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

Adam Smith Quote

“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 SmithAdam Smith
~ Adam Smith

An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations par. I.2.2

Ratings and Comments

Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

Yes but regulate the muthers to keep their hands off of the scale, water out of the brew, etc.

jim k, austin

Heir Waffler never dissapoints. Let's get the government into everything and make sure everything is fowled up. "Regulate the muthers", what nonsense. We have laws in case the butcher puts his thumb on the scale. Government works sooo well, and as an example, when Barney, Harry, Nancy and their fellow travelers were telling us a year ago that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were just fine, thank you. Just one of many cases where government works so well.

Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

Dear Jim where do you think laws come from my friend if not "the government" which is us. Comrade Adam talks as if all these "good" people are going to trade honestly. Wish it were so then we would not need laws or the Better Business Bureau. In theory Adam is great but he leaves out some details concerning human depravity.

Mike, Norwalk

Ultimately, though I feel benevolence is a major aspect of most individuals, people usually labor in fulfillment of the quote's truthfulness. Waffler, I see by your comment that you've moved to another country. Here in the U.S.A. (Union of Socialist Amerika) the government, from local to nationalist omnipotence, has declared that they have inherent right with prejudicial ability, authority, power, and right to compel compliance, license, establish victimless crimes, commit larceny at will and all else as is possible to a foreign despot. We who remain here are no longer the government but, have been given a type and shadow to select those that would represent said foreign despot (that way, our illusional traditions may be change without to much notice - much like the frog in the warming pot)

E Archer, NYC

Adam Smith draws the line in the sand -- individual sovereigns on the one side, and collectivist serfs on the other.

  • Reply
RBESRQ    1/31/09

Figuratively my dear chap...

Ken, Allyn, WA

The corollary of course is that if enough of the butcher's, the brewer's, or the baker's labor is taken from them that they will decide it is not in their interest to keep butchering, brewing, or baking: then nobody has any dinner.


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