>Adam Smith was a Scottish moral philosopher and a pioneer of political economics. Smith is the author of The Theory of Moral Sentiments and the Wealth of Nations, which is considered by many as his magnum opus and the first modern work of economics. It earned him an enormous reputation and would become one of the most influential works on economics ever published. Smith is widely cited as the father of modern economics and capitalism.
He popularized the laissez-faire philosophy of economics that is based on the idea that markets should be left free, instead of tightly controlled by the political authorities. Much of Smith’s work was in response to the prevailing system of mercantilism, which sought to pursue government policies that maximize exports while minimizing imports. The desired result of this system was to acquire gold and silver reserves. Smith argued that the source of a nation’s wealth was its labor and output, not gold and silver. His economic philosophy is directed at systematically directing labor and capital to its highest and best use through a free and open market.
Quotes Attributed to 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
No complaint… is more common than that of a scarcity of money.
No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable.
On the road from the City of Skepticism, I had to pass through the Valley of Ambiguity.
Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition.
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.
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.
The real tragedy of the poor is the poverty of their aspirations.
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.
This is one of those cases in which the imagination is baffled by the facts.
Virtue is more to be feared than vice, because its excesses are not subject to the regulation of conscience.
What can be added to the happiness of a man who is in health, out of debt, and has a clear conscience?
With the greater part of rich people, the chief enjoyment of riches consists in the parade of riches.