Adam Smith quotes

Who the hell is Adam Smith?

Adam Smith was a 18th century Scottish economist, philosopher and author known for two classic works: An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations and The Theory of Moral Sentiments.

Adam Smith books

Adam Smith quotes

“Every man lives by exchanging.”

Adam Smith

“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 The Theory of Moral Sentiments

“Individual ambition serves the common good.”

Adam Smith

“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 self-interest. We address ourselves not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities, but of their advantages.”

Adam Smith The Wealth of Nations

“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

“Man is an animal that makes bargains: no other animal does this - no dog exchanges bones with another.”

Adam Smith

“Mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent.”

Adam Smith

“Never complain of that of which it is at all times in your power to rid yourself.”

Adam Smith The Theory of Moral Sentiments

“No society can surely be flourishing and happy of which by far the greater part of the numbers are poor and miserable.”

Adam Smith

“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 The Wealth of Nations

“Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition.”

Adam Smith The Wealth of Nations

“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

“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 The Wealth of Nations

“Virtue is more to be feared than vice, because its excesses are not subject to the regulation of conscience.”

Adam Smith

“What is prudence in the conduct of every private family can scarce be folly in that of a great kingdom.”

Adam Smith

“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 The Wealth of Nations