Intel's Ronler Acres Plant

Silicon Forest

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Let's Go To War

$200 War Savings Bond Series E
WW2 was hugely expensive. It was financed by the sale of some umpteen zillion dollars of War Bonds. The U.S. Government financed one of the biggest advertising campaigns in history in order to sell these bonds. When you add up the totals, it looks like every man, woman and child bought $2,000 worth of War Bonds over the course of the war (four years). This was back when the average wage was $2,000 per year.

There are all kinds of stories about little old ladies and kids saving up their pennies to buy War Bonds, but I don't think it was great mass of people who financed the war. I think it was probably the richest 1% who bought the bulk of the bonds. If you added up all the bonds that working people bought it probably wouldn't have amounted to a hill of beans.

Now if this is true, and I don't have a shred of evidence to support my position, why would you need this huge advertising campaign? I mean the advertising campaign is going to hit everyone, but it's mostly going to be targeted at the working stiffs. They could buy all the bonds they want, but it's not going to finance WW2 like the government wanted.

I suspect the whole point of this huge advertising campaign was to get everyone to agree that supporting the war effort was a good and necessary thing. And from everyday social interactions, this commitment and agreement eventually percolated up through all the social classes, and the 1%-ers eventually came to see that it was a good thing and forked over the zillions of dollars the government needed.