"It is not the benevolence of the butcher, 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 own necessities but of their
Adam Smith
(1723-1790) Scottish philosopher and economist
An Inquiry Into The Nature And Causes Of The Wealth Of Nations, p. 18 (University of Chicago Press 1976 ed.)
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Reader comments about this quote:
Sorta sums up a wealth of nations. An economic observation that is accurate far more often than not. Doesn't have an exacting cross over to the politics at law of a representative republic (though often attempted) It has more to do with the human factor, emotions, greed, need, etc. at form and application rather than fiscal law itself.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Capitalism works, Socialism does not.
     -- jim k, austin tx     
    When one does what is best for himself without the charity of others and is self productive, he is also doing what is best for others as well. Carlos Slim refused to join the Bill Gates-Warren Buffett charity saying, "Charity is not what people need. They need jobs. It is they responsibility of the Capitalist's to invest his capital in order to provide jobs and opportunity for others."
     -- cal, lewisville, tx     
    If only the butcher and the baker could work and trade in peace! Non-domesticated animals live their lives without statutes and regulations -- those born into captivity (like humans) are conditioned to obey their 'betters' because they cannot be trusted with freedom because quite frankly they would throw off their yokes.

    It is not so much 'capitalism' as self determination. Capitalism is a result of successful production - what to do with the surplus? The temple builders (both ecclesiastical and secular) are always eyeing who is successful and plotting how to subjugate them into their service. Centralized power has always been the corrupting influence of a organically organized society. There is always someone with power who has grand ideas on how to organize everyone else -- to them, the butcher and baker are just toys.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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