For about 70 years, the definition of a recession has been simple: Two straight quarters of negative GDP growth. Everyone who has taken an Economics 101 class was taught the same thing, and until recently, there has been no argument on the matter.
In fact, the only time in modern history where two-straight quarters of negative growth didn’t define a recession was at the beginning of George W. Bush’s term. In that case, a single quarter of negative growth was used as the deciding point.
Question: Out of the past 10 times the U.S. economy has experienced two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth, how many times was a recession officially declared?
Answer: 10. pic.twitter.com/yrR1kwlC4r
— Michael R. Strain (@MichaelRStrain) July 25, 2022
Given that, with a second straight quarter of negative growth about to be announced, you’d think there’d be no argument about the fact that the nation is clearly already in a recession. But you’d have thought wrong.
The Biden administration has been hard at work completely redefining the term, insisting that the technical definition no longer applies because of “reasons.” Redstate has reported on some of the absurd claims, which you can check out by clicking here and here.
Now, the press is getting in on this ridiculous, dishonest act. Both the Associated Press and The New York Times put out breathless pieces on Wednesday morning letting it be known that two-straight quarters of negative growth is not, in fact, a recession.
Ignore the two-quarter rule. We might have a recession, but we aren't in one now https://t.co/48qpo9uoQL
— Paul Krugman (@paulkrugman) July 27, 2022
By one common definition — the economy shrinking for consecutive quarters — the U.S. economy is on the cusp of a recession.
Yet that definition isn't the one that counts. https://t.co/Bw1am1viQ4
— The Associated Press (@AP) July 26, 2022
Nothing matters to these people. There is no reality, there is only partisanship. How do I know? Because the same Associated Press that is currently rushing to redefine what a recession is in order to protect Joe Biden…once used the technical definition freely.
— Damin Toell (@damintoell) July 26, 2022
The hypocrisy only gets worse when you broaden things out to more media outlets and their so-called journalists. Young Americans for Liberty put together a montage, mostly from 2020 when the press was hot to claim a recession under Donald Trump after a single quarter of negative growth (that only occurred because states forcibly shut down for months due to COVID-19). Far from arguing nuance, MSNBC, CNN, and the like were all on board with the “two straight quarters” definition, using it repeatedly.
Then vs. now: What is a "recession?"
"The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command."
We are living in a George Orwell novel. pic.twitter.com/Woa3i9evNn
— Young Americans for Liberty (@YALiberty) July 26, 2022
I think the end of the clip is the best part. You see CNN’s John Harwood, who is nothing but a stenographer for the Biden White House, claiming that a single quarter of negative GDP growth should be defined as a recession under Trump. Now, Harwood says that two straight quarters of negative GDP growth, 9.1 percent inflation, depressed real wages, and a labor shortage aren’t a recession. In fact, back in June, he proclaimed there weren’t even any signs of a recession. It’s farcical.
Here are the cold, hard facts, no matter what any “fact-checker” tries to allege. We are currently in a recession based on the technical definition that has been used throughout modern economics. No amount of gas-lighting, from Biden or the press, is going to change. So let them flail while the rest of us point and laugh.
Meanwhile, the American people know the truth, and this will also serve as a good test of which members of the mainstream media have some shred of dignity left. Who will stand up and not brazenly lie to the public to serve the White House? You can go ahead and cross John Harwood off the list.
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