Conservatives are found of quoting Adam Smith to justify their draconian economic policies but it's doubtful any of them have actually read Adam Smith. Here are a few things Adam Smith said that show he would not agree with them or endorse thier policies.
- "No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable."
- "A criminal is a person with predatory instincts who has not sufficient capital to form a corporation. Most government is by the rich for the rich. Government comprises a large part of the organized injustice in any society, ancient or modern. Civil government, insofar as it is instituted for the security of property, is in reality instituted for the defence of the rich against the poor, and for the defence of those who have property against those who have none."
- "Under capitalism the more money you have, the easier it is to make money, and the less money you have, the harder. Wherever there is great property there is great inequality. The affluence of the rich supposes the indigence of the many."
- "The interest of [businessmen] is always in some respects different from, and even opposite to, that of the public ... The proposal of any new law or regulation of commerce which comes from this order ... ought never to be adopted, till after having been long and carefully examined ... with the most suspicious attention. It comes from an order of men ... who have generally an interest to deceive and even oppress the public."
- "Wherever there is great property there is great inequality. For one very rich man there must be at least five hundred poor, and the affluence of the few supposes the indigence of the many. The affluence of the rich excites the indignation of the poor, who are often both driven by want, and prompted by envy, to invade his possessions."
- "In regards to the price of commodities, the rise of wages operates as simple interest does, the rise of profit operates like compound interest. Our merchants and masters complain much of the bad effects of high wages in raising the price and lessening the sale of goods. 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."
- "To feel much for others and little for ourselves; to restrain our selfishness and exercise our benevolent affections, constitute the perfection of human nature."