Money / 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.

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Wayne D Peterkin
1 year ago

I should have included in my other comment that the positive economy was only achieved with a president who knew a little about economics after a former president that couldn’t spell “economics”, and the policy changes that gave us the strong economy was opposed by every single Democrat determined to “resist” everything since 2016 no matter how beneficial to the nation. This accusation of mine is not limited to just economic policy but also pertains to border security, illegal immigration, trade policy, national defense, virtually all policy. If the Trump administration found a cure for cancer the Democrats would oppose… Read more »

Wayne D Peterkin
1 year ago

Sadly, some recessions are the result of a self-fulling prophecy which is what the left-wing media and their comrades in the Democratic Party are hoping for. If they can convince enough people that the sky is falling and hurt consumer confidence, they might engineer a recession when none was justified. And make no mistake., they will hurt anyone and anything in their lust to gain more political power over us all. Why do you think the Democrat’s main proposals are taking complete control over our healthcare and our energy usage? It’s all about control, not what is best for anyone… Read more »

Paul DAscenz
1 year ago

No! Recession! This is a Narrative Generated by the Deep State Democrats. President Trump, has done an outstanding job of Protecting the American Economy! Trump /Pence 2020!!!!

Brenda Blunt
1 year ago

Enough of those pessimistic. Instead of rooting for the USA, they can leave the USA and find a country that will allow them to have all of the freedoms they enjoy now!!

Paul W
1 year ago

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

Glenn Lego
1 year ago

The Democrats and the media are nothing but “Debbie Downers” 😭 If there is not enough bad news, they will create some. (Excuse me. I need a Kleenex.😢)

1 year ago


1 year 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!

stephen russell
1 year ago

C Dems ruin Everything, A-Z
Time to dump your Leftist friends then 2.
Or nothing changes

Gary Brooks
1 year 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.

1 year ago

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

1 year ago

Go Trump Go 2020

Alene Math
1 year 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.

1 year 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.

1 year 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… Read more »

1 year 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
1 year ago

I love the facts! They cannot be refuted!

1 year 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
1 year ago

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

1 year 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!

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