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It’s a recession, stupid

It’s a recession, stupid

Since I graduated from college with a degree in economics, two-quarters of negative growth was defined as a … RECESSION.  Suddenly, a recession is not a recession.  It is, according to one Democrat economist, “a complex recovery.”

President Biden has flatly stated that America is not in a recession.  Apparently, he did not get a degree in economics.  He did get a BS degree, but I mistakenly assumed it meant Bachelor of Science. He has spent a lifetime establishing the real meaning of those letters, however.

No matter how the White House economists and the media sycophants explain the difference between the standard two-quarter negative growth recession and the new “complex recovery” recession, they are describing exactly the same thing.  No feel-good euphemism can change the fact that America is officially in a recession.  No matter how much lipstick, Biden tries to put on that economic pig, the recession will hit the American workers, consumers, and businesses like a … recession.

One factor that Biden & Co. used to claim it is not a recession is that the unemployment rate has not soared.  That, of course, as nothing to do with the definition of a recession.  We must remember that this unprecedented job growth that Biden brags about was already baked into the cake.  Economists on all sides told us that because we shut down a healthy economy by mandate – creating high unemployment by edict — that once the Covid Pandemic had subsided, the unemployment rate would drop vey fast.  

All those jobs Biden has claimed to have created were already built into any recovery.  If anything, Biden’s policies have slowed the potential job growth.  Almost two years after the vaccinations put the brunt of the Pandemic in the rearview mirror, we have not yet reached the level of employment that we enjoyed before the economy was shut down.

In addition, the reason that the unemployment rate is remaining low is because a high percentage of Americans are not looking for work – as evidenced by the millions of job opportunities going unfilled.  Those who are no longer looking for a job are not counted as unemployed.  If they were, the unemployment rate would be much higher.  That unprecedented anomaly has nothing to do with the determination of a recession.

In attempting to cool the inflation, the Federal Reserve bank is raising interest rates by leaps and bounds not seen for more than 40 years – when the Carter inflation had soared into the mid-teens.  Economists – again on both sides – have said that raising rates COULD bring on a recession.  Some even said it would –and did.

Those who drive the stock market reacted to the first Fed interest rate increase as if it would bring on a recession.  The market dropped significantly.  That happened even as the next interest rate increase of predicted.  Obviously, the millions of investors who drive the market are thinking inflation – not “complex recovery.”

Sorry, Mr. President.  We are in a recession.  It may be a mild recession.  Maybe short-lived.  That is still an open question.  But the American public can know (and feel) a recession when they see one.  No reliance on your political BS-degree language can fool them.

So, there ‘tis

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Perry

    It’s joe Biden’s recession

  2. Frank stetson

    Larry, you got to be kidding, you have an economics degree? Amazing. Actually, that’s as funny as my degree in journalism. Although the masters in marketing and finance was a little bit better, plus my father has a masters in economics from the Chicago school so it was kind of drilled into me.

    The prime rule of economics is that no matter where you think you are in the economy, you have never been there before. Ever more true today and even yesterday. We have never been here before.

    We are not in a recession, at least not a technical one, you have to wait till Friday when the GDP for second quarter comes out. Chances are it’s either a little negative or a little positive, the former indicating a recession. Personally, if it comes out positive, I won’t be too happy about that either. Because even with some of the good things in the economy and of course Biden and Yellen have spent their time talking about as to why we’re not in a recession, there’s a lot of spooky things out there right now, especially the debt and deficit. I’m glad that Biden is taking a shot at that butt we need a hell of a lot more

    One problem with the technical definition of recession is that once you are in a recession, you’ve probably been in it for 2q’s and you pretty well damn well know it. Face it Larry, right now we don’t damn well know it. Everyone that wants to is working. Maybe you say recession, but according to the technical description, you better get your money back for your degree.

    That said, if the GDP for the second quarter comes out negative on Friday, we may see mass firing so Saturday. You never know, but I am betting it will happen very fast. We’ve already talked ourselves into a recession, you already believe it, so we are definitely partway there.

    That said, I totally agree with you that Biden is a fool on this, Yellen is a fool on this and she should know better. And you are totally right, there is no way they should’ve said what they said. There may have been things to say , but that was not the way to say it. When I saw Yellen on Meet the Press this weekend, I screamed. I could not believe what I was hearing. Good of you to pick it up, too bad the rest of the article kind of sucked, but these people were fools and Biden saying we’re not in a recession, was about as stupid as Trump taking credit for the high stock market. Even if he thought it was true, that’s a really stupid thing to say.

    But I think the best one was when Trump said he was going to renegotiate the interest on our debt. He said it twice during his reign, and I swear to God I think he got a special phone call from the cabal and he never said it again. I believe they kind of gave them a hint that he was committing financial Armageddon and that he wouldn’t live the night if he continued. That kind of cabal. It was a funny one.

    So congratulations on figuring out how stupid these people were. Like I said too bad the rest of the article didn’t make too much sense, economically speaking. But then again I don’t have a degree.

  3. Frank stetsoN

    Joe Biden has a BA and a JD, kind of puts a dent in your joke Larry.

    The unemployment rate is one of the lowest ones we’ve had in years and lower than anything Trump ever delivered. The number of jobs is quickly approaching pre-pandemic levels. While I agree that unemployment is not within the technical definition of recession, every single recession the US has ever had includes a higher level of unemployment. Yes Larry many people have given up looking for a jobs and the unemployment factors do not include people who have not looked for a job in more than four weeks. But the definitions above still stand as the way we track these things, currently and historically. Every recession that the US has ever had included a high unemployment rate, we do not currently have one now.

    A single day does not a data trend make, but the stock market reacted to the second rate increase by going up. I find this to be very strange, but there it is. Today will be more definitive and I do expect it to go down, but like I said: wherever you are in the Economy, you have never been there before.

    On Friday, we will know .

  4. Gary

    Brandon has a dgree in corruption

    • Ben

      Everyone’s having a nice discussion, bringing fax to the table, bringing ideas supported by facts to the table, and then there’s this asshole.

      • Perry

        Stfu boy.

        • Ben

          And this one who had nothing but this. Can’’t string a sentence that means anything cogent, just impotent venom.

  5. Frank stetson

    BOOM: You got it Larry, I agree, the BEA says we’re in recession, a second quarter of negative growth.

    At a 9 negative rate, one would say that’s significant and not just off by a nit.

    Amazing that the Fed just raised the interest rate in the face of this. I wonder why they couldn’t wait a day or two.

    And now the hard part, it will be three months before we get another reading to see whether it’s a 1/4 phenomena or a really in the soup. I guess layoffs will be our next indicator of how bad this is going to get.

    Can’t wait to see Biden, Yellen, and company do the duck walk on this one.

  6. the old marine

    Hey all you smart people the ordinary person is having a very hard time now to pay bills and buy what is needed to get by. It don’t take a degree of any kind to know every thing is all screwed up now. Yes Trump said things that affended people including me but things were a lot better then. We the workers and the ones who meet their obligations each month know it is harder to do now, I don’t care what you call it but it was caused by these idiots who are now in charge. If you were a ball team you would be looking for some good trades.

    • tom

      Your ball team analogy is great considering the MLB Washington Nationals are in last place!!! LOL Ok, I’ve had my fun. Now go throw a grenade and be happy ole jarhead!

  7. Frank stetson

    Dear Marine; I agree. But what you’re talking about is inflation, if recession hits fullbore, there won’t be jobs and now what do you think. That’s why we care.

    I started preparing for recession in December of last year, yet the price of gas became so outrageous that I can see people choosing between gas and eating. That’s a terrible thing.

    I do agree that inflation, and now recession, is on Biden‘s watch, but the seed was sown during trumps watch given the largest deficit ever in the history of the United States resulting in the highest debt ever in the United States. He borrowed your good tidings of his reign. From China.It’s just that the swallows came home to roost in the next administration that continued to borrow from China, perhaps at a lower rate, but still borrowed. Trump would not of avoided this, probably. He has always borrowed to bankruptcy.

    Best I can say is hunker down, do your best to get ready, look to your job and the next job because there’s a good chance that the ones that can be cut will be cut soon. Infrastructure looks safe. Medical too.

    As Larry said, hopefully this will be short-lived . And as I said, wherever we are in the economy, we have never been here before, and that is more true today than yesterday, so frankly, nobody knows what’s gonna happen next.

    Again, no matter who and how many are at fault, it is on Biden‘s watch, and now it’s up to Biden and the rest of us to get through it. Keep an eye on the unemployment numbers, that will be the harbinger of what happens next, dont be afraid when the press starts announcing so-and-so downsized such and such, I’ve been doing that lately and the amount of job loss has been normal. Beware of the fear mongers. Often, recession is something that we just talk ourselves into, we all tighten our belts, and the next thing you know, factories don’t need to produce as much and the layoffs begin. Again, hopefully that will not happen this time.

    • Miles collins

      No. The seed wasn’t sown on Trump’s watch. You just don’t want to admit that you have an incompetent idiot in the White House. We wouldn’t be having these problems if trump was still there. So keep lying to yourself and sooner or later you will really believe it. Face it. Your party is too damned stupid to lead. And the spending bill coming up will only fuel the flames.

      • tom

        Actually the seed was sown on Trump’s watch, remember those two checks, one for $600 and one for $1200 you got with a letter from Trump. And do you remember when the extended unemployment benefits started? Yes, under Trump. This dumped too much money in the economy. Biden’s part in all of this was he continued it, and nurtured the seed Trump planted. And then Biden extended rent deferment, etc. Frank has said it was both POTUS faults, but actually it was congress’es fault.

        • Frank stetson

          I think we just agreed. And yes Congress holds the ultimate purse strings, but let’s face it, these stimuli were pushed by both presidents. And let’s face it, when Trump does one at the end of 2020, he is freaking just buying votes. And when Biden does ones in the beginning of 2021, and gives it to everybody, he’s just being an idiot. Had minimum, he should’ve targeted it. I did not need it, my kid in college did not need it, and we both got it. Stupid.

          • tom

            Yeah I agree. I did not need it either but got them all. What was interesting about Trump’s stimulus was I cannot remember a time when a POTUS put a letter in with the check to let you know it came from him! LOL Yes both presidents and parties pushed it. But still, Congress has the purse power and could have stopped it or limited to those in need.

    • tom

      I may be wrong but I thought Old Marine was on social security. I think he is around 80 years old. But your points about job losses are spot on. And what many older folks do not realize is that job losses means less social security taxes (FICA) being paid which could lead to benefits reductions or piling on more debt!

      • Frank stetson

        Well, if he only has Social Security, he was already in trouble. Needless to say, fixed income is where you get hurt the worst.

        I really don’t think we’ll see less benefits and Social Security due to this recession, they couldn’t pass that fast enough even if they wanted to. But yes, less will be paid in, the end date for the current fund will get faster, all bad things. Thank God all those illegal aliens are paying into the system and will never get their money back. That was a joke, but true.

  8. tom

    Larry, I think both of you make great points on this one. But nothing either of you have written was unknown to me or most Americans. An index you should both look at is the “Quality of Life Index”. Very interesting! USA is currently at the 19th position from the top. China is right below us.

  9. Mike

    Larry, Perhaps your comments would have been more appropriately addressed to Jerome Powell. He was quoted in the Washington examiner yesterday as saying the US was not in a recession. I realize that going to the source of the information was not really your point, particularly since Powell was appointed by a Republican, but as the head of the federal reserve he really is the one you need to display your vast intellect to rather than the President, who we know is not an expert in this area. (And just for the record, I recall the President in 2008 saying the economy was doing just fine, right before it fell off the cliff. President’s tend to offer rosier assessments on these matters than are perhaps justified..)

    • Mike

      Larry, Didn’t really expect a response to my comments, since the purpose of your post was to incriminate Biden rather than take the experts that are denying we are in a recession to task… Keep trying, maybe one of these days you will be successful….

  10. Ac

    This economy we are in now is not Biden’s pig. It is an unprecedented era for the world wide economy. The world is still grappling with an unprecedented pandemic, which is not over as much as most Americans act like it is.
    For economists and financial strategists it is a never before experienced array of complicating factors. On top of the worldwide health disaster not being over with its continuing in variant forms, Russia’s war with Ukraine is another disaster for Ukraine itself and the world grain and petroleum markets. The pandemic control measures were commensurate to the unknown public health catastrophe result by doing nothing.
    Applying hard brakes on the world population’s movement with shutdowns is not in your usual Economics textbooks. What recovery from a disaster of worldwide dimensions looks like is being lived out in present time. The old economic formulas used to determine current economic and financial health of nations and forecast progress going forward are mostly unreliable.
    We’re in uncharted territory now in all aspects of populations living together on this planet. In this country socially, culturally, politically, and mentally the masses are at each other’s throats. Fevers are pitched, tempers flare, normally calm events escalate when verbal jousting turns int physical conflict. An already stressed people foment from losses experienced in the past two plus years and that dark cloud fixed overhead call insecurity.
    Talk was and is about a “new normal” society and individually. It is under debate what that state will be in each of our lives. Truth be known, the new has to do with the way each person manages the historically unprecedented environment we are all a part of.
    Larry, with his grudge against all things related to President Biden and the Democratic Party in the modern era, uses every opportunity for airing his litany in disparaging commentary and past prognostications coming to fruition in his opinion, heralds more of same denigration on his enemy(s).
    Flaunting of college education in Economics does not impress. 1960’s era racial equality involvement in Chicago’s Black population fight as told by an old white man 60 years after the fact and with out true context equals hearsay. Saying so does not make it so when credibility is at issue. And, at issue is present value of convictions formulated on an opinion mired in past history Republicanism.
    Republicans of today reveal an anchor less party eyeing the precarious future for America looking to make a buck. Democrats currently in power seem unable to maximize on that position. Due mostly to factors beyond their control. The world size events that any one president from either party has no power over. World macro economics, multinational supply chain management, political saber rattling conflicts in several regions, including all else a US President has on his fork.
    Neither Party seems capable of processing the moment out your nation is living through in 2022 and following. Republican Party antics divide loyalties and dull its influence and negate any positive move ahead the whole country needs.
    Sniping from the fringes, Republican and Democratic, can be expected. Yet, unexpected are those presumed sound of intelligence and wise older citizens sounding off in rounds fired at one of their own elder person. That person holding onto the authority in Presidential Power is unmoved by a minor pundit personality’s thinking among all the other noises which oppress.
    We all have equal freedom for individual expression and the constitutionally insured right to share that thought in public. At the same time others thoughts may agree as well as disagree. When within those right thinking is voluntarily put out there then others thinking is to be as voluntarily received, democratically with advisement.

  11. Jerry

    Keep making excuses. Biden is a fool. Most people know that The flooding in Kentucky is also his fault

    • Ben

      Jerry has BDS.

  12. Brn

    Uh oh Larry, Biden gets his program back on track before midterms.

    Climate crisis and clean energy
    Tax the rich
    Lower deficit
    Health care

    I can see the call. Hey Joe, this is Joe. Guess what, you don’t help with the midterms, you won’t have a voice in January. None at all. They won’t let you talk. We will. Pass the bill Joe. Joe out.

    Heh, heh.

    • Ben

      That idiot couldn’t pass gas

  13. AC

    Great seeing PBP and Larry attracting stimulating debate on immediate concerns. The state of our economy is one concern in the headlines on media outlets and the subject for opinion commentators aplenty. The more the merrier does no appear applicable at this time. On the right we have Larry in the queue of Republicans fingers pointed at President Biden for the blame alone for their every complaint.
    In the case of the national economy a sitting US President does have power to make change happen, only upto a point. The national economy is not under a president’s control. Inflation, recession, GDP, Bull and Bear markets, petroleum production, and the list goes on. Presidents have power of the pen and sign legislation into law. Congress has the power to create legislation and control the money flow.
    Neither the Executive Branch or the Legislative Branch has control over the macroeconomic influences driving where the economy goes. Larry, may put on his economist’s hat and comment from his opinion that the American economy is in a recession. Another economist may opine the state of our economy is not in true recession due to missing the usual accompanying factors. Consulting a number of economists experienced in macroeconomic movement. The answers from the group differ from each other in general disagreement on the current situation. However, as much as some wish the blame could be pinned on someone, more likely is the fact that the pandemic is behind fluctuations in economies worldwide.