Adam Smith Citaten

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Adam Smith (1723 - 1790) was een Schotse econoom en filosoof die beroemd werd met zijn economische boek 'The Wealth of Nations':

  • De burgerlijke maatschappij, voor zoverre deze dient ter vrijwaring van de eigendom, is in werkelijkheid ingevoerd ter verdediging van de rijken tegen de armen, of van degenen met eigendom tegen degenen zonder eigendom.
The Wealth of Nations
  • The uniform, constant and uninterrupted effort of every man to better his condition, the principle from which public and national, as well as private opulence is originally derived, is frequently powerful enough to maintain the natural progress of things toward improvement, in spite both of the extravagance of government, and of the greatest errors of administration. Like the unknown principle of animal life, it frequently restores health and vigour to the constitution, in spite, not only of the disease, but of the absurd prescriptions of the doctor.
  • 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.
  • Every individual...generally, indeed, neither intends to promote the public interest, nor knows how much he is promoting it. By preferring the support of domestic to that of foreign industry he intends only his own security; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention.*We moeten eerder proberen onze begeerten te verminderen dan onze middelen te vergroten.
  • Man has almost constant occasion for the help of his brethren, and it is in vain for him to expect it from their benevolence only.
  • 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. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our necessities but of their advantages.
  • The greatest improvement in the productive powers of labour, and the greater part of the skill, dexterity and judgement with which it is any where directed, or applied, seem to have been the effects of the division of labour.