The Role of Authority
In Adam Smith's day he observed that tariffs and controls employed by governments, as well as the monopolies granted to the guilds, hindered national wealth. Smith argued that a government must be limited to specific purposes—namely providing defense, ensuring justice, and building infrastructure. A government should maintain an open and free market, not manipulate it.
"The proposal of any new law or regulation of commerce which comes from this order, ought always to be listened to with great precaution, and ought never to be adopted till after having been long and carefully examined, not only with the most scrupulous, but with the most suspicious attention. It comes from an order of men, whose interest is never exactly the same with that of the public, who have generally an interest to deceive and even oppress the public, and who accordingly have, upon many occasions, both deceived and oppressed it.
In our time the nations that have prospered are those which have encouraged economic growth and expanding interests—and been careful to protect them.