THE BLOG
07/21/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Rx for Auto Industry -- No Tax Ours, Double Tax Theirs

At the risk of being told, "Stay in the Living section, Mark. You don't know anything about economics," I think I have a solution to the American automobile industry conundrum.

As I write this, my family's three foreign made-cars sit in my driveway. If when I bought them, I had to pay double the sales tax on them and could have paid no sales tax on an American make (that's would be a 17 % difference at the time I purchased/leased the cars), that may have closed the gap on my decision, because I know that most cars -- American or foreign make -- have been pretty solid mechanically for several years.

Does that go against a free market philosophy? Probably. Is that protectionistic? Of course. Would that irk Japanese and European car manufacturers? Obviously. Is something like that necessary? Most definitely.

Why is it that such a solution will never be chosen? I'm sure there are all kinds of trade agreements in place that I am not informed about. I'm sure there are all kinds of international implications to such a move as well that I am equally ill informed about.

However I think there is one additional reason why we won't do it. It's along the lines of "why men won't ask for driving directions," but instead will drive around lost before they ask for help.

The (mostly male) American ego has trouble asking for help. I think that is based on a paranoia that if you ask for help, you are saying to the person you are asking that you not only need their help, but that you are less than them. And the paranoia is that they will either reject you or laugh at you or rub your face in it.

In other words, foolish pride may be one of the main stumbling blocks to considering the solution proposed above and many other solutions that America could consider if we could get off our high horse - which the rest of the world clearly knows we have soundly fallen off.

It's time for America to wake up and smell the reality that just because we need help doesn't make us any less than the rest of the world. It just makes us part of it.