On Monday’s episode of “The Michael Knowles Show,” bestselling author and bestselfpromoting podcast host Michael Knowles critiques New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s idea to pay for folks who are “unwilling to work.” Transcript and video below.
How is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez going to pay for everybody not to work?
AOC: One of the reasons that this ideology, or questions of whatever you want to call it — democratic socialism or techno futurism or like whatever — it is because our technological advancement as a society has outpaced our system for handling finite resources. Because now we are approaching infinite resources.
What? This sounds like that one of those late-night bull sessions that you have freshman year, or when you’re really hammered, that’s what she sounds like. She said, “You know, yeah man, cuz you know man, we’re thinking in a finite world, you know? But imagine if it were infinite…” We’re not going, by the way, to an infinite resources economy, things in the material world are finite. This woman is 29 years old, she has a college degree, theoretically, she majored in economics, which is evidence to decertify the BU economics program. What does that mean? “We’re thinking in this kind of finite world.” I don’t even know.
Bill Gates has an idea that she brought up recently as well:
AOC: You know Bill Gates has talked about taxing robots at 90%, and what that means, what he’s really talking about is taxing corporations at 90%, but it’s easier to say tax a robot.
Not really, actually. It’s no surprise Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez doesn’t know much about how taxation works, she thought that a tax incentive was just giving out money from a slush pile with regard to the Amazon move into New York, so she doesn’t know what taxes are. What Bill Gates means when he says we need to tax robots is not that we’re gonna tax corporations, we already tax corporations and we’re gonna continue to tax corporations, and until President Trump, we had one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world.
What it means to “tax robots” is to tax capital investment. If you’re a business owner, you’ve got your money, whatever your cash flow is, whatever investment you’ve got, whatever money you’ve got at your use you can put it into one of two things.
Capital, that is to say renovating the store, buying robots, touchscreens at McDonald’s, or labor – people. You can hire more people, you can pay your people more, you can whatever. Capital and labor, those are the two places that you can invest your money. So when you tax the robots what you are really taxing is capital investment, so what you are really taxing is automation, so what you are really doing is creating an incentive to keep paying the tollbooth operator. So where Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez began her argument is “don’t worry about the tollbooth operator, let the tollbooth operator lose her job we’re gonna automate everything, it’ll be great.” And how are you going to deal with the toll-booth operator? “Oh, we’re going to create economic incentives not to automate anybody so that the tollbooth operator can keep her job.” You just said it was good for the tollbooth operator to lose her job, now you’re advocating for economic incentives to let the tollbooth operator keep her job. All of this amounts to AOC not really understanding very much about economics, but this is no surprise.