In a shattered world, the U.S. is like the friend so wealthy that no one knows what to give her for Christmas. The U.S. has everything—and it is exporting its products at the rate of $19.5 billion a year. In return, the U.S. is importing only $7.6 billion a year of the world's products.

This so-called "favorable balance" is unmatched in American history. The great danger is that it is too favorable. The U.S. is draining the rest of the world of dollars so fast that there is already a worldwide shortage. What...

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