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High Prices-- Less To Eat WOMEN, whether they are workers or housewives, do most of the family buying. That means that one of their main jobs is turning the money in the pay envelopes into the greatest number of things the family needs--food, clothing, housing and all the other items that go to make up the budget. This means that as consumers women are vitally concerned with changes in prices and with learning everything possible about the quality of the goods they are buying. As workers, both men and women organize to obtain higher wages. Higher wages mean a higher standard of living. But if prices go up, too, workers are no better off, and in some cases they are worse off, than before they got wage increases. Today the family's income, which in the case of one-third of the population isn't even sufficient to provide the minimum necessities of life, is being chiseled away on all sides. Prices, as a result of the war, are steadily rising and the "experts" predict that they will continue to do so. The United States News, addressing itself to business men, observed in November, 1940, that "commodity prices have been rising at the rate of 2% a week--would double in a year." Sales taxes, which hit the low income group the hardest, are becoming more and more common as state legislatures look for a way to pay the bills without taking business or high incomes. 12 [[end page]] [[start page]] Income taxes have been revised to include incomes as low as $800 a year, while the big corporations spend thousands of dollars for lawyers who can devise way of avoiding payment of taxes on high incomes and mounting corporation profits. [[image: Sketch of family of three, including two females and one male, are being pushed back from a dinner table as it appears to be rising above their heads. The long pedestal of the table is labeled HIGH PRICES.]] Yet big business spokesmen, intent on the profits of war time, such as Alfred Sloan Jr., Senator Byrd and Senator Tydings demand that the people, including those 52,000,000 who even now don't get enough to eat, make sacrifices and that the workers work longer hours for less pay in the name of war and "defense." The goal of every worker is to be able to buy and consume more and more of the products that science and rich natural resources have made possible. A drive away from the production of articles families buy and use and toward the concentration on production of bombs and battleships puts that goal further and further off for millions of families. You can't eat battleships. And if the nation follows the advise of the big business, which believes, according to an editorial in Business Week, that the chief task today is to "produce more and more and consume less and less," there won't be much food to eat either. 13
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