Par For The Dollar

Back in 1980 I was working in Buffalo. My Philadelphia friend, Lucy, invited me to join her for a weekend at a family owned compound in what is referred to as “Cottage Country,” north of Toronto.

On a frigid, crystal clear lake, reachable only by their classic mahogany power boat, it was pretty close to heaven. For that weekend I was part of her family, joining them for every activity. I even went to church with them (and throughly enjoyed that experience too).

While driving up, I got hungry and stopped along the road for some food. I bought a sandwich and a Coke, handed the clerk a US $20 bill and got $22 Canadian change… plus my food!

What a country!

Actually, all that meant was, the US dollar was worth a lot more than its Canadian equivalent. As of today, they’re of nearly equal value. I think the proper term is, they’re at par.

I’m not an economist, but I’m pretty sure the value of a nations currency is directly tied to the strength of its economy. Our dollar is weak.

Over times, things tend to even out. A weaker US dollar makes our exports more reasonably priced overseas… at least it does with those things we still make here. Conversely, imports continue to cost more. That’s an incentive to buy American, here and abroad.

Still, having the US and Canadian dollars at par troubles me on an emotional level. Our dollar being more valuable has always been a given. It’s the first time in my life it’s not.

I don’t personally see signs of a weak economy, but obviously, others do. Our cheaper dollar is screaming that to anyone who will listen.

3 thoughts on “Par For The Dollar”

  1. You should take a look at the historic value of the British Pound vs the dollar and the Euro vs the dollar. For those of us who import, the exchange rate has been eating up our margins. I long for the days when the US dollar had more value.

  2. back in august i wrote this in my blog at


    i was talking to a canadian man last week on the phone and being one with a gift of gab , we chatted for 45 minutes, he was saying how our u.s. goods are a great bargain now that the u.s. dollar is so weak. he also mention realistically our deficit is so bad and only getting worst by the minute ( remember the deficit clock in times square ) and with us outsourcing all our jobs and focusing on a ” service orientated” based economy and our inability to actually produce anything anymore that we are losing our edge as a world power.

    this made me think , so i did some research. using 5 years as a measuring stick. i compared our currency to others. here is what i found out what $1 would get you then and what it will get you now.

    canada , then $1.60 , now $1.03

    brazil , then r3.70 , now r1.89

    the euro , then 1.04 , now .72

    rouble , then 32.00 , now 25.50

    our dollar lost 30% of it’s value against the )deleted ) russian rouble !!! how bad is that.

    check it out , click here

    i did not want to mention this before the comparison’s , but my canadian friend said that the only way he see’s for us to get out of this mess is to cancel our currency , welch on our debts and lose any credit we have and start anew. technicaly we would need to declare bankruptcy. i am not that quick to throw in the towel , but i think we need to rethink our position in this world , get back to the basics instead of depending on china , taiwan , sinapore , malaysia and all the other cheap production countries to make all our goods .

    we need to get back to being a world power .

    we need to get back to acting like a world power.

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