Or pay an extra $500, get a Mac and don’t worry about what Bill says.
One seemingly flip answer is starting to gain some attention: Just tax the robots.
Bill Gates has called for a robot tax, and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio detailed a plan for one in his short-lived presidential campaign. If the future means far fewer workers and far more machines, tax revenue could drop and the daily rhythms of steady employment could become erratic.
A robot tax could serve multiple purposes, slowing job-destroying automation while raising revenue to supplement shrinking taxes paid by human workers. It could take a few different forms. Lawmakers could limit or slow down deductions for businesses that replace humans with robots, or they could hit businesses with levies equivalent to the payroll taxes paid by employers and employees.
For the moment, massive job losses from automation and artificial intelligence are a largely theoretical worry. But tax economists and lawyers are thinking through the economic circumstances in which robot taxes might make sense and the tricky legal decisions and definitions needed to implement them.