Adam Smith Quotes
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No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable.
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.
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.
Mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent.
The real price of everything, what everything really costs to the man who wants to acquire it, is the toil and trouble of acquiring it.
What can be added to the happiness of the man who is in health, who is out of debt, and has a clear conscience?
A nation is not made wealthy by the childish accumulation of shiny metals, but it enriched by the economic prosperity of it's people.
Man is an animal that makes bargains: no other animal does this - no dog exchanges bones with another.
On the road from the City of Skepticism, I had to pass through the Valley of Ambiguity.
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.
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.
Happiness never lays its finger on its pulse.
He is led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention
To feel much for others and little for ourselves, that to restrain our selfish, and to indulge our benevolent affections, constitutes the perfection of human nature.
Nothing is more graceful than habitual cheerfulness.
Every man is rich or poor according to the degree in which he can afford to enjoy the necessaries, conveniences, and amusements of human life.
Consumption is the sole end and purpose of all production.
I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good.
Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition.
Individual Ambition Serves the Common Good.
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.
No complaint... is more common than that of a scarcity of money.
Virtue is more to be feared than vice, because its excesses are not subject to the regulation of conscience.
All money is a matter of belief.
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.
Defense is superior to opulence.
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.
A merchant, it has been said very properly, is not necessarily the citizen of any particular country.
Never complain of that of which it is at all times in your power to rid yourself.
The difference between the most dissimilar characters, between a philosopher and a common street porter, for example, seems to arise not so much from nature, as from habit, custom, and education.
There is no art which government sooner learns of another than that of draining money from the pockets of the people.
Corn is a necessary, silver is only a superfluity.
With the greater part of rich people, the chief enjoyment of riches consists in the parade of riches.
Wherever there is great property, there is great inequality.
The world neither ever saw, nor ever will see, a perfectly fair lottery.
Every tax ought to be so contrived as both to take out and to keep out of the pockets of the people as little as possible, over and above what it brings into the public treasury of the State.
The learned ignore the evidence of their senses to preserve the coherence of the ideas of their imagination.
Every man lives by exchanging.
The problem with fiat money is that it rewards the minority that can handle money, but fools the generation that has worked and saved money.
Great nations are never impoverished by private, though they sometimes are by public prodigality and misconduct.
We are but one of the multitude, in no respect better than any other in it.
Nobody but a beggar chooses to depend chiefly upon the benevolence of his fellow-citizens.
It appears, accordingly, from the experience of all ages and nations, I believe, that the work done by freemen comes cheaper in the end than that performed by slaves.
All for ourselves, and nothing for other people, seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind.
Goods can serve many other purposes besides purchasing money, but money can serve no other purpose besides purchasing goods.
What is prudence in the conduct of every private family can scarce be folly in that of a great kingdom.
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.
Sugar, rum and tobacco are commodities which are nowhere necessaries of life, which are become objects of almost universal consumption, and which are therefore extremely proper subjects of taxation.
The property which every man has in his own labour, as it is the original foundation of all other property, so it is the most sacred and inviolable.
The great secret of education is to direct vanity to proper objects.