For the past 30 years, the Canadian dollar has been worth less than
the American dollar. As a Canadian doing business almost exclusively
with US clients, this meant that I put about $1.25CDN in the bank for
every US dollar I was paid.
Today, that’s changed. I now get $0.97CDN for every US dollar. This
is the first time in my lifetime that the dollar amount that hits my
bank account is LESS than what it says on the cheque.
I’m no economist, but I know this: for doing the same work, I’ve seen
my income drop by almost 30% in less than six months. The leading
reason for this? Currency investors are scared of the US dollar. Between
the war in Iraq, the sub-prime mortgage fiasco, the growing US debt
rate, and the sluggish state of the the US economy, the green back is
losing its luster.
For us, that means we face a tough decision. Do we increase our
rates? Or do we insist on being paid in Canadian dollars, to the
significant inconvenience of our clients? It’s a lose/lose from where
I’m sitting. I’m sure there’s an upside to this somewhere, but I’m not
seeing it at the moment.