35 Adam Smith quotes ( About Economics, Wealth, Life )
Never complain of that of which it is at all times in your power to rid yourself.
Mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent.
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.
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.
Man is an animal that makes bargains: no other animal does this – no dog exchanges bones with another.
Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition.
Defense is superior to opulence.
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.
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.
To feel much for others and little for ourselves; to restrain our selfishness and exercise our benevolent affections, constitute the perfection of human nature.
Happiness never lays its finger on its pulse.
I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good.
Humanity is the virtue of a woman, generosity that of a man.
This is one of those cases in which the imagination is baffled by the facts.
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.
The real tragedy of the poor is the poverty of their aspirations.
No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable.
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.
No complaint… is more common than that of a scarcity of money.
On the road from the City of Skepticism, I had to pass through the Valley of Ambiguity.
With the greater part of rich people, the chief enjoyment of riches consists in the parade of riches.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What can be added to the happiness of a man who is in health, out of debt, and has a clear conscience?
Labor was the first price, the original purchase – money that was paid for all things.
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.
Virtue is more to be feared than vice, because its excesses are not subject to the regulation of conscience.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Individual Ambition Serves the Common Good.