All good economists love the Adam Smith quote about the baker:

man has almost constant occasion for the help of his brethren, and it
is in vain for him to expect it from their benevolence only. He will be
more likely to prevail if he can interest their self-love in his favour,
and show them that it is for their own advantage to do for him what he
requires of them. Whoever offers to another a bargain of any kind,
proposes to do this. Give me that which I want, and you shall have this
which you want, is the meaning of every such offer; and it is in this
manner that we obtain from one another the far greater part of those
good offices which we stand in need of. It
is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker,
that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.
We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and
never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages.

But it was only this morning, when listening to Sirius Radio’s 40s station, that I realized Irving Caesar’s song “I Want to be Happy” gets Smith’s point across more succinctly and memorably.  The refrain:

I want to be happy
But I won’t be happy
Till I make you happy, too

Here’s the song performed by Ella Fitzgerald.  I hope to hear economists humming it from now on…