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Adam Smith

Geburtstag: 5. Juni 1723
Todesdatum: 17. Juli 1790

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Adam Smith [smɪθ], FRSA war ein schottischer Moralphilosoph, Aufklärer und gilt als Begründer der klassischen Nationalökonomie und der Freien Marktwirtschaft.

Zitate Adam Smith

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„Ein Mensch, der sich kein Eigenthum erwerben kann, hat kein anderes Interesse, als so viel zu essen und so wenig zu arbeiten, als möglich.“

— Adam Smith
Untersuchungen über die Natur und die Ursachen des Nationalreichthums. Aus dem Englischen der vierten Ausgabe neu übersetzt. Zweyter Band. Breslau 1794. S. 206 books. google

„The great difficulty is to get that little“

— Adam Smith
Context: A great stock, though with small profits, generally increases faster than a small stock with great profits. Money, says the proverb, makes money. When you have a little, it is often easier to get more. The great difficulty is to get that little. Chapter IX, p. 111.

„Fear is in almost all cases a wretched instrument of government“

— Adam Smith
Context: Fear is in almost all cases a wretched instrument of government, and ought in particular never to be employed against any order of men who have the smallest pretensions to independency. Chapter I, Part III, p. 862.

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„The value which the workmen add“

— Adam Smith
Context: The value which the workmen add to the materials, therefore, resolves itself in this case into two parts, of which the one pays their wages, the other the profits of the employer upon the whole stock of materials and wages which he advanced. Chapter VI, p. 58.

„The violence and injustice of the rulers of mankind“

— Adam Smith
Context: The violence and injustice of the rulers of mankind is an ancient evil, for which, I am afraid, the nature of human affairs can scarce admit a remedy. Chapter III, Part II, p. 531.

„The proper performance of those several duties of the sovereign necessarily supposes a certain expence; and this expence again necessarily requires a certain revenue to support it.“

— Adam Smith
Context: Every system which endeavours, either, by extraordinary encouragements, to draw towards a particular species of industry a greater share of the capital of the society than what would naturally go to it; or, by extraordinary restraints, to force from a particular species of industry some share of the capital which would otherwise be employed in it; is in reality subversive of the great purpose which it means to promote. It retards, instead of accelerating, the progress of the society towards real wealth and greatness; and diminishes, instead of increasing, the real value of the annual produce of its land and labour. All systems either of preference or of restraint, therefore, being thus completely taken away, the obvious and simple system of natural liberty establishes itself of its own accord. Every man, as long as he does not violate the laws of justice, is left perfectly free to pursue his own interest his own way, and to bring both his industry and capital into competition with those of any other man, or order of men. The sovereign is completely discharged from a duty, in the attempting to perform which he must always be exposed to innumerable delusions, and for the proper performance of which no human wisdom or knowledge could ever be sufficient; the duty of superintending the industry of private people, and of directing it towards the employments most suitable to the interest of the society. According to the system of natural liberty, the sovereign has only three duties to attend to; three duties of great importance, indeed, but plain and intelligible to common understandings: first, the duty of protecting the society from the violence and invasion of other independent societies; secondly, the duty of protecting, as far as possible, every member of the society from the injustice or oppression of every other member of it, or the duty of establishing an exact administration of justice; and, thirdly, the duty of erecting and maintaining certain public works and certain public institutions, which it can never be for the interest of any individual, or small number of individuals, to erect and maintain; because the profit could never repay the expence to any individual, or small number of individuals, though it may frequently do much more than repay it to a great society. The proper performance of those several duties of the sovereign necessarily supposes a certain expence; and this expence again necessarily requires a certain revenue to support it. Chapter IX, p. 749.

„But whoever imagines, upon this account, that masters rarely combine, is as“

— Adam Smith
Context: We rarely hear, it has been said, of the combinations of masters, though frequently of those of the workman. But whoever imagines, upon this account, that masters rarely combine, is as ignorant of the world as of the subject. Chapter VIII, p. 80.

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„The retinue of a grandee in China or Indostan“

— Adam Smith
Context: The retinue of a grandee in China or Indostan accordingly is, by all accounts, much more numerous and splendid than that of the richest subjects of Europe. Chapter XI, Part III, Third Period, p. 240.

„Lands for the purposes of pleasure and magnificence“

— Adam Smith
Context: Lands for the purposes of pleasure and magnificence, parks, gardens, public walks, &c. possessions which are every where considered as causes of expence, not as sources of revenue, seem to be the only lands which, in a great and civilized monarchy, ought to belong the crown. Chapter II, Part I, p. 891.

„When the happiness or misery of others depends in any respect upon our conduct, we dare not, as self–love might suggest to us, prefer the interest of one to that of many. The man within immediately calls to us, that we value ourselves too much and other people too little, and that, by doing so, we render ourselves the proper object of the contempt and indignation of our brethren.“

— Adam Smith
Context: When the happiness or misery of others depends in any respect upon our conduct, we dare not, as self–love might suggest to us, prefer the interest of one to that of many. The man within immediately calls to us, that we value ourselves too much and other people too little, and that, by doing so, we render ourselves the proper object of the contempt and indignation of our brethren. Neither is this sentiment confined to men of extraordinary magnanimity and virtue. It is deeply impressed upon every tolerably good soldier, who feels that he would become the scorn of his companions, if he could be supposed capable of shrinking from danger, or of hesitating, either to expose or to throw away his life, when the good of the service required it. Chap. III.

„They say nothing concerning the bad effects of high profits. They are silent with regard to the pernicious effects of their own gains. They complain only of those of other people.“

— Adam Smith
Context: Our merchants and master-manufacturers complain much of the bad effects of high wages in raising the price, and thereby lessening the sale of their goods both at home and abroad. They say nothing concerning the bad effects of high profits. They are silent with regard to the pernicious effects of their own gains. They complain only of those of other people. Chapter IX, p. 117.

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