Thursday, April 03, 2008

As originally posted by John Lott on Fox

During the 2000 election, with Bill Clinton as president, the economy was viewed through rose-colored glasses. According to polls, voters didn’t realize that the country was in a recession. Although the economy started shrinking in July 2000, most Americans through the entire year thought that the economy was fine. But over the last half-year, the media and politicians have said we were in a recession even while the economy was still growing. Gas prices are going up. The economy is slowing. Talk of recession is seemingly everywhere. While the majority of people rate their personal finances positively, consumer confidence in the economy has plunged to a 16-year low, well below what it was during the last year of the Clinton administration when we were in a recession. A Nexis search on news stories during the three-month period from July 2000 through September 2000 using the keywords “economy recession US” produces 1,388. By contrast, the same search over just the last month finds 3,166. Or, even more telling, take the three months from July through September last year, when the GDP was growing at a phenomenal 4.9 percent. The same type of Google search shows 2,475 news stories


I always appreciate it when the mainstream media gets caught doing what they adamantly claim they don't do, which is show bias. For the past several months, every time I turn around I hear the word "recession" even though I don't really see any evidence around me that the economy is going backwards. Nevertheless, these so-called objective journalists continue to report about the recession.

I like what Lott did with his Nexis search. Most people would say that the last time we were in a recession was during Daddy Bush's last term. Actually, there was no recession during the Bush presidency and the last time we were in an actual recession was during Clinton's last year in office. Funny how the media seems to have so much power over our perception.

And Senator Obama has joined the mix: “As most experts know, our economy is in a recession.” Well, this is not true. Isn't doesn't take an economic expert to know that a recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth. We have yet to experience one quarter of negative growth, so it's pretty foolish to speculate that we are in a recession. And notice that Obama doesn't mention who these "experts" are that he refers to. Either Obama doesn't know how a recession is defined or he is being rather reckless with his verbage. Either way, it really makes me wonder if the whole "inexperience" attacks on him may have some merit.

Well, for Obama's sake, here are the facts about our economy as cited by Lott:

-- The average unemployment rate during President Clinton was 5.2 percent. The average under President George W. Bush is just slightly below 5.2. The current unemployment rate is4.8 percent, almost half a percentage point lower than these averages.

-- The average inflation rate under Clinton was 2.6 percent, under Bush it is 2.7 percent. Indeed, one has to go back to the Kennedy administration to find a lower average rate.

--seasonally adjusted civilian employment is 650,000 people greater than it was a year ago. Personal income grew at a strong half of one percent in just February.

And yet, most people seem to believe that the economy was SO much stronger under Clinton. Too many people believe what they read in the newspaper, and when you couple that with biased journalism it makes for some dangerous politics. Seek the facts, people. You may be surprised at what you find.


BB-Idaho said...

So Bear-Stearns did not collapse?

Anonymous said...

Yeah seriously. Frankly, I'm not sure how one can't see a recession, unless one has a six-figure salary or something. Avoiding our economic problems isn't going to solve anything.

Is this just a defend Bush thing? I hate Clinton too, but Bush is not doing a good job. Better than Clinton? Yes. Good? Hell no.

Anonymous said...

robert m.

I find your position interesting that you feel President Bush has done a better job than President Clinton which I take to be your over all assessment.


The Loop Garoo Kid

Anonymous said...

Marginally. On an economic level. I wouldn't look too much into it. I'm not a Bush supporter.

Tom the Redhunter said...

In 2000 Democrats accused George W Bush of "talking down the economy" whenever he said things were worse than Gore said they were.

Guess that's all changed now.

As for recessions, either you're in one or you're not. There's a hard and fast definition so it's not a matter of opinion.

A recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of real negative economic growth.

Anonymous said...


What I like about the definition of a recessionb is that by the time your can definitively say you are in one, you ave been in one for 6 months.