Robots do work, and the work they do is not a "job". Work that a robot performs will never be a job. A job is work a human does while earning a weekly paycheck and paying taxes. Humans earn a paycheck and shop locally while paying sale's taxes. Robots do none of the above.

You may think this is not a big deal, but if you consider the Social Security and Medicaid programs it is a huge deal. A robot is paid nothing, pays no taxes, pays nothing into social security and never pays into payroll taxes. A robot does not ask for health insurance coverage but it also never pays a premium. Robots do work, but pay nothing into any tax fund. Robots never go to the local shops or malls to shop for Christmas or celebrate another robots birthday. All these points incentivize the business owner to buy more robots rather than hire more people. Adding more robots places more and more pressure on federal and local governments to find new revenue streams which in turn squeezes the taxpayers who do have a job. And squeezes social programs who now have to figure out how to support the unemployed. 


Robots. Say it, robots, robots, robots, robots. Robots are a growing influence on the escalation of society’s social problems.  

If we incentivize robotic work, the effect will be more and more robots and with fewer and fewer humans earning a living. Fewer human jobs, means higher unemployment along with higher payroll taxes on those who do work. The first answer from the mindless Iowa legislature this session was to destroy the injured worker's safety net following a serious injury. This was clearly counterintuitive and not an answer to the problem. It was counterintuitive because it created zero jobs while adding pressure to human workers. The amendments to Chapter 85 simply picked on the victims while allowing those wielding the knife to continue to create new victims.

If you follow the lead of this session, there will be more amendments to the work comp act until finally it is an entire schedule and human workers are completely devalued with no avenue to figure out how to earn a living in the future. This schedule will be expanded until there are no more human jobs that anyone who understands risk will be willing to perform. When that happens there will have no other choice but to tax robotic workers and hand out a welfare check to the human unemployed workforce.

And if they don’t hand out welfare paychecks? You don’t even want to think that one through. The attacks on the workforce is short-term thinking with long-term consequences.


Face it, the Branstad Administration and the Republican led legislature is trying to eliminate humans in favor of a robotic workforce that has zero work comp claims, pays no taxes, never needs to see a doctor, doesn’t need health insurance, never spends a dime at the malls and never needs a haircut. As Trump barked about making America great again, the owners of the robots cheered him. But while they cheered him on, I thought, yeah, yeah, do you think we are stupid; you are creating more robot jobs. The CEO’s who lined up to say how many "jobs" they would make in America, never said these work positions were for humans. They said they would be "jobs" in America. Sure jobs, but jobs don't all have a paycheck. Jobs are simply work being performed. Work performed by robots, not humans is really not a job. Jobs are for humans, not for robots.

The middle class destruction has been going on since the 1970's. The prolific availability and use of the Internet has only accelerated that destruction. Wages are essentially flat and have been for 30 years. This is wage deflation. We need a middle class, because without a middle class there are essentially two classes with no way of moving up, only down.


And when people live paycheck to paycheck there is no hope. To the working poor hope, is like French cuisine to someone who is starving. Meat and potatoes would be more useful. Financial opportunity to someone without discretionary income is like a nail file is to a man without fingers. To those clinging to the lowest rungs of the middle class, financial opportunity is not a choice because there is no room left in the financial tool box that now holds a trillion dollars each of student loans, car loans, home equity loans and credit card loans. If wage levels do not rise for working Americans, and if more and better jobs are not created, then we will simply go from one credit crisis to the next with the periods in between, getting shorter and shorter. We can preach about economic opportunities to the poor working people, but until we provide them with the means to earn and then buy the ingredients to bake a cake, they will continue to scrounge daily for a basic meal while trying to simply live just one more day. To the working poor the economic insurance policy available to them is in the form of payday loans via credit cards, car loan or an equity line of credit. This lines the pockets of those collecting interest and enslaves the dwindling middle class to a life until the next bankruptcy filing. Desperate people do desperate things, like vote for a man who lies without a conscience.

And if destruction of the middle class jobs wasn't bad enough, here come the robots paying nothing into our social security net. And so I ask; middle class, what middle class? And then I ask, what is a job?


This situation will get worse and worse. The disruptors, Amazon and its robots are not helping to fix societies problems. Society will suffer more and more until the tipping point is reached where the numbers of the unemployed figure out they are no longer necessary. And the answer is? Tax the robots, period.


Steve Lombardi
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Iowa personal injury, workers' compensation, motorcycle, quadriplegic, paraplegic, brain injury, death
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