Adam Smith Quotes For Success In Life

Adam Smith FRSA was a Scottish economist, philosopher as well as a moral philosopher, a pioneer of political economy, and a key figure during the Scottish Enlightenment, also known as ”The Father of Economics” or ”The Father of Capitalism”. This Adam Smith quotes will motivate you in life.

Best Adam Smith Quotes

  1. “No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable.” ~ Adam Smith
  2. “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
  3. “A nation is not made wealthy by the childish accumulation of shiny metals, but it enriched by the economic prosperity of its people.” ~ Adam Smith
  4. “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
  5. “A criminal is a person with predatory instincts who has not sufficient capital to form a corporation. Most government is by the rich for the rich. Government comprises a large part of the organized injustice in any society, ancient or modern. Civil government, insofar as it is instituted for the security of property, is in reality instituted for the defense of the rich against the poor, and for the defense of those who have property against those who have none.” ~ Adam Smith
  6. “Mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent.” ~ Adam Smith

  7. “By pursuing his own interest (the individual) frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it. I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good.” ~ Adam Smith
  8. “Individual Ambition Serves the Common Good.” ~ Adam Smith
  9. “The disposition to admire, and almost to worship, the rich and the powerful, and to despise, or, at least, to neglect persons of poor and mean condition is the great and most universal cause of the corruption of our moral sentiments.” ~ Adam Smith
  10. “Man is an animal that makes bargains: no other animal does this – no dog exchanges bones with another.” ~ Adam Smith
  11. “There is no art which government sooner learns of another than that of draining money from the pockets of the people.” ~ Adam Smith
  12. “It must always be remembered, however, that it is the luxuries and not the necessary expense of the inferior ranks of people, that ought ever to be taxed.” ~ Adam Smith
  13. “Nothing is more graceful than habitual cheerfulness.” ~ Adam Smith

  14. “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.” ~ Adam Smith
  15. “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.” ~ Adam Smith
  16. “Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition.” ~ Adam Smith
  17. “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.” ~ Adam Smith
  18. “The rate of profit… is naturally low in rich and high in poor countries, and it is always highest in the countries which are going fastest to ruin.” ~ Adam Smith
  19. “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.” ~ Adam Smith
  20. “All money is a matter of belief.” ~ Adam Smith

  21. “The interest of [businessmen] is always in some respects different from, and even opposite to, that of the public … The proposal of any new law or regulation of commerce which comes from this order … ought never to be adopted, till after having been long and carefully examined … with the most suspicious attention. It comes from an order of men … who have generally an interest to deceive and even oppress the public.” ~ Adam Smith
  22. “The necessaries of life occasion the great expense of the poor. They find it difficult to get food, and the greater part of their little revenue is spent in getting it. The luxuries and vanities of life occasion the principal expense of the rich, and a magnificent house embellishes and sets off to the best advantage all the other luxuries and vanities which they possess … 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
  23. “Never complain of that of which it is at all times in your power to rid yourself.” ~ Adam Smith

  24. “With the greater part of rich people, the chief enjoyment of riches consists in the parade of riches.” ~ Adam Smith
  25. “But avarice and ambition in the rich, in the poor the hatred of labor and the love of present ease and enjoyment, are the passions which prompt to invade property, passions much more steady in their operation, and much more universal in their influence. 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.” ~ Adam Smith
  26. “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 labor, that all wealth of the world was originally purchased.” ~ Adam Smith
  27. “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
  28. “The great secret of education is to direct vanity to proper objects.” ~ Adam Smith

  29. “Every individual is continually exerting himself to find out the most advantageous employment for whatever capital he can command. It is his own advantage, indeed, and not that of the society which he has in view. But the study of his own advantage naturally, or rather necessarily, leads him to prefer that employment which is most advantageous to society… He intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was not part of his intention” ~ Adam Smith
  30. “Happiness never lays its finger on its pulse.” ~ Adam Smith
  31. “The man of system, on the contrary, is apt to be very wise in his own conceit; and is often so enamored with the supposed beauty of his own ideal plan of government, that he cannot suffer the smallest deviation from any part of it… He seems to imagine that he can arrange the different members of a great society with as much ease as the hand arranges the different pieces upon a chess-board. He does not consider that…in the great chess-board of human society, every single piece has a principle of motion of its own, altogether different from that which the legislature might choose to impress upon it.” ~ Adam Smith
  32. “The learned ignore the evidence of their senses to preserve the coherence of the ideas of their imagination.” ~ Adam Smith

  33. “Virtue is more to be feared than vice because its excesses are not subject to the regulation of conscience.” ~ Adam Smith
  34. “I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good.” ~ Adam Smith
  35. “On the road from the City of Skepticism, I had to pass through the Valley of Ambiguity.” ~ Adam Smith
  36. “Defense is superior to opulence.” ~ Adam Smith Quotes
  37. “As soon as government management begins it upsets the natural equilibrium of industrial relations, and each interference only requires further bureaucratic control until the end is the tyranny of the totalitarian state.” ~ Adam Smith
  38. “The game women play is men.” ~ Adam Smith

  39. “A merchant, it has been said very properly, is not necessarily the citizen of any particular country.” ~ Adam Smith
  40. “In raising the price of commodities, the rise of wages operates in the same manner as simple interest does in the accumulation of debt. Our merchants and master manufacturers complain much of the bad effects of high wages in raising the price and thereby lessening the sale of their goods, both at home and abroad. 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.” ~ Adam Smith
  41. “The subjects of every state ought to contribute toward the support of the government, as nearly as possible, in proportion to their respective abilities; that is, in proportion to the revenue which they respectively enjoy under the protection of the state ….As Henry Home (Lord Kames) has written, a goal of taxation should be to ‘remedy inequality of riches as much as possible, by relieving the poor and burdening the rich.'” ~ Adam Smith
  42. “He is led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention” ~ Adam Smith

  43. “The subjects of every state ought to contribute toward the support of the government, as nearly as possible, in proportion to their respective abilities; that is, in proportion to the revenue which they respectively enjoy under the protection of the state ….As Henry Home (Lord Kames) has written, a goal of taxation should be to ‘remedy inequality of riches as much as possible, by relieving the poor and burdening the rich.'” ~ Adam Smith
  44. “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.” ~ Adam Smith Quotes
  45. “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 maxim is so perfectly self-evident that it would be absurd to attempt to prove it. But in the mercantile system, the interest of the consumer is almost constantly sacrificed to that of the producer; and it seems to consider production, and not consumption, as the ultimate end and object of all industry and commerce.” ~ Adam Smith
  46. “Every man lives by exchanging.” ~ Adam Smith

  47. “The uniform, constant, and uninterrupted effort of every man to better his condition . . . is frequently powerful enough to maintain the natural progress of things toward improvement, in spite of the extravagance of government, and of the greatest errors of administration.” ~ Adam Smith
  48. “Goods can serve many other purposes besides purchasing money, but money can serve no other purpose besides purchasing goods.” ~ Adam Smith
  49. “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from regard to their own 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. Nobody but a beggar chooses to depend chiefly upon the benevolence of his fellow citizens.” ~ Adam Smith
  50. “A monopoly granted either to an individual or to a trading company has the same effect as a secret in trade or manufactures. The monopolists, by keeping the market constantly understocked, by never fully supplying the effectual demand, sell their commodities much above the natural price, and raise their emoluments, whether they consist in wages or profit, greatly above their natural rate.” ~ Adam Smith
  51. “Nobody but a beggar chooses to depend chiefly upon the benevolence of his fellow-citizens.” ~ Adam Smith

  52. “A monopoly granted either to an individual or to a trading company has the same effect as a secret in trade or manufactures. The monopolists, by keeping the market constantly understocked, by never fully supplying the effectual demand, sell their commodities much above the natural price, and raise their emoluments, whether they consist in wages or profit, greatly above their natural rate.” ~ Adam Smith
  53. “The world neither ever saw, nor ever will see, a perfectly fair lottery.” ~ Adam Smith
  54. “The property which every man has in his own labor, as it is the original foundation of all other property, so it is the most sacred and inviolable.” ~ Adam Smith
  55. “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.” ~ Adam Smith
  56. “Corn is necessary, silver is only a superfluity.” ~ Adam Smith

  57. “It is the interest of every man to live as much at his ease as he can; and if his emoluments are to be precisely the same, whether he does or does not perform some very laborious duty, it is certainly his interest, at least as interest is vulgarly understood, either to neglect it altogether or, if he is subject to some authority which will not suffer him to do this, to perform it in as careless and slovenly a manner as that authority will permit.” ~ Adam Smith Quotes
  58. “It is not the actual greatness of national wealth, but its continual increase, which occasions a rise in the wages of labor. It is not, accordingly, in the richest countries, but in the most thriving, or in those which are growing rich the fastest, that the wages of labor are highest. England is certainly, in the present times, a much richer country than any part of North America. The wages of labor, however, are much higher in North America than in any part of England.” ~ Adam Smith
  59. “Have lots of experiments, but make sure they’re strategically focused.” ~ Adam Smith

  60. “The violence and injustice of the rulers of mankind is an ancient evil, for which, I am afraid, the nature of human affairs can scarce admit a remedy.” ~ Adam Smith
  61. “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
  62. “Fear is in almost all cases a wretched instrument of government, and ought in particular never to be employed against any order of men who have the smallest pretensions to independency.” ~ Adam Smith
  63. “The greatest improvement in the productive powers of labor, and the greater part of the skill, dexterity, and judgment with which it is anywhere directed, or applied, seem to have been the effects of the division of labor.” ~ Adam Smith
  64. “Great nations are never impoverished by private, though they sometimes are by public prodigality and misconduct.” ~ Adam Smith

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