What's a 'Sound' Economy Anyway?

Kyle-Anne Shiver & Lee Cary
When politicians talk about the U.S. economy, skepticism is in order as the meaning of words shifts.

The media is heralding President Obama’s new optimistic tone when addressing the economy. Most recently he said,

“If we are keeping focus on all the fundamentally sound aspects of our economy – all the outstanding companies, workers, all the innovation and dynamism in this economy – then we are going to get through this. And I’m very confident about that." (Emphasis added.)

Back on last September 15, John McCain said, and probably later wished he hadn’t, that,

"Our economy, I think still—the fundamentals of our economy are strong."

Even further back, on July 15, 2008, then President Bush said,

"We can have confidence in the long term foundation of our economy.  And I believe we will come through this challenge stronger than ever before."

Okay, so the fundamentals of this oft-voiced theme are sound, and the sound comes out of multiple voices who testify to firm foundations of our economy.  But,

In the meantime, today DRUDGE highlights a story about how China’s Premier Wen Jiabao expressed concern about how much money the U.S. has borrowed from his nation’s treasury. And, at the same time:

Sales at the nation's retailers fell slightly less than expected in February, suggesting that the economic deceleration may at least be slowing, according to a government report on Thursday. (Source: International Herald Tribune)

So let’s see if we have this right.  

We are in the midst of a significant recession triggered by bad debt and consumption beyond the ability to pay. Yet, the fundamental aspects of our economy are sound, even though our international banker/creditor is expressing concern about the money they’ve sunk into bailing us out. And, a higher than expected level of consumer retail is heralded by the Herald as a good thing.  

Am I the only one whose head hurts?   


When politicians talk about the U.S. economy, skepticism is in order as the meaning of words shifts.

The media is heralding President Obama’s new optimistic tone when addressing the economy. Most recently he said,

“If we are keeping focus on all the fundamentally sound aspects of our economy – all the outstanding companies, workers, all the innovation and dynamism in this economy – then we are going to get through this. And I’m very confident about that." (Emphasis added.)

Back on last September 15, John McCain said, and probably later wished he hadn’t, that,

"Our economy, I think still—the fundamentals of our economy are strong."

Even further back, on July 15, 2008, then President Bush said,

"We can have confidence in the long term foundation of our economy.  And I believe we will come through this challenge stronger than ever before."

Okay, so the fundamentals of this oft-voiced theme are sound, and the sound comes out of multiple voices who testify to firm foundations of our economy.  But,

In the meantime, today DRUDGE highlights a story about how China’s Premier Wen Jiabao expressed concern about how much money the U.S. has borrowed from his nation’s treasury. And, at the same time:

Sales at the nation's retailers fell slightly less than expected in February, suggesting that the economic deceleration may at least be slowing, according to a government report on Thursday. (Source: International Herald Tribune)

So let’s see if we have this right.  

We are in the midst of a significant recession triggered by bad debt and consumption beyond the ability to pay. Yet, the fundamental aspects of our economy are sound, even though our international banker/creditor is expressing concern about the money they’ve sunk into bailing us out. And, a higher than expected level of consumer retail is heralded by the Herald as a good thing.  

Am I the only one whose head hurts?