2020 presidential candidate Bill de Blasio endorsed a robot tax

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New York is known for being a progressive, forward-thinking state. A lot of this is because of the NYC mayor, Bill de Blasio. Now, the 2020 presidential candidate is ready to tackle the issue of robots stealing human jobs.

De Blasio recently laid out a plan that will counter the universal basic income proposal of his fellow candidate Andrew Yang. The initiative takes aim at companies who want to replace roles currently filled by humans with computer-operated workers. Though the issue is nothing new, critics are already taking hard stances on the hypothetical plan.

Robot Tax

Plenty of hardworking Americans worry about the possibility of a robot stealing their job. While these fears are partially valid, current trends suggest that automation isn’t a real threat to the job market. Instead, robots will start working in high-danger areas and perform tasks that degrade the human body, thus giving employees better working conditions and more time to work on other projects.

Even so, de Blasio is gunning for the robot usurpers. His plan is a two-fold scheme that essentially discourages employers from using automation to eliminate human-filled jobs.

Primarily, it will remove tax incentives for companies that “increase automation that would displace workers.” Employers would also have to offer a new position that pays equally or more than the old one or provide a severance package to any workers laid off because of automation. Companies that choose not to comply with these guidelines would need to pay five years or more of payroll taxes into a fund that creates a “new generation of labor-intensive, high-employment infrastructure projects and new jobs in areas such as health care and green energy.”

Meanwhile, de Blasio’s initiative would also create a new government agency (just what we need). The new Federal Automation and Worker Protection Agency (FAWPA) would provide oversight for companies using automation in the workforce.

Loud Opinions

If there were a prop bet for the societal environment surrounding 2020’s election, it would be safe to take the over on loud and divided. De Blasio already said that he will withdraw from the presidential race if he doesn’t qualify for October’s Democratic debate. Of course, this means that his proposed robot tax is totally hypothetical at this point.

That hasn’t stopped people from forming opinions on it.

Supporters who worry about robots stealing their job believe that the plan is the ideal solution to the problem. The proposal does have an advantage over a universal basic income in that it supports the “intrinsic value” of a job, according to de Blasio.

Meanwhile, critics believe that the plan is a direct route to a stifled economy with little to no advancement.