THE U.S. ECONOMY has technically entered a recession. It is a fact. Two periods of economic contraction are considered a recession in almost all serious countries and the best economics schools in the world. However, the Biden administration, knowing that this is an election year and that the president’s unpopularity is evident, refuses to accept that the economy has entered a recession. And to their good fortune, several major national media outlets —and pages of mass circulation across the Internet— adjusted their definitions of recession to contribute to White House propaganda. The latest was Wikipedia.
According to Wikipedia’s most recent update, “the definition of a recession varies between different countries and scholars, two consecutive quarters of decline in a country’s real gross domestic product (real GDP) is commonly used as a practical definition of a recession.” However, they add, “In the United States, a recession is defined by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) as a significant decline in economic activity spread across the market, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales.'”
In an earlier version, apparently already changed by administrators, Wikipedia stated, “There is no global consensus on the definition of a recession.”
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Also, in a disclaimer before giving the definition, Wikipedia warns that its “article may be affected by a current event. Information in this article may change rapidly as the event progresses. Initial news reports may be unreliable. The last updates to this article may not reflect the most current information.”
In a rather subtle way, Wikipedia joins the likes of CNN, TIME magazine, and National Public Radio (NPR) in trying to relativize the concept of recession to conform in an underhanded way to White House rhetoric; which not only denies the fact that the economy technically entered a recession, but tries to sell a narrative that the country is doing well macroeconomically because of the post-pandemic jobs recovery and foreign capital investment.
There are more urgent things than the recession.
This short-lived, circumstantial debate over whether or not the U.S. economy has entered a recession has done nothing but divert attention from what is essential: the economic situation is going very badly for Americans, who have seen their quality of life suffer, and the majority believe that the country is in worse shape than it was a year ago.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration denies the tragic reality and tries hard to tell citizens that everything is fine, selling the public the narrative that the economy has not entered a recession and losing sight of the broader spectrum of the problem: the economy could fall into a cycle of stagflation, meaning little economic growth and higher-than-normal prices.
If the economy enters this stagnation, that will translate into layoffs, households having to rely again on government assistance to make purchases, companies closing, and families unable to pay their mortgages.
To ignore this risk is to try to blindfold the public into not preparing for and taking action on a situation that could change the lives of thousands or even millions of Americans.
Emmanuel Alejandro Rondón is a journalist at El American specializing in the areas of American politics and media analysis // Emmanuel Alejandro Rondón es periodista de El American especializado en las áreas de política americana y análisis de medios de comunicación.
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