taxes...
"Looks like Korea was trying to change this..."
Not really, they're nor taxing robots. They're removing tax subsidies from robots. Actually, not even that, they're planning to reduce tax subsidies for robots, and not even now but in a year or two.
As to "should robots be taxed?" - What exactly is being taxed? Robots are capital equipment, and the capital invested in them has already been taxed*. Also, being capital equipment, companies can list their cost and depreciation as business expenses and offset that against taxable profits. Bottom line being they don't pay tax on the value of the robots, and if capital gains taxes were the same as company taxes, the company is paying exactly zero in taxes. With some clever tax-jiggery-pokery I'm sure that big companies can afford, they probably net a tax profit off robots even without official tax deductions.
But I believe that what is being proposed isn't to tax their value, but to tax their WORK. Since robots don't earn a salary, some way needs to be arrived at of determining the value of their work. But if you're taxing the value of work that a robot does, why not that of a computer**? Of a vehicle? In fact of any tool that an enterprise uses? The bottom line to all of this is that trying to tax robots would create a gigantic administrative and beaurocratic mess. Much simpler to just marginally increase company tax. And then watch the cmpanies do some more jiggery-pokery to pretend they're not making any money, at which point they don't care how high the tax rate is.
If you really want to incentivise companies to hire more people, give them a tax break based on number of employees instead of a tax break for investment in robots.
And if you really want some social justice, forget messing about withthe fine detail of the tax code and fix the giant tax loopholes.
*Typically at a lower rate than earned inome... I believe earned income, dividend income, capital gains etc (all types of income in fact) should all be taxed at the same rate, but that's a discussion for another time.
**If a robot is replacing manual labour and a computer is replacing white-collar labour, why tax one and not the other?