Yakezie Carnival: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Edition

Welcome to this week's Yakezie Carnival. This is a blog carnival of the best articles by Yakezie members, challengers and friends. Yakezie is a network of personal finance bloggers and their goal is to selflessly help others. If you are interested in joining the Yakezie Challenge you can learn more here.

You may or may not already know this, but The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum is not just a beautiful and whimsical modern day fairy tale. It is also theorized to be a clever allegorical tale of politics and money. It strongly alludes to a short-lived Populist movement that occurred in the 1890's that opposed the gold standard and wanted to move to a gold and silver backed currency. Farmers were backing free silver during a time of economic unrest while the Industrialized East and bankers wanted to keep the gold standard.

These are some of the symbolic representations 
and some great Yakezie articles.

Dorothy from Kansas Dorothy represents The Everyman or The Girl Next Door. She is everything that is good about America, honest and kind-hearted. Kansas is representative of the heartland of America and farming. Kansas was also a Populist stronghold
The Scarecrow He represents Populist farmers who people thought did not have a brain, but in all actuality were quite intelligent.
The Tin Man He symbolizes the industrial worker. Suggesting that the industrialist have taken the heart out of the working man. When we first meet the Tin Man he is immobilized and has joined the ranks of the unemployed.
The Cowardly Lion Many believe that this may be Senator William Jennings Bryan. He was thought of as cowardly for not fighting for free silver wholeheartedly.
The College Investor tells us all about sweep accounts with What is a Sweep Account and How Do I Use It? A sweep account is used by almost all brokerages to store your cash. Are you maximizing your potential with it?
My Multiple Incomes shares How I Dropped My Alexa Rank – And You Can Too! A look at some of the strategies I used to lower my Alexa Rank.
Money Reasons writes of Debt Reduction in 3 Fun Steps The following is the technique I used to make debt reduction fun.  Surprisingly, I miss the pursuit of becoming debt free.  Make it a game and it's fun and easy to conquer.
Sustainable Life Blog tells us How to Build a Compost Bin Curious about home composting?  Here's what I've been doing for 2 years with my composting, plus how to build a bin.
Living in Financial Excellence tells us How to Know When You're Winning Financially It’s hard to know when you've reached the top if you don’t define what success looks like. Even then, success may be a moving target for you.
Invest in the Markets writes of Letting Go of a Bad Trade While no investor wants to concede a loss, learning to let go of a bad trade can save your portfolio for another day!  Learn to survive another day to reinvest.
Investor Junkie explains that The Best Business Ideas Are the Simplest I've learned in business, the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) principle applies.  It’s not how great the business idea is, but it’s how well it’s executed.
Mom's Plans writes of How One Family Survived Unemployment: Part Two This is the second part in a two part series that documents Tim and Catherine’s struggle to survive Tim’s back to back unemployment.
Outlaw Finance tells us How Mutual Funds Work This article takes a look at mutual fund shares, benefits, risks and diversity.
Little House in the Valley asks Are You a Spendster? A look at a new website that wants you to confess all your dirty little shopping secrets in the safety of others. Spendster even offers a quick calculator to show how much money you could save if you reigned in your spending sprees. 
Money Is The Root shares How to Buy an Engagement Ring Some tips on how to go about purchasing an engagement ring 
Control Your Cash asks You have no freaking Idea do you? Here’s another difference between those with the propensity for wealth and those without. 
Family Money Values has some excellent advise to Increase Your Website Traffic - Write for Today's Readers In today's electronic world we are bombarded with information. Weeding through the information to get what we need is a time consuming task. If you receive lengthy and disorganized information, you probably ignore it. As writers, we are responsible for satisfying our readers, so how can you write for today's readers?
The Yellow Brick Road The gold standard. The journey to see the Wizard of Oz symbolizes the Populist movement attempt to gain political control.
The Silver Slippers In the book the slippers are silver and represent the free silver movement moving toward the seat of government.
The Wizard of Oz Politicians, charlatans. The Great and Powerful Oz is really just an ordinary man who only tricks people into thinking he wields great power. Oz is also the abbreviation for ounce, the unit of measurement for precious metals.
The Emerald City This is believed to represent Washington DC, the seat of government. Green also symbolizes money.
Everything Finance gives us The ABCs of Investing in a Debt World Pay Yourself First (Not the Bill Collectors). When your gains compound, you can become financially free. When your debt compounds, you are enslaved by your bills. Do not wait until you get out of debt to start saving and investing. You will never get out of debt if you do not increase your assets and income.
Financial Success for Young Adults has a fantastic suggestion to Rent and Save Money on College Textbooks College students are broke. It's ok, you won't be broke forever, but for now save money by renting your textbooks instead of buying them.
Invest It Wisely tells us about  A Journey to a Beautiful Land of Coffee and Contrasts I am grateful for my journey to Ethiopia — at times it was exhausting and stressful, and at other times it was depressing, but at other times it was inspiring, and it was always mind-opening.
Live Real, Now focuses on Time Management My wife told me that I don’t do enough around the house. She is, of course, correct. I could make a list of excuses, but none of them matter.   There’s really only one reason: I have problems with time management. I’m easily distracted.
Free Money Wisdom writes about Repairing Your Credit Score Re-establishing your credit score is not impossible, despite what you might have heard otherwise. It is a time-consuming and somewhat expensive process but it can be achieved with a measure of dedication and financial discipline.
Bucksome Boomer shares a Dinner Without the Kids How our family is adjusting to life changes at the dinner table.
DollarVersity says Let’s All Play The Money Transfer Game People like games. People want to save more money.  This game will help you to save money.  And there is an added surprise reward, too!
Krantcents gives us ways to earn Tax Free Income Learn about 10 examples of ways you can earn tax free income.  
Deliver Away Debt gives us a Peer to Peer Lending Review: Lending Club A review of how Lending Club works, the fine print, and the bottom line.
Parenting Family Money has a timely article about 5 Ways Around the Student Debt Trap College expenses aren't going down anytime soon (ever?). What's a student to do? Here are 5 ways to help get around the student debt trap. 
My Personal Finance Journey writes about Account Hierarchy Paradox - Should Paying Off Debt, Saving for Retirement, Having an Emergency Fund, or Securing Health Insurance Be Your Highest Priority? Deciding how to prioritize new money as it comes in is especially important, as well as significantly difficult. This decision process becomes even more cumbersome when a person has large amounts of consumer debt, which is becoming more and more prevalent in today's society. 
The Wicked Witch of the East This is thought to be Grover Cleveland. Cleveland fought to repeal the Sherman Silver Purchase Act. It could also represent the pro-gold standard financial industry like Wall Street.
The Wicked Witch of the West She may represent several different ideas. One being the land west of the Mississippi is much less fertile than to the east. She is killed with water representing what the farmers need to for have successful crops.

The Good Witches of the North & South The free silver movement was heavily supported by the South and the northern Mid West. It's fitting that these would be seen as helpful and kind forces that bring Dorothy and the silver slippers to Oz.
One Cent At A Time tells us  How Do I Buy Software Online; Things To Consider Before You Buy Want to buy software online? Read these 10 tips and save money in the process while having peace of mind. How to determine its not pirated product and is there free alternative available?
Investorz' Blog gives us a great analogy with What Kung-Fu Can Teach You About Investing Investing is a battle. A battle between the bulls and the bears, a battle between the longs and the shorts, a battle between those who are on your side of the market and those who aren't. Kung-fu sparring can teach us much about investing. Kung-fu is more than a sport or a martial art; it’s a way of life. And that way of life can be used in the realm of investments.
My Journey to Millions How I Increased My Net Worth 50% This Year I have increased my net worth 50% this year.  How?  Quite simply by focusing intensely on my expenses and my debt and by making extra money.
Prairie Eco Thrifter gives a warning with A Major Problem with the Modern Day Stock Market Investors should have learned this from the stock market crash in 2008, that there is a major flow in the modern stock markets. That flaw lies in computer algorithms and trading.
Darwin's Money write about how the US Loses Triple A Credit Rating – It’s About Time With the US losing its AAA credit rating from a key ratings agency, these are the implications you need to be aware of as an American.
Stock Market Basics shares How to buy gold in the stock market Gold is the best hedge against the vagaries of the economy and this article explains how to buy gold via various types of investments.
The University Of Money gives us Ways to Save Money and How to invest The article explains the small things that you can do to save money and how to then invest the money in various suitable investments.
Maximizing Money gathers all the Finance Blog Giveaways and Promotions Listed in Yakezie Forums This article shows financial blog readers where to find great giveaways and blog contests in the Yakezie Forums.
Wealth Informatics tells us  Where to get free stuff A compilation of resources on where to get free stuff (starting from free travel guides, free movies to free credit score and more) 
Toto A play on teetotaler, prohibitionist. The Prohibition Party generally followed the free silver movement.

The Tornado Thought to be political upheaval and rebellion.

Uncle Henry This could be a nod to Henry Wallace, famous farmer and 33rd Vice President of the United States.
The Munchkins The people, ordinary citizens.

The Crime of '73 In 1873 the silver dollar was eliminated from the currency, paving the way to The Gold Standard Act, this was later seen as a catalyst to The Great Depression.
In the book, Dorothy is led to a room via seven passages and three flights of stairs.
TotallyMoney shares What should you wear to your job interview?  The following article has 5 simple tips to help you dress for an interview.
The Penny Hoarder gets all creative with Make Money Cricket Farming The poor economy definitely forces people to get creative, but when I heard about cricket farming on the news a few weeks ago, I almost spit out my coffee from laughing so hard. Here's how to do it...
Daily Money Shot ponders Go Greek or No Greek Before you or your child consider joining a fraternity or sorority, make sure you consider the financial aspects.
Money Cone has us getting ready to rumble! Ally Vs. ING Direct: A Face Off! Being online banks, both Ally and ING Direct can afford to offer very aggressive rates when compared to traditional banks. But between them, which one offers the best value for your money? Let’s find out!
KNS Financial wonders Happiness And Money: How Much Money Do You Really Need? Happiness and money are ideas that normally go together. However, there can be a limit to the happiness which money can bring, due to many other factors!
Fat Guy, Skinny Wallet gives us 6 Ways To Save Money On Car Insurance Trying to save money on car insurance can lead people to do all sorts of strange things. However, if you follow these 6 simple tips, you can save both time & money!
Free From Broke gives is a review of TradeKing Online Discount Brokerage Looking to invest online? Take a look at this TradeKing review and see why TradeKing is a top-rated discount brokerage.
PT Money Personal Finance answers Common Questions about 529 Plans and College Savings Have you heard about the 529 college savings plan? Are you curious if you should get started with one?
Retire By 40 shares a Q&A at Retire By 40  Retire By 40 goes over some search terms that led people to his site from Google. 
The Year of Shopping Detox tells us How much I'm saving without even trying! Rather than looking to make frugal changes in your lifestyle, maybe take a look and see how you're already saving money without even realizing!
Of course, like most everything, there is a bit of contention on whether or not L. Frank Baum intended to make this story an allegory or if it is all merely coincidence. Baum always said that he wrote the story for the pleasure of children. I, for one, don't put much stock in coincidence and hope the meaning is intentional, it makes this story all the more greater.

All illustrations drawn by W.W. Denslow

Thank you to everyone who participated in this week's Yakezie Carnival.