A veteran is a person who has had long service or experience in a particular occupation or field. A military veteran is a person, no longer serving in the armed forces; those veterans that have had direct exposure to acts of military conflict may be referred to as war veterans. A combat veteran is a person who has fought in combat during a war or a skirmish against a declared enemy and may still be serving in the military. Military veterans receive special treatment in their respective countries due to the sacrifices they made during wars. Different countries handle this differently: some support veterans through government programs, while others ignore them. Veterans are subject to illnesses directly related to their military service such as posttraumatic stress disorder. War veterans are treated with great respect and honour for their contribution to the world and country by their own nationals. Conversely there are negative feelings towards the veterans of foreign nations held long after the war is over.
There are exceptions. Veterans of unpopular or lost conflicts may be discriminated against. Veterans of short or small conflicts are forgotten when the country fought bigger conflicts. In some countries with strong anti-military traditions, veterans are neither honoured in any special way by the general public, nor have their dedicated Veterans Day, although events are sometimes orchestrated by minority groups. Many countries have longstanding traditions and holidays to honour their veterans. In the UK, "Remembrance Day" is held on November the 11th and is focused on the veterans who died in service to the monarch and country. A red or white poppy is worn on the lapel in the weeks up to the date, wreaths and flowers laid at memorials to the dead. In Russia, a tradition was established after World War II where newly married couples would on their wedding day visit a military cemetery. In France, for instance, those wounded in war are given the first claim on any seat on public transit. Most countries have a holiday such as Veterans Day to honour their veterans, along with the war dead.
In Zimbabwe, the term veteran is used for political purpose and may not refer to someone that participated in a war, but still feels entitled to some benefit because of association with a cause for which there had been an actual war. Britain, with its historic distrust of standing armies, did little for its veterans before the 19th century, it did set up two small hospitals for them in the 1680s. In London and other cities the streets teemed with disfigured veterans begging for alms; the First World War focused national attention on veterans those, or wholly disabled. The King's National Roll Scheme was an employment program for disabled veterans of the First World War. Kowalsky says it was practical and ahead of its time and was the most important piece of legislation enacted for disabled veterans in interwar Britain. In addition to direct aid, it stimulated a national discussion regarding the need for employment programs for disabled veterans and the responsibility of the state, setting up a future demand for more benefits.
In the 21st century, Britain has one of the highest densities of veterans in a major country, with 13 million in 2000, or 219 per 1,000 population. Some veterans from the Belgian commitment of the Congolese to WWII live in communities throughout the Congo. Though they received compensation from the government during the rule of the dictator Mobutu Sese Seko, after his overthrow they no longer receive pensions; the most common usage is for former armed services personnel. A veteran is one who has served in the armed forces one who has served in combat; the National Guard and Reserve is included. It is applied to those who served for an entire career of 20 years or more, but may be applied for someone who has only served one tour of duty. A common misconception is that only those who have served in combat or those who have retired from active duty can be called military veterans. In 1990, 40% of young Americans had a veteran for a parent. In 2016, of the veterans who were born outside of the United States and Filipino Americans made up the two largest populations, with 3% of all veterans having been born outside of the United States.
As of 2017 there are some 21 million American veterans. According to the Pew Research Center, "Among men, only 4% of millennials are veterans, compared with 47%" of men in their 70s and 80s, "many of whom came of age during the Korean War and its aftermath." President Abraham Lincoln, in his second inaugural address in 1865 towards the end of the American Civil War, famously called for good treatment of veterans: "o care for him who shall have borne the battle, for his widow, his orphan". The American Civil War produced veterans' organizations, such as the Grand Army of the Republic and United Confederate Veterans; the treatment of veterans changed after the First World War. In the years following, discontented veterans became a source of instability, they could organize, had links to the army and had arms themselves. The Bonus Army of unemployed veterans was one of the most important protest movements of the Great Depression, marching on Washington, D. C. to get a claimed bonus now. Each
According to many definitions, a disability is an impairment that may be cognitive, intellectual, physical, sensory, or some combination of these. Other definitions describe disability as the societal disadvantage arising from such impairments. Disability affects a person's life activities and may be present from birth or occur during a person's lifetime. Disabilities is an umbrella term, covering impairments, activity limitations, participation restrictions. An impairment is a problem in body structure. Disability is thus not just a health problem, it is a complex phenomenon, reflecting the interaction between features of a person’s body and features of the society in which he or she lives. Disability is a contested concept, with different meanings in different communities, it may be used to refer to physical or mental attributes that some institutions medicine, view as needing to be fixed. It may refer to limitations imposed on people by the constraints of an ableist society. Or the term may serve to refer to the identity of disabled people.
Physiological functional capacity is a related term that describes an individual's performance level. It gauges one's ability to perform the physical tasks of daily life and the ease with which these tasks are performed. PFC declines with advancing age to result in frailty, cognitive disorders or physical disorders, all of which may lead to labeling individuals as disabled; the discussion over disability's definition arose out of disability activism in the United States and the United Kingdom in the 1970s, which challenged how the medical concept of disability dominated perception and discourse about disabilities. Debates about proper terminology and their implied politics continue in disability communities and the academic field of disability studies. In some countries, the law requires that disabilities are documented by a healthcare provider in order to assess qualifications for disability benefits. For the purposes of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regulations provide a list of conditions that should be concluded to be disabilities: deafness, blindness, an intellectual disability or missing limbs or mobility impairments requiring the use of a wheelchair, cancer, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, Human Immunodeficiency Virus infection, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, schizophrenia.
Contemporary understandings of disability derive from concepts that arose during the West's scientific Enlightenment. During the Middle Ages and other conditions were thought to be caused by demons, they were thought to be part of the natural order during and in the fallout of the Plague, which wrought impairments throughout the general population. In the early modern period there was a shift to seeking biological causes for physical and mental differences, as well as heightened interest in demarcating categories: for example, Ambroise Pare, in the sixteenth century, wrote of "monsters", "prodigies", "the maimed"; the European Enlightenment's emphases on knowledge derived from reason and on the value of natural science to human progress helped spawn the birth of institutions and associated knowledge systems that observed and categorized human beings. Contemporary concepts of disability are rooted in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century developments. Foremost among these was the development of clinical medical discourse, which made the human body visible as a thing to be manipulated and transformed.
These worked in tandem with scientific discourses that sought to classify and categorize and, in so doing, became methods of normalization. The concept of the "norm" developed in this time period, is signaled in the work of the Belgian statistician, sociologist and astronomer Adolphe Quetelet, who wrote in the 1830s of l'homme moyen – the average man. Quetelet postulated that one could take the sum of all people's attributes in a given population and find their average, that this figure should serve as a norm toward which all should aspire; this idea of a statistical norm threads through the rapid take up of statistics gathering by Britain, United States, the Western European states during this time period, it is tied to the rise of eugenics. Disability, as well as other concepts including: abnormal, non-normal, normalcy came from this; the circulation of these concepts is evident in the popularity of the freak show, where showmen profited from exhibiting people who deviated from those norms.
With the rise of eugenics in the latter part of the nineteenth century, such deviations were viewed as dangerous to the health of entire populations. With disability viewed as part of a person's biological make-up and thus their genetic inheritance, scientists turned their attention to notions of weeding such "deviations" out of the gene pool. Various metrics for assessing a person's genetic fitness, which were used to deport, sterilize, or institutionalize those deemed unfit. At the end of the Second World War, with the example of Nazi eugenics, eugenics faded from public discourse, d
American Theater (World War II)
The American Theater describes a series of minor areas of operations during World War II within mainland North America and South America. This was due to both North and South America's geographical separation from the central theaters of conflict in Europe, the Pacific, Asia. Thus, any full-scale threat by the Axis Powers to invade the continental United States or other areas within mainland North and South Americas was considered negligible, allowing for American resources to be deployed in overseas theaters; this article includes attacks on continental territory, extending 200 miles into the ocean, today under the sovereignty of Canada, the United States and several other smaller states. The best known events in North America during World War II were the Aleutian Islands Campaign, the Battle of the St. Lawrence, the attacks on Newfoundland; the first naval battle during the war was fought on December 13, 1939, off the Atlantic coast of South America. The German "pocket battleship" Admiral Graf Spee encountered one of the British naval units searching for her.
Composed of three Royal Navy cruisers, HMS Exeter and Achilles, the unit was patrolling off the River Plate estuary of Argentina and Uruguay. In a bloody engagement, Admiral Graf Spee repulsed the British attacks. Captain Hans Langsdorff brought his damaged ship to shelter in neutral Uruguay for repairs. However, British intelligence deceived Langsdorff into believing that a much superior British force had now gathered to wait for him, he scuttled his ship at Montevideo to save his crew's lives before committing suicide. German combat losses were 28 wounded. Two Royal Navy cruisers had been damaged. U-boat operations in the region began in autumn 1940. After negotiations with Brazilian Foreign Minister Osvaldo Aranha, the U. S. introduced its Air Force along Brazil's coast in the second half of 1941. Germany and Italy subsequently extended their submarine attacks to include Brazilian ships wherever they were, from April 1942 were found in Brazilian waters. On 22 May 1942, the first Brazilian attack was carried out by Brazilian Air Force aircraft on the Italian submarine Barbarigo.
After a series of attacks on merchant vessels off the Brazilian coast by U-507, Brazil entered the war on 22 August 1942, offering an important addition to the Allied strategic position in the South Atlantic. Although the Brazilian Navy was small, it had modern minelayers suitable for coastal convoy escort and aircraft which needed only small modifications to become suitable for maritime patrol. During its three years of war in Caribbean and South Atlantic, alone and in conjunction with the U. S. Brazil escorted 3,167 ships in 614 convoys, totalling 16,500,000 tons, with losses of 0.1%. Brazil saw three of 486 men killed in action. American and Brazilian air and naval forces worked together until the end of the Battle. One example was the sinking of U-199 in July 1943, by a coordinated action of Brazilian and American aircraft. Only in Brazilian waters, eleven other Axis submarines were known sunk between January and September 1943—the Italian Archimede and ten German boats: U-128, U-161, U-164, U-507, U-513, U-590, U-591, U-598, U-604, U-662.
By fall 1943, the decreasing number of Allied shipping losses in South Atlantic coincided with the increasing elimination of Axis submarines operating there. From the battle in the region was lost for Germans with the most of remaining submarines in the region receiving official order of withdrawal only in August of the following year, with the last Allied merchant ship sunk by a U-boat there, on 10 March 1945. Before the war, a large Nazi spy ring was found operating in the United States; the Duquesne Spy Ring is still the largest espionage case in United States history that ended in convictions. The 33 German agents who formed the Duquesne spy ring were placed in key jobs in the United States to get information that could be used in the event of war and to carry out acts of sabotage. One man used his position to get information from his customers; the ring was led by Captain Fritz Joubert Duquesne, a South African Boer who spied for Germany in both World Wars and is best known as "The man who killed Kitchener" after he was awarded the Iron Cross for his key role in the sabotage and sinking of HMS Hampshire in 1916.
William G. Sebold, a double agent for the United States, was a major factor in the FBI's successful resolution of this case. For nearly two years, Sebold ran a secret radio station in New York for the ring. Sebold provided the FBI with information on what Germany was sending to its spies in the United States while allowing the FBI to control the information, being transmitted to Germany. On June 29, 1941, six months before the U. S. declared war, the FBI acted. All 33 spies were arrested, found or plead guilty, sentenced to serve a total of over 300 years in prison. After declaring war on the United States following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Adolf Hitler ordered the remaining German saboteurs to wreak havoc on America; the responsibility for carrying this out was given to German Intelligence. In the spr
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
United States Armed Forces
The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States of America. It consists of the Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard; the President of the United States is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and forms military policy with the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security, both federal executive departments, acting as the principal organs by which military policy is carried out. All five armed services are among the seven uniformed services of the United States. From the time of its inception, the U. S. Armed Forces played a decisive role in the history of the United States. A sense of national unity and identity was forged as a result of victory in the First Barbary War and the Second Barbary War. So, the founders of the United States were suspicious of a permanent military force, it played a critical role in the American Civil War, continuing to serve as the armed forces of the United States, although a number of its officers resigned to join the military of the Confederate States.
The National Security Act of 1947, adopted following World War II and during the Cold War's onset, created the modern U. S. military framework. The Act established the National Military Establishment, headed by the Secretary of Defense, it was amended in 1949, renaming the National Military Establishment the Department of Defense, merged the cabinet-level Department of the Army, Department of the Navy, Department of the Air Force, into the Department of Defense. The U. S. Armed Forces are one of the largest militaries in terms of the number of personnel, it draws its personnel from a large pool of paid volunteers. Although conscription has been used in the past in various times of both war and peace, it has not been used since 1973, but the Selective Service System retains the power to conscript males, requires that all male citizens and residents residing in the U. S. between the ages of 18–25 register with the service. On February 22, 2019, however, a federal judge ruled that registering only males for Selective Service is unconstitutional.
As of 2017, the U. S. spends about US$610 billion annually to fund its military forces and Overseas Contingency Operations. Put together, the U. S. constitutes 40 percent of the world's military expenditures. The U. S. Armed Forces has significant capabilities in both defense and power projection due to its large budget, resulting in advanced and powerful technologies which enables a widespread deployment of the force around the world, including around 800 military bases outside the United States; the U. S. Air Force is the world's largest air force, the U. S. Navy is the world's largest navy by tonnage, the U. S. Navy and the U. S. Marine Corps combined are the world's second largest air arm. In terms of size, the U. S. Coast Guard is the world's 12th largest naval force; the history of the U. S. Armed Forces dates to 14 June 1775, with the creation of the Continental Army before the Declaration of Independence marked the establishment of the United States; the Continental Navy, established on 13 October 1775, Continental Marines, established on 10 November 1775, were created in close succession by the Second Continental Congress in order to defend the new nation against the British Empire in the American Revolutionary War.
These forces demobilized in 1784. The Congress of the Confederation created the current United States Army on 3 June 1784; the United States Congress created the current United States Navy on 27 March 1794 and the current United States Marine Corps on 11 July 1798. All three services trace their origins to their respective Continental predecessors; the 1787 adoption of the Constitution gave the Congress the power to "raise and support armies", to "provide and maintain a navy" and to "make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces", as well as the power to declare war. The President is the U. S. Armed Forces' commander-in-chief; the United States Coast Guard traces its origin to the founding of the Revenue Cutter Service on 4 August 1790 which merged with the United States Life-Saving Service on 28 January 1915 to establish the Coast Guard. The United States Air Force was established as an independent service on 18 September 1947. S. Signal Corps, formed 1 August 1907 and was part of the Army Air Forces before becoming an independent service as per the National Security Act of 1947.
The United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps was considered to be a branch of the United States Armed Forces from 29 July 1945 until its status as such was revoked on 3 July 1952. On March 1st, 2019, the Department of Defense sent a proposal to Congress that would establish the United States Space Force as an independent military service within the Department of the Air Force. If approved, this would become the sixth military service branch to be created. Command over the U. S. Armed Forces is established in the Constitution; the sole power of command is vested in the President by Article II as Commander-in-Chief. The Constitution presumes the existence of "executive Departments" headed by "principal officers", whose appointment mechanism is provided for in the Appointments Clause; this allowance in the Constitution formed the basis for creation of the Department of Defense in 1947 by the National Security Act. The DoD is headed by the Secretary of Defense, a civilian and member of the Cabinet.
The Defense Secretary is second in the U. S. Armed Forces chain of command, with the exception of the Coast Guard, under the Secretary of Homeland Security, is just below the President and serves as the
Washington, D. C. formally the District of Columbia and referred to as Washington or D. C. is the capital of the United States. Founded after the American Revolution as the seat of government of the newly independent country, Washington was named after George Washington, first President of the United States and Founding Father; as the seat of the United States federal government and several international organizations, Washington is an important world political capital. The city is one of the most visited cities in the world, with more than 20 million tourists annually; the signing of the Residence Act on July 16, 1790, approved the creation of a capital district located along the Potomac River on the country's East Coast. The U. S. Constitution provided for a federal district under the exclusive jurisdiction of the U. S. Congress, the District is therefore not a part of any state; the states of Maryland and Virginia each donated land to form the federal district, which included the pre-existing settlements of Georgetown and Alexandria.
The City of Washington was founded in 1791 to serve as the new national capital. In 1846, Congress returned the land ceded by Virginia. Washington had an estimated population of 702,455 as of July 2018, making it the 20th most populous city in the United States. Commuters from the surrounding Maryland and Virginia suburbs raise the city's daytime population to more than one million during the workweek. Washington's metropolitan area, the country's sixth largest, had a 2017 estimated population of 6.2 million residents. All three branches of the U. S. federal government are centered in the District: Congress and the U. S. Supreme Court. Washington is home to many national monuments, museums situated on or around the National Mall; the city hosts 177 foreign embassies as well as the headquarters of many international organizations, trade unions, non-profit, lobbying groups, professional associations, including the World Bank Group, the International Monetary Fund, the Organization of American States, AARP, the National Geographic Society, the Human Rights Campaign, the International Finance Corporation, the American Red Cross.
A locally elected mayor and a 13‑member council have governed the District since 1973. However, Congress may overturn local laws. D. C. residents elect a non-voting, at-large congressional delegate to the House of Representatives, but the District has no representation in the Senate. The District receives three electoral votes in presidential elections as permitted by the Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified in 1961. Various tribes of the Algonquian-speaking Piscataway people inhabited the lands around the Potomac River when Europeans first visited the area in the early 17th century. One group known as the Nacotchtank maintained settlements around the Anacostia River within the present-day District of Columbia. Conflicts with European colonists and neighboring tribes forced the relocation of the Piscataway people, some of whom established a new settlement in 1699 near Point of Rocks, Maryland. In his Federalist No. 43, published January 23, 1788, James Madison argued that the new federal government would need authority over a national capital to provide for its own maintenance and safety.
Five years earlier, a band of unpaid soldiers besieged Congress while its members were meeting in Philadelphia. Known as the Pennsylvania Mutiny of 1783, the event emphasized the need for the national government not to rely on any state for its own security. Article One, Section Eight, of the Constitution permits the establishment of a "District as may, by cession of particular states, the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States". However, the Constitution does not specify a location for the capital. In what is now known as the Compromise of 1790, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson came to an agreement that the federal government would pay each state's remaining Revolutionary War debts in exchange for establishing the new national capital in the southern United States. On July 9, 1790, Congress passed the Residence Act, which approved the creation of a national capital on the Potomac River; the exact location was to be selected by President George Washington, who signed the bill into law on July 16.
Formed from land donated by the states of Maryland and Virginia, the initial shape of the federal district was a square measuring 10 miles on each side, totaling 100 square miles. Two pre-existing settlements were included in the territory: the port of Georgetown, founded in 1751, the city of Alexandria, founded in 1749. During 1791–92, Andrew Ellicott and several assistants, including a free African American astronomer named Benjamin Banneker, surveyed the borders of the federal district and placed boundary stones at every mile point. Many of the stones are still standing. A new federal city was constructed on the north bank of the Potomac, to the east of Georgetown. On September 9, 1791, the three commissioners overseeing the capital's construction named the city in honor of President Washington; the federal district was named Columbia, a poetic name for the United States in use at that time. Congress held its first session in Washington on November 17, 1800. Congress passed the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1801 that organized the District and placed the entire territory under the exclusive control of the federal
United States home front during World War II
The home front of the United States in World War II supported the war effort in many ways, including a wide range of volunteer efforts and submitting to government-managed rationing and price controls. There was a general feeling of agreement that the sacrifices were for the national good "for the duration." The labor market changed radically. Peacetime conflicts with respect to race and labor took on a special dimension because of the pressure for national unity; the Hollywood film industry was important for propaganda. Every aspect of life from politics to personal savings changed; this was achieved by tens of millions of workers moving from low to high productivity jobs in industrial centers. Millions of students, retirees and unemployed moved into the active labor force; the hours they had to work increased as time for leisure activities declined sharply. Gasoline and clothing were rationed. Most families were allocated 3 US gallons of gasoline a week, which curtailed driving for any purpose.
Production of most durable goods, like cars, new housing, vacuum cleaners, kitchen appliances, was banned until the war ended. In industrial areas housing was in short supply as people lived in cramped quarters. Prices and wages were controlled. Americans saved a high portion of their incomes. Federal tax policy was contentious during the war, with President Franklin D. Roosevelt opposing a conservative coalition in Congress. However, both sides agreed on the need for high taxes to pay for the war: top marginal tax rates ranged from 81%-94% for the duration of the war, the income level subject to the highest rate was lowered from $5,000,000 to $200,000. Roosevelt tried unsuccessfully, by executive order 9250, to impose a 100% surtax on after-tax incomes over $25,000. However, Roosevelt did manage to impose this cap on executive pay in corporations with government contracts. Congress enlarged the tax base by lowering the minimum income to pay taxes, by reducing personal exemptions and deductions.
By 1944 nearly every employed person was paying federal income taxes. Many controls were put on the economy; the most important were price controls, imposed on most products and monitored by the Office of Price Administration. Wages were controlled. Corporations dealt with numerous agencies the War Production Board, the War and Navy departments, which had the purchasing power and priorities that reshaped and expanded industrial production. In 1942 a rationing system was begun to guarantee minimum amounts of necessities to everyone and prevent inflation. Tires were the first item to be rationed in January 1942 because supplies of natural rubber were interrupted. Gasoline rationing proved an better way to allocate scarce rubber. In June 1942 the Combined Food Board was set up to coordinate the worldwide supply of food to the Allies, with special attention to flows from the U. S. and Canada to Britain. By 1943 one needed government issued ration coupons to purchase coffee, meat, butter, margarine, canned foods, dried fruits, gasoline, fuel oil, silk or nylon stockings and many other items.
Some items, like automobiles and home appliances, were no longer made. The rationing system did not apply to used goods like clothes or cars, but they became more expensive since they were not subject to price controls. To get a classification and a book of rationing stamps, one had to appear before a local rationing board; each person in a household received a ration book, including children. When purchasing gasoline, a driver had to present a gas card along with cash. Ration stamps were valid only for a set period to forestall hoarding. All forms of automobile racing were banned, including the Indianapolis 500, cancelled from 1942 to 1945. Sightseeing driving was banned. Personal income was at an all-time high, more dollars were chasing fewer goods to purchase; this was a recipe for economic disaster, avoided because Americans—persuaded daily by their government to do so—were saving money at an all-time high rate in War Bonds but in private savings accounts and insurance policies. Consumer saving was encouraged through investment in war bonds that would mature after the war.
Most workers had an automatic payroll deduction. Bond rallies were held throughout the U. S. with famous celebrities Hollywood film stars, to enhance the bond advertising effectiveness. Several stars were responsible for personal appearance tours that netted multiple millions of dollars in bond pledges—an astonishing amount in 1943; the public paid ¾ of the face value of a war bond and received the full face value back after a set number of years. This shifted their consumption from the war to postwar, allowed over 40% of GDP to go to military spending, with moderate inflation. Americans were challenged to put "at least 10% of every paycheck into Bonds". Compliance was high, with entire factories of workers earning a special "Minuteman" flag to fly over their plant if all workers belonged to the "Ten Percent Club". There were seven major War Loan drives; the unemployment problem ended with the mobilization for war. Out of a labor force of 54 million, unemployment fell in half from 7.7 million in spring 1940 to 3.4 million in fall 1941 and fell in half again to 1.5 million in fall 1942, hitting an all-ti