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Economic Insights From "Gone With The Wind"


My wife and I recently enjoyed seeing Gone With The Wind projected on a movie screen, a first for us both. We'd seen it on television, but the large screen experience was something quite different. A good many years had passed since I last watched the film, and I was struck by its comedic moments, as well as its more blatant racism and misogyny (times have changed and continue to!)
I was also impressed with its rather solid financial advice. For example, when raising funds for "the Cause" (AKA war), Rhett Butler made an impression on the crowd with an offer of gold for a dance. In times of political turmoil, you know, civil war, regime change and such, precious metals are more desirable than paper money issued by a government that may or may not be in power in days to come. This point is hammered home in a later scene, when Scarlett O'Hara returns home to find the family estate in ruins and her father in shock. He tells her not to worry, as he has money. At first, Scarlett is relieved, but when told the money is in Confederate war bonds, she realizes the family is broke - the government that issued those bonds has fallen and they are worthless. Mr. O'Hara still has a head for permanence, however; he reminds Scarlett that land is a great asset, "it's the only thing that lasts!"
In summary, we're reminded that precious metal bullion is a great hedge in times of turmoil, paper (or digital, as times have changed) currency is backed only by faith and credit in the issuing body and is subject to the fate of said body, and land indeed is the only thing that lasts. I left the theater thinking I need to buy bullion and acreage!
In closing, it was a great night put on at the beautiful GEM Theatre in Calhoun, Georgia, just an hour or so north of the film's setting.

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