Fat Dollar, Skinny Dollar

| Tue Nov. 16, 2010 3:03 PM EST

I almost wrote this myself a couple of days ago, but Karl Smith beat me to it. Or, rather, Mrs. Smith beat me to it:

As a quick note, the Fed for good reasons does not have a mandate to maintain a strong dollar. I wish I could devote more time to this. My wife says that we could clear up a lot of confusion by replacing strong dollar/weak dollar with fat dollar/skinny dollar. Then we could just say that the dollar is morbidly obese and millions of Americans would immediately think it a moral imperative to make the dollar lose weight.

I'm pretty much convinced that conservatives instinctively believe that strong = good in all cases, and this causes all sorts of problems for currency policy. Eons ago, we happened to choose the adjective "strong" to refer to overvalued currencies, so now conservatives are hellbent on insisting that the U.S. dollar must always be overvalued even though that's about the last thing the U.S. economy needs right now. Because, you know, that's strong. And who'd choose weak over strong?

So sign me up for the fat/skinny dollar club. Right now the dollar needs to lose some weight and get into fighting trim. Doesn't that sound like a much better pitch than arguing that we need a weak dollar?

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