- John A. Saltmarsh
Nearing, Scott (06 August 1883–24 August 1983), economist and social reformer, was born in Morris Run, Pennsylvania, the son of Louis Nearing, an engineer, and Minnie Zabriskie. During his youth, a central influence on Nearing’s life was his grandfather, Winfield Scott Nearing, the superintendent of the Morris Run Coal Mining Company. His grandfather embodied the contradictions of the elite in their exercise of authority for the benefit of the common good as well as their abuse of power for preserving wealth and status. Nearing attended the University of Pennsylvania beginning in 1901, earning a doctorate in economics from the university’s Wharton School in 1909 under the tutelage of progressive economist Simon Nelson Patten. Between 1906 and 1915 Nearing became involved in progressive social causes in Philadelphia, serving as secretary of the Pennsylvania Child Labor Committee while teaching sociology at Temple University and economics at Swarthmore College and at the Wharton School. Beginning in 1913 he taught at the Rand School in New York City and lectured on social science at the Chautauqau, New York, summer school. During this time he spent his summers and weekends at Arden, Delaware, a single-tax community based on ...