Joe Biden almost certainly predicted this. The president spent the week prior to the Bureau of Economic Analysis report which showed another quarter of negative economic growth, preparing the nation for the bad news. We had met the “technical definition” of a recession.
Biden stated, “Definition?” Schmefinition! I will make my own. This will make those right-wingers crazy in no time.
Biden did this with gleeful intention. The pundit community went to war over the obscure definition of economic terms. The nation was unaware of the real meaning of the 0.9% negative economic growth in the second trimester in comparison to other major economies.
Newsweek reports that the United States experienced worse economic growth in the second quarter 2022 than seven other major economies. Only China, with its COVID-19 lockdowns, performed worse.
Even Mexico’s economy performed better than the U.S.
Spain was the most successful country among the majors that released figures for growth in the second quarter (April-June) with an annualized rate of 1.1 per cent.
Italy and Mexico followed with 1.0 percent each, followed by South Korea with 0.7 percentage and France with 0.5 percent.
Both Germany and Singapore recorded zero growth. However, their economies didn’t shrink, this was still better that the U.S. figure.
The White House stated that “Combining last year’s historic economic expansion and regaining all of the private sector jobs lost in the pandemic crises, it’s not surprising that the economy is slowing as the Federal Reserve acts against inflation.”
“But, even though we face historical global challenges, we’re on the right track and will make it through this transition stronger.
Bravo! These are not the same bozos that were wrong about inflation.
The Biden administration has invested a lot of effort trying to manage economic perceptions. Do you remember when inflation was supposed to be “temporary?” This experience should prove instructive. Consumers noticed that inflation was increasing, even though the administration claimed it was a temporary phenomenon. It also didn’t protect Biden’s approval ratings which plummeted even though the administration insisted that everything was fine.
Inflation wasn’t the sole reason for Biden’s disillusionment. This was evident when America was bombarded with horrendous images of the withdrawal from Afghanistan. However, inflation was a significant contributor to Biden’s disastrously low ratings. When consumers are forced to face reality every time they visit the grocery store, there isn’t much political messaging can do.
Biden’s attempt to deflect attention from bad economic news by using rhetorical distractions is an effort to alter perception. Perception can become a reality when it comes to the economy. Workers will demand a higher raise if they believe that prices will rise. Companies will increase prices if they believe this. This was what happened in late 1970s, until Ronald Reagan and Paul Volker brutally wreaked havoc on the economy by disregarding perception and inflicting suffering.
Their economic confidence is low due to falling real incomes and increased interest rates, making it more difficult to purchase a house or car. It’s impossible to message people without worrying about the future or thinking that their economic situation has gotten worse.
All the spin will likely go stale. Contra angry conservatives it’s likely to be harmless, except that it is emblematic of the dangerous tendency on the Left to believe they can control the reality through the words we use to describe.
Biden’s attempts to get his administration out from the next disaster will not work, because the reality of economic conditions isn’t the same as what he’s claiming. It doesn’t really matter what definition you give to “recession.” What is important is that the average American is suffering.