rationing

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rationing,

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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Bibliography

See W. A. Nielander, Wartime Food Rationing in the United States (1947).

References in classic literature ?
It was also very cold, and Bert decided to keep rolled up in his blankets on the locker until the bugle summoned him to his morning ration.
You know, straight coconut is what the agriculturists call an unbalanced ration.
The pound and a half of sun-dried salmon, which was his ration for each day, seemed to go nowhere.
They were on foot, and had tramped three hundred miles in eighteen days, upon the cheapest odds and ends of food, and stingy rations of that.
We had encountered the horn-blower on the way, and he had tried to collect compensation, not only for announcing the sunset, which we did see, but for the sunrise, which we had totally missed; but we said no, we only took our solar rations on the "European plan"--pay for what you get.
But the rations are short, very short-- so short, Dr.
What I hate is this getting moved here and moved there, with no good com- ing of it, as far as I can see, excepting sore feet and damned short rations.
We gazed helplessly at the systematic, cold, gray-eyed obstinacy of the Easterly weather, while short rations became the order of the day, and the pinch of hunger under the breast-bone grew familiar to every sailor in that held-up fleet.
On this even those who as yet had stayed always at the ships, the pilots and helmsmen, and even the stewards who were about the ships and served out rations, all came to the place of assembly because Achilles had shown himself after having held aloof so long from fighting.
When the poor devils came to receive their rations, Benjamin, who was my deputy, was obliged to keep them off by stretching ropes around me, for they smelt so of garlic, from eating nothing but the wild onion, that the fumes put me out often in my measurement.
My boy," said Baisemeaux, "you know very well that it does not depend upon me; all I can do for you is to increase your rations, give you a glass of port wine now and then, slip in a biscuit for you between a couple of plates.
These things occupied one half of his bungalow, and the other half was given up to Strickland and his dog Tietjens-an enormous Rampur slut, who sung when she was ordered, and devoured daily the rations of two men.