The whole debt-ceiling and government shutdown raised the American angst about its international role in the world economy. Several pundits see the US increasingly as a weak or weaker player in international relations. An antidote for these views about the 'Decline of the American Empire' is provided by Franklin Serrano's paper (h/t Revista Circus & Alejandro Fiorito) "Power Relations and American Macroeconomic Policy, from Bretton Woods to the Floating Dollar Standard", which can be downloaded here. From the intro:
"The purpose of the present work is to try to show the strategic importance of the policy of defending the international position of the U.S. dollar and also of the general orientation of American macroeconomic policies to: 1) the victory of the capitalist side in the Cold War ; 2) the subsequent reestablishment e increase of the bargaining power of the property owning classes relative to the working class in the U.S.A. and finally 3) to the consolidation of the leadership of the American State over the other Nation States, that happened during the 1980s."