Frases de Adam Smith

Adam Smith Foto
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Adam Smith

Fecha de nacimiento: 5. Junio 1723
Fecha de muerte: 17. Julio 1790

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Adam Smith fue un economista y filósofo escocés, uno de los mayores exponentes de la economía clásica.

Adam Smith basaba su ideario en el sentido común. Frente al escepticismo, defendía el acceso cotidiano e inmediato a un mundo exterior independiente de la conciencia. Smith creía que el fundamento de la acción moral no se basa en normas ni en ideas nacionales, sino en sentimientos universales, comunes y propios de todos los seres humanos.

En 1776, publicó La riqueza de las naciones, sosteniendo que la riqueza procede del trabajo de la nación. El libro fue esencialmente un estudio acerca del proceso de creación y acumulación de la riqueza, temas ya abordados por los mercantilistas y fisiócratas, pero sin el carácter científico de la obra de Smith. Gracias a este trabajo, que fue el primer estudio completo y sistemático del tema, Smith se conoce como el padre de la economía.

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Frases Adam Smith

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„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.

„It proposes to enrich both the people and the sovereign.“

— Adam Smith
Context: POLITICAL economy, considered as a branch of the science of a statesman or legislator, proposes two distinct objects: first, to provide a plentiful revenue or subsistence for the people, or more properly to enable them to provide such a revenue or subsistence for themselves; and secondly, to supply the state or commonwealth with a revenue sufficient for the public services. It proposes to enrich both the people and the sovereign. Introduction, p. 459.

„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.“

— 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.

„Consumption is the sole end and purpose of all production“

— Adam Smith
Context: 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. Chapter VIII, p. 719.

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„By nature a philosopher is not in genius and disposition half so different from a street porter“

— Adam Smith
Context: By nature a philosopher is not in genius and disposition half so different from a street porter, as a mastiff is from a greyhound Chapter II, p. 17.

„By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that“

— Adam Smith
Context: As every individual, therefore, endeavours as much as he can both to employ his capital in the support of domestic industry, and so to direct that industry that its produce may be of the greatest value; every individual necessarily labours to render the annual revenue of the society as great as he can. He 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. Nor is it always the worse for the society that it was no part of it. By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it. I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good. It is an affectation, indeed, not very common among merchants, and very few words need be employed in dissuading them from it. Chapter II, p. 488-489. <!-- p. 421 of the online Liberty Fund edition. -->

„Whenever the legislature attempts to regulate the differences between masters and their“

— Adam Smith
Context: Whenever the legislature attempts to regulate the differences between masters and their workmen, its counsellors are always the masters. When the regulation, therefore, is in favor of the workmen, it is always just and equitable; but it is sometimes otherwise when in favor of the masters. Chapter x, Part II, p. 168.

„The proposal of any new law or regulation of commerce which comes from this order, ought always to be listened to with great precaution“

— Adam Smith
Context: The proposal of any new law or regulation of commerce which comes from this order, ought always to be listened to with great precaution, and ought never to be adopted till after having been long and carefully examined, not only with the most scrupulous, but with the most suspicious attention. It comes from an order of men, whose interest is never exactly the same with that of the public, who have generally an interest to deceive and even to oppress the public, and who accordingly have, upon many occasions, both deceived and oppressed it. Chapter XI, Part III, Conclusion of the Chapter, p. 292.

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