Opinion: US Dollar: A small fact

POSTED: 07/12/11 4:28 PM

We have a small snippet of a contribution about dollarization to contribute to the independent study on dollarization that is currently being conducted by the Bankers Association. This little detail is just a little reminder of a reality we live in.

While some in our office do not enjoy junk food some of us make a jaunt to Domino’s Pizza once or twice a month to grab a snack or meal to have alone and to share. On Monday that trip snapped home a reality when a lovely working mother decided to pay for the pizza she’d ordered for her family. She handed over an amount in guilders and the young man behind the cash register gave her back change in US Dollars.

Ding, ding, ding and lights galore went off quietly as everyone in the store smiled at the verbal exchange that followed for the working mother said, “Look at that. I paid you in guilders and you gave me my change in dollars.”

There’s no surprise that a place like Dominos would have American currency to hand, considering that it is legal tender. It is also not a surprise that the young man naturally gave out change in dollars rather than asking if the lady would like guilders back. Both of these points are just plain facts.

This country is definitely a dollar economy and will stay that way for a long time because of the trade relations we have with the United States. We sell them a slice of our paradise for a few days, a week or longer and they pump in their money when they visit.

What does throw a bit of a monkey wrench into this dollarization consideration though is we’d have no control over the fiscal measures that will either keep it a strong currency. In fact one might not be encouraged to dollarize right now considering that the currency is constantly under threat because of huge trade deficits and the fact that the overall American economy is not doing well.

The considerations are certainly many, but the clear fact remains that it’s just plain natural to deal in US Dollars while living on or visiting St. Maarten.

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