The U.S. dollar has been the world's reserve currency for many decades, so most Americans don't have a clue about what happens when losing that status. We believe that could never happen in the USA. When countries get too far in debt, consume too much or produce too little, this can easily happen, and we are almost in that situation.
Most Americans don't remember or just don't know that this very thing happened in Great Britain starting in 1970. Britain's sterling was the reserve currency for nearly 200 years. It continued to play the role until after World War II, when America was forced to prop up Britain's economy. Most of us old guys remember the Marshall Plan, when we gave billions to help many of the European countries rebuild.
Britain at that time pursued a socialist government, and the government took over most of Britain's major industries.
Like Barack Obama, Britain's leaders wanted to spread the wealth, and pretty soon the country was flat broke.
The final straw came when things got so bad that the Labor Party (socialists) decided to devalue the currency by 14 percent overnight. Anyone depending on British Sterling automatically was 14 percent poorer — overnight. The move made everything much more expensive in the following years. As for Britain's people, it ignited one of the worst decades that Britain ever experienced.
I hate to admit it, but we are looking down that same road.