The GOP has passed its tax bill, and the real winners in this major overhaul to our tax system might surprise you. The group that stands to gain the most is not middle-class taxpayers, not the so-called upper 1 percent, and not even the multinational corporations.
The real benefits will go to robots. Let me explain. The Republican tax plan is based on the theory of trickle-down economics — the idea that cutting taxes at the very top spurs investment that eventually trickles down to workers in the form of more jobs, higher wages, and greater opportunities.
The critical assumption here is that entrepreneurs and employers need to hire workers to get the job done. They do not.
Robots are entering the work force in unprecedented numbers; and, by “robots,” I mean not only the industrial mechanisms that assemble semi-trucks and automobiles but the algorithms that will be driving the trucks along with the automated Uber cars and city buses that will no longer need human drivers.
I mean the natural language-processing applications that take the place of customer service representatives, journalists, and legal professionals. I mean all those middle-class jobs that most of us rely on for employment.
The fact of the matter is simple: When companies are given a choice between investing in workers or investing in automation, the robots win. And they win in every sector of the economy.
Congress might not know it, but they have just voted to fast-track the robot apocalypse.
I’m David Gunkel, and that’s my perspective.