Control of Living Costs

September 18, 1957

Report Outline
Concern Over Steady Rise in Living Costs
Debate on Causes of Current Inflation
Attempts to Curb Wage-Price Spiral
Special Focus

Concern Over Steady Rise in Living Costs

Costs of living in the united states have been mounting steadily for a year and a half. The consumer price index compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics touched a new high in July for the eleventh consecutive month. The rise began, after three years of relative stability, in March 1956 and has been interrupted since then only by a slight decline in the one month of August 1956. The advance since the spring of 1956 now amounts to a full five per cent.

When the index figures for July were announced on Aug. 23, Senate Majority Leader Lyndon B. Johnson (D-Texas) warned that the mounting cost of living might “well become the dominant issue on the American scene,” Democratic National Chairman Paul M. Butler, announcing the appointment on Sept. 12 of an Advisory Committee on Economic Policy, said the high cost of living would be one of the first problems considered by the newly formed group. Butler blamed living cost increases on “the mistaken economic policies and fiscal mismanagement of the Republican administration.”

The administration itself made a dramatic anti-inflationary move on Sept. 13. Treasury Secretary Anderson announced the creation that day of a new advisory group of officials headed by President Eisenhower and including Anderson, Federal Reserve Board Chairman William Mc-Chesney Martin, Jr., Raymond J. Saulnier, chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers, and Gabriel Hauge, the President's special economic assistant. The group is to consult on the “financial aspects” of the upward price movement. Its formation gives the administration's anti-inflation planning top-level prestige and will have the special advantage, observers predict, of bringing the President and the Federal Reserve chairman into contact at frequent intervals.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Cost of Living and Wages
Apr. 17, 2020  Inequality in America
Sep. 08, 2017  Universal Basic Income
Apr. 08, 2016  Future of the Middle Class
Apr. 18, 2014  Wealth and Inequality
Jan. 24, 2014  Minimum Wage
Jun. 19, 2009  Rethinking Retirement
Mar. 06, 2009  Middle-Class Squeeze
Mar. 14, 2008  Gender Pay Gap
Dec. 16, 2005  Minimum Wage
Sep. 27, 2002  Living-Wage Movement
Apr. 17, 1998  Income Inequality
Oct. 27, 1978  Wage-Price Controls
Jun. 16, 1978  Military Pay and Benefits
Mar. 23, 1966  Rising Cost of Living
Oct. 25, 1961  Price-Wage Restraints in National Emergencies
Jun. 21, 1961  Wage Policy in Recovery
Jun. 11, 1958  Prices and Wages in the Recession
Sep. 18, 1957  Control of Living Costs
Nov. 02, 1955  Wages, Prices, Profits
Jan. 26, 1954  Minimum Wage Raise
Jan. 02, 1954  Cost of Living
Jan. 21, 1953  Guaranteed Annual Wage
Dec. 17, 1952  Future of Price and Wage Controls
Nov. 19, 1951  Fringe Benefits and Wage Stabilization
Dec. 06, 1950  Wage Control
Jun. 13, 1949  Wages in Deflation
Jun. 04, 1947  Guarantees of Wages and Employment
Oct. 29, 1946  Decontrol of Wages
Dec. 01, 1945  Minimum Wages
Sep. 29, 1945  Wage Policy
Oct. 27, 1944  Wage Security
May 17, 1943  Incentive Wage Payments
Aug. 25, 1941  Prices, Profits, and Wage Control
Apr. 28, 1941  Wartime Changes in the Cost of Living
Sep. 21, 1940  Two Years of the Wage-Hour Law
Nov. 01, 1938  Industry and Labor Under the Wage-Hour Act
Jan. 20, 1938  Wage Rates and Workers' Incomes
Apr. 11, 1935  The Cost of Living in the United States
Sep. 01, 1930  Wages and the Cost of Living
May 24, 1930  The Anthracite Wage Agreement
Feb. 20, 1925  Measure of Recovery in Profits and Wages Since 1920–21 Depression