Is the United States Tax System Favoring Excessive Automation?
As the next wave of information technology matures, many commentators worry about the job disruption that automation technology will bring. In a recent policy brief released by the MIT Task Force on the Work of the Future, MIT economist Daron Acemoglu and his co-authors argued that the United States currently taxes machinery and equipment too little compared to labor, thereby encouraging excessive automation that eliminates jobs without making the economy more productive. ITIF President Rob Atkinson has argued in response that automation doesn’t lead to joblessness and that increasing taxes on automation equipment, including artificial intelligence, would hurt U.S. competitiveness and reduce real wage growth.
ITIF hosted a debate in which Acemoglu and Atkinson laid out their views about the future of automation technology and the effects it may have on U.S. competitiveness and the economy.