If you’re one of the many who quickly noticed and took offense to collectivist politicians and their cartoonish media fluffers scrambling to redefine “recession” so it won’t be associated with the insane, immoral, aggressive political decisions that started before Biden took office and which he, the Fed, and politicians nationwide made even worse, imagine being a person who teaches or has taught economics and deals with it every day.
It's like watching Bill Watterson’s comic strip character Calvin constantly redefine the rules of his “Calvinball” game, to the bemusement of his tiger pal, Hobbes. It’s akin to watching Kirk and “Spocko” make up a card game called “Fizzbin” on Star Trek.
From frightened-looking, doe-eyed Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen flat-out denying on “Meet the Press” the truth that the technical definition of “recession” is two straight quarters of negative GDP (a truth that, of all people, Nancy Pelosi actually stated in 2008), to White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre echoing the same Yellenesque canard, to MSNBC “Senior Business Analyst” and hostess Stephanie Ruhle claiming that “we are in an economic recovery,” to economic fabulist Paul Krugman telling slack-jawed Brian Stelter on CNN that not only is the U.S. not in a recession, but that the enemies of Biden are engaged in a dastardly plot to use the verboten term as a way to besmirch Biden’s lily-white economic performance...it’s all like seeing a sports player constantly move the goalposts to his advantage.
In fact, it’s more like seeing a thief not only claim that he didn’t steal from you, but, that he actually gave you something, instead.
And, have no doubt, you have been robbed.
You’ve been robbed of buying power from an immoral government-central bank nexus that has forced on you its fiat currency, then created trillions through the decades, topped by a titanic $20.354 TRILLION between January of 2020 and November of last year, alone. You’ve been robbed of employment opportunities and business growth due to unconstitutional lockdowns. You’ve been robbed of opportunities to get new inventions, new products, and services – all because the elitists like Yellen, Biden, Krugman, and their media friends think that government spending is glorious and that your economic decisions should be directed, compelled, and steered by the state.
And when it backfires, as it inevitably does, and the inflated money supply sees prices rise, even as lockdowns and regulations cut supplies of everything we want -- from baby formula to fertilizer -- they have the unvarnished gall to simply deny reality.
And now, we learn that – SHOCK! – Facebook and Instagram have been flagging as “False Information” the actual truth about the word recession and about the Biden regime’s cozy place in the midst of one.
“Meta's third-party fact-checkers have flagged as "false information" posts on Instagram and Facebook accusing the Biden administration of changing the definition of a recession in order to deny that the U.S. economy has entered one. This is yet another reminder that the project of purportedly independent fact-checking on social media is a highly partisan one, in which legitimately debatable opinions are passed off as objective truth.”
And he offered more context:
“Last week, the White House published an online article disputing the standard definition of an economic recession: i.e., two consecutive fiscal quarters in which GDP growth was negative.”
And what did the Bidenistas say?
"’Both official determinations of recessions and economists' assessment of economic activity are based on a holistic look at the data—including the labor market, consumer and business spending, industrial production, and incomes,’ wrote the White House. ‘Based on these data, it is unlikely that the decline in GDP in the first quarter of this year—even if followed by another GDP decline in the second quarter—indicates a recession.’"
In other words, “measure economics the real way if you want to, but we’re going to pretend things are different so that the politically deadly term ‘recession’ doesn’t enter the U.S. vernacular.”
In a Humpty Dumpty world, where men can pretend to be women and beat them at prominent sporting competitions, where people can “adopt” plural pronouns, and even words like “pandemic” and “vaccine” can get molded and shaped to fit political ends, is it at all surprising that the party in political power and its media-power friends should wax Orwellian over their preferred, completely changeable, undefined “definition” of “recession” to fit their needs?
Indeed, it isn’t. In fact, this is something leftist politicians and their media pals already did on the economic front during Barack Obama’s slippery reign.
Even as quarter after quarter of negative GDP piled up following the crash of early 2008, I and other free market economists were calling it like it was: a DEPRESSION. Yet, despite the fact that U.S. GDP did not return to pre-2008 levels until December of 2011, the pop media and it’s go-to jawbreakers – including Mr. Krugman – insisted at the time that it was an “economic downturn.”
And now, Meta is part of the cabal. Actually, it’s more than Meta, as Soave reports:
“The fact-checker is Politifact, a fact-checking website run by the Poynter Institute. Politifact is an official third-party fact-checking apparatus for Meta, the company that owns Facebook and Instagram.”
In other words, they create a circuit, a feedback loop, pumping up the number of times people see Politifact’s redefinition of “recession” even as Politifact, itself, provides it to Meta.
“This means that PolitiFact is not like any ordinary website that offers a critique of a political narrative: PolitiFact's critiques are enforced by social media platforms.”
And, adds Soave:
“In this instance, PolitiFact has rated as false the claim that ‘the White House is now trying to protect Joe Biden by changing the definition of the word recession.’"
Really? One could debate that claim, but to outright call it “false” is simply comical.
Heck, as MRCTV reported just last week, even the comical crew at Wikipedia changed the definition of “recession” 22 times between July 28 and July 29, until the Wikilords locked it on the new spin that helped Biden.
The whole sordid affair really is like a Calvin and Hobbes comic, or like Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown every time she promises to let him kick it.
Come to think of it, I always harbored the glimmering hope that for the final “Peanuts” comic, Charles Shulz had prepared a strip featuring a similar scenario, where Lucy promises not to pull the ball, Charlie gets set, and runs, frame by frame, faster, faster, readying his kick—
And in the final panel, all we see is Charlie on one foot, his other leg extended out of the frame, and we hear an out-of-sight Lucy yell, “OW! Why’d you kick me?”
But I’m glad Mr. Shulz never did that. At times like this, we who take great care to deal honestly with students, readers, listeners, and viewers can become frustrated and angry. We can wonder why we bother. We’ve watched with increasing bewilderment as people like Krugman and Yellen, and groups like Meta and Politifact and Wikipedia, just bend words to make them mean anything they want.
But we fight against it because we believe in telling the truth, no tricks, no kicks. We know something that, evidently, they don’t, or, if they do, about which they care not in the least.
We know that we are not supposed to bear false witness, and that telling the truth is its own reward.