A couple of commenters are saying the only thing that matters is international trade deficits. This is true if you’re taking the perspective of a plutocrat whose geopolitical opinions matter.
Here’s a great exercise for the rest of us: Divide your income by 8. That’s your income in 1960 US dollars. The other 7 out of 8 dollars have been effectively taxed to pay for gibs via inflationary debt spending. That’s only since 1960, mind.
This is an unpaid plug for G. Edward Griffin’s book, The Creature From Jekyll Island. You can get the overview from this speech: