JUNE 8, 1942
WASHINGTON, Sunday—I have been getting some inquiries which lead me to believe that some people are still a little puzzled about the price control regulations. These regulations are an effort to keep down the cost of living, and to prevent people bidding against each other when they have the money and goods are scarce, which sends the price up.
Since May 18, stores cannot charge more for the articles which come under OPA regulations than they charged in their particular store at the highest peak in March. This price is called a ceiling price and obviously it may vary in different stores. Stores may sell below this price, so the public may find sales going on of certain articles, but no store can sell above its own ceiling price. You should find posted in the store, or on the price tags "of cost of living commodities," notices giving these prices, which cover the articles considered most important in our daily living.
There are no ceiling prices set on fresh fruits and vegetables, and there are a few other food products exempted from the regulations until they attain the price level prescribed by Congress. Bread, milk, beef and pork and all clothing and household furnishings are covered, however, by ceiling prices. On July 1, ceiling prices on some services will become effective. For instance, laundries and dry cleaning will come under this regulation, but professional services, motion pictures and other entertainments will not be covered.
The income of the people of the country as a whole has gone up. therefore, there is more money to spend. But the amount of what we can produce for civilian use will be far below what we have to spend and if we do not put a definite top price on goods, which price cannot be changed, we will see prices go up.
This is only one step in the program to prevent inflation. Next, debts must be reduced. We must have wider rationing in order that people may share equally in what is produced for civilian use. Wages must be stabilized when once we really succeed in keeping down the cost of living. This last step cannot be taken, however, until we have machinery whereby we can prevent wages from being depressed by various methods which may come into use if proper supervision is not exercised.