Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Newsweek Claims the “Recession is Over” – but Many, Including Obama, Disagree

In their latest issue, Newsweek magazine claims, “the recession is over, now what we need is a new kind of recovery.” However, dozens of experts have spoken out disagreeing with the publication and even President Obama expressed that he disagreed with the publication’s claims.

“I don't know whether you've seen the cover of the latest Newsweek magazine on the rack at the grocery store, but the cover says, 'The Recession is Over.'"

"I bet you found that news a little startling. I know I did. Now, it's true that we've stopped the free-fall. The market is up and the financial system is no longer on the verge of collapse. We're losing jobs at nearly half the rate we were when I took office six months ago.

"So, we may be seeing the beginning of the end of the recession. But that's little comfort if you're one of the folks who have lost their job, and haven't found another. Unemployment in North Carolina is over ten percent today. A lot of small businesses like Sara's are still struggling with falling revenues and rising costs. Health care premiums, for example, are rising twice as fast as wages, and much more for small businesses -- something I'll address in a minute.

"So, we know the tough times aren't over."

You can read Newsweek’s full story here, but after looking over the text it looks like their assertion that the recession is over was mostly an attention grabber. The main point of the story is that the worst part of the recession might be over technically, but that the country still has a long way to go.

“When economists proclaim a recession over, they're celebrating a technicality: they mean economic output has stopped contracting. And while that is good news, you might wait a while before adding Judy Garland's rendition of Happy Days Are Here Again to your iPod. GDP growth alone can't feed a family, or pay a mortgage. Cursed with a high national debt load and blessed with a dynamic, growing workforce, the U.S. economy needs annual growth of at least 1.5% just to feel like we're standing still.”

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