Why I’m Getting More Libertarian Every Day

The National Debt Clock on 43rd Street in New York City. (Photo by Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images.)

Back when I was in college, I had a conversation with a car salesman that helped change my life. My friend had come into some money (he got his real estate license while still in school and had just made his first big sale), so he did the responsible thing and immediately decided to go car shopping. 

We piled into my 1985 Chevy Nova and drove to a car dealer. His first target was a brand-new Mazda RX-7, so he picked the most expensive model on the lot and asked the (obviously skeptical) salesperson if we could test-drive it. Reluctantly he gave us the keys, and we took off. 

It was a glorious moment, and my friend was sold. He wanted the car, and he wanted it now. He pulled back in, handed the salesman the keys, and said, “I want it.” The salesman took the keys, looked at my friend for a good long while, and said these immortal words: 

“Son, there’s a difference between wants and needs. You want this car. You don’t need it. You might want to think more about what you need.”

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