Note — Oct 28, 2018

‘Tech Tax’ Necessary to Avoid Dystopia, Says Leading Economist

Short interview with economist Jeffrey Sachs. He argues for a tech tax, and for AI’s potential being determined through “a desire to serve the public interest.” Also of interest because his emphasis on IP mirrors that of Jim Balsillie, covered in No.52. Early trend there.

[A]rguing that new technologies were dramatically shifting the income distribution worldwide “from labour to intellectual property (IP) and other capital income.” […]

“So rather than cutting capital income taxation, as we’ve been doing in a race to the bottom, we ought to be finding ways to tax capital income and IP income,” Sachs added. […]

“So more creative IP design is always on the books, not just with regard to AI, but with regard to any advanced technology, however it’s organised. Whether there should be forced licensing, whether it should be forced to be open source, whether there should be pooling of the technologies in some way across companies, we grappled with that over and over again in the 20th century, because there’s nothing that says that the plain vanilla, 20 year from date of filing, patent, is the right way to handle any of this.”