J. Pharoah Doss: Recessions and re-education

by J. Pharoah Doss, For New Pittsburgh Courier

The Obama/Biden administration mastered the art of redefining concepts to meet their political objectives. The Bush/Cheney response to 9/11 was defined as a “global war on terror”, but the Obama/Biden administration dropped that terminology for the phrase “overseas contingency operations”. This didn’t change the military’s mission, but it altered the image of the United States, and President Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

The Obama/Biden administration also redefined poverty by creating a new formula to measure the poverty rate. Instead of calculating a family’s income and the cost of food, the Obama/Biden formula included healthcare, childcare, housing, and utilities.

This increased the percentage of poor people in America.

The Obama/Biden administration insisted the new formula wasn’t going to replace the previous measurement nor be used to determine eligibility for government programs. It was created to get a more accurate picture of the impoverished by providing an “alternative poverty rate”.

However, when Kellyanne Conway, Senior Counselor to President Trump, said their press secretary presented “alternative facts” during a petty dispute over the size of the crowd at Trump’s 2016 presidential inauguration, the media called her a liar.

When Biden campaigned for president, he branded himself as a “straightshooter” and promised his administration would not be one of false narratives and alternative facts.

During Biden’s administration, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention redefined “vaccination”. Vaccination was defined as “the act of introducing a vaccine into the body to produce immunity to a specific disease”.

The new definition switched “immunity” to “protection”.

Some Americans speculated the changes were an attempt to hide the fact that one can still get COVID-19 even after taking the required shots.

A spokesperson for the CDC explained the changes were necessary because the previous definition was misleading. It could be interpreted to mean that vaccines were 100 percent effective, which has never been the case for any vaccine, so the new definition is more transparent.

Maybe, but since the CDC changes were unannounced and brought to public attention by people who just happened to notice, many Americans didn’t think this redefining was “straight shooting” from the Biden administration.

Now that the Biden administration has received low approval ratings due to high rates of inflation, the administration has made a concerted effort to keep the country out of recession by redefining the term.

Forbes magazine wrote a recession is declared when the national economy experiences rising levels of unemployment, falling retail sales, and contracting measures of income and manufacturing for an extended period of time. For decades, economic experts agreed, the extended period of time was two straight quarters.

The Biden administration acknowledged that the US economy has shrunk after the past two quarters, but they insist that doesn’t mean the country is experiencing a recession. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told reporters two quarters of negative GDP growth is not the “technical definition” of recession, it’s the “common definition”. 

According to the Biden administration, the technical definition “involves a much broader spectrum of data points”, and provides Americans with a more accurate picture of the economy in the same way Obama’s “alternative poverty rate” provided a more accurate picture of the impoverished.

Kellyanne Conway would call this an example of alternative facts.

Therefore, the mainstream media should brand this technical definition of recession as a lie, but most of the mainstream media agreed with the Biden administration. CNN reporter Jeremy Diamond said, “The White House has been eager to push back on the notion that two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth automatically equals a recession. Yes, it is a rule of thumb. But the White House is really… Trying to educate the public.”

More like the White House is trying to reeducate the public with alternative facts. 

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