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allotment of scarce supplies, usually by governmental decree, to provide equitable distribution. It may be employed also to conserve economic resources and to reinforce price and production controls. Originally used in community emergencies and in distributing supplies to sailors, rationing was first organized on a national scale in Great Britain during World War I, and during World War II it spread to most of the world. The methods used have varied according to the degree of rationing needed and to the products. Rationing methods include specific rationing, or allotment in terms of physical units; point rationing, the allotment of points (ration stamps) to be apportioned by the user among commodities of a given group; and value rationing, allotment in terms of expenditure. Rations may be allotted to individuals, institutions, and industrial users, or to communities, as in rural areas of undeveloped countries. In universal rationing, ration currency is issued to everyone in equal amounts; in differential rationing, the allocation is based on need and may vary according to occupation, age, sex, or health. In the so-called flow-back system, ration currency, usually distributed by the government to the consumer, moves upward from the consumer level to the manufacturer or processor as the product moves down. During World War II, rationing in the United States was administered by the Office of Price AdministrationOffice of Price Administration
(OPA), U.S. federal agency in World War II, established to prevent wartime inflation. The OPA issued (Apr., 1942) a general maximum-price regulation that made prices charged in Mar., 1942, the ceiling prices for most commodities.
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See W. A. Nielander, Wartime Food Rationing in the United States (1947).

References in periodicals archive ?
Long lines of cars snaked around local gas stations on May 9, 1979, the first day of gas rationing in California.
Gas rationing had also come to the residents of 79 Wistful Vista, and Fibber McGee loudly expressed his dislike for the new rationing measure:
ET] Motorists in 12 northern New Jersey counties with license plates ending in an even number will be able to buy gas on even-numbered days, and those with plates ending in an odd number can make gas purchases on odd-numbered days, says a gas rationing order issued by Gov.
It was interesting to note that when gas load shedding forced a large number of textile units to close down in Faisalabad, Sialkot and Gunjranwala, the provincial government of Punjab led by Shahbaz Sharif also decided to side with the industrialists and declared that if the gas load shedding was not stopped he would join the protesting industries and demonstrate on the Mall road to do away with the gas rationing to the industries.
Tire and gas rationing would figure in Tracy's wartime adventures, as would women's war efforts, and memorials for the dead.
The American sheeple are willing to give up First and Fourth amendment rights without a whimper, so I don't see any problem with imposing gas rationing.
The group disbanded in the '40s, probably because of tire and gas rationing associated with World War II, but by then another stream of tourists -- and future residents -- had arrived, the soldiers who trained at the Army-Air Corps bases in Venice and Sarasota.
Gas rationing, in concert with the boycott, could have handled Saddam on both counts, without loss of life.