Commentary / Coronavirus

Recession? The Liberal Media Not so Secret in Calling for One

RecessionAfter teaching high school economics for 15 years, I can explain what causes a recession. Simple— decreased demand. When consumers buy fewer goods and services, suppliers have to cut back as profits disappear. Businesses lay off workers. Those now jobless have less income, and they buy less. That adds up to many lost restaurant meals, movie tickets, and concert or sporting events not purchased. Those establishments then lay off some staff, and there goes the whole ball game (i.e., the overall economy), so to speak. It’s now a downward spiral. A contraction. A recession.

But why do people initially cut back spending and demand? Fear is a culprit, and that’s fueled by the media. Past recessions have been caused by global events, overproduction, too much debt, or when money gets too expensive (i.e., high-interest rates discourage borrowing and spending). The 2008 crisis was largely in housing. Banks practically threw money at people, and many took on more debt and more house than they could truly afford. It eventually came to a bust.

It need not have been so bad. Even when unemployment hits 9-10%, still 90-91% of people are working. But the media signals through their negative reporting that “Your job may be cut next.” People shudder. They close their wallets.

Today, the fundamentals of the U.S. economy could not be stronger. Companies cannot even find staff to hire with our 50-year record low unemployment rate. Business is booming. Paychecks are fat. The stock market hit highs in February 2020, the likes of which we’ve never seen.

Enter Coronavirus. Here’s the definition from the World Health Organization: “Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).” Though not new, the current strain, COVID-19, is novel. It, too, causes flu-like symptoms. While it’s more easily spread, 80% of those, who contract it will have virtually no or very mild symptoms. The young, middle-aged, and healthy have little to fear any more than seasonal flu, which killed 61,000 Americans last season and over 12,000 so far this season. Why no hysteria over that? The elderly and immunocompromised should always be extra vigilant with hygiene with any circulating viruses.

The liberal media barely mentions the above. A cruise ship circling at sea or histrionic words like “Trump-virus” are better visuals and headlines to gain audiences. Calling for large scale shutdowns of the economy is no more warranted than telling people not to drive their cars because there were 38,800 vehicle fatalities in 2019. If we all stayed home last year, there would have been no car crashes, and almost 40,000 more people would be alive. Of course, without cars, our lives, our freedoms, and the entire economy would be so severely disrupted we would scarcely want to live.

If there’s one thing you can take to the bank, it’s the strong correlation between presidential elections and the economy. When an incumbent president has a recession in year 3 or 4 of his term, he’s out (Carter, George H.W. Bush). If the economy is doing well, voters stick with whoever is in office, and party matters not (Reagan, Clinton, George W. Bush, Obama).

Anyone looking at the economic data during the first two months of 2020 would easily conclude a Trump landslide. Even those who say the links between the two variables might have weakened, some would forecast a Trump reelection. What single event would make voters want to change course? Answer— a recession. Now you know why the Democrat candidates and media are secretly rooting for a downturn soon, and by needlessly scaring Americans over a virus strain that is not Ebola but more flu-like, both are hoping to get a Democrat elected in November.

Jeff Szymanski works in political communication for AMAC, a senior benefits organization with over 2.1 million members.

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Debra Sparks
1 year ago

If there was ever a President in office who can RESTART this Economy and get it roaring again — it is DONALD J TRUMP. Let us pray like mad for wisdom for this guy and his administration and then get out and bring the RED in November!!!

Javier
1 year ago

This article is aging poorly, and it will look even more embarrassing two weeks from now.

JohnH
1 year ago

Not sure, but think that Trump said maybe recession on 3/16/2020 but sometimes does not know what he says, maybe this is fake news. Wake up people & do what is best for this country * not for one party.

JohnH
1 year ago

Pay attention & see what happens in one more week.

Whiskey Sierra Lima
1 year ago

“Adapt, Improvise and Overcome”

Joanned
1 year ago

Stock Market appears to be having somewhat of a recovery in view of pandemic viral crisis However. Commercial business sector (Dept stores etc) Is at risk as are small. Businesses Thankfully.our POTUS and White House as well as National Health agencies are working diligently TOGETHER! Great leadership and actions?

Eric Garr
1 year ago

You ask why there is no hysteria over the flu, but the true answer should be obvious given your interest in economics and thus your familiarity with statistics and forecasting. The flu has a death rate 20x lower than COVID-19, so while the flu may have a history of killing more people in absolute terms, the percentage associated with COVID-19 is much higher. Add to that the projected number of people likely to become infected in such a short amount of time, and you have a legitimate reason to worry. Yes, this works out in the Democrats’ favor for the reasons you articulated. But you have a responsibility to make it clear to your readers that neither Democratic politicians nor the liberal media are primary causes of the the economic downturn. To place the sole blame on them is to promote a conspiracy theory and discredit the advice of public health officials who do not have anything to gain politically from this pandemic.

Josephine Pooley
1 year ago

Very wise anaylsis. Don’t believe the garbage the media is feeding you! Be wise, use precautions and stay safe!

Barbara J Struble
1 year ago

thank you for some real truth, Sir.

Elena Tellez
1 year ago

Excellent article. Our mainstream media is an arm of the Democratic party.

par
1 year ago

The media loves misery. They will never learn how to make lemon aide out of lemons. I would like to see how they write the obituary for their grandmother. Need to be a mental midget to write for most newspapers and be a reporter.

Bill Q
1 year ago

The other part of the equation is the left’s long term goal to erode our basic American values. Move education to the left (teach a ‘version’ of history which leaves out important facts), take over the media (and present their version of the truth) and keep repeating the lie until it becomes the truth. Classic Marx. Not Groucho.

Bill Q
1 year ago

Is it too much of a stretch to suggest that the left wing media has colluded is this uncalled for panic to take down President Trump? Far out, but not that far out. Just saying.

HCorey
1 year ago

Going on a ship confined to a small space with about 3000 strangers bobbing in water is like a prison for me. Easily getting seasick only adds to the dislike of the experience. Corona virus epidemic highlights the unhealthiness of living in close quarters with people who may carry a disease that can be easily spread. No thanks. I’ld rather be at home with my dog.

Steve
1 year ago

BO had a great economy ? Are you kidding me ?? Under 3 percent growth for twelve years . More like inept Republican leadership . I don’t listen to the Free Press but that’s all that’s on the virus , the economy is tanking , it’s the end of the World ! Turn the boob tube OFF and VOTE !!

Jacqueline
1 year ago

Praise God. This election will be different no matter what the economy is or what is happening in the world, in this country or in the oval office. Why? Because….We, the American citizens/voters understand the evil of the left and that they will stop at nothing to remove Trump from office. WE will not let this happen….However, if the cowards (the left and the media) would make themselves known…we would be glad to find a way to put them out of their misery. Their evil trick of a deadly virus is killing many innocent people….These evildoers do not deserve to get away with it “Scott Free.”

Jim S
1 year ago

Just heard interview with authors of book called “Tightrope” on the very liberal MPR (Minn. public radio) station. It was all about oppiod crisis, and how “we” ignore the downtroden folks in this country who got messed up with alcohol or drugs, resulting in more suicides and incarcerations, and that “we” are not helping them with government programs. No mention of the low unemployment and higher wages, that gives everyone more opportunities than ever. One of them even implied that the “Trump era” has been bad for these folks. I hope the government is not still supporting this liberal media outlet in any way. This is a perfect example of the suttle support that the liberal media gives the Democrats, and of course they want everyone to adopt their way of thinking, now that an election is looming.

John Karkalis
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim S

Political correctness rears its ugly head again, Jim.
Mr Trump is very good at giving the back of his hand to the PC movement.
Good for him!

Drue
1 year ago

Let’s use round numbers for this: 60,000+ people died of the flu last year. About 40,000 people died from car accidents too. Tragic but not unexpected. No one gets out of this world alive. Enter the Coronavirus. How many in 2020? We all will eventually die of something. BUT a cruise ship circling off our coast and people in China wearing masks make for more thrilling and chilling visuals for our leftest news media. Fact: there are over 300 cruise ships with about 2,300 passengers each plying the waters of the world at any one time. That’s almost 700,000 people. Statistically, some will fall ill and some of those will die. The same if they were on land. What can we do? If you get sick, stay home and drink plenty of fluids and see a doctor if necessary. Wear a seat belt and drive defensibly if you travel by car. Cruising? Use hand sanitizer and common sense. Don’t let the Chicken Little media scare you into believing the sky is falling. It’s not.

Joanned
1 year ago
Reply to  Drue

VOTING FOR REPUBLICANS IS THE BEST AND ONLY ANSWER IN THIS ELECTION

Chuck
1 year ago

Democrats will do anything to steal an election. False narratives being no exception. If facts were truly presented, caronavirus would barely cause a blip. I’m not downplaying the severity of this pandemic. Just the methodology.

John Karkalis
1 year ago
Reply to  Chuck

Chuck, it’s the same old story, a 24/7 feeding frenzy by Big Media.
Fear is their raw meat.

Tom Gindorf
1 year ago

The measure of a successful leader is in how he or she reacts to real difficulty, not how their opposition and liberal biased media choose to cast their perspective about it or them. Imagine what our economy would look like had Hillary won and what would be the response in the markets. Our country has been very well positioned over the last three years to absorb the current events by energy independence ( caused by Trump administration actions) and a strong economy (caused by Trump policy and actions). The latest stock market reaction to an oil spat between Russia and Saudi Arabia is over cooked. Trump administration policy and actions have zero to do with the origins of Coronavirus and the oil spat. In fact, administration actions have curtailed their impact on the average American. The current very professional reactions to the current hysteria fostered by the media who only want to blame Trump for every negative event. The market will fire back when the hysteria is recognized for what it is. The current death rate from the coronavirus is skewed by the incident of initial impact in a nursing home and the few number of cases nationwide. As more cases arise the death rate will drop significantly…likely to be like the normal unfortunate flu rates in America. America is positioned better than the rest of the world to respond to difficulty , America is strong and resilient. God allows these challenges to test us to see who we really are. President Trump has been this countries best friend for all three years of his term and this in-spite of vast opposition by media and his political enemies. Trump is not perfect, but His actions have benefited all Americans, especially the lowest wage earners, the religious among us, the minorities, and business and industry. If only people would truly consider their individual position today versus 3 years ago and ask themselves if we really want to risk change to an unknown future under socialist or ultra liberal policies with heavy business and growth regulations, a weak military, and second rate respect in other countries, as well as unfair trade practices. Trump will be viewed by history as a very effective Patriot President who was unpopular in half the populace due to a biased media, who he alienated by unfortunate although honest attacks on them, because they elicited them by their continual unfair and frequently erroneous bias. The media is really the villain in all this, but they will never point their finger at themselves. Trump and his administration have done more good for the country than any president in the last 75 years, but don’t expect an unbiased evaluation by the media. Thank God for Trump and his strength in the face of great resistance. He has been the man for this moment in history. God willing we will have his leadership for 5 more years. He is the best alternative to fight for those he represents. He sticks to his principles when others waiver and procrastinate or wave with the winds of happenstance.

John Karkalis
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Gindorf

A well-reasoned, comprehensive narrative, Tom. Too bad your insights will fall on the deaf ears of the opposition.
Yes, the markets will recover. Periodic wide swings are part of our markets. The market is self-correcting. It is the constant upward slope of prosperity vs productivity that matters, despite Bernie’s futile efforts to deny this truth.
I repeat my mantra: It is so easy to attack and disparage from the sidelines when the responsibility for making the tough decisions is NOT yours.

Joanned
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Gindorf

THANK GOD that Billary did not succeed to the White House I am hopeful that the Clinton’s would go away However, they keep somehow getting in the news by the corrupt media s devious actions

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