Pay raises are bad for the
country. That was according to the Office of War Information's War Advertising Council's
full-page spread in the 1945 edition of Radio News magazine. According
to their logic, you requesting or expecting - even accepting - a pay raise was damaging
to the country's war effort because the ultimate result was increased prices for
end users of products and services. It was an argument against inflation at a time
when inflation was low (see BLS chart to left). At the
time, people had the best interest of the country at
heart and, especially with the fate of the
free world on the line, were largely willing participants. Having so many family
members serving in foreign lands in a battle to beat back the forces of Communism,
Marxism, Taoism, and all the other 'isms' helped feed the attitude. Can you imagine
the response that would be seen from the public today if a similar message emanated
from the Government? It would be quite entertaining.
War Advertising Council Slogan:
Use it up... Wear it out... Make it do... Or do without
What good is a $10.00 raise ... if it then
costs you $12.00 more to live?
Sure we all want a raise ... but raises today are bad medicine. Bad medicine
for you. Bad medicine for everybody else. And here's why ...
Suppose you do get a raise ... and a lot of others get one, too. What happens?
The cost of manufacturing goes up. Naturally your boss has to add this increase
in cost to the price he asks the retailer. And the retailer, in turn, raises his
price to the consumer ... that's you.
Multiply these hundreds of items that everybody has to pay more for by the thousands
of other workers who want raises ... and by the thousands of business men and farmers
who want more money for their products ... result ... you and all the others need
another raise to make ends meet.
And so it goes ... wages and prices chase each other up and up ... until prices
get so high that your dollar isn't worth a dollar any more.
So what good is a raise if your living costs go up even faster? And there's so
little you can buy today anyway ... with most factories in war production.
Of course it's hard to give up the luxuries of life ... and even harder to give
up some of the necessities. But this is War! And when you think of the sacrifices
our fighting men are making ... many of them giving up their lives for us ... no
sacrifice we can make should be too great.
So if you want to be able to enjoy the good things of life in the peaceful days
to come ... if you want to speed victory and thus save the lives of thousands of
fighting men ... start doing these seven things now ...
1. Buy only what you need. Take care of what you have. Avoid waste.
2. Don't try to profit from the war. Don't ask more than you absolutely must
for what you have to sell ... whether it's goods or your own labor you're selling.
3. Pay no more than ceiling prices. Buy rationed goods only by exchanging stamps.
Otherwise, you're helping the black-market criminals, hurting yourself and all other
4. Pay taxes willingly. They're the cheapest way of paying for the war.
5. Payoff your old debts - all of them. Don't make new ones.
6. If you haven't a savings account, start one. If you have an account, put money
in it - regularly. Put money in life insurance, too.
7. Buy and hold War Bonds. Don't stop at 10%. Remember - Hitler stops at nothing!
Help Us Keep Prices Down
Use It up ... Wear it out. Make do ... Or do without.
A United States War message prepared by the War Advertising Council; approved
by the Office of War Information; and contributed by the Magazine Publishers of
Posted August 25, 2022
(updated from original post