On this day in 1942 President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave his famous and moving speech: 'A Call for Sacrifice.' In part it called for a seven-point program of general principles , basically a new national economic policy for “attaining the great objective of keeping the cost of living down”. Basically:
- Heavier taxes, to keep personal and corporate profits at a low reasonable rate.
- Fixed ceilings on prices and rents.
- Stabilized wages.
- Stabilized farm prices.
- More billions into war bonds.
- Rationing of all essential commodities which are scarce.
- Discouraging of instalment buying, and encouragement to pay off debts and mortgages.
Sound like good principles to live by now. You can read the whole speech here.
Australia had similar policies, and liberty loan schemes were also heavily advertised. Not too subtly either!
In Australia in early 1942 John Curtin's government had launched an 'austerity campaign' to divert as many of the nation's resources as possible to the war effort, including rationing of clothing and food . A government ad for the £100,000,000 Austerity Loan asked everyone to reduce the little spending - their smoking, shouting drinks and bought lunches - to support the war effort :
Cheers (as long as you buy your own drink)!