The 75 best famous phrases of Adam Smith
Jul 15, 2021
Adam Smith was a celebrated Scottish philosopher and economist Born in Kirkcaldy in 1723. He is considered one of the highest representatives of the so-called classical economics and of philosophy in economics.
Thanks to his most famous work, "The Wealth of Nations"Smith is commonly known as the father of modern economics. Another relevant work by this great economist was the so-called "Theory of Moral Sentiments", where Smith begins by analyzing all the possible human behaviors and ends up talking to us about our own morality, touching on topics such as: revenge, virtue or Justice.
- It may interest you: "The 45 best phrases about Economics and Finance"
Best phrases and reflections of Adam Smith
Would you like to discover a little more about this famous figure and his particular personal philosophy? Below you can enjoy the 75 famous phrases of Adam Smith, someone from whom absolutely all of us have something to learn.
1. All money is a matter of belief.
The money is supposedly an equivalent in gold from the country's reserve, currently, this premise is obviously not fulfilled.
2. If you approach a situation as a matter of life and death, you will die many times.
We must take what we do with a certain moderation, if we do not achieve it the first time, it will be the second.
3. What can be added to the happiness of a man who is in good health, has no debt, and has a clear conscience?
Three things that many of us would love to have, do you think the same?
4. As soon as the land has become private property, the landlord demands a share of almost all the products that the worker can produce or collect on it.
Capitalism works exactly this way, there will always be a worker and a foreman.
5. Great ambition, the desire for true superiority, to direct and lead, seems to be something peculiar to man.
The man always yearns to stand out above all others, a very peculiar quality of the human being himself.
6. On the way to the city of skepticism, I had to go through the valley of ambiguity.
A very poetic phrase that also contains a great truth, in order to be totally skeptical we must first embrace the ambiguity itself.
7. Many people pass through our lives, but only very few come to occupy a great place in our hearts.
Those people who find a place in our hearts will accompany us throughout life.
8. The real and effective discipline that is exerted on a worker is that of his clients. It is the fear of losing his job that restrains his fraud and corrects his negligence.
Businesses base their procedures on what the customer wants, in this way, they give exactly what the customer demands.
9. The most important progress in the productive capacity of labor and most of the skill with which it is applied or directed seem to have been the consequence of the division of labor.
Without a doubt, dividing our work allows us to be much more effective in our performance.
10. Resentment seems to have been given to us by nature as a defense and only as a defense. It is the safeguard of justice and the security of innocence.
When we resent someone for the way they act, we learn what is right and what is wrong. Resentment teaches us in a way how we want to live our life.
11. Mercy for the guilty is cruelty for the innocent.
If the guilty were not punished, justice would have no meaning, the victim deserves to be honored through the use of justice itself.
12. The world has never seen and never will see a perfectly fair lottery, one in which total winnings outweigh total losses.
The lottery has always been a means by which certain people have been able to enrich themselves, a good part of the proceeds goes to the creators of said lottery themselves.
13. Virtue is more fearsome than vice, because its excesses are not subject to the regulation of conscience.
The vices can be controlled in a certain way by our conscience, but when we are very skilled, for example, doing that something, we will want to do it at all times. Our qualities can become an obsession.
14. It is unfair for the whole of society to contribute to an expense whose benefit is limited to a part of society.
The taxes that we all pay within our own society, largely affect a single part of this society.
15. Individual ambition serves the common good.
Our personal ambitions may end up providing resources and research to third parties.
16. Feeling a lot for others and little for ourselves, to contain our selfishness and exercise our benevolent affections, is the perfection of human nature.
We must know how to value those around us, in this way we can get to live a much fuller life.
17. It is a great impertinence and presumption of kings and ministers to pretend to monitor the private economy of citizens and restrict their spending.
The control of the private economy has always been something that has raised great controversies, nobody likes that the farm investigates it.
18. What greater happiness is there than to be loved and to know that we deserve it? What greater misfortune than to be hated and to know that we deserve it?
Being aware of our mistakes can lead to great personal suffering.
19. Civil government, insofar as it is instituted for the security of property, is actually instituted for the defense of the rich against the poor, or of those who have some property against those who have none.
A great truth that easily shows us the great injustices of the capitalist system.
20. The natural effort of every individual to improve his own condition, when exercised freely and safely, is such a principle. powerful that, alone and without any help, is not only capable of leading society to wealth and prosperity, but to overcome the hundred impertinent obstructions with which the folly of human laws too often obstructs his functioning.
Any business that we want to start from scratch will always be involved in a large number of legal contraindications, getting it afloat can be very complicated.
21. Traders in the same business rarely get together, even for entertainment and fun, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some ploy to increase the prices.
When one or more people manage to have a monopoly on something, the next step is usually to raise prices.
22. This willingness to admire, and almost to idolize, the rich and powerful, and to despise or, at the very least, ignore the poor and humble people is the main and most widespread cause of corruption of our feelings morals.
Those politicians or municipal officials who consider themselves above their neighbors will have no qualms about belittling the rights of the citizens they represent.
23. The great multiplication of the production of all the various trades, derived from the division of labor, gives rather, in a well-governed society, to that universal wealth that extends to the lower classes of the world. town.
Industrialization allowed more people to be employed, but it also helped widen the famous social gap.
24. We are but one of the crowd, in no way better than anyone else in it.
After all, we are all simple people, equal to everyone else in countless ways.
25. It is not because of the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, and the baker that we can count on our dinner, but for their own interest.
To get the resources we need to live our day to day, we will necessarily need a certain amount of money.
26. Wherever there is great property, there is great inequality.
The capitalist system necessarily needs social classes and the work that each one of them contributes to society.
27. An educated and intelligent people are always more decent and orderly than an ignorant and stupid one.
Education can also provide us with certain moral principles, which will help us to live a much more orderly life.
28. Every man overvalues his chances of success to some extent and most of him underestimates his chances of failure.
Objectively assessing our chances of success will allow us to really know if it is worth investing in a business.
29. Based on the experience of all ages and nations, I think that, deep down, the work done by free men is cheaper than that of slaves.
The wages of the lower social classes are usually the minimum necessary for their own survival.
30. It is not very unreasonable for the rich to contribute to public spending, not only in proportion to their income, but somewhat more than that proportion.
A phrase that many of us can agree with, do you think it should be like this?
31. No society can be happy and prosperous if most of its citizens are poor and miserable.
Poverty leads people to live a life of unhappiness and misery, no one would want to have to live their life this way.
32. Defense is superior to opulence.
The defense of people's rights must be total, regardless of the money they have.
33. There are no other requirements to bring a state to the highest degree of opulence from the greatest barbarism, than peace, simple taxes and a tolerable administration of justice.
For a society to prosper, peace is absolutely necessary, with such peace businesses can prosper and pay more taxes.
34. Venture with all the tickets in the lottery and you will lose for sure; and the higher the number of your tickets, the closer you will be to this certainty.
We should not trust the lottery, luck does not have to be our ally in life.
35. For most rich people, the main joy of wealth is the parade of wealth.
Wealth may not be used for anything other than to be admired. Is this display of our goods necessary? Is it worth buying something whose sole purpose is to be exposed?
36. In all these conflicts the bosses can hold out for much longer.
The fact of having control of certain resources, can allow us to live a better life even in adverse situations for the whole society.
37. Humanity is the virtue of a woman; generosity, that of man.
Men and women differ in a large number of attributes, these two can be an example.
38. Consumption is the sole end and purpose of all production.
Capitalism works thanks to its own consumption, if something does not have consumption that company will necessarily go bankrupt.
39. The real tragedy of the poor is the poverty of their aspirations.
Many people of humble class do not allow themselves to dream of things that for them may seem unattainable, one never knows what life can bring, we must dream big.
40. Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition.
Science has allowed us to know great ins and outs of the universal functioning of things, gradually moving away from the religions and superstitions that we once believed to be true.
41. No one has ever seen a dog make a fair and deliberate exchange of one bone for another with another dog.
The human being is the only animal that is capable of negotiating, without a doubt the power of reason and language allow us this level of understanding between us.
42. He specifically rejects the particular interventions of the State to promote this or that activity, to protect this or that sector for the greater benefit of the community. The argument he uses is profoundly practical: the state does not know how to do it.
As Adam Smith tells us in this quote, the Government's intentions in favor of the majority are rarely true.
43. Actually, attraction or affection is nothing more than sympathy out of habit.
Many of us end up getting used to the company of our partner, is that really love?
44. Language is the great instrument of ambition.
By using language correctly, we can convince others to join forces with us.
45. A father takes care of more than ten children, than ten children of a father.
The love of a father for a son is one of the greatest we can ever experience.
46. The true price of everything, what everything really costs the man who wants to acquire it, is the effort and complexity of acquiring it.
Time is the real bargaining chip, the time of work and effort that it has cost us to achieve something.
47. The robot is going to lose. Not for long. But when the final score is scored, flesh and blood will defeat the cursed monster.
This economist was not a great supporter of the robotization of work, something that in the long run can take jobs away from the human workforce.
48. The first obligation of the Sovereign, which is to protect society against violence and invasion of other independent societies, cannot be carried out by means other than force military.
Any nation must know how to defend itself, because in any other way, it would be invaded sooner or later.
49. A gardener who cultivates his own garden, with his own hands, unites in his person the three characters, owner, farmer and worker. Its production, therefore, must yield the income of the first, the profit of the second, and the salary of the third.
Indeed, if we occupy all the positions of a certain company, the only one who should charge for the benefits is ourselves.
50. Risk sweetens everything.
When we perform an action that carries a certain risk, we live it much more fully and with greater emotion.
51. There is nothing in life more unexpected or surprising than the appearance and the fading of pleasure.
Pleasure is a sensation that can appear unexpectedly and disappear in the same way.
52. I would rather remain in the memory of a song than in that of a victory.
That they write a song about us is an act of love towards our person that, without a doubt, we should all value. Adam Smith wanted to be remembered in this way.
53. Man needs the help of his fellow men at every step, and it is useless that he expects it only from his benevolence: it will be more easy to obtain if he can interest in his favor the self-esteem of those to whom he turns and make them see what it is that She asks.
In order to obtain the favor of other people, we must make it understood that we pursue a common good.
54. We have no laws of Parliament against unions that seek to lower the price of labor; but there are many against unions that aspire to raise it.
The powerful always try to bring the poor under his yoke and will never allow part of his benefits to be lost along the way.
55. Founding a great empire for the sole purpose of creating a customer town may at first glance seem only a project fit for a nation of shopkeepers. It is, however, a completely unsuitable project for a nation of shopkeepers, but extremely fit for a nation that is ruled by shopkeepers.
Capitalism needs customers and merchants for its operation, without customers, it simply would not be possible.
56. The annual labor of each nation is the fund from which is derived all the supply of things necessary and convenient for life that the nation it consumes annually, and that they always consist of the immediate product of that work, or of what is bought with that product from other nations.
Nations need a certain amount of basic resources that they can supply to their citizens, some are self-made and others are purchased from third countries.
57. The difference between two totally different people, such as a philosopher and a common porter, seems to arise not so much from nature as from habit, custom, and education.
Education allows us to achieve a better social position in our lives, something that we all undoubtedly want for our future.
58. Patterns, being fewer, can be more easily associated; and the law also authorizes or at least does not prohibit their associations, but does prohibit those of workers.
Workers' associations or unions, were once associations considered illegal.
59. Even if the State did not obtain advantage of the instruction of the lower classes of the people, it would deserve its attention in order to ensure that they were not totally ignorant; but no one doubts that he derives, and also considerable advantages, from the instruction of those people. The more educated they are, the less exposed they will be to the disappointments brought by lightness and superstition, which frequently cause the most terrible upheavals among the nations ignorant.
Education allows any nation to improve and evolve, without it, a nation is harmed by ignorance and its effects.
60. When they came into the world, and for the first six or eight years of life, they probably looked like enough, and neither his parents nor his playmates were able to detect any difference remarkable. But at this age, or shortly after, they are employed in very different occupations. It is then that the difference in talents begins to be visible and gradually widens until in the end the vanity of the philosopher prevents him from recognizing even a small resemblance between the two.
We all change with the passing of life, we are born as a blank canvas, in which little by little we draw ourselves.
61. The prudent man is not willing to submit to any responsibility that his duty does not impose on him.
Without a doubt, we should not take risks that are unnecessary, as these can only bring us problems and not advantages.
62. Never complain about what is in your power to free yourself at all times.
If we do not like something, we must change it, complaining will not help us. If you don't like something in your life, make an effort to change it.
63. If we meet him in a place today, it will be in vain to look for him there tomorrow. It is not possible to tie ties to seize it.
What happens today in a certain way, tomorrow does not have to happen in the same way, time is something that changes us all and everything.
64. Nobody has seen an animal that, with natural gestures and sounds, indicates to another: this is mine and this is yours; I am willing to give you this in exchange for that.
Negotiation is an art that only the human being practices, no other animal has the necessary capacities to get to use it.
65. (Speaking of kings and politicians) They are, always and without exception, the maximum profligants of society.
The leaders of any nation tend to be the ones who squander the most financial means.
66. Happiness never sets the finger on the pulse.
Happiness is something that we always seek and that many of us find elusive.
67. Man is an animal that does business, no other animal does.
Man, through negotiation, can achieve his greatest achievements, without negotiation the current civilization could never have been developed.
68. No complaint is more common than money shortage.
Economic problems are extremely widespread, achieving economic well-being can cost many of us a good part of our lives.
69. May death bring us, until the heart lasts.
A great quote from the famous economist Adam Smith, which encourages us to be persistent in our lives.
70. "Everything for us and nothing for others", she seems to have been the abominable maxim of the masters of humanity in all the ages of the world.
The powerful always yearn to monopolize the maximum power and wealth, even to the detriment of the economy of others.
71. The fair sex that possesses greater tenderness than ours seldom has such generosity.
Men and women have different qualities that make us unique as individuals.
72. There is no art that one government learns faster from another than that of draining money from the pockets of the people.
Governments have always plundered citizens for the common good. Do you think the measures taken for this are effective?
73. Each individual always strives to find the most profitable investment for the capital that he has.
Whether we have more or less resources, we can always make an investment with that capital, which in the long run will return certain benefits to us.
74. The discovery of America and the passage to the East Indies through the Cape of Good Hope are the two greatest events recorded in the history of mankind.
When the New World was discovered in 1492, the riches of the European nations multiplied exponentially.
75. By pursuing his own interest, he often furthers that of society much more than if he were actually trying to further it.
When you convince someone that they are doing something for their own good, they will perform their particular task much more effectively.