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And another piece of pie?

''Mr. Herbert Hoover says that now's the time to buy.'' Then the old song went on to rhyme ''another piece of pie'' - about the only thing many Americans could afford in depression days.

It comes to mind now as Americans are buying a lot more than pie despite today's hard times. They've been storming the stock market. And they've encouraged new factory orders for consumer goods. The latter is one of the leading economic indicators whose combined index went up in July for the fourth month in a row.

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The good news is being welcomed with various degrees of caution and abandon. The falling interest and inflation rates could turn up again, pundits warn. Of course they could. But must they?

Not only the government but individual citizens have it in their hands to keep the trend in the right direction. And not just by spending more.

But developing the confidence for prudent buying is part of what will bring recovery. So will increased productivity on the job.

Americans are already saving more - up from 6.9 percent of disposable income in May to 7.3 percent in June and probably 8.1 percent in July. But couldn't the majority who still have jobs do a bit more along all these lines?

And then have another piece of pie?

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