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Simon N. Patten
|Died||July 24, 1922 70) (aged|
|Institution||University of Pennsylvania|
|Alma mater||University of Halle|
|Henry Rogers Seager, Scott Nearing|
Simon Nelson Patten (May 1, 1852 – July 24, 1922) was an economist and the chair of the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Patten was one of the first economists to posit a shift from an 'economics of scarcity' to an 'economics of abundance'; that is, he believed that soon there would be enough wealth to satisfy people's basic needs and that the economy would shift from an emphasis on production to consumption.
The University of Pennsylvania is a private Ivy League research university located in the University City neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Chartered in 1755, Penn is the sixth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States. It is one of the nine colonial colleges founded prior to the Declaration of Independence. Benjamin Franklin, Penn's founder and first president, advocated an educational program that trained leaders in commerce, government, and public service, similar to a modern liberal arts curriculum. The university's coat of arms features a dolphin on its red chief, adopted from Benjamin Franklin's own coat of arms.
Post-scarcity is a theoretical economic situation in which most goods can be produced in great abundance with minimal human labor needed, so that they become available to all very cheaply or even freely. Post-scarcity does not mean that scarcity has been eliminated for all goods and services, but that all people can easily have their basic survival needs met along with some significant proportion of their desires for goods and services. Writers on the topic often emphasize that some commodities will remain scarce in a post-scarcity society.
Patten attended the University of Halle (1876–1879), where he came under the influence of Johannes Conrad,  a member of the German Historical school, a group of economists who believed that scholars should use their expertise to help solve modern social problems. His German experience reinforced his belief in social reform and planned change, but within an American context—that is, change and reform through voluntary action with minimal governmental control.
The Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg, also referred to as MLU, is a public, research-oriented university in the cities of Halle and Wittenberg in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. MLU offers German and international (English) courses leading to academic degrees such as BA, BSc, MA, MSc, doctoral degrees and Habilitation.
Johannes Ernst Conrad was a German political economist. Johannes Conrad was a Professor of economics in Halle (Saale), Prussian Germany. He was a co-founder of the important conservative Verein für Sozialpolitik in 1872. Late in his career, in 1911, he became the director of the newly established Institute for Co-operative Studies at the University of Halle. Conrad was an expert in political economy (Nationalökonomie) and became the editor of the influential Jahrbücher für Nationalökonomie und Statistik in 1870.
After several years of apprenticeship teaching in primary and secondary schools, Patten in 1887 was appointed professor of economics at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He held this important post until 1917, when his vigorous antiwar views got him into trouble and he was forced into premature retirement.
Over the years he published 22 books and several hundred articles, both scholarly and popular. The New Basis of Civilization (1907), an outgrowth of lectures he delivered in 1905 at the New York School of Social Work, was his most important work. It ran through eight editions between 1907 and 1923.
Patten believed that with the new technology the Earth's resources were adequate to provide an economy of abundance for the Western world; that is, there was enough wealth available so that everyone could achieve a proper diet, good basic housing and clothing, and an education that would meet the job requirements of industry. What was lacking was group social action to achieve these desired goals. Nevertheless, he was very influential on Progressive Era politicians and policy.
The Progressive Era was a period of widespread social activism and political reform across the United States that spanned from the 1890s to the 1920s. The main objectives of the Progressive movement were eliminating problems caused by industrialization, urbanization, immigration, and political corruption. The movement primarily targeted political machines and their bosses. By taking down these corrupt representatives in office, a further means of direct democracy would be established. They also sought regulation of monopolies and corporations through antitrust laws, which were seen as a way to promote equal competition for the advantage of legitimate competitors.
His thought can be juxtaposed with that of his contemporary, Thorstein Veblen.
Thorstein Bunde Veblen was an American economist and sociologist who became famous as a witty critic of capitalism.
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Alfred Marshall, FBA was one of the most influential economists of his time. His book, Principles of Economics (1890), was the dominant economic textbook in England for many years. It brings the ideas of supply and demand, marginal utility, and costs of production into a coherent whole. He is known as one of the founders of neoclassical economics. Although Marshall took economics to a more mathematically rigorous level, he did not want mathematics to overshadow economics and thus make economics irrelevant to the layman.
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Frank Hyneman Knight was an American economist who spent most of his career at the University of Chicago, where he became one of the founders of the Chicago school. Nobel laureates Milton Friedman, George Stigler and James M. Buchanan were all students of Knight at Chicago. Ronald Coase said that Knight, without teaching him, was a major influence on his thinking. F.A. Hayek considered Knight to be one of the major figures in preserving and promoting classical liberal thought in the twentieth century. Paul Samuelson named Knight as one of the several "American saints in economics" born after 1860.
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Henry Rogers Seager was an American economist, and Professor of Political Economy at Columbia University, who served as president of the American Association for Labor Legislation.
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Don Patinkin was an Israeli/American monetary economist, and the president of Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
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Various definitions of economics have been proposed, including the definition of 'economics' as "what economists do".