Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Follow the Yellow Brick Road

Following last Friday's post, I followed some of the links and found one on the Political Interpretations of the Wizard of Oz. There are several, but one that caught my attention was this:

Historian Hugh Rockoff interprets the story of the The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, in the Journal of Political Economy:

Dorothy: traditional American values
Toto: Prohibitionist party (also called Teetotalers)
Scarecrow: western farmers
Tin Woodsman: industrial workers
Cowardly Lion: William Jennings Bryan
Munchkins: citizens of the East
Wicked Witch of the East: Eastern business and financial interests, Grover Cleveland
Wicked Witch of the West: William McKinley
Wizard: Mark Hanna (chairman of the Republican party)
Oz: abbreviation for ounce of gold
Yellow Brick Road: gold standard
Cyclone: the free silver movement
Emerald City: Washington D.C.
Emerald Palace: the White House
Silver Shoes: the vote of the American people

At the end of the story, Dorothy finds her way home, but it is not by just following the Yellow Brick Road. After her journey, Dorothy finds that the Wizard is incapable of helping her or her friends. In the end, she finds that the magical powers of her silver slippers help her. Since the silver slippers are the vote, she realizes that she had the power to fix the problems all along.

Actually, the title to my post is somewhat misleading. I actually don't think that the gold standard is either feasible or beneficial anymore. However, I do think that Americans need to put on and tap their Silver Shoes (or Ruby slippers, as the case may be). Our modern-day Wizard can't help us today, either. We will have to find out own way out of this mess. In the next election, get angry and go vote.

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