What good is a $10.00 raise … if it then costs you $12.00 more to live? (May, 1945)

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. 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.

So what good is a raise if your living costs go up even faster?

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… start doing these seven things now…
1. Buy only what you need. Take care of what you have.
2. Don’t try to profit from the war. Don’t ask more than you absolutely must for what you have to sell.
3. Pay no more than ceiling prices. Buy rationed goods only by exchanging stamps.
4. Pay taxes willingly.
5. Pay off your old debts—all of them.
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!

Use it up … Wear it out. Make it do … Or do without.


  1. rsterling78 says: July 3, 20089:18 pm

    “Of course, it’s hard to give up the luxuries of life … and even harder to give up some of the necessities.”

    Uh, yeah. It’s really hard to give up the necessities of life. In fact, it’s impossible. That’s why they’re called necessities.

  2. Blurgle says: July 3, 20089:35 pm

    What propaganda. “Remember your place, little sub-human; money and comfort aren’t for people like you. Learn to get by without necessities so your betters can live in greater luxury.”

  3. Casandro says: July 3, 200811:22 pm

    I wonder why anybody should even bother buying war bonds. I mean you have to pay the war anyhow, it’s not like any war ever will bring back some money, except for companies like Halliburton or Blackwater.

    So essentially you lend your government money, you have to pay back yourself.

  4. Charlie says: July 4, 20082:08 pm

    Actually, it’s kind of backwards from today. Yes, they were asking people to buy war bonds, but in 1945 no one really had doubts as to the ability of the US Govt. to repay debt. It’s actually a pretty amazing thing, they were telling the people not to buy stuff they didn’t need. The exact opposite of what happened during our current war. Also, during WWII the federal income tax on the highest tax bracket was 94%. Not that rich people didn’t find ways to get out of it, of course they did, and they profited from the war as well. But at least they had the decency to admit they *should* pay a higher burden because of their wealth.

  5. Gazzie says: July 4, 20082:37 pm

    I’m 74 years young and these three previous comments cut me to the bone and I must respond.

    To rsterling78… it didn’t state “necessities of life.” It said “necessities” and I and everyone else did without a lot of them… like new clothes (my mom was alyways patching them) and new shoes(my dad put new soles on them) and we didn’t eat steak.

    To Blurgle… Yes it was propaganda… but it wasn’t the type that Hitler was espousing. We weren’t “Little Sub-Humans” getting by without necessities… we were regular people helping our country in time of need… and the rich people did live in greater luxury, but if you check you’ll see that they also gave and sacrificed.

    To Casandro… We bought war bonds to invest in our country because we knew we had to defeat Hitler in Europe… because if we didn’t… America would be next. Plus, the bonds paid off… look at the

  6. Daniel says: July 5, 20084:47 am

    The combination of “printing money” and effecting wage-and-price controls taxes the economy in ways that people feel but don’t recognize as taxes — shortages, waiting lines, and misallocations. Actually, it’s much more economically efficient to overtly tax. And guys like Adam Smith wanted a balanced budget in war-time so that people would recognize the cost of war!

  7. ratpack says: July 5, 20081:33 pm

    there is truth in this article.
    Lets put it this way. If the minimum wage was raised so that no one made below 30K a year to get rid of poverty. inflation would run unchecked the price of all goods would rise. Then 30K a year would be the new poverty level. So what good is a $10 raise when it cost you $12 more to live?

  8. Casandro says: July 5, 20082:03 pm

    Well actually having a low wage-level is actually a plus for some countries. Now that, for example, people in the US essentially work for free, german companies outsource their labor intensive jobs to the US. One example is BMW, which now let’s people in the US build their cars. Don’t know about the quality, but that’s not really important in that area of the car business.

  9. WDW says: July 5, 20082:58 pm

    Correction: date in the image is 1944. Date on the blog is 1945.

  10. Daniel says: July 5, 200810:52 pm

    There is a lot of confusion here based on the assumption that people will have more money if the wage rate is increased. Raising the wage rate can only increase how much people are paid if there is more money to pay those wages. Otherwise, and increased wage rate will simply cause people to be dismissed. Any sustained, over-all increase in prices requires either that there be a increase in the supply of money, or a decrease in the supply of goods!

  11. Casandro says: July 5, 200811:22 pm

    Well but not getting a raise does not mean there’s no inflation. For example in the last few years, the value of the dollar dropped from more than one euro down to about 60 cents. I don’t think people got that high raises.

  12. ratpack says: July 6, 20082:01 pm

    Inflation and the exchange rate are not the same thing. inflation is a local indicator of how much a dollar buys, the exchange rate is a globe indicator and is a relative comparison between 2 country’s . they can effect each other how ever the current exchange rate is caused more by Differentials in interest rates between the USA and Europe then inflation rates.

  13. Rawkstah says: July 7, 20084:41 am

    Wasn’t really shocked to see the knee-jerk, anti-sense posts. It’s common to see today’s public school “educated” kids fail to recognize basic economics. Nevermind the fact that most Americans actually heeded this advice and prospered (failed history class too), they willingly did then what most enviro-fascists wish to impose on us today (ie, recycle, reduce, reuse).

    Heard NYC just banned cannolis; take that Hitle…. oh wait, that helped no one win anything. I guess I’ll go plant a Victory Garden anyway.


  14. TMK says: July 7, 200810:48 am

    @Casandro — July 5, 2008 @ 11:22 pm

    Sorry Casandro: http://oregonstate.edu/…

    “What good is a federal minimum wage raise if it costs you purchasing power?”

    As for our devalued curency, that is the result of our horrible and dishonest fiduciary banking system.

  15. Jon says: July 8, 200812:16 pm

    What happens if you DON’T get that $10 raise and it STILL costs $12 more to live?

  16. Ben says: July 19, 200810:40 pm

    @ Gazzie –
    This is simply a reply to your first point.

    The basis of your statement is flawed, that it did not say “necessities of life”, merely “necessities”. The “of life” is implied, as it would be redundant and excessive to state it again. This is frequently used in order to shorten and improve the flow of sentences.

  17. Uncle B says: August 27, 20086:34 am

    Sell out of the suburbs and head for the hills and a Victory garden around and eco-home! The uber-rich have run out of coffers to pilfer, they did the corporate raids, they ate real-estate alive, they ran the price of oil, they stole the world’s gold, they even tried to screw Russia, they went to war for the military/industrial complex and huge profits, they sold us SUV’s all the way up to the ridiculously extravagant Hummer(design center = 4 years), they ran the world prices of grain to the point of starvation in some countries, and they poured billions into ‘nation building’ in Iraq for their own profit! We are next, they will find a way, and screw us too! They will die, or kill us preferably, before they give up there horrendously extravagant lifestyles. beware the hungry uber-rich in their private jets and multiple mansions! We are all they have left to eat, and they are insatiable!

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