One answer to my question "what do you mean by worse" is that the value of the dollar will fall. I'm not sure why I'm supposed to be so excited by this. Yes, I love my Panasonic television. But with 90% of our production bought and sold domestically, the value of the dollar is of limited relevance to the fate of the economy, or the living standards of most Americans. And some of our biggest trading partners seem pretty determined to stop the dollar from falling against their currency By Any Means Necessary. I am sad that I will not be able to vacation cheaply in Europe. But this does not seem like a good reason to urge a double-digit contraction in output.I know a lot of people who get deeply concerned by the dropping value of the dollar, but when you ask them why, they usually can't explain. It certainly sounds bad to say "you dollar is worth less than before", but what that really means is relative to foreign currency. As McArdle points out, that makes foreign goods (including international travel, unfortunately) more expensive. What it also means is that American goods become cheaper in the international market, boosting American exports and travel to the US. Is this a bad thing?
The negative impact a falling dollar will have for most Americans is relatively slight and is offset by benefits that come along with it. Unfortunately, it sounds like something bad is going on and causes a great deal of unnecessary concern that politicians love to exploit.