The Land of Ounces (Oz)

When I was a young girl, my family and I watched The Wizard of Oz every year. This timeless 1939 film was based on a 1900 children’s novel written by L. Frank Baum. Our culture now takes it for granted, but everything about this story is fascinating. What amazes me first is the author called it “his most truthful tale,” and he had no idea where the story came from. He claimed he didn’t create it, but channeled it from somewhere else. Like a cargo ship on the Great Lakes-Seaway system delivered goods near his Humboldt Park Boulevard home, he was merely a vessel delivering this captivating story to twentieth-century America.

What many people don’t understand—maybe not even the author—is the deeper hidden meaning woven into the characters and plot. It tells a children’s tale on the surface, but underneath is a timeless teaching on how financial systems evolve through the journeys of ordinary people. While literary analysts call The Wizard of Oz an allegory that cuts through the sociopolitical tensions of the early twentieth century, it’s more like a blueprint of how credit and money drives people to change. The yellow brick road, which symbolizes a gold standard, leads to the capitol of the Land of Oz (the abbreviation for ounces is oz). A Land of “Ounces” is one where money is weighed rather than counted. It’s physical, not digital, with limits that are inherent to nature.

While mulling over the characters, I noticed their geographical identifiers. The Wicked Witch of the West is the evil one with the green face, like the U.S. and the green dollar. The Wicked Witch of the East is the one that the house fell on, like all the world’s production, and pollution, was dumped on China. The Good Witch of the North only has a small part in Baum’s work; she introduces Dorothy to the Wizard of Oz, places a protective kiss on her forehead, and sends her to meet him. While we don’t generally think of Russia to be the North, it is the biggest non-Western country that’s in the northern hemisphere and outside the grips of Western propaganda. Like the Good Witch of the North, Russia seems to be the wisest leader of the nations, now leading the way to gold and a global financial reset.

There are two objects that drive the plot and motivate the characters: the silver shoes from the Good Witch of the North and the broom of the Wicked Witch of the West. In Baum’s book, the shoes are silver (not ruby), a powerful monetary symbol at the time. As long as Dorothy has those silver shoes, she cannot be harmed on the gold-brick road to meet the Wizard of Oz, where she will make gold great again and melt the fake emperor of fiat. Because I believe in enantiodromia, that all reality is made of opposites, I can also see the other end of the road, further away from where she came. Imagine a horizonal line with two extremes: the Capitol of Credit (numbers infinitum) and the Capitol of Ounces (weight of gold). These are foundations underneath two different global monetary systems, and the journey between them can be treacherous.

Traveling away from Oz, away from an economic system that is founded on gold is easy peasy. You artificially expand and contract credit for a very long time, until that credit gets too big relative to its underlying collateral. Lots of people get rich as credit expands and the value of currency goes down relative to real assets. Traveling back to Oz, however, is a whole other story with numerous hurdles and adversaries. Dorothy is protected by her silver shoes, but they can be taken from her through trickery. Her biggest adversary is the Wicked Witch of the West (with the green face) and all who fear her. What gives this wicked witch power? Her broom! What does her broom symbolize? Her credit-funded military, scary weapons, and psychological warfare. With her fear tactics, I’d say it’s mostly psychological.

When Dorothy finally reaches the capitol of Oz, where lives the Wizard, she and her companions learn that he’s a fraudster, a phoney, a con artist—he’s got no real power at all! He’s a little old man with mental problems doing some tricks backstage to create a grand production that gives people the illusion of his power. Sound familiar? Once upon a time, through usury and other forms of trickery, he was able to get the world to venerate him, and follow him and his handlers: the Wicked Witch of the West and her posse. That’s why things were so dreadful in the land! But there’s fire and water in the capitol, and the witch melts away in a vapory cloud, her green face gone forever. The wicked West is melting now under gargantuan debt, the green-faced dollar has lost 99% of its value, and gold (Oz) is coming back to life.

In the Finger-Lakes region of New York, during a time when people believed in ghosts and forty percent of all deaths were children, Frank Baum was born on a farm. He lived between 1856 and 1919, through the Gilded Age, banking panics, and the economic depression of the 1890s. He experienced the Coinage Act of 1873 and the gold standard as the basis for the international monetary system from the 1870s to the early 1920s. Between the American Civil War and the First World War, Baum went through a plethora of sociological changes from the discovery of oil, to mindboggling inventions, the beginnings of electricity and oil-fueled machines. He saw the rise of globalism, and the U.S. leading the way.

The Wizard of Oz is about the journey the world will take back to gold. Credit and gold are diametric opposites. Why can’t credit go on forever? Because it’s not linked to the labor and finite resources needed to run the world economic system; it’s linked to special “elite” interests instead. Think about the Tin Man and his oil can. He needed oil to free him from his rusted state and allow his body and joints to move again. In the same way, the system needs oil to mine resources, produce things, and transport them around the globe or it goes into a depression. Green energy, built on the foundation of fossil fuels, cannot make planes, fly them, or move sea vessels. This ultimately means leaving the big cities and returning to farms where our ancestors like Baum came from. This is consistent with enantiodromia: the governing principle behind natural cycles and psychological development.

Dorothy represents simple and naïve American people like me. She is everyone who has been led astray and just wants to go home, back to a natural way of life, and a sense normality. I’ve been clicking my worn-out black leather Italian boots, going nowhere. Perhaps it’s time to invest in some silver high-heel-skinny-jean boots on this rough road to the great financial reset. Folks are gonna throw out Mr. Wizard of Credit, pretending to be emperor of the world of Oz. The Wizard and his handlers are getting to the end of their deceiving everyone into thinking they’ve got some big powerful dude that can write puts (market talk) outta thin air. The Powell “put” is a joke, and the wizard is an emperor with no clothes. Maybe I’ll get me a silver house too, and a silver car that runs on solar. Or even better, a gold one!

A little late, but it just popped into my head…


  1. I’ve seen many explications of The Wiz but this one has special elegance ands richness! Frankly, I never put it together the way you did.

  2. Great comparisons of such a serious subject. I also enjoyed the added “silver” humor, and yet, so realistic of the yellow brick road in all the world. Someone I used know lived in Humbolt Park, Chicago.

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