Patten, Simon Nelson, ca. 1900

ca. 1900

Simon Nelson Patten, ca. 1900

German-trained economist Simon N. Patten (1852-1922) connected business progressivism with a critique of nineteenth-century liberal economics in innovative ways. As the main theoretician behind the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, he created an early “think tank” that promoted his vision of “voluntary socialism,” which combined a business focus with a critique of liberal notions of supply and demand, consumption, and economic scarcity.