Could Apple be taxed and the money rerouted into our own pockets? It could very well happen in the near future. A new idea, known as “Universal Basic Income” which will tax high-earning tech companies, has captured the imaginations of both the general public and Silicon Valley.
The idea is that, with funnelled money coming from tech giants – who usually either don’t pay correct tax fees or intentionally base themselves in locations where taxes are severely reduced – goes to the common person so they can use the money for education, training, or opening their own business. The idea, from the think-tank led by Matthew Taylor, ultimately came about as a response to people losing jobs to AI and automation. But further research has suggested that Universal Basic Income is a universally good idea and can help the economy, as well as many communities, actually flourish. The Universal Basic Income concept has already been backed by some of the world’s leading tech heroes, such as Elon Musk, as a way to ultimately generate more money in the economy.
Apple would be just one of the companies – along with Amazon, Google, and Facebook – in which the taxes would target. The government would develop the taxes in a way similar to what Norway has done to establish a sovereign wealth fund. The Bank of England has predicted that as many as 15m jobs in the UK alone could be at risk due to AI and automation. And when we say “AI and automation,” we mean something as simple as the self-checkout machines we see in many stories nowadays.
Although the Universal Basic Income idea has certainly captured the imagination of Silicon Valley, Apple’s view – and more importantly, Tim Cook’s view – aren’t yet known. But Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes certainly backs the idea, as does Virgin’s CEO Richard Branson. Seeing as Apple is such a forward-thinking company, will they support Universal Basic Income as soon as they can, or will they lag behind the times?
What are your views on Universal Basic Income? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.