Saturday, September 10, 2011

What Happened to the Victory Garden?

Back in WWII, our country's debt to GDP ratio was around 120%, which is higher than even today although our current ratio of about 100% is nominally larger. We are fortunate that the government has not imposed on us a rationing system (other than the prices that serve to ration goods in a market system).

When the nation was in deep debt during WWII, residents were encouraged to grow their own food in a back yard "victory garden." The name comes from the idea that we'd be able to better feed our troops and domestic residents with the assistance of such gardens. I want to know why there's not a push for more victory gardens today.

Growing a substantial amount of one's own food encourages saving, which we will need to pay off some of this debt. There are also positive environmental effects of eating extremely locally. The country could save some on fuel costs from transporting produce. With more mouths fed at home, we could export more of our industrial agriculture, thus helping the balance of trade.

Overall, we would be more productive at home. We could have more household saving and use some of that to pay down our national debt. Victory gardening is something that you can do even if you're unemployed or lack the resources to save in other ways. All you need is a little bit of dirt and water.
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