Quotes of the Day for 16 June 2012 – Adam Smith
Adam Smith was born at Kirkcaldy, Scotland on this day in 1723. He attended a local school, entering the University of Glasgow at age fourteen. He got a scholarship to Balliol College, Oxford, returning to Glasgow where he gave a series of lectures. He was given a professorship there in 1751, taking the chair of Moral Philosophy the following year. After publishing The Theory of Moral Sentiments in 1759, students transferred to Glasgow just to take his classes. We know him today for The Wealth of Nations, the first book of economics. He conceived "the invisible hand" as a force in markets and argued for specialization of labor.
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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 self-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.
Bounty and hospitality very seldom lead to extravagance; though vanity almost always does.
Goods can serve many other purposes besides purchasing money,but money can serve no other purpose besides purchasing goods.
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.
Man is an animal that makes bargains: no other animal does this - no dog exchanges bones with another.
No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable.
Virtue is more to be feared than vice, because its excesses are not subject to the regulation of conscience.
All from Adam Smith, 1723 - 1790
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