45 Adam Smith Quotes – Author Of The Wealth Of Nations

Adam Smith was a Scottish philosopher, economist, and author who is widely regarded as the father of modern economics. He is best known for his two classic works, The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759) and The Wealth Of Nations published in 1776. Here are the most famous Adam Smith quotes on capitalism, government, economy, human nature, self-interest, and more from one of the most influential intellectuals of all time.

Born in Kirkcaldy, Scotland, Smith showed interest in studying philosophy and commerce. After completing his studies, he became a professor of moral philosophy at the University of Glasgow.

Smith was one of the leading figures in the Scottish Enlightenment whose ideas on free-market capitalism, division of labor, and the nature of wealth and economic growth laid the groundwork for modern economic theories and the development of economic thought.

His importance as a moral philosopher is better understood through his seminal work, The Theory of Moral Sentiments.”

The book explores the foundations of moral philosophy offering profound insights into the complexities of human moral sentiments such as empathy, sympathy, and ethical conduct.

However, Smith truly made a mark in the field of economics through his magnum opus, The Wealth of Nations.”

In his book, he explains the benefits of free trade, specialization, and the division of labor. He advocated for laissez-faire policies and created the concept of gross domestic product (GDP).

Smith strongly argued for limited government intervention in the economy and advocated the necessity of regulations to prevent monopolies, unfair practices, and market distortions.

He believed that individuals pursuing self-interest and competition in a free market could help everyone, making society wealthier and better off, calling it the “invisible hand” effect.

Besides his contribution to economics, Smith also made important contributions to other fields, including moral philosophy, theology, ethics, jurisprudence, and political economy.

Adam Smith stands as a foundational figure in the history of economic thought and classical liberalism and his ideas continue to shape social, economic and political debates today.

Here are the best Adam Smith quotes on economics, money, education, and more that offer valuable insights into the principles of classical economics, the functioning of markets, and the role of government.

Top 10 Adam Smith Quotes

  1. “All money is a matter of belief.” — Adam Smith                      

    Best Quotes By Adam Smith
    Best Quotes By Adam Smith
  2. “Mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent.” — Adam Smith                           

    Adam Smith Quotes
    Adam Smith Quotes                                                       
  3. “Individual Ambition Serves the Common Good.” — Adam Smith                      

    Famous Quotes From Adam Smith
    Famous Quotes From Adam Smith
  4. “Wherever there is great property, there is great inequality.” — Adam Smith       

    Best Adam Smith Quotes
    Best Adam Smith Quotes
  5. “The real tragedy of the poor is the poverty of their aspirations.” — Adam Smith   

    Adam Smith Famous Quotes
    Adam Smith Famous Quotes
  6. “Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition.” — Adam Smith     

    Quotes Of Adam Smith
    Quotes Of Adam Smith
  7. “He is led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention.” — Adam Smith        

    Adam Smith The Invisible Hand Quote
    Adam Smith The Invisible Hand Quote
  8. “A nation is not made wealthy by the childish accumulation of shiny metals, but it enriched by the economic prosperity of it’s people.” — Adam Smith
  9. “No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable.” — Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations
  10. “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.” — Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations

Famous Quotes By Adam Smith

  1. “Nothing is more graceful than habitual cheerfulness.” — Adam Smith
  2. “The great secret of education is to direct vanity to proper objects.” — Adam Smith
  3. “Labour… is the real measure of the exchangeable value of all commodities.” – Adam Smith
  4. “The learned ignore the evidence of their senses to preserve the coherence of the ideas of their imagination.” — Adam Smith
  5. “Man is an animal that makes bargains: no other animal does this – no dog exchanges bones with another.” — Adam Smith
  6. “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
  7. “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
  8. “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
  9. “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, The Wealth of Nations
  10. “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

Best Adam Smith Quotes

  1. “Every man lives by exchanging.” — Adam Smith
  2. “The division of labor is limited by the extent of the market.” — Adam Smith
  3. “On the road from the City of Skepticism, I had to pass through the Valley of Ambiguity.” — Adam Smith
  4. “What everything really costs to those who want to get it is work and the pain he must win to get it.” — Adam Smith
  5. “Man naturally desires, not only to be loved, but to be lovely.” — Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments
  6. Virtue is more to be feared than vice, because its excesses are not subject to the regulation of conscience.” — Adam Smith
  7. “What can be added to the happiness of a man who is in health, out of debt, and has a clear conscience?” — Adam Smith
  8. “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
  9. “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, The Wealth of Nations
  10. “Labor 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

Quotes From Adam Smith

  1. “No complaint… is more common than that of a scarcity of money.” — Adam Smith
  2. “We are but one of the multitude, in no respect better than any other in it.” — Adam Smith
  3. “Hatred and anger are the greatest poison to the happiness of a good mind.” – Adam Smith
  4. “Nothing but the most exemplary morals can give dignity to a man of small fortune.” — Adam Smith
  5. “There is no art which government sooner learns of another than that of draining money from the pockets of the people.” — Adam Smith
  6. Resentment seems to have been given us by nature for defense, and for defense only.” — Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments
  7. “It is unjust that the whole of society should contribute towards an expense of which the benefit is confined to a part of the society.” — Adam Smith
  8. “In general, if any branch of trade, or any division of labour, be advantageous to the public, the freer and more general the competition, it will always be the more so.” — Adam Smith
  9. “But the principle that impels us to save is the desire to improve our lot, who generally desire, indeed, is calm and dispassionate, but born with us and leaves us at the tomb.” — Adam Smith
  10. “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

Adam Smith Quotes And Sayings

  1. “The government is influenced by shopkeepers.” — Adam Smith
  2. “Corn is a necessary, silver is only a superfluity.” — Adam Smith
  3. “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
  4. “Landlord’s rights has its origin in robbery. The landlords, like all other men, love to reap where they never sowed, and demand a rent for even the natural produce of the earth.” — Adam Smith
  5. “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


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