Adam Smith was a Scottish economist, philosopher, and political economist who played a pivotal role in the Scottish Enlightenment.

He is also known as “The Father of Economics” or “The Father of Capitalism.”

The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759) and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776) are two famous works by Smith (1776).

We have listed some of the best quotes from Adam Smith for you.


Best Adam Smith Quotes

1. “He is led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention.” ~ (Adam Smith).

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2. “The real tragedy of the poor is the poverty of their aspirations.” ~ (Adam Smith).

3. “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).

4. “All money is a matter of belief.” ~ (Adam Smith).

5. “Individual Ambition Serves the Common Good.” ~ (Adam Smith).

6. “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).

7. “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).

8. “Mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent.” ~ (Adam Smith).

9. “Man is an animal that makes bargains: no other animal does this – no dog exchanges bones with another.” ~ (Adam Smith).

10. “Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition.” ~ (Adam Smith).

11. “What can be added to the happiness of a man who is in health, out of debt, and has a clear conscience?” ~ (Adam Smith).

12. “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).

Top Adam Smith Quotes

13. “Virtue is more to be feared than vice, because its excesses are not subject to the regulation of conscience.” ~ (Adam Smith).

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14. “The great secret of education is to direct vanity to proper objects.” ~ (Adam Smith).

15. “Nobody but a beggar chooses to depend chiefly upon the benevolence of his fellow-citizens.” ~ (Adam Smith).

16. “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).

17. “No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable.” ~ (Adam Smith).

18. “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).

19. “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).

20. “Every man lives by exchanging.” ~ (Adam Smith).

21. “The learned ignore the evidence of their senses to preserve the coherence of the ideas of their imagination.” ~ (Adam Smith).

22. “The division of labor was limited by the extent of the market.” ~ (Adam Smith).

Famous Adam Smith Quotes

23. “Nothing but the most exemplary morals can give dignity to a man of small fortune.” ~ (Adam Smith).

24. “This is one of those cases in which the imagination is baffled by the facts.” ~ (Adam Smith).

25. “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).

26. “I have no faith in political arithmetic.” ~ (Adam Smith).

27. “I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good.” ~ (Adam Smith).

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28. “Defense is superior to opulence.” ~ (Adam Smith).

29. “I am a beau in nothing but my books.” ~ (Adam Smith).

30. “When the profits of trade happen to be greater than ordinary, over-trading becomes a general error both among great and small dealers.” ~ (Adam Smith).

31. “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).

32. “Wherever there is great property, there is great inequality.” ~ (Adam Smith).

33. “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).

Popular Adam Smith Quotes

34. “The tolls for the maintenance of a high road, cannot with any safety be made the property of private persons.” ~ (Adam Smith).

35. “When we have read a book or poem so often that we can no longer find any amusement in reading it by ourselves, we can still take pleasure in reading it to a companion. To him it has all the graces of novelty.” ~ (Adam Smith).

36. “Man, an animal that makes bargains.” ~ (Adam Smith).

37. “All jobs are created in direct proportion to the amount of capital employed.” ~ (Adam Smith).

38. “Every tax, however, is to the person who pays it a badge, not of slavery but of liberty. It denotes that he is a subject to government, indeed, but that, as he has some property, he cannot himself be the property of a master.” ~ (Adam Smith).

39. “A gardener who cultivates his own garden with his own hands, unites in his own person the three different characters, of landlord, farmer, and labourer. His produce, therefore, should pay him the rent of the first, the profit of the second, and the wages of the third.” ~ (Adam Smith).

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40. “Upstart greatness is everywhere less respected than ancient greatness.” ~ (Adam Smith).

41. “The game women play is men.” ~ (Adam Smith).

42. “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).

Inspiring Adam Smith Quotes

43. “A power to dispose of estates for ever is manifestly absurd. The earth and the fulness of it belongs to every generation, and the preceding one can have no right to bind it up from posterity. Such extension of property is quite unnatural.” ~ (Adam Smith).

44. “The man of system is apt to be very wise in his own conceit. 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).

45. “Happiness never lays its finger on its pulse.” ~ (Adam Smith).

46. “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).

47. “The mob, when they are gazing at a dancer on the slack rope, naturally writhe and twist and balance their own bodies, as they see him do.” ~ (Adam Smith).

48. “Consumption is the sole end and purpose of all production.” ~ (Adam Smith).

49. “That the chance of gain is naturally over-valued, we may learn from the universal success of lotteries.” ~ (Adam Smith).

50. “People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.” ~ (Adam Smith).


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