Arrived in Brussels today from the UK, and the FX trader at the airport fairly sneered at the $100 I offered in exchange for Euros: one Euro is now worth $1.69 (more than a 10% loss just since Sept. 19), which puts the greenback in the same league as, e.g., the Zambian Kwacha and the stone coins of the Yap Islands as a measure of real economic value. To the stunning economic wreckage created by George W. Bush and the neocon establishment, now add the destruction of the US dollar as the “gold standard” in trade and currency markets.
As I sit with my Belgian friend Rik sipping Marc de Bourgogne at the end of a day in Europe that has become astronomically expensive for Americans, I mourn the passing of America’s leadership – moral, economic and cultural – that will inevitably be the hallmark of the Bush Administration. The great majority of my fellow citizens have no idea how far our stock has fallen in the world, on virtually every front. The election this November will be the test of our willingness to repudiate the failed ideology of the past 8 years and work together to reclaim our position in the global community.