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The Wizard of Oz' is perhaps the most popular film ever made. Generations of families have enjoyed this classic tale of Dorothy's struggle to return home from a faraway land. What is not well known, however, is that 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,' the 1900 book authored by L. Frank Baum (upon which the movie is based), is a thinly veiled economic and political commentary on the debate over 'sound money' at the end of the 1800s in the United States. What in the world could Baum's happy fantasy have to do with monetary policy? This EconomicsMinute examines the historical relationship between the money supply and the price level. This analysis helps us to understand the effects of the current deflation in the Japanese economy as well as the length and severity of the Great Depression in the United States in the 1930s. This lesson points out why it is so important for a central bank to strike a balance between inflationary and deflationary concerns.
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