As for the dollar, I can bear personal testimony to the decline of the dollar's prestige. I am writing this column in Morocco. In Casablanca, my wife and I and another couple hired a Moroccan driver for the day. And when it came time to pay, the man refused to accept dollars; he wanted to be paid in either Euros or Moroccan dirhams. Yes, dirhams rather than dollars.I suppose it doesn't occur to Prager that if the takes dollars he's got to convert the prices to dollars, take the dollars, then get them converted back into dirhams.
But if America had real prestige, of course, the driver would be happy to go to all this trouble. Because real prestige means that other nation's drivers are happy to put up with inconviences just for the chance to touch a dollar. Prager should try to pay for a New York cab ride with anything but a dollar and see what happens.
But presumably this ties back to American exceptionalism; while other nations should be grateful to take our dollars, it's just silly to assume that America, the bestest nation on all the earth, would take their micky mouse money.