Whip inflation now

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Plastic "WIN" sign

Whip Inflation Now (WIN) was an attempt to spur a grassroots movement to combat inflation, by encouraging personal savings and disciplined spending habits in combination with public measures, urged by U.S. President Gerald Ford. People who supported the mandatory and voluntary measures were encouraged to wear "WIN" buttons,[1] perhaps in hope of evoking in peacetime the kind of solidarity and voluntarism symbolized by the V-campaign during World War II.

The campaign began in earnest with the establishment by the 93rd Congress, of the National Commission on Inflation, which Ford closed with an address to the American people, asking them to send him a list of ten inflation-reducing ideas.[2] Ten days later, Ford declared inflation "public enemy number one" before Congress on October 8, 1974, in a speech entitled "Whip Inflation Now", announcing a series of proposals for public and private steps intended to directly affect supply and demand, in order to bring inflation under control. "WIN" buttons immediately became objects of ridicule; skeptics wore the buttons upside down, explaining that "NIM" stood for "No Immediate Miracles," or "Nonstop Inflation Merry-go-round," or "Need Immediate Money."

In his book The Age of Turbulence, Alan Greenspan as the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors recalled thinking "This is unbelievably stupid" when Whip Inflation Now was first presented to the White House. According to historian Yanek Mieczkowski, the public campaign was never meant to be the centerpiece of the anti-inflation program.[3]

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  1. ^ Cormier, Frank (Oct 10, 1974). "WIN buttons in high demand". Associated Press. Retrieved 11 January 2010. 
  2. ^ "WIN is losing". Washington Post. Dec 20, 1974. Retrieved 11 January 2010. [dead link]
  3. ^ Yanek Mieczkowski (2005). Gerald Ford and the challenges of the 1970s. Lexington, Ky.: Univ. Press of Kentucky. p. 134. ISBN 0-8131-2349-6. 
  4. ^ "Ford Calls for Action on Many Fronts to 'Whip Inflation Now': Sign Up, Get Free WIN Button". Watertown Daily Times. Associated Press. October 9, 1974. p. 7. 

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