When that midnight-snacker pays an extra nickel for a hamburger seven times a week, he is only buying a little time for that thirty-five cents. No great load of hamburg will ever be dumped on the market as long as cattle-raisers have reason to expect greater profits by holding off. By refusing to pay for the luxury of immediate delivery, by making it a point to get by only on cheaper products through trade with more conscientious merchants, today's customers will find their coffers lined with more than cobwebs when tomorrow's sunnier hours arrive. As long as price controls are dormant, or if perchance they have already been effectually buried, the nation's buyers have only their own concerted action to guard them.
President Truman's slam at the Senate's version of price control bespeaks the Administration's lack of faith in the effectiveness of any halfway measures. When government fails, the power of restraint passes on to the larger business organizations. But no one can be encouraged by the callousness to the common interest illustrated with the "Let 'em go on relief" philosophy of Mr. Hayes of Hayes-Bick, or the "Take it out on Labor" doctrine of David Lawrence, or the pressure apparently put on the press to keep from the public the ominous picture of worthless values made up by figures on basic commodity prices. The consumer is his own last resort. A refusal to buy the time on which producers are speculating will leave the dollar with some value when production once more synchronizes itself with demand.