Adam SmithAdam Smith, (1723-1790) Scottish philosopher and economist

Adam Smith Quote

“The natural effort of every individual to better his own condition is so powerful that it is alone, and without any assistance, not only capable of carrying on the society to wealth and prosperity, but of surmounting a hundred impertinent obstructions with which the folly of human laws too often encumbers its operations.”

Adam SmithAdam Smith
~ Adam Smith

Ratings and Comments

Joe, Rochester, MI

Eliminating welfare would save a great deal of money, and charities would take up the slack for those truly unable to work. People bilking the system would be forced to get a job.

J Carlton, Calgary

This is why the welfare state seeks to grow the number of its dependants. It is also the reason for bureaucracy to grow (like cancer). More dependants = more control / more compliance. It is also why socialism always fails. As far as I'm concerned every government worker is a welfare recipient...with a desk. 200+ million did NOT vote for Obama. I hope those same people are well armed, they may be the last hope on the planet for liberty.

Waffler, Smith

Aw the simpler times of the 1750's. I wonder what Dear Adam would have said if he had seen the hovels, poverty and degradation that the industrial age wrought upon England, with 60 hour work weeks, childhood labor, sweat shops, and all the rest of the excesses of rampant and totally free capitalism. We did not develop state law out of a sense of whim. It came about as a result of the misery index and as a view towards creating a decent life and evironment in which human beings can live and prosper. With the problems and issues created by large corporations and big business which are not individuals the individual is at a loss as how to proceed without banning together through government or unionism.

J Carlton, Calgary

Waffler is a communist.

Anonymous, Reston, VA, US

A great argument for a progressive tax and assistance for those on the bottom of the ladder... as giving them a helping hand up will allow their natural tendencies to kick in and blossom into productive members of the society. Hopefully there are not too many like those above who vote more than once and simply revert to inappropriate name calling... for such acts reveal them for what they truly are...

Paul, Gig Harbor, WA

Like it or not, the Bible defined the ROOT PROBLEM in finding the best system to rule ourselves with: O LORD, I know the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps. (Jer 10:23) Use socialism, and the masses greedily vote to themselves what is not theirs, destroying the wealth of the nation. Use capitalism and the powerful do not open their hands and wallets to the poor. Both rich and poor are humans one and all, thus greedy, covetous in nature, and THIS is why nothing we devise will ever work as it should. Do not look for a system to cure the problem, rather look within for the defect, and cure.

Mike, Norwalk

Anonymous, really funny, I've never heard anyone equate a progressive tax with a hundred impertinent obstructions, the folly of human laws, and encumbrances to be a great anything because in surmounting such, it assisted people's natural effort to wealth and prosperity. hmmm that's a whole new spin ;-)

Waffler, Smith

Good stuff Paul, thanks. Being called a Commuist by the likes of Carlton is an honor and a priviledge. Those on this site who cannot intelligently discuss the quotes of men of history without name calling are not free men at all. They are J Edgar Hoover clones and the enemies of true intellectual freedom.

Finance Quotations, u

Thanks for the informative and entertaining read. Its true that FINANCE is the art of passing currency from hand to hand until it finally disappears. I found a great site for finance and business quotations at

J Carlton, Calgary

Paul, Gig Harbor...In your entirely pessimistic observation you've completely missed the point.
We're not looking for a system to "cure" what YOU perceive to be human nature...we're looking for the "absence" of a system. Such as prescribed in the limitations defined in the Constitution. Get it?

J Carlton, Calgary

The Food Stamp Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is proud to be distributing this year the greatest amount of free Meals and Food Stamps ever, to 46 million people.

Meanwhile, the National Park Service, administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, asks us "Please Do Not Feed the Animals." Their stated reason for the policy is because "The animals will grow dependent on handouts and will learn not to take care of themselves."

jim k, Austin, Tx

Great comment, J Carlton.

jim k, Austin, Tx

Reston and Waffler, don't be late to the Party meeting on Friday, those commies get cranky when you miss a session.

James, Ramona

Waffler, Smith I think you are pretty much clueless ... in 1750's it was a dictatorship the people were ruled ..You wish to replace the big businesses with big government .. from one master to the next ...In your world we can trade a chance of self promotion with food lines and a government to tell us what to do ... the more we promote fair share for all .. the more we will have people who will do nothing and demand everything ... the eventual outcome being the no one works because ..why should you if you can get something for nothing????

Ronw13, Yachats OR

Fear of religious persecution by the state church. Natural effort, ( Natural law ). Folly of human laws, ( impertinent obstructions. ) Classical economics, a free market, and its ability to balance itself. Physiocracy, from the Greek for " Government of Nature. " John Locke, Du Pont, Jefferson, Washington, Madison, Bastiat and many, many more understood well the unnatural behavior of industry and merchants. monopolies being feared the most by free market economics. Adams spoke of the " Hidden Hand " the phenomena of nature and its ability to balance itself. Washington warned of the Plundering of the USA's food stuffs and its children's riches. Hence his stance on Nonintervention with England and Europe as a whole. Our Founding Fathers went to the most extreme Declaration that could be made. God our Creator is the God of Nature and the hidden hand which conducts the affairs of man and nations alike. It needs no private interpretation. total separation from private interpretation by any denominational sec of Christianity or any other Threskeia, ( superficial ) religion for that matter. " Let there be no separation " within the understanding of Liberty and Freedom and the doctrines thereof. " Now I beseech you brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be " perfectly " joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment." I Corin 1:10 As we see, Paul declares this truth, as always, in all 13 of his books. The Rebel with a divine calling and cause most sacred. One of the greatest dupes of politicians and government, to hide old scientific discovery which exposes the " hidden hand " of the Creator. " Simple single " a particle of union. Simplicity in sincerity. Wake up and get the picture, visitors are coming. The day of visitation made apparent by the awakening !!

cal, Lewisville, TX

Waffler, are you for Hillary or Bernie? It has to be one or the other.


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