If not, why do they keep posting inflammatory stories like CNBC’s latest news video, “Worst June Since 1930”? Yes, I’m sure there is some economic indicator that is worse than any time since June 1930, but the fact is that technically the US is not even in a recession yet, much less a depression. In fact, economists continue to express suprise that the economy has been relatively stable despite the very serious pressures on it.
Do these dimwits not understand that the economy is very susceptible to speculation? The more they sensationalize the extent of the economic problem, the worse they will make it, because people will believe they are right and act accordingly.
How about more stories like this one from Reuters posted today – “The U.S. economy continues to bump along at a slow level of growth but has probably not fallen into recession…the United States is managing to stay in the positive growth column.”
I am not for one moment suggesting that anyone engage in inaccurate reporting or trivialize the seriousness of the economic situation. It is entirely possible that we may go into recession given the inflationary pressure of oil prices. (It’s actually amazing that we haven’t seen widespread inflation yet – maybe because companies know only too well what will happen to the economy if they try to pass along all the extra costs to consumers and are doing their best to absorb the oil shocks for as long as they can. See if they ever get credit for that bit of enlightened self-interest.)
And yet, the media act as if a recession is the harbinger of Armageddon itself. We have had a few recessions in the last 60 years or so. None have done permanent damage to the economy, and after each we came back stronger than ever.
So ladies and gentlemen of the Fourth Estate, it is time to do what you hate most of all: accept some responsibility for the role you play in affecting the course of events, and stop spinning every economic indicator as if it means the sky is falling. You are not going to get any medals for being prophets if we do end up in recession, so stop trying to predict it over and over again, lest your predictions come true, and just report what is actually happening, whether good or ill.