In a conversation on Monday’s CNN Newsroom with host Ana Cabrera, Washington Post Opinion columnist Catherine Rampell refused to look at inflation or recession in a bad light. In fact, they refused to even admit we were possibly in a recession, according to the official definition it holds.
“On the one hand, you have consumers saying this economy is really lousy, that they’re unhappy, that inflation is very painful. On the other hand, they’re still spending like crazy,” said Rampell, trying to make higher spending from inflation helpful for the economy.
The reality is, people are paying more for what they need, with very little extra cash flow for luxuries, yet Rampell and others of the leftist media push a narrative that people are spending more because they simply want to.
With a predicted recession coming soon according to experts, (the report will be out on Thursday, July 28), many of the left seem to be blind to the facts.
As Cabrera asked Rampell about the nearing recession, Rampell was quick to make a false claim about the widely accepted definition: “A lot of people think, oh, if you have two consecutive quarters of GDP declines, that in and of itself is a recession. No, that’s not the definition.”
While that seemingly has the textbook definition of a recession for years, this blatant neglect for the definition comes at a convenient time in the Biden Administration. A recent blog published by NewsBusters cited a new White House document announcing the move from the language of ‘two consecutive quarters of GDP lowering;” thus, helping the administration.
In the words of Rampell, in order for the United States to recognize that it is in a recession, “you would probably have to see job losses… or at the very least, unemployment rates going up.” The current unemployment rate is 3.6 percent nationally.
She continued on to empathize by saying, “but just imagine how much unhappier they will be if they’re dealing with inflation and job loss and all of the other economic pain associated with all of that.”
While the media may be boasting about the lower unemployment rate, they fail to take into consideration that the “functionally unemployed,” people who don’t work but are looking, or a part-time job and wish to have a full-time job, or even those who make below the national poverty line. Thus, that 3.6 percent they cherish really turns out to be 23.1 percent of the U.S. labor force as of April 2022.
Stating that the Fed’s job is “so difficult” right now, Rampell seemed to at least somewhat recognize the state that the nation’s economy is in currently though there seems to be a disregard for anything except clinging to a leftist narrative.
Click "expand" to read full transcript.
CNN Newsroom with Ana Cabrera
1:20:49 p.m. Eastern
ANA CABRERA: I want to add to the conversation now CNN economics and political commentator, Catherine Rampell. Catherine, this is described as an economic hurricane set to strike this week. So sticking with that metaphor, what do you think is approaching, a cat one or cat five storm?
CATHREINE RAMPELL: I wish I knew. The real problem is the economy is sending so many mixed signals right now. And we've talked about some of them already, right? I mean, you have potentially output GDP shrinking, maybe two quarters in a row. We'll find out later this week. On the other hand, employers are still hiring, they’re still hiring tons and tons of people. On the one hand, you have consumers saying this economy is really lousy, that they're very unhappy, that inflation is very painful. On the other hand, they're still spending like crazy.
So it is very hard to, you know, to sort through all of that noise and figure out how much trouble the economy is actually in and which direction. Right? Is it still overheating as we had worried about? Or are we on the verge of recession, potentially already in a recession? And that's part of the reason the Fed’s job is so difficult right now. Because of all the mixed signals.
1:22:57 p.m. Eastern
CABRERA: And Catherine, do workers still have the power right now versus the employer?
RAMPELL: It depends on how you measure it. I'm sorry these are unsatisfactory answers. But, if you look at the actual dollars in their paycheck, yes, they are going up. They are going up relatively quickly year-over-year. On the other hand, those dollars don't stretch as far. So, yes, they're able to command higher raises, but their raises are not keeping up with the cost of living.
In real terms and inflation-adjusted terms, their incomes are going down. And that's part of the reason people are so very frustrated now. Yeah, there are a lot of jobs out there. They can get a raise. But how much does that raise really count for when the cost of everything people buy has gone up so much.
CABRERA: So, when we hear the word recession, and cringe and embrace ourselves, Catherine, how or where would Americans feel it the most if we are in a recession, if we do end up in a recession?
RAMPELL: There's an independent committee that determines whether or not we are in a recession, and they look at a very broad set of indicators. A lot of people think, oh, if you have two consecutive quarters of GDP declines, that in and of itself is a recession. No, that's not the definition. You would probably have to see job losses, for example, or at the very least, unemployment rates going up. You would likely see, yes, you know, incomes going down and output going down. GDP going down. But you would see it across a broad swath of the economy.
And frankly, that might feel a lot worse than things feel right now. As we've been talking about, consumers are really unhappy with economic conditions, primarily because of inflation.
RAMPELL: But just imagine how much unhappier they will be if they're dealing with inflation and job loss and all of the other economic pain associated with all of that.