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I find it hard to understand why a strong currency is touted as such a positive thing and a weak currency as such a negative thing when both can have important benefits.

I think it depends on which side of the fence your're on. By this I mean that if you have a strong currency it is cheaper to import from countries with weak currencies. This does make your exports more expensive but the US is unique in that it has such a colossal home market exports are probably not as critical as to a country such as Australia which has to export to live.
The devaluation of the NZ dollar is touted as a positive thing because the exporters gain better prices but at the cost of dearer imports. To my mind this is simply a transfer of wealth from J6p to the exporters. The you's and I's of the world pay more for the privilege of buying imported goods so that the exporters can gain higher prices.
I'm sceptical about the theory of the trickle down effect because I haven't seen it happen in practice. I see lots of farmers buying BMW's and buying expensive imported machinery but this is simply a way of exporting money without benefit to J6P.
However, I do think there is a day of reckoning coming for the US dollar which is bound to affect us all but I'm unable to predict whether for good or bad.

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