Sure you've got the money. So have lots of us. And yesterday it was all ours, to spend as we darn well pleased. But not today. Today it isn't ours alone.
"What do you mean, it isn't mine?"
It isn't yours to spend as you like. None of us can spend as we like today. Not if we want prices to stay down. There just aren't as many things to buy as there are dollars to spend. If we all start scrambling to buy everything in sight, prices can kite to hell-'n'-gone.
"You think I can really keep prices down?"
If you don't, who will? Uncle Sam can't do it alone. Every time you refuse to buy something you don't need, every time you refuse to pay more than the ceiling price, every time you shun a black market, you're helping to keep prices down.
"But I thought the government put a ceiling on prices."
You're right, a price ceiling for your protection. And it's up to you to pay no more than the ceiling price. If you do, you're party to a black market deal. And black markets not only boost prices — they cause shortages.
"Doesn't rationing take care of shortages?"
Your ration coupons will — if you use them wisely. Don't spend them unless you have to. Your ration book merely sets a limit on your purchases. Every coupon you don't use today means that much more for you — and everybody else — to share tomorrow.
"Then what do you want me to do with my money?"
Save it! Put it in the bank! Put it in life insurance! Pay off old debts and don't make new ones. Buy and hold War Bonds. Then your money can't force prices up. But it can speed the winning of the war. It can build a prosperous nation for you, your children, and our soldiers, who deserve a stable America to come home to. Keep your dollars out of circulation and they'll keep prices down. The government is helping — with taxes.
"Now wait! How do taxes help keep prices down?"
We've got to pay for this war sooner or later. It's easier and cheaper to pay as we go. And it's better to pay more taxes NOW — while we've got the extra money to do it. Every dollar put into taxes means a dollar less to boost prices. So...
Use it up ... Wear it out ... Make it do ... Or do without
[This advertising appeared in a number of U.S. magazines in early 1944.]