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War Advertising Council
February 1944 Popular Science

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I'm probably one of the few people remaining who fairly regularly recite the World War II (WWII) era slogan of "Use it up. Wear it out. Make it do, or Do without." One of the primary killers of economies has been inflation, whatever the cause - usually deficit spending by government and/or printing of fiat money. Wartime typically produces high inflation levels due to the need to produce the equipment necessary to wage a battle. Supply and demand are another cause of inflation. If the demand is greater than the supply, prices go up because owners want to maximize profits. If the need for skilled labor is greater than what is available, workers demand higher pay, and the price goes up. During WWII, as the chart to the upper left shows, inflation rates were sky high, and the government propagandists called on the citizens to "do their part" to keep prices under control by not creating a higher demand then the supply chain could accommodate. This was in addition to citizens who were already donating paper, cloth, clothes, tires, metal cans and iron, electrical, electronic, and mechanical components, and just about everything else that could be melted down or otherwise repurposed.

War Advertising Council AdWar Advertising Council Ad

Never mind "who done it" - pitch in and help get it down!

This is your Uncle Sam talking - but I'm going to talk to you like a Dutch uncle, to keep all of us from going broke.

Ever since the Axis hauled off and hit us when we weren't looking, prices have been nudging upwards. Not rising awfully fast, but rising.

If this keeps up - we're all going to be in hot water.

The government's done a lot to keep prices down. That's what price ceilings and wage controls are for. Rationing helps, too.

But let me tell you this - we're never going to keep prices down unless we all help - Every last one of us.

All right, then. Here are the seven rules we've got to follow as Gospel from now until this war is over. Not some of them - all of them. Not some of us - all of us, farmers, businessmen, laborers, white collar workers!

Buy only what you need. A patch on your pants is a badge of honor these days.

Keep your own prices down. Don't ask higher prices - for your own labor, your own services, or goods you sell. Resist all pressure to force your prices up!

Never pay a penny more than the ceiling price for anything. Don't buy rationed goods without giving up the right amount of coupons.

Pay your taxes willingly, no matter how stiff they get. This war's got to be paid for and taxes are the cheapest way to do it.

Payoff your old debts. Don't make any new ones.

Start a savings account and make regular deposits. Buy and keep up life insurance.

Buy War Bonds and hold on to them. Buy them with dimes and dollars it hurts like blazes to do without.

Start making these sacrifices now - keep them up for the duration - and this country of ours will be sitting pretty after the war ... and so will you.

Use it up • Wear it out • Make it do • Or do without

This advertisement, prepared by the War Advertising Council, is contributed by this magazine in cooperation with the Magazine Publishers of America.

Buy War Savings Bonds and Stamps regularly.

 

 

Posted December 29, 2023

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