It is a good signal when companies start to increase investment in equipment. If CEO’s feel confident in spending money on machinery, then they also believe that their businesses will continue to grow. Simply put, watching the amount of capital equipment expenditures is one way to have the finger on the pulse relating to the growth of the economy.
According to an excellent The Wall Street Journal article titled Tax incentive Puts More Robots On Factory Floors: For the next five years, the revised tax code allows companies to immediately deduct the entire cost of equipment purchases from their taxable income. The change is encouraging manufactures to install robots and replace aging machines sooner than planned.
Looking at this from the traditional standpoint, company investment in equipment is a good thing. However, in today’s much more complicated world, is the new tax law going to help speed up the use of robots in the workplace? The U.S. economy in the short to mid-term looks green light ahead, but over the long haul, the march towards robots in the workplace is going to greatly hurt workers. Unfortunately, advancement in robotic technology as well as the increased desire for companies to replace workers with robots will have serious consequences for all of humankind. This is not just another version of an industrial revolution, but an almost complete elimination of jobs in many industries.