It's said that nothing is for sure but death and taxes. Anti-aging scientists are already working on getting rid of death, but what about taxes? If we all live thousands of years, will we also have to pay the IRS every April 15th?
It's unlikely. Individual income taxes will not survive the end of the century, if they even survive the next few decades, due to the coming robot and 3D printing revolution.
In little more than 20 years, about 75 percent of all jobs and occupations will be severely challenged by robots and software—both of which will be able to do jobs better and cheaper than humans. And by the end of the century, it's possible that basically all jobs may be replaced by unmanned machines.
(Full disclosure. I'm currently being audited by the IRS.)
However, it's not because humans won't be working that we may no longer pay taxes—after all, money and consumerism aren't going anywhere soon. But paying taxes generally is related to government spending. And governments will certainly continue to spend money, but not the people's money. Rather they will spend resources they create and control—like robot power. They will do this in the same way they print money on demand and control interest rates as needed to keep economies moving along smoothly.
An automated government will not need money. It will need more robots
In the future, when government needs more worker power to implement policy, it will just put in orders for more bots at factories it controls—giant 3D printing facilities. The CIA Headquarters, US Congress, and even the White House will likely have their own robot creation facilities ready to produce on-demand a plethora of functional machines they need.
All this sounds a bit fanciful. But a deeper look into the future of economics shows us why so many radical changes are imminent.
To begin with, there's really only two ways for America to proceed in our transhuman future. We can kill the robot revolution by saying no to robots taking our jobs—frankly, this will never happen, since a critical component of twenty-first century economics is corporations continually modernizing to make or save more money. Or we can embrace robots, and begin the strange path to a world where humans don't work and machines do everything for us. Yes, it will eventually be the end of capitalism as we know it, but economic competition will still survive a while. It just won't be borne on the back of humans, but on machines.