The Future of Work — 3 Mega-Trends
Graham Brown-Martin

Employee owned corporations are interesting, but who owns a corporation entirely made of software? If Big Data finds a trend that is exploitable for money, and Amazon operates the servers, and the business is essentially all-on-line, we are rapidly approaching a future where no humans are necessary. Those who invest in the idea reap the rewards, but there are no “employee-owners” to be had because there are no employees. The wealth inequality gap means that those with money to invest in such “virtual companies” are at the top and furthers the gap. Only the wealthy will own such corporations.

Therefore, corporate tax is the only thing we have left. This “ratchet” exists because algorithms and software belong to corporations. They are not people. They do not have “income” to tax. Therefore, in the abstract, the corporate entity is all that is left to tax.

Just as income is becoming obsolete, so is the income tax. Transactional taxes need to take their place to bridge us to the UBI future. How many corporations in the past 20 years have been caught “cooking the books?” Transactional taxes in an automated economy are … automated. This gets around the current loophole that HP is losing money and paying no income tax, but still moves $100 billion through the economy with all of the attached impact to environment, employees, and society. (Or so it was a couple of years ago; such dying giants are poised to go nova any moment.)

It isn’t that this is a perfect idea — but it is the best I have heard yet. I understand the railing against the biases of Google, eBay, and Microsoft billionaires, but they also have a front-row seat for the automated revolution. To the extent their guilt hints at a better future, we should let it.

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