Adam Smith saw shopkeepers as deserving to influence government.
“To found a great empire for the sole purpose of raising up a people of customers may at first sight appear a project fit only for a nation of shopkeepers. It is, however, a project altogether unfit for a nation of shopkeepers; but extremely fit for a nation whose government is influenced by shopkeepers.”
But he also had a big problem with monopolies:
:“The monopolists, by keeping the market constantly under-stocked, by never fully supplying the effectual demand, sell their commodities much above the natural price…” The price “is upon every occasion the highest which can be squeezed out of the buyers.”