Adam Smith Quotes

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Adam Smith
FRSA
Born 16 June 1723 NS
(5 June 1723 OS)
Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland
Died 17 July 1790(1790-07-17) (aged 67)
Edinburgh, Scotland
Nationality Scottish[1]
Alma mater University of Glasgow
Balliol College, Oxford
Notable work The Wealth of Nations, The Theory of Moral Sentiments
Region Western philosophy
School Classical economics
Main interests
Political philosophy, ethics, economics
Notable ideas
Classical economics,
modern free market,
division of labour,
the “invisible hand”

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
All money is a matter of belief.
The real tragedy of the poor is the poverty of their aspirations.
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
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
No complaint... is more common than that of a scarcity of money.
With the greater part of rich people, the chief enjoyment of riches consists in the parade of riches.
Adam Smith
On the road from the City of Skepticism, I had to pass through the Valley of Ambiguity.
Adam Smith
Humanity is the virtue of a woman, generosity that of a man.
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
Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition.
Adam Smith
I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good.
Adam Smith
No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable.
Adam Smith
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
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
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
This is one of those cases in which the imagination is baffled by the facts.
Adam Smith
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
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
Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition.
Adam Smith
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
Happiness never lays its finger on its pulse.
Defense is superior to opulence.
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
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
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
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
Labor was the first price, the original purchase – money that was paid for all things.
Adam Smith
Man is an animal that makes bargains: no other animal does this – no dog exchanges bones with another.
Adam Smith
What can be added to the happiness of a man who is in health, out of debt, and has a clear conscience?
Adam Smith
Virtue is more to be feared than vice, because its excesses are not subject to the regulation of conscience.
Adam Smith