Reply to post: Re: Make robots pay tax

Basic income after automation? That’s not how capitalism works

The Indomitable Gall

Re: Make robots pay tax

" I can't quite work out where the author is coming from: libertarian - all state is bad - or socialist - all capitalism is evil? Their penultimate argument, if it is in fact an argument, that:

"Those of us who are laid off are not entitled to any of the gains that the new technology produces. The owner of the new technology alone is entitled to its proceeds, while all of our fellow citizens are now responsible to pay for our living (through taxes that fund basic income)." "

What you're missing is the second part of the headline: "That's not how capitalism works."

The author includes a lot of spraff about economic theory, but that's a common fallacy -- equating industrial/post-industrial economics with capitalism. None of the economic theories capitalists adhere to are unique to capitalism. The difference between capitalism, cooperativism, communism and socialism is simply the model of ownership and the resulting distribution of profit.

Capitalism is nothing more sophisticated than "the guy (aka "capitalist") who puts the money (aka "capital") in to start/improve the business owns the machine and gets the profit". There is nothing more to it than that. The paragraph you quote is simply a restatement of what capitalism, and a claim that this means basic income shouldn't exist.

But taxation has always diluted pure capitalism, so we do not live in a truly capitalist society anyway.

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