Wherever there is a 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. It is only under the shelter of the civil magistrate, that the owner of that valuable property, which is acquired by the labour of many years, or perhaps of many successive generations, can sleep a single night in security. He is at all times surrounded by unknown enemies, whom, though he never provoked, he can never appease, and from whose injustice he can be protected only by the powerful arm of the civil magistrate, continually held up to chastise it. The acquisition of valuable and extensive property, therefore, necessarily requires the establishment of civil government
Yes, it is the man who for many (particularly in Reagan's moment) is to the invisible hand of the market what Jesus is to the invisible God up above. Yes, Adam Smith. Yes, he did believe that a free market was better for all. But, no, he was not naive about the dangers of a society that easily permits its policies to be directed by the interests of merchants. From deep in the third section of An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations:
Our merchants and master manufacturers complain much of the bad effects of high wages in raising the price, and thereby lessening the sale of their goods, both at home and abroad. 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
And he was very sober about the unionization of labor...
What are the common wages of labour, depends everywhere upon the contract usually made between those two parties, whose interests are by no means the same. The workmen desire to get as much, the masters to give as little, as possible. The former are disposed to combine in order to raise, the latter in order to lower, the wages of labour. It is not, however, difficult to foresee which of the two parties must, upon all ordinary occasions, have the advantage in the dispute, and force the other into a compliance with their terms. The masters, being fewer in number, can combine much more easily: and the law, besides, authorises, or at least does not prohibit, their combinations, while it prohibits those of the workmen. We have no acts of parliament against combining to lower the price of work, but many against combining to raise it. In all such disputes, the masters can hold out much longer
I do highly recommend reading Wealth of Nations; but I must also warn you that the final section on taxes kills any kind of attention you exert on it. For sure, there are some nuggets here and there (such as Adam Smith's list of the necessaries of life—it includes not only material needs but also cultural ones), but most of it just goes on and on about this or that type of tax, this or that way it is collected, this or that way it is used, and so on. The main part of the book (some 1000 pages) took me two weeks to read, the short tax section took me a month to complete.