Talk:United States home front during World War II

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An Alternative to Common perception[edit]

For the role of women in WWII, I found an article the rebukes most of the common perceptions society holds about them. http://www.lexisnexis.com/academic/guides/womens_studies/womlab.asp

that is indeed an excellent resource and I will add it to the bibliog. 11:10, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

Title[edit]

Any reason why this article doesn't have a normal, grammatical title?

there will eventually be a series of articles about the US Homefronts in different wars. What would be the best way to title the series? Rjensen 11:04, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
United States home front during World War II. If there are no significant objections I'll move it accordingly in a day or two. Blankfaze 00:27, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

Baby boom beginnings[edit]

My history teacher said that a large portion of the boom during early WWII was from couples attempting to render the man ineligible for recruitment. If this is verifiable, shouldn't it be mentioned? --67.10.175.242 08:44, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

babies born after dec 7 1941 did not "count" (no deferment) Rjensen 09:24, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

Drive[edit]

I see zero information here about drives! Rationing, yes, but what about that.. that thing where people were donating tons of old nylon and steel to the war effort, despite the military never actually using any of it since it was more expensive to recycle than to buy new, but that it was basically good for morale since everyone felt like they were helping out.. I learned-ed that in school.

I was thinking the same thing. There is an image but no info on the collections drives: rubber, metal, fat, stocking, furs, binoculars, etc. Rmhermen (talk) 23:47, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
Newspaper was a big deal, "tin" cans, tinfoil, lard (!), milkweed (I have a ref on that). Nearly everyone was saving something for what we would call today "recycling." Student7 (talk) 23:31, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

Tables Missing Units[edit]

The "Real Value Consumer Spending" Table is meaningless because it has no units. I assume the currency is dollars? Are they 1942 dollars? 1945 dollars? Is each year adjusted for inflation? Are these millions of dollars? Billions of dollars? I am assuming they are total dollars spent by all consumers, and not amount sent per capita because of the scale - I expect people spent more than $100 per person in a year and far less than $100,000 per person in a year - but who is to know when there are no units?

While I am not the author of that table, it does have meaning. (I am going on my interpretation of the table here, since I didn't make it.) What it shows is the relative amount of good people bought in a given year compared to some reference (1937). So, in 1945, the Japanese spent 78, vs 100 in 1937. This shows to me, that they spent quite a bit less... 22% less to be precise. Additionally, I would assume that the 100's for 1937 are not equal. I would assume they represent the nominal spending of each country but that they do not imply those countries spent the same in '37. I hope that helps clarify the meaning of the table. I agree it could be made clearer and better, but it does have meaning right now as is. Dachande 14:56, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

Importance in winning the war[edit]

I suggest that this article could highlight the importance of the home effort in helping to win the war. Michael H 34 (talk) 15:27, 5 February 2008 (UTC) Michael H 34

Well, part of the problem there is that there really isn't historical consensus as to how important the US home front was in winning the war. Obviously I'm not a reliable source, but I wrote my undergraduate thesis on the WWII homefront, and many of the sources I've read disagreed as to how much impact different aspects of the homefront had. The main bone of contention is the impact of individual actions - no one really disagrees that the shift from civilian production to war production was impactful, and the reasons for that are pretty obvious. The disagreement is over actions of individual civilians such as scrap drives or civilian defense drills. Natalie (talk) 18:33, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

First Paragraph in Taxes and Controls[edit]

Can someone verify the validity of the sentence claiming that Franklin D Roosevelt tried to impose a 100% tax on those earning over $25,000, this would result in the person earning no income. No politician would impose such a tax and I feel that a refference or citatation is needed to validate the statement. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.210.82.121 (talk) 05:17, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

I think it's pretty clear from context that the tax would have been on the portion of income over $25,000 annually, but maybe the syntax should be reworked.200.106.73.43 (talk) 07:01, 28 January 2009 (UTC)

Parodies of WW II cartoons of the home Front on Present day TV[edit]

At least 2 modern TV shows had brief parodies of World War II Home front cartoons:

  • Warner Bros Animaniacs has a brief clip of Warner bros and sister parody Archibald Willard's "The Spirit of 76" painting in which all three play instruments and fly the American flag on a rain swept battlefield.
  • Fox TV had a brief clip of Itchy and Scratchy about to hit Adolf Hitler with cartoon mallets —Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.83.126.88 (talk) 15:47, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

Why 1940?[edit]

This is a global encyclopedia. One the the perceived arrogances of the the USA by people elsewhere is the claim in much of its literature that WWII began in 1941 with Pearl Harbour. Most of the rest of the world regards it as having begun in 1939 with the German invasion of Poland. But the lead of this article begins with 1940. To suggest that the USA had not even noticed what was happening elsewhere before 1940 is a bit of an indictment on the country.

HiLo48 (talk) 20:23, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

However, the US didn't join the war until Pearl Harbor. So it didn't have a "homefront" until it had a war. I suggest it be changed to 1941. Dude1818 (talk) 02:52, 13 April 2010 (UTC)
Yes, you're right about no "home front" until 1941. A closer reading of the article and a look at the references suggests that 1940 is there because it was the year of Roosevelt's election for his third term, the term during which the USA entered the war. But nothing to do with the war in the early stages really. HiLo48 (talk) 08:36, 13 April 2010 (UTC)
The US became the "Arsenal of Democracy" and supplied the Allies starting in 1940; the supplies were a major concern of the homefront, thus 1940 is the best year to start the article. (Not much changed in 1939, so it's too early). Rjensen (talk) 12:45, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
American are arrogant? What should the "people elsewhere" who think the war ended 8May1945 be called? Believe me, I have some suggestions.
this article is entirely about "United States home front during World War II" ---many other countries are covered in Home front during World War II Rjensen (talk) 14:10, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

Drop in students[edit]

Text indicates that student-aged employment increased which was matched by a drop in total students. There may not be as much of a smoking gun here as imagined. People stopped having children, pretty much, during the Great Depression followed by the war from 1930-1945. There was a "baby bust." Empty classrooms, doubled classes in smaller areas. Attributing student drop to employment needs good proof. It would have dropped anyway. This "bust" continued until the kids born in 1946 started going to school in 1952, but still did not cause a lot of disruption until their numbers got larger in 1960 or so, requiring new classrooms and schools. Student7 (talk) 15:15, 4 February 2011 (UTC)

the number of births in the 1930s was HIGHER than in 1920s and there was no "baby bust" in 1930s. Public high school enrollment fell from 6.6 million to 5.6 million 1940-44, while the number of each age stayed the same. [Historical Statistics of US (1976) table H-424] Rjensen (talk) 14:33, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
You could be right. Nevertheless, I was born during this time frame and experienced "double grades" for two years because there were insufficient students to comprise an entire class full. One teacher for two grades. Two very different states. The rooms had been built to accommodate students of prior years. Most people were not encouraged to have children during the Depression when they were unsure of a steady income. Student7 (talk) 19:39, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
See, for example Baby Busts and Baby Booms; note chart in Post–World_War_II_baby_boom#Definition_of_the_boom_years; I think that is enough to prove the point. Student7 (talk) 22:18, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
no that is not a graph of the number of babies born --which held pretty constant 1928-1941 (at 2.4 million to 2.7 million a year) *since their were more adult women every year, the RATE per 1000 women declined) Rjensen (talk) 22:00, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

Unions on board?[edit]

An investigation into the sinking of the Normandie SS_Normandie#Demise, found the possibility that the mob had sunk it to aid the war effort for the other side. The US was not at war yet. This was a potential labor problem that was apparently cleared up before the official start of the war for the US. Probably should be pointed out somewhere. Like all these mob agreements, it caused lasting problems. Student7 (talk) 13:54, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

Inflation[edit]

I am forced to concede inflation during the war. 1.22. Meaning 22% for the four years, non compounded. 4% compounded? Just a guess. Can't figure out a way to use this inflation template to generate a percentage in the article. Student7 (talk) 20:49, 12 August 2011 (UTC)

inflation is too complex for brief treatment here--for example the cost of warplanes and most munitions fell very dramatically and thus lowered the inflation rate. People moved from rural areas with food gardens ()not counted in inflation) to factory cities with no gardens (so they bought food the once raised), hence higher inflation. Rjensen (talk) 00:05, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

Minor question on deliveries during war[edit]

Rjensen, I noticed that you rm dairies from home delivery. I assume that was because those deliveries were not stopped during the war?

Also I wondered about the "tires and gas" part. Gas was restricted to save tires though from the pov of civilians it doesn't make any difference (to this paragraph). If there was a czar someplace, youda thought that deliveries would have been subsidized to save tires of the average person each of whom had to go to the store. In other words, home delivery could be more efficient. Are we sure that deliveries had low priority on rationing? I can believe there weren't enough "delivery boys" since they had gone to war. Just questioning the tire/gas thing. Student7 (talk) 21:54, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

The cite states that—as common as it was—home delivery was a big inconvenience for stores prewar. Wartime rationing was a good reason to stop delivery service, although it and the labor shortage were both real motivations. The substantial (20%) increase in overall sales after it ended was an unexpected bonus for stores. I don't know why Rjensen deleted dairies; it was included with the other types of stores as among those that stopped delivering during the war. (Obviously not all dairies did, just as some department stores and others never stopped delivering during the war and after, but the cite is clear.) Ylee (talk) 00:02, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

Vandal[edit]

"Everyone agreed on the need for high taxes to pay for the war. Roosevelt tried unsuccessfully to impose a 100% tax on incomes over $25,000 (equal to $335,769 today), while Congress enlarged the base downward."

100%. Oh, really?

Also, "everyone agreed" seems pretty dubious to me. 173.112.123.172 (talk) 20:10, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

Some of this was actually before my time, but I reworded. Not 100% sure about accuracy of statement, but you can either finance a war through taxation or borrowing. By raising taxes, inflation is reduced and the pressure on prices reduced (along with rationing). And the less they needed to borrow. Borrowing constituted most of the financing anyway. Student7 (talk) 14:31, 5 March 2012 (UTC)
yes FDR proposed a 100% tax (on income over $25,000); it did not pass. Freidel says "He seemed to have few strongly fixed views on taxes, except for his insistence that somehow personal incomes be limited to $25000 after taxes. It was an idea to which he gave much effort." citation All factions in Congress did call for higher taxes, which indeed passed. The highest rate was 94% Rjensen (talk) 21:41, 5 March 2012 (UTC)