It is the highest impertinence and presumption, therefore, in kings and ministers to pretend to watch over the economy of private people, and to restrain their expense. They are themselves, always, and without any exception, the greatest spendthrifts in the society.
No complaint... is more common than that of a scarcity of money.
All money is a matter of belief.
Entitlement is such a cancer, because it is void of gratitude.
The mind is so rarely disturbed, but that the company of friend will restore it to some degree of tranquility and sedateness.
And a workman, even of the lowest and poorest order, if he is frugal and industrious, may enjoy a greater share of the necessaries and conveniences of life than it is possible for any savage to acquire.
An instructed and intelligent people are always more decent and orderly
than an ignorant and stupid one.
People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for the merriment and diversion, but the conversaton ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.
Resentment seems to have been given to us by nature for defense, and for defense only; it is the safeguard of justice, and the security of innocence.
To feel much for others, and little for ourselves, to restrain our selfish, and to indulge our benevolent affections, constitute the perfection of human nature.
No society can surely be flourishing and happy of which by far the greater part of the numbers are poor and miserable.
There is no art which one government sooner learns of another than that of draining money from the pockets of the people.
Thus the labour of a manufacture adds, generally, to the value of the materials which he works upon, that of his own maintenance, and of his masters profits. The labour of a menial servant, on the contrary, adds to the value of nothing.
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.
It is the natural effect of improvement, however, to diminish gradually the real price of almost all manufactures.
When profit diminishes, merchants are very apt to complain that trade decays; though the diminution of profit is the natural effect of its prosperity, or of a greater stock being employed in it than before.
But though empires, like all the other works of men, have all hitherto proved mortal, yet every empire aims at immortality.
To subject every private family to the odious visits and examination of the tax-gatherers ... would be altogether inconsistent with liberty.
The uniform, constant, and uninterrupted effort of every man to better his condition ... is frequently powerful enough to maintain the natural progress of things toward improvement, in spite of the extravagance of government, and of the greatest errors of administration.
Mercantile jealousy is excited, and both inflames, and is itself inflamed, by the violence of national animosity.
To expect, indeed, that the freedom of trade should ever be entirely restored in Great Britain, is as absurd as to expect that an Oceana or Utopia should never be established in it.
It is the industry which is carried on for the benefit of the rich and powerful, that is principally encouraged by our mercantile system. That which is carried on for the benefit of the poor and the indigent, is too often, either neglected, or oppressed.
The property which every man has in his own labour, as it is the original foundation of all other property, so it is the most sacred and inviolable.
The liberal reward of labour, therefore, as it is the affect of increasing wealth, so it is the cause of increasing population. To complain of it, is to lament over the necessary effect and cause of the greatest public prosperity.
Avarice and injustice are always shortsighted, and they did not foresee how much this regulation must obstruct improvement, and thereby hurt in the long-run the real interest of the landlord.
That the chance of gain is naturally over-valued, we may learn from the universal success of lotteries.
With the greater part of rich people, the chief enjoyment of riches consists in the parade of riches, which in their eye is never so complete as when they appear to possess those decisive marks of opulence which nobody can possess but themselves.
An instructed and intelligent people are always more decent and orderly than an ignorant and stupid one.
Virtue is excellence, something uncommonly great and beautiful, which rises far above what is vulgar and ordinary.
A very poor man may be said in some sense to have a demand for a coach and six; he might like to have it; but his demand is not an effectual demand, as the commodity can never be brought to market in order to satisfy it.
The rate of profit... is naturally low in rich and high in poor countries, and it is always highest in the countries which are going fastest to ruin.
Goods can serve many other purposes besides purchasing money, but money can serve no other purpose besides purchasing goods.
The prudent man always studies seriously and earnestly to understand whatever he professes to understand, and not merely to persuade other people that he understands it; and though his talents may not always be very brilliant, they are always perfectly genuine.
Though the profusion of Government must undoubtedly have retarded the natural progress of England to wealth and improvement, it has not been able to stop it.
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.
The disposition to admire, and almost to worship, the rich and the powerful, and to despise, or, at least, to neglect persons of poor and mean condition is the great and most universal cause of the corruption of our moral sentiments.
To attempt to increase the wealth of any country, either by introducing or by detaining in it an unnecessary quantity of gold and silver, is as absurd as it would be to attempt to increase the good cheer of private families by obliging them to keep an unnecessary number of kitchen utensils.
I am always willing to run some hazard of being tedious, in order to be sure that I am perspicuous; and, after taking the utmost pains that I can to be perspicuous, some obscurity may still appear to remain upon a subject, in its own nature extremely abstracted.
When the profits of trade happen to be greater than ordinary, over-trading becomes a general error both among great and small dealers.
Education in the ingenious arts and in the liberal professions is still more tedious and expensive. The pecuniary recompense, therefore, of painters and sculptors, of lawyers and physicians, ought to be much more liberal; and it is so accordingly.
Where wages are not regulated by law, all that we can pretend to determine is what are the most usual; and experience seems to show that law can never regulate them properly, though it has often pretended to do so.
I have always considered David Hume as approaching as nearly the idea of a perfectly wise and virtuous man as perhaps the nature of human frailty will allow.
A power to dispose of estates for ever is manifestly absurd. The earth and the fulness of it belongs to every generation, and the preceding one can have no right to bind it up from posterity. Such extension of property is quite unnatural.
In ease of body, peace of mind, all the different ranks of life are nearly upon a level and the beggar who suns himself by the side of the highway, possesses that security which kings are fighting for.
As we have no immediate experience of what other men feel, we can form no idea of the manner in which they are affected, but by conceiving what we ourselves should feel in the like situation.
The learned ignore the evidence of their senses to preserve the coherence of the ideas of their imagination.
What can be added to the happiness of the man who is in health, who is out of debt, and has a clear conscience?
What can be added to the happiness of a man who is in health, out of debt, and has a clear conscience?
A nation is not made wealthy by the childish accumulation of shiny metals, but it enriched by the economic prosperity of it's people.
The mob, when they are gazing at a dancer on the slack rope, naturally writhe and twist and balance their own bodies, as they see him do.
The ancient Egyptians had a superstitious antipathy to the sea; a superstition nearly of the same kind prevails among the Indians; and the Chinese have never excelled in foreign commerce.
Every tax, however, is to the person who pays it a badge, not of slavery but of liberty. It denotes that he is a subject to government, indeed, but that, as he has some property, he cannot himself be the property of a master.
An English university is a sanctuary in which exploded systems and obsolete prejudices find shelter and protection after they have been . hunted out of every corner of the world.
The importation of gold and silver is not the principal, much less the sole benefit which a nation derives from its foreign trade.
That a joint stock company should be able to carry on successfully any branch of foreign trade, when private adventurers can come into any sort of open and fair competition with them, seems contrary to all experience.
To feel much for others and little for ourselves, that to restrain our selfish, and to indulge our benevolent affections, constitutes the perfection of human nature.
A gardener who cultivates his own garden with his own hands, unites in his own person the three different characters, of landlord, farmer, and labourer. His produce, therefore, should pay him the rent of the first, the profit of the second, and the wages of the third.
By nature a philosopher is not in genius and disposition half so different from a street porter, as a mastiff is from a greyhound.
Good roads, canals, and navigable rivers, by diminishing the expence of carriage, put the remote parts of the country more nearly upon a level with with those of the neighbourhood of the town. They are upon that the greatest of all improvements.
For a very small expence the public can facilitate, can encourage, and can even impose upon almost the whole body of the people, the necessity of acquiring those most essential parts of education.
The principle which prompts to save is the desire of bettering our conditiona desire which?comes with us from the womb and never leaves us till we go into the grave.
Every man is rich or poor according to the degree in which he can afford to enjoy the necessaries, conveniences, and amusements of human life.
The emotions of the spectator will still be very apt to fall short of the violence of what is felt by the sufferer. Mankind, though naturally sympathetic, never conceive, for what has befallen another, that degree of passion which naturally animates the person principally concerned.
The tolls for the maintenance of a high road, cannot with any safety be made the property of private persons.
I have no great faith in political arithmetic, and I mean not to warrant the exactness of either of these computations.
Every tax ought to be so contrived as both to take out and to keep out of the pockets of the people as little as possible, over and above what it brings into the public treasury of the State.
What is prudence in the conduct of every private family can scarce be folly in that of a great kingdom.
The greatest improvement in the productive powers of labour, and the greater part of the skill, dexterity, and judgment with which it is anywhere directed, or applied, seem to have been the effects of the division of labour.
The natural price, therefore, is, as it were, the central price, to which the prices of all commodities are continually gravitating.
The difference between the most dissimilar characters, between a philosopher and a common street porter, for example, seems to arise not so much from nature, as from habit, custom, and education.
It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
The subjects of every state ought to contribute towards the support of the government, as nearly as possible, in proportion to their respective abilities.
How selfish soever man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature, which interest him in the fortune of others, and render their happiness necessary to him, though he derives nothing from it, except the pleasure of seeing it.
All for ourselves, and nothing for other people, seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind.
Whatever work he does, beyond what is sufficient to purchase his own maintenance, can be squeezed out of him by violence only, and not by any interest of his own.
The man scarce lives who is not more credulous than he ought to be... The natural disposition is always to believe. It is acquired wisdom and experience only that teach incredulity, and they very seldom teach it enough.
It appears, accordingly, from the experience of all ages and nations, I believe, that the work done by freemen comes cheaper in the end than that performed by slaves.
The man of system is apt to be very wise in his own conceit. In the great chess board of human society, every single piece has a principle of motion of its own altogether different from that which the legislature might choose to impress upon it.
The first thing you have to know is yourself. A man who knows himself can step outside himself and watch his own reactions like an observer.
The annual produce of the land and labour of any nation can be increased in its value by no other means, but by increasing either the number of its productive labourers, or the productive powers of those labourers who had before been employed.
But what all the violence of the feudal institutions could never have effected, the silent and insensible operation of foreign commerce and manufactures gradually brought about.
The annual labour of every nation is the fund which originally supplies it with all the necessaries and conveniencies of life which it annually consumes, and which consist always either in the immediate produce of that labour, or in what is purchased with that produce from other nations.
Capitals are increased by parsimony, and diminished by prodigalityand misconduct. By what a frugal man annually saves he not onlyaffords maintenance to an additional number of productive hands?but?he establishes as it were a perpetual fund for the maintenance of an equal number in all times to come.
Great nations are never impoverished by private, though they sometimes are by public prodigality and misconduct.
Men desire to have some share in the management of public affairs chiefly on account of the importance which it gives them.
By pursuing his own interest (the individual) 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.
Wonder... and not any expectation of advantage from its discoveries, is the first principle which prompts mankind to the study of Philosophy, of that science which pretends to lay open the concealed connections that unite the various appearances of nature.
Sugar, rum and tobacco are commodities which are nowhere necessaries of life, which are become objects of almost universal consumption, and which are therefore extremely proper subjects of taxation.
Men of the most robust make, observe that in looking upon sore eyes they often feel a very sensible soreness in their own, which proceeds from the same reason; that organ being in the strongest man more delicate, than any other part of the body is in the weakest.
In this consists the difference between the character of a miser and that of a person of exact economy and assiduity. The one is anxious about small matters for their own sake; the other attends to them only in consequence of the scheme of life which he has laid down to himself.
The real price of everything, what everything really costs to the man who wants to acquire it, is the toil and trouble of acquiring it.
Masters are always and everywhere in a sort of tacit, but constant and uniform combination, not to raise the wages of labor.
Whenever the legislature attempts to regulate 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.
A man must always live by his work, and his wages must at least be sufficient to maintain him. They must even upon most occasions be somewhat more; otherwise it would be impossible for him to bring up a family, and the race of such workmen could not last beyond the first generation.
In the long-run the workman may be as necessary to his master as his master is to him, but the necessity is not so immediate.
There is no art which government sooner learns of another than that of draining money from the pockets of the people.
Poor David Hume is dying fast, but with more real cheerfulness and good humor and with more real resignation to the necessary course of things, than any whining Christian ever dyed with pretended resignation to the will of God.
As soon as government management begins it upsets the natural equilibrium of industrial relations, and each interference only requires further bureaucratic control until the end is the tyranny of the totalitarian state.
In a militia, the character of the laborer, artificer, or tradesman, predominates over that of the soldier: in a standing army, that of the soldier predominates over every other character.
It is not by augmenting the capital of the country, but by rendering a greater part of that capital active and productive than would otherwise be so, that the most judicious operations of banking can increase the industry of the country.
Adventure upon all the tickets in the lottery, and you lose for certain; and the greater the number of your tickets the nearer your approach to this certainty.
The propensity to truck, barter and exchange one thing for another is common to all men, and to be found in no other race of animals.
Little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice: all the rest being brought about by the natural course of things.
Great ambition, the desire of real superiority, of leading and directing, seems to be altogether peculiar to man, and speech is the great instrument of ambition.
With the greater part of rich people, the chief enjoyment of riches consists in the parade of riches.
Man is an animal that makes bargains: no other animal does this -- no dog exchanges bones with another.
To feel much for others and little for ourselves; to restrain our selfishness and exercise our benevolent affections, constitute the perfection of human nature.
Labour was the first price, the original purchase -- money that was paid for all things. It was not by gold or by silver, but by labour, that all wealth of the world was originally purchased.
The theory that can absorb the greatest number of facts, and persist in doing so, generation after generation, through all changes of opinion and detail, is the one that must rule all observation.
As soon as the land of any country has all become private property, the landlords, like all other men, love to reap where they never sowed, and demand a rent even for its natural produce.
Virtue is more to be feared than vice, because its excesses are not subject to the regulation of conscience.
No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable.
The real and effectual discipline which is exercised over a workman is that of his customers. It is the fear of losing their employment which restrains his frauds and corrects his negligence.
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.
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.
Resentment seems to have been given us by nature for a defense, and for a defense only! It is the safeguard of justice and the security of innocence.
Civil government, so far as it is instituted for the security of property, is in reality instituted for the defense of the rich against the poor, or of those who have some property against those who have none at all.