Automation, unemployment and taxation Event as iCalendar

(Politics and International Relations, School of Social Sciences)

25 July 2018

1 - 2pm

Host: Pat Hanan Room, CLL Building (207-501)

Dr Tom Parr | University of Essex

Some believe that we should tax automation in order to slow down the rate at which capital replaces labour. One argument for this conclusion appeals to the interests of those individuals who would otherwise be made redundant by technological change. In this paper, I argue against this view, maintaining that we can embrace (rapid) automation if we also insist upon using some of the additional surplus that it creates to compensate those employees and potentially employees whose livelihoods are destroyed by this process. In the course of defending this position, I reflect upon two questions: (1) how should the government compensate those who lose out as a result of automation? And, (2) how should the government raise the revenue necessary to finance the compensation? My contribution is important not only because it helps us to resolve a series of urgent policy disputes - disputes that have been discussed extensively by labour market economists and policymakers, but not at all by political philosophers - but also because my analysis sheds lights on a wider range of controversies in philosophy, politics, and economics. 

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