No, we didn’t use the wrong preposition, city officials in San Francisco are indeed targeting the machines, or more specifically those who use machines instead of employees. The idea of hitting employers that utilize technology and automation (read: robots) with additional taxes for making their businesses more efficient (at the cost of employee jobs) first surfaced back in February when Microsoft founder Bill Gates suggested it as a means by which to slow down technological advances (I’ve got mine, so let’s close the door). Picking up on the Gates suggestion, in the spring, San Francisco City Supervisor Jane Kim advocated that a formal task force be created to further investigate the idea. At that point, we hoped it would die of its own weight but alas, it has not. Just weeks ago, she proposed the Jobs for the Future Fund, a pot of money that would be created by taxing employers who “employ” automation. Ironically, the City by the Bay (along with Seattle) was one of the first in the nation to set the minimum wage trajectory to $15 back in 2014 (it hit $14 this July and $15 next year), arguably causing many fewer jobs to be created. Notwithstanding that even Europe rejected the robots tax, Supervisor Kim is working on creating a ballot measure that would make the tax a reality! Do you think we could soon see a return of the Elevator Operator jobs??