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Consuming and Taxing for It

Bill Gates never ceases to amaze me. Talk about a world changer, whether through technology or philanthropy. Staying on task...

He was a featured guest on the American Enterprise Institute's Freedom Project. The topic of discussion was From Poverty to Prosperity: A Conversation with Bill Gates.

Of his many interesting points, one stood out to me high above the others: we should more aggressively tax consumption.

Consumption tax is a tax on how much you spend instead of your income.

It makes sense. Technology continues replacing jobs. Technology has no income. How then would we supplement decreasing income tax revenues without raising everyone's tax burden?

Everyone likes to buy things. We already have a luxury tax, but it is not effective.

If government were to more aggressively tax consumption, people would no doubt hate it at first, but a similar reform would actually benefit the public in the long-run.

It is not a popular topic, but as technology replaces manual labor, we will likely hear more discussion and urgency around consumption taxes. This model may best fit the changing pace of workforce, technology, and possibly help alleviate world income disparity issues.

You can watch Mr. Gates' full interview here.


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