I went on vacation last week. With the dollar losing value, I figured I might as well spend it now. Everywhere we went – Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona – people were worried about their economic well-being. Innkeepers, restaurant workers, store clerks and others told us their businesses were seeing fewer customers spending fewer dollars. Over time, their loss of revenue will translate into even fewer jobs.

Economists may argue about the terminology, but this much is clear – people are hurting.

In an Arizona store, the manager told me that many of her customers are now Canadians eager to take advantage of the increasing value of the Canadian dollar versus the U.S. dollar. So it goes.

The people we met were of two minds about Washington’s bailout of financial institutions. They thought it was both wrong – and probably necessary.