Adam Smith quotes

  • No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable.
    -- Adam Smith

    #Happiness #Society #Politics

  • It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.
    -- Adam Smith

    #Business #Government #Dinner

  • The real tragedy of the poor is the poverty of their aspirations.
    -- Adam Smith

    #Real #Tragedy #Poverty

  • In regards to the price of commodities, the rise of wages operates as simple interest does, the rise of profit operates like compound interest. Our merchants and masters complain much of the bad effects of high wages in raising the price and lessening the sale of goods. They say nothing concerning the bad effects of high profits. They are silent with regard to the pernicious effects of their own gains. They complain only of those of other people.
    -- Adam Smith

    #Philosophy #Simple #People

  • I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good.
    -- Adam Smith

    #Government #Investing #Done

  • The real and effectual discipline which is exercised over a workman is that of his customers. It is the fear of losing their employment which restrains his frauds and corrects his negligence.
    -- Adam Smith

    #Real #Hype #Discipline

  • People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.
    -- Adam Smith

    #People #Competition #Together

  • Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition.
    -- Adam Smith

    #Science #Flames #Enthusiasm

  • Man is an animal that makes bargains: no other animal does this - no dog exchanges bones with another.
    -- Adam Smith

    #Funny #Dog #Men

  • Happiness never lays its finger on its pulse.
    -- Adam Smith

    #Happiness #Happy #Pulse

  • Civil government, so far as it is instituted for the security of property, is in reality instituted for the defense of the rich against the poor, or of those who have some property against those who have none at all.
    -- Adam Smith

    #Reality #Government #Defense

  • What is prudence in the conduct of every private family can scarce be folly in that of a great kingdom.
    -- Adam Smith

    #Kingdoms #Economic #Prudence

  • The first thing you have to know is yourself. A man who knows himself can step outside himself and watch his own reactions like an observer.
    -- Adam Smith

    #Men #Watches #Firsts

  • How selfish soever man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature, which interest him in the fortune of others, and render their happiness necessary to him, though he derives nothing from it, except the pleasure of seeing it.
    -- Adam Smith

    #Happiness #Selfish #Compassion

  • Every man lives by exchanging.
    -- Adam Smith

    #Men #Economics #Trade

  • The learned ignore the evidence of their senses to preserve the coherence of the ideas of their imagination.
    -- Adam Smith

    #Ideas #Imagination #Coherence

  • What can be added to the happiness of a man who is in health, out of debt, and has a clear conscience?
    -- Adam Smith

    #Life #Motivational #Positive

  • Virtue is more to be feared than vice, because its excesses are not subject to the regulation of conscience.
    -- Adam Smith

    #Fear #Regulation #Vices

  • Little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice: all the rest being brought about by the natural course of things.
    -- Adam Smith

    #Peace #Justice #Investing

  • Consumption is the sole end and purpose of all production; and the interest of the producer ought to be attended to, only so far as it may be necessary for promoting that of the consumer.
    -- Adam Smith

    #May #Purpose #Sole

  • On the road from the City of Skepticism, I had to pass through the Valley of Ambiguity.
    -- Adam Smith

    #Cities #Valleys #Economy

  • All money is a matter of belief.
    -- Adam Smith

    #Believe #Matter #Belief

  • As soon as the land of any country has all become private property, the landlords, like all other men, love to reap where they never sowed, and demand a rent even for its natural produce.
    -- Adam Smith

    #Country #Men #Land

  • Labour was the first price, the original purchase - money that was paid for all things. It was not by gold or by silver, but by labour, that all wealth of the world was originally purchased.
    -- Adam Smith

    #Money #Gold #Firsts

  • Resentment seems to have been given us by nature for a defense, and for a defense only! It is the safeguard of justice and the security of innocence.
    -- Adam Smith

    #Nature #Hate #Justice

  • It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
    -- Adam Smith

    #Rich #Economics #Should

  • Poor David Hume is dying fast, but with more real cheerfulness and good humor and with more real resignation to the necessary course of things, than any whining Christian ever dyed with pretended resignation to the will of God.
    -- Adam Smith

    #Christian #Fake People #Real

  • The theory that can absorb the greatest number of facts, and persist in doing so, generation after generation, through all changes of opinion and detail, is the one that must rule all observation.
    -- Adam Smith

    #Change #Numbers #Details

  • No complaint... is more common than that of a scarcity of money.
    -- Adam Smith

    #Money #Reality #Scarcity

  • Adventure upon all the tickets in the lottery, and you lose for certain; and the greater the number of your tickets the nearer your approach to this certainty.
    -- Adam Smith

    #Travel #Business #Adventure

  • Labor was the first price, the original purchase - money that was paid for all things.
    -- Adam Smith

    #Firsts #Labor

  • It is not by augmenting the capital of the country, but by rendering a greater part of that capital active and productive than would otherwise be so, that the most judicious operations of banking can increase the industry of the country.
    -- Adam Smith

    #Country #Banking #Economy

  • This is one of those cases in which the imagination is baffled by the facts.
    -- Adam Smith

    #Ignorance #Imagination #Baffled

  • With the greater part of rich people, the chief enjoyment of riches consists in the parade of riches.
    -- Adam Smith

    #Life #Success #People

  • Great ambition, the desire of real superiority, of leading and directing, seems to be altogether peculiar to man, and speech is the great instrument of ambition.
    -- Adam Smith

    #Real #Ambition #Men

  • Mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent.
    -- Adam Smith

    #Patriotic #Government #Libertarian

  • Wherever there is great property, there is great inequality.
    -- Adam Smith

    #Economics #Inequality #Property

  • Are you in earnest resolved never to barter your liberty for the lordly servitude of a court, but to live free, fearless, and independent? There seems to be one way to continue in that virtuous resolution; and perhaps but one. Never enter the place from whence so few have been able to return; never come within the circle of ambition; nor ever bring yourself into comparison with those masters of the earth who have already engrossed the attention of half mankind before you.
    -- Adam Smith

    #Independent #Ambition #Circles

  • The cheapness of wine seems to be a cause, not of drunkenness, but of sobriety. ...People are seldom guilty of excess in what is their daily fare... On the contrary, in the countries which, either from excessive heat or cold, produce no grapes, and where wine consequently is dear and a rarity, drunkenness is a common vice.
    -- Adam Smith

    #Country #Wine #People

  • Problems worthy of attacks, prove their worth by hitting back
    -- Adam Smith

    #Hitting #Problem #Economics

  • Though our brother is upon the rack, as long as we ourselves are at ease, our senses will never inform us of what he suffers. They never did and never can carry us beyond our own persons, and it is by the imagination only that we form any conception of what are his sensations...His agonies, when they are thus brought home to ourselves, when we have this adopted and made them our own, begin at last to affect us, and we then tremble and shudder at the thought of what he feels.
    -- Adam Smith

    #Brother #Home #Agony

  • The discipline of colleges and universities is in general contrived, not for the benefit of the students, but for the interest, or more properly speaking, for the ease of the masters. Its object is, in all cases, to maintain the authority of the master, and whether he neglects or performs his duty, to oblige the students in all cases to behave toward him as if he performed it with the greatest diligence and ability.
    -- Adam Smith

    #College #Discipline #Benefits

  • The man whose whole life is spent in performing a few simple operations, of which the effects are perhaps always the same, or very nearly the same, has no occasion to exert his understanding or to exercise his invention in finding out expedients for removing difficulties which never occur. He naturally loses, therefore, the habit of such exertion, and generally becomes as stupid and ignorant as it is possible for a human creature to become.
    -- Adam Smith

    #Stupid #Exercise #Simple

  • Never complain of that of which it is at all times in your power to rid yourself.
    -- Adam Smith

    #Complaining #Economics #All Time

  • The propensity to truck, barter and exchange one thing for another is common to all men, and to be found in no other race of animals.
    -- Adam Smith

    #Business #Men #Animal

  • To feel much for others and little for ourselves; to restrain our selfishness and exercise our benevolent affections, constitute the perfection of human nature.
    -- Adam Smith

    #Exercise #Perfection #Selfishness

  • The statesman who should attempt to direct private people in what manner they ought to employ their capitals would not only load himself with most unnecessary attention but assume an authority which could safely be trusted to no council and senate whatever, and which would nowhere be so dangerous as in the hands of man who have folly and presumption enough to fancy himself fit to exercise it.
    -- Adam Smith

    #Exercise #Men #Hands

  • Every individual is continually exerting himself to find out the most advantageous employment for whatever capital he can command. It is his own advantage, indeed, and not that of the society which he has in view. But the study of his own advantage naturally, or rather necessarily, leads him to prefer that employment which is most advantageous to society... He intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was not part of his intention
    -- Adam Smith

    #Views #Hands #Employment

  • Wherever there is great property there is great inequality. For one very rich man there must be at least five hundred poor, and the affluence of the few supposes the indigence of the many. The affluence of the rich excites the indignation of the poor, who are often both driven by want, and prompted by envy, to invade his possessions.
    -- Adam Smith

    #Men #Envy #Want