A little Memorial Day contribution — found a book of 1943 war ration stamps in a box belonging to a passed relative. The name written on the book does not belong to my relative, so I’m not sure how they came into the family. Trying to imagine today’s war getting to the point where consumer goods were in a state of similar scarcity, or of Americans today tolerating having their bread, sugar, and gas dribbled out in thin streams by the Feds. But what really bakes my noodle is trying to imagine today’s government printing a tagline on any literature like “Be guided by the rule, ‘If you don’t need it, don’t buy it.'” Or that the U.S. Government once had an “Office of Price Administration.” The actual stamps are quite small – check the high-res versions on Flickr to see them in full glory.
Music: Bunny Wailer :: Bide
3 Replies to “Ration Stamps”
The ironic thing is that the only reason the US is you are having a war is to prevent having to ration consumer goods.
If you’re Consumers weren’t so upset at having to pay realistic prices for Fuel, you wouldn’t be at war.
Daniel, I wouldn’t say “the only reason,” but you’re right that there is a certain irony there. Trying to keep realistic oil prices out of the U.S. is definitely one factor driving the war, but I disagree that it was the most important driving force behind the Iraq war — I think it has more to do with A) control for its own sake and B) Bushco’s mistaken belief that a “war president” is automatically a popular president. And of course C) a misguided and misplaced “us vs. them” mentality that had to place its anger and energy somewhere re: 9/11, even if it did put it in the wrong place.
In the months after 9/11, we were actively encouraged to go out and Buy, Buy, Buy! A lot of people toned back their buying, and the answer – the actual suggestion from BushCo – was to buy, buy, buy! Rack up the credit card, and put that not-money into the economy and generate interest income for the banks while you’re at it!
So it really struck me, as I was wondering by an old print shop in Seattle’s Pike Market, to see a WWII era print with Mrs Jones proudly serving tea in chipped china – because rather than buy new china, she’d been saving and making do.
Sick at heart, I tell ya…