The Wealth of
"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 . . . "1a
is not . . . difficult to foresee which of the two parties must . . . have the advantage
in the dispute, and force the other into a compliance with their terms.
masters . . . can combine much more easily; and the law, besides, authorizes, or at
least does not prohibit their combinations, while it prohibits those of the workmen."1b
"When the law does not enforce the performance of
contracts, it puts all borrowers nearly upon the same footing with bankrupts or people
of doubtful credit . . . "1c
"The pretence that
corporations are necessary for the better government of the trade,
is without any foundation. The real and effectual discipline
which is exercised over a workman, is not that of his corporation,
but that of his customers."1d
"The experience of all ages and nations, I believe,
demonstrates that the work done by slaves, though it
appears to cost only their maintenance, is in the end the dearest of any."1e
ought naturally to be, among nations, as among individuals, a bond
of union and friendship, has become the most fertile source of discord
and animosity. . . [T]he mean rapacity,
the monopolizing spirit of merchants and manufacturers,
who neither are, nor ought to be, the rulers of mankind, though it
cannot perhaps be corrected, may very easily be prevented from
disturbing the tranquility of any body but themselves."1f
" . . . [T]he cruellest of our
revenue laws . . . are mild and gentle, in comparison of some of
those which the clamour of our merchants and manufacturers has extorted
from the legislators, for the support of their own absurd and
" . . . [I]n the mercantile
system, the interest of the consumer is
almost constantly sacrificed to that of the producer . .
1 Adam Smith (1723-1790). The
Wealth of Nations (1776). 2 vols. in 1. Edited by Edwin Cannan. Preface by
George J. Stigler. The University of Chicago, 1976. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago
Press, at 74 (vol. 1, bk. 1). (Cannan's ed. was originally pub. 1904 by Methuen & Co.,
a Vol. 1, bk. 1, at 56.
b Vol. 1, bk. 1, at 74.
c Vol. 1, bk. 1, at 107.
d Vol. 1, bk. 1, at 144.
e Vol. 1, bk. 3, at 411.
f Vol. 1, bk. 4, at 519.
g Vol. 2, bk. 4, at 165.
h Vol. 2, bk. 4, at 179.