When a robot takes a human being’s job, transfer the human’s tax burden to the robot: tax the robot.
The time has come for our society to revise its view of the role robots play in producing wealth and see robots not as human tools, but rather as human competitors in the workplace. Humans are losing this competition. They are being replaced by robots in their full-employment jobs. When this happens, they can no longer earn a living, contribute to society, or pay their customary share to our societal tax and pension burden.
This is a fundamental change to the economic world that has existed for the million or so years that humans and their predecessor hominids have lived on the Earth. Until the Industrial Revolution, all goods and services were produced directly by people, sometimes augmenting their own capability with domesticated animals. The industrial age changed that slowly by adding mechanical devices to enhance human productivity.
Now we face a change in the relationship between man and machine in which the robotic production of goods and services is independent of human activity. Society must develop methods by which intelligent machines support, rather than compete with, humanity. How society shall distribute the opulence created entirely by machines is a complex and challenging problem. However, the collision between technological changes and societal norms makes this necessary.
The first, and simplest, step is to replace the tax payments normally paid humans by taxing robots directly when they replace humans in a task, i.e., transfer the human’s tax burden to the robot that replaces him or her.