The creation of the Federal Reserve occurred at the beginning of the 20th century (1910-1913), while a writer, L. Frank Baum, concurrently, commented on these issues in a series of children’s books about a Wizard of Oz.  His “wizard” was the “men behind the curtain,” (the creators of the Fed and their cohorts, pulling levers and pushing buttons), the yellow brick road represented the proposed gold standard, and the ‘silver slippers’  (they weren’t ruby in the books, they were silver) represented a competing silver standard.  (The US, as a country, has always been at a disadvantage under a gold standard, but has always had an abundance of silver.)

His story (as replicated in the film we’ve all seen) is replete in symbolism.  The scarecrow is “uneducated” rural farmers (in possession of plenty of common sense), the tin-man is urban workers, who’ve lost their heart in the service of the (relatively new) factory environment, whereas the lion projects the message that even though we all feel powerless (cowardly), we all do possess the courage to stand up to our overlords, and can rise to the occasion in a clutch.  Toto (which in Latin means everyone) is shown to simply pull back the curtain at the end to show the “man behind the curtain,” pulling his levers.

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