Many people wonder why they have lost their jobs. In some cases, it is entirely up to the marketplace to determine whether or not an organization’s product or service lives, limps along, or dies. In other cases, it might be the fault of executives trying to keep their own positions or maximize their performance bonuses by cutting costs, the largest one often being labor. Or, it might be the heavy-handed tactics of a union that demands increasing wages without any corresponding increase in productivity.
And, then there are the politicians with their never-ending taxation and regulations.
- Want to discourage some behavior or practice; tax it heavily.
- Want to encourage some behavior, tax someone else and subsidize your preferred behavior or provide tax breaks.
- Want to bring about “social justice,” use taxation as a means of wealth redistribution.
- Want to be re-elected, place another budget-busting entitlement on the table.
A San Francisco Progressive Example:
Progressive San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim believes that there should be a tax on robots to help retrain workers who lose their job to automation. “What we are looking at is extending a payroll tax that we already have on jobs performed by humans, and extending [it] to jobs performed by robots, algorithms, and automation.” According to Kim, “What I am trying to do is make sure that we are preparing workers for the future of work in this country by creating a revenue fund that can help re-educate and retrain; but also turn jobs that are frankly poverty jobs that are very difficult to automate — like child-care workers, health-care workers for seniors — and help make those real living-wage, middle-class jobs.” “San Francisco is certainly a beneficiary of the tech disruption and revolution that we are seeing today. And I think it makes sense for San Francisco to be leading in the policies that address this.”
What is left unsaid is that many of the jobs to be automated are held by low-skill casual labor whose “living wage” demands are forcing employers to turn to automation to maintain competitiveness and sustain a viable enterprise. Can one imagine the cost of a simple hamburger-Coke-and fries when the three or so employees that access the customer all make $30,000 per year and have all of the other benefits that are not usually found in entry-level positions that were never meant to be career positions or positions that would feed a family with multiple children?
And history has proven that most tax monies collected under a social benefit program usually are dissipated by the inefficient government overhead and only a few dollars trickle down to actual beneficiaries. More likely, the funds are provided to politically-connected organizations whose members almost always vote for the progressive party, and who always takes a hefty slice of the revenue to cover their own overhead. And, of course, a large slice of the pie goes for the type of self-serving outreach that promotes the organization and funds its own fundraising activities.
It is important to watch closely what the politicians are doing in your name, else you learn that regulation and taxation has cost you your position – or forcing you to think “Am I Next?