MOBILIZATION: The Freeze

All week long, Price Stabilizer Michael DiSalle bustled around Washington with a satchelful of dummy regulations, pronouncements and memoranda. "When you bob a cat's tail," he explained, "you cut it off close to the body, not an inch at a time. Otherwise, you always have a sore tail—and a mad cat." Mike DiSalle's bosses in the mobilization high command agreed. All that remained was to determine just how close to the body to slice, and when.

The whole U.S. knew the controls were coming. What held them up was one last wrangle over wages. Congress had decreed in the Defense...

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