Title Image - Quotes by Author Adam Smith





photo of author Adam Smith with quote

The tolls for the maintenance of a high road, cannot with any safety be made the property of private persons.

--Adam Smith
photo of author Adam Smith with quote

Upstart greatness is everywhere less respected than ancient greatness.

--Adam Smith
photo of author Adam Smith with quote

I have no great faith in political arithmetic, and I mean not to warrant the exactness of either of these computations.

--Adam Smith
photo of author Adam Smith with quote

Every tax ought to be so contrived as both to take out and to keep out of the pockets of the people as little as possible, over and above what it brings into the public treasury of the State.

--Adam Smith
photo of author Adam Smith with quote

Nobody ever saw a dog make a fair and deliberate exchange of one bone for another with another dog.

--Adam Smith
photo of author Adam Smith with quote

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

--Adam Smith

photo of author Adam Smith with quote

The natural price, therefore, is, as it were, the central price, to which the prices of all commodities are continually gravitating.

--Adam Smith
photo of author Adam Smith with quote

The difference between the most dissimilar characters, between a philosopher and a common street porter, for example, seems to arise not so much from nature, as from habit, custom, and education.

--Adam Smith
photo of author Adam Smith with quote

Nobody but a beggar chooses to depend chiefly upon the benevolence of his fellow-citizens.

--Adam Smith
photo of author Adam Smith with quote

Wherever there is great property, there is great inequality.

--Adam Smith

photo of author Adam Smith with quote

China is a much richer country than any part of Europe.

--Adam Smith
photo of author Adam Smith with quote

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
photo of author Adam Smith with quote

The subjects of every state ought to contribute towards the support of the government, as nearly as possible, in proportion to their respective abilities.

--Adam Smith


photo of author Adam Smith with quote

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


photo of author Adam Smith with quote

Whatever work he does, beyond what is sufficient to purchase his own maintenance, can be squeezed out of him by violence only, and not by any interest of his own.

--Adam Smith

photo of author Adam Smith with quote

It appears, accordingly, from the experience of all ages and nations, I believe, that the work done by freemen comes cheaper in the end than that performed by slaves.

--Adam Smith


photo of author Adam Smith with quote

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

photo of author Adam Smith with quote

But what all the violence of the feudal institutions could never have effected, the silent and insensible operation of foreign commerce and manufactures gradually brought about.

--Adam Smith



photo of author Adam Smith with quote

Great nations are never impoverished by private, though they sometimes are by public prodigality and misconduct.

--Adam Smith






photo of author Adam Smith with quote

Men desire to have some share in the management of public affairs chiefly on account of the importance which it gives them.

--Adam Smith


photo of author Adam Smith with quote

Consumption is the sole end and purpose of all production.

--Adam Smith



photo of author Adam Smith with quote

Sugar, rum and tobacco are commodities which are nowhere necessaries of life, which are become objects of almost universal consumption, and which are therefore extremely proper subjects of taxation.

--Adam Smith





photo of author Adam Smith with quote

Men, like animals, naturally multiply in proportion to the means of their subsistence.

--Adam Smith
photo of author Adam Smith with quote

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

photo of author Adam Smith with quote

Masters are always and everywhere in a sort of tacit, but constant and uniform combination, not to raise the wages of labor.

--Adam Smith

photo of author Adam Smith with quote

He is led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention.

--Adam Smith




photo of author Adam Smith with quote

In the long-run the workman may be as necessary to his master as his master is to him, but the necessity is not so immediate.

--Adam Smith


photo of author Adam Smith with quote

There is no art which government sooner learns of another than that of draining money from the pockets of the people.

--Adam Smith





photo of author Adam Smith with quote

In a militia, the character of the laborer, artificer, or tradesman, predominates over that of the soldier: in a standing army, that of the soldier predominates over every other character.

--Adam Smith


photo of author Adam Smith with quote

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
photo of author Adam Smith with quote

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

photo of author Adam Smith with quote

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
photo of author Adam Smith with quote

With the greater part of rich people, the chief enjoyment of riches consists in the parade of riches.

--Adam Smith
photo of author Adam Smith with quote

Labor was the first price, the original purchase -- money that was paid for all things.

--Adam Smith
photo of author Adam Smith with quote

Happiness never lays its finger on its pulse.

--Adam Smith
photo of author Adam Smith with quote

Defense is superior to opulence.

--Adam Smith
photo of author Adam Smith with quote

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

--Adam Smith
photo of author Adam Smith with quote

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
photo of author Adam Smith with quote

This is one of those cases in which the imagination is baffled by the facts.

--Adam Smith
photo of author Adam Smith with quote

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
photo of author Adam Smith with quote

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
photo of author Adam Smith with quote

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
photo of author Adam Smith with quote

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

--Adam Smith
photo of author Adam Smith with quote

The real tragedy of the poor is the poverty of their aspirations.

--Adam Smith
photo of author Adam Smith with quote

No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable.

--Adam Smith
photo of author Adam Smith with quote

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
photo of author Adam Smith with quote

Humanity is the virtue of a woman, generosity that of a man.

--Adam Smith
photo of author Adam Smith with quote

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
photo of author Adam Smith with quote

I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good.

--Adam Smith
photo of author Adam Smith with quote

On the road from the City of Skepticism, I had to pass through the Valley of Ambiguity.

--Adam Smith

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