Sunday, 2 January 2011

Adam Smith 1723-1790 : Economist and Philosopher

Following lasts weeks blog about Ebenezer Scroggie alias 'Scrooge' I thought it timely to continue the economic monetary theme with Adam Smith the famous economist. There is a closer connection between the two characters than is often realised,. Ebenezer Scroggie was also born in Kirkcaldy, and his mother was niece to Adam Smith. Both were finally laid to rest in the Canongate cemetery

In 2008 a  10ft bronze statue funded entirely by private subscription and the Adam Smith Institute was erected to him in the Royal Mile,Edinburgh. Efforts continue to maintain his Canongate memorial in one of 5 sites in Edinburgh designated World Heritage areas to be classified 'at risk' by the World Monuments Fund.

Famous for his original thinking and deemed the father of modern economics and capitalism,many of his quotes are still applicable today. Plus ca change,plus c'est la meme chose!

There is no art which one government sooner learns of another than that of draining money from the pockets of the people.

The Wealth Of Nations, Book V Chapter II Part II, Appendix to Articles I&II, p. 861, para. 12.

It is the highest impertinence and presumption… 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. Let them look well after their own expense, and they may safely trust private people with theirs. If their own extravagance does not ruin the state, that of their subjects never will.

The Wealth Of Nations, Book II, Chapter III, p.346, para. 36.