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By Art Cashin
On this day in 1942, the U.S. Government invoked the war status to proclaim the rationing of gasoline. The public understood. With a war on (WWII in case you forgot) it was clear we needed to conserve fuel.
Well that was a nice thought. But the real reason that government decided to give out A-cards or B-cards was not gas. It was tires.
When the war began America had more than enough fuel to last two decades. But it had no rubber. So it had no tires. How do you conserve tires? Well, knowing Americans, they knew that if they banned the sale of new tires, folks would just drive the same way until the old ones wore out and then park the car permanently. (To say nothing of the potential of guys jacking up your car and stealing all four tires - - in
New York City, they can do that while you're driving.)
Anyway, the Washington wizards decided that the most effective way to save rubber was to get us to drive less. And the best way to do that was to ration gasoline.
To celebrate stop by the "Garage" but be careful not to get gassed up. And, while you are sipping your ration, try to figure what they are trying to conserve with the prices (and taxes) at the pump these days.
Many thanks to Mr. Cashin and UBS Financial Services who graciously allow his historical musings to be republished on this site. To enjoy more of Art's posts simply click on "Cashin's Comments" in the label section on the sidebar.