Finance / Politics

Positive Economic Report Generates Negative Headlines – Sorry Folks, No Recession


An old Republican used to call them “nattering nabobs of negativism.” These days we call them down-in-the-mouth pessimists of the media.  Their latest game is predicting – without data – a recession.  Breaking news:  The breaking news of recession has no place in breaking news.

The latest is a report from our Labor Department, released September 6th.  What did it say?  At a time when unemployment is at 3.7 percent, lowest in 50 years, and labor participation jumped to over 63 percent – another record – the New York Times headline: “Labor Report Shows Signs of Economy Losing Vigor.”  Really?

The first sentence: “The great American jobs machine is flagging, showing signs of its age and damage from an intensifying trade war with China and a slowing global economy.”  Let’s unpack that. 

First, the “great American jobs machine” is not slowing.  On the numbers, the unemployment rate is not rising. The labor participation rate is not falling – in fact, not even stagnant, but rising. 

Second, “signs of age” is a nice way of saying, don’t you recall the long growth stretch under Obama?  It must be time for a recession.  Only is it?  No, since the average growth rate under Obama was 1.48 percent, including the last quarter pop after Trump won.  That is the weakest expansion since 1949; no president has turned worse numbers. 

So, on that long Obama expansion, not really – it was a meager, barely positive climb with not a single quarter in eight years hitting 3 percent, which Trump has hit four times in two and a half years.  Moreover, Obama’s economy experienced nearly zero growth over 16 of those 32 quarters. 

What is more, Obama started with a 10.6 trillion-dollar public debt, which took decades to amass, and left us with an 18 trillion-dollar debt.  How much of the growth was private sector, not slight-of-hand?

Third, let’s talk “damage from an intensifying trade war with China.”  Several clarifications:  China sells three times as much to us as we sell them, which is why there is an imbalance.  We can live without their goods far more readily than they without our market.     

While we need – in the long term – replacement markets for China, they will be hard pressed to replace the dynamic US market.  Doing so will incur sizable opportunity and transaction costs.  Other countries are eager for US-quality goods, and we for their low-cost goods. This could be their opening, and chance for us to widen the diversity of our global market.

As China’s rate of growth falls, leaders wrestle with debt, revaluation rattles their currency, internal economic bets become iffy, and economic disruption – from protests in Hong Kong – continue, China will have incentives to reach a deal with the US. 

That is not, however, what the nabobs want to hear.  They want to hear that Trump is overinvested in tariffs and losing; thus, the US economy is (going to be) flagging, all because he has called China out and Obama’s tenure was great for the economy. Only none of that is true. 

There was no crazy Obama growth rate.  Trump is not losing his bid to restore fairness to trade with China.  The US economy is not flagging, even as we approach what economists call the low “structural” unemployment level; in other words, when all jobs are filled – minus labor transition. 

Add an overlooked number in Labor’s report.  Wages continued to grow, with high-growth, low unemployment, advancing labor participation and high consumer and business confidence.  Average hourly earnings jumped 0.4 percent, more than analysts expected.  So here again, far from negative, news is positive. 

The sense one has is that these “media economists” are like teens playing their air guitar, imagining something that is not, but so wishing it were. They are primed for the recession – two quarters of negative growth – before November 2020.  Only they cannot catch a scent.  Nor will they.

They are hoping on recession, since how else to stop President Trump’s reelection, as wiser Democrats back away from a self-set impeachment trap.  No, the only way to report a recession is to invent one, and so the headline – repeated twice – that our economy is “losing vigor.”  Only it is not.

Last two counterpoints.  First, volatility is not low growth, just as the tick-tock of tariffs does not portend a recession.  Under current circumstances, both are signs of a global economy adjusting – to new factors.  One is Trump’s claim on China for fairness.  A second is sanctions on Iranian oil, to prevent Middle East war.  Third is a topsy-turvy Europe, dragged down by Brexit, indebted southern countries, intransigent rich ones. 

Finally, the Federal Reserve, which may see value in releasing pressure, appears to be considering a rate cut.  Call that insurance for growth, or good monetary policy with no inflation – another good thing.  Either way, a rate cut would add value to the market, sustaining growth not causing it to “flag.”

All this must be irritating for those primed to strum the blues on their air guitars, who can almost hear the groans, almost smell a recession.  Only they are – on the Labor report confirms – drawing unsupported conclusions from solidly positive data.  Bottom line:  With no recession in sight, back to the drawing board or next jam session for the nattering nabobs.

If You Enjoy Articles Like This - Subscribe to the AMAC Daily Newsletter
and Download the AMAC News App

Sign Up Today Download

If You Enjoy Articles Like This - Subscribe to the AMAC Daily Newsletter!

Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
2 years ago

What a great life most people have that live in the U S . Everyone the wants to work is working, those that want to sit on there fanny & draw welfare is doing it. Some people are retired & don’t want to work anymore!
THE USA IS IN GRWAT SHAPE! Now what are we going to to with our 22 Trillion Debt? Maybe Obama could repay the $10 trillion he spent while screwing over our Country!
Thank You Mr. Obama! Or Maybe we could elect
Michelle Obama to be pour Next PRESIDENT & then have 8 years of her & put the debt to $45 Trillion

angelo andrews
2 years ago

Good news!

Fuzzy Thinker
2 years ago

The refrain for the air guitar song is: ‘Something Bad is Around the Corner, Around the Corner.’

2 years ago

It’s another day in the life of the fake news media. The democrat controlled fake news media has no bad economic news to report. Therefore, good news on the economy has to be presented as bad as they can make it. They’re hoping if they can instill listeners with enough doom and gloom, their audience will loose faith in the economy. The democrat party and their media are nothing but a bunch of losers. Trump?Pence 2020!

Jack H
2 years ago

I would wager that you will never hear any of this from AARP!

Bob L.
2 years ago

“Growth” is one of the most misused and over used economic terms in recent decades. While a recession is the opposite of growth, they are inevitable in economic cycles. Perpetual growth is impossible, not just in economics, but in everything. I assume the term stagnation is used by Keynesian economists when the economy levels off. There’s nothing wrong with a stable, leveled off economy as long as it is a good economy. Politicians only like ups and downs in the economy, depending on which party is in power so they can use the economy roller coaster as talking points with the voters. A level, stable economy is boring to them and doesn’t serve their purposes. The unconstitutional FED (which has ties to the giant international banking interests in New York, is the biggest manipulator of our economy and can (and has in the past) make or break any administration.

You can learn about the history of the FED by reading the book “The Creature From Jekyll Island”.

2 years ago

Good for you, get the truth out, because the America hating, destructive democratic party has totally committed to try to destroy our great country, and it’s great leader. We must not let that happen!

2 years ago

Trump said yesterday 160 million people employed & lowest unemployment in USA ever. Therefore, taxes coming in should be highest ever so why not start using some of it to balance budget. Also, this means that all time high $$$ are going to social security + Medicare (theses not included in Trump tax cut for rich) but no one mentions that Social Security is getting healthy, why not ??? Comments

Alene Math
2 years ago

It has long been apparent that the “true believers” of the left have become seditious anti American, anti Semitic, lunatics. I won’t even get into their worship of everything perverse. Is this truly a party that the sane can support? Are their beliefs what we truly want our country to live under?
Whatever you do in November of 2020, for God and America’s sake vote against the Democrat Party.

Susan P
2 years ago
Reply to  Alene Math

I was raised a democrat, but as Reagan so succinctly put it, “I didn’t leave the democrat party, the democrat party left me”. This is definitely NOT my parents democrat party. Today, they are socialists/communists. I remember my parents voting for Eisenhower, a republican, TWICE. Why? Because Adali Stevenson, Ike’s opponent in both elections, was a SOCIALIST. At this point, I cannot see myself casting a vote for anyone who runs on the democrat ticket; not even for a local city election. They ALL must be soundly defeated in coming elections until the party dissolves or turns away from their socialist agenda.

2 years ago

Why don’t you lazy anti AMERICAN dense oc RATS get off of your dead butts and help make AMERICA recover from nobamba and his bunch of”GOONIES”.Barry should really be tried for treason.He would only be the first in line.

2 years ago

My opinion, the China trade war is hurting a lot of USA people. News does not show a lot of these people: but farmers are hurting, suppliers of farm equipment are hurting, assume each American is paying about $1 thousand/year more due to tariffs, A lot of companies are holding back on future planning/expansion until they see what happens. Trump does not realize (but he should) how patient & stubborn the Chinese culture is, and they do not like to be bullied & lose face. It could be interesting to see in 6-8 years how many people on AMAC board think China trade war was a good idea. POTUS should not have this much power on tariffs.

Larry Dean
2 years ago
Reply to  johnH

Yep, John, since you are in the “Ass-U-Me” mode, I’ll get right in there with ya and I figger us Bass Fishermen are hurtin’ at least $2000 a year on account of these POTUS tariffs. I ain’t on the AMAC board, but if I live another 6-8 years, I’d be willing to betcha them Japanese (especially them that’s kicking my butt with their new lures) are gonna bow gracefully to those cultured Chinese and laugh all the way to the bank. The local farmers round here are just gonna patch up them ol’ high dollar John Deere’s with Mr.POTUS’S hush money till those China boys learn how the U. S. guys have caught on to what a trade balance really is……oh! And a lol to ya :)

2 years ago

My opinion, that continuing Federal deficit cannot be good for the long term economics of USA & world. Add +8Trillion during Obama & right now appears like +1Trillion per year & the USA needs to start balancing budget & paying this down. Why are we doing this to future generation is beyond me. Trump talks about fixing infrastructure , but puts money elsewhere. How much is military & foreign conflicts costing us per year??

2 years ago

8 billion dollars in cash to Iran certainly didn’t help the deficit any
Dumborats live on negativity and down economies especially where minorities are concerned as their way to control minorities
The new slave masters

Josephine pooley
2 years ago

I love the facts! They cannot be refuted!

2 years ago

Yes, but the Left and their ilk care nothing for the facts. And they’ve brainwashed people against them. ?

2 years ago

Go Trump Go 2020

2 years ago
Reply to  Wayne

Trying to vote up on this but can’t –

2 years ago

Democrat/Socialist/RINO mantra-If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with BS.

2 years ago

The Left screamed greed when Reagan restarted the economy after the failed policies of Jimmy Carter. The Left hates freedom and economic growth because its harder to control a free, prosperous, educated people! The Left has always loved the failed economies cuz they come out of their government enclaves promising everyone the moon, knowing its power and control they crave, not helping anyone but themselves! This press to create a recession is just another ploy of the Left to feed their addiction to power!

Paul W
2 years ago

It’s far too kind to call the MSM pessimistic. They are LIARS and an all-out propaganda arm of the DNC.

Gary Brooks
2 years ago

It is so deceptive to try to paint a failing economy when so much growth has occurred under this administration. These people who try everything to undermine this administration, show no respect nor caring for the will of the American people who faithfully voted and through the electoral college as afforded in the Constitution, fairly won the results of this President and the Administration. We the people have and we keep our voice regardless of the minions who think they know better then millions of sound Patriots.

Big Al
2 years ago
Reply to  Gary Brooks

The vote is our most precious and rightful course to take. We must take every effort to get the truths out to our fellow patriots and get them involved in the process. Living in a very awkward situation of a precinct that votes conservatively surrounded by active leftists that have managed to have our polling place moved to an inconvenient place in an effort to stifle our votes, my plan is to volunteer transportation to the polls next November.

2 years ago

Time to form a group called “TERRORIST FOR AMERICAN FOUNDED VALUES”. and be willing to fight like the enemy of our founding fathers did. The left sees our founding as todays definition of what a Terrorist is, so teach them the meaning of___ Isiah 5: 20 ____No holds bared. Can’t sit on the side lines any more. Pacifist have doomed millions to death in history. If you have nothing to die for ”YOU HAVE NOTHING TO LIVE FOR”. Time to get in, Maxine Waters and ever other Hate American First Persons, THEIR FACE. If you are not willing to fight for your freedom, please stay in your SLAVE HOLE, so you don’ t become part of the collateral damage. America will learn how to fight like the JEWS, of today, are die like all the slaves of yesterday. Prepare your self with an abundance of PRAYER

Big Al
2 years ago
Reply to  R J B

It has been evident for some time now that the objective of the string pullers on the left has been to continue perverse activities so as to provoke violence from the right. There is really nothing to be gained by the mainstream left in replicating a mouse that roared scenario, so one would have to dig way beyond policies of resistance, hatred and defamation to see what the best strategy would be to save our system of government, our nation and our fellow short-minded Americans. It would seem that a strong belief in truth being the best response is the best approach. Standing up against the musings of those who have succumbed to peer pressure on social media and letters to editors and authors of leftist rags should be the order of the day.

Larry Dean
2 years ago
Reply to  Big Al

Don’t you just hate it(pun intended)when the quiet voice of reason rears it’s beautiful head in opposition to what you’d think you’d really want to do to the likes of Maxine Waters and the cowardly “Antifa”? Truth never has been in short supply……only the use of it to call out the “Mug Wumps” of the Leftist editors by covering up their lies with your truthful request for “Just the facts please; just the facts.”
Tip of the hat to you Big Al……

Vicki Le Gare
2 years ago
Reply to  R J B

The voice of a true Believer & sanity!
Thank you……

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x