American Opinion: It’s not time to panic — yet — about the nation’s economic woes

From the editorial: The approaching midterm elections provide a perfect opportunity for the president to stress his need for visionaries in Congress who can help him.

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell testifies before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee July 15, 2021, in Washington, DC.
Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell testifies before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee July 15, 2021, in Washington, D.C.
Win McNamee/Getty Images/TNS
We are part of The Trust Project.

Any good financial adviser will tell his novice clients to refrain from checking the stock market every day to see how their investments are doing. It’s the long term that counts, not the volatility of daily buying and selling on the exchanges. That same caution should be applied to trying to keep track of the current economy, which seems to swing from inflation to recession at the drop of a hat. It’s up to each family to properly assess its financial condition and buy and spend accordingly.

American Opinion
American Opinion
Tribune graphic / Forum News Service
More American Opinion:
From American Opinion editorial: Enter the Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force, a nationwide effort that’s being made to investigate and take legal action against companies who bring foreign robocalls into the United States. The coalition includes attorneys general from all 50 states.
From the American Opinioin editorial: Late in 2021, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland formally created a process to replace derogatory names of geographic features across the nation. She declared the word “squaw” to be derogatory and ordered a federal panel — called the Board on Geographic Names — to move forward with procedures to remove that word from federal usage.
The truth about the lie fits perfectly with last week’s Jan. 6 hearing, which exposed that Trump’s plan all along was to urge the ginned-up, lied-to mob to train their ire, and their fire, on the U.S. Capitol.

Technically, this country is now in a recession , which by definition is two consecutive quarters of decline in a country’s gross domestic product. America’s $21 trillion GDP , which is No. 1 in the world, decreased 1.6% during the first quarter of this year and 0.9% during the second , according to the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis.

That’s a recession, but it’s nowhere near the Great Recession of 2007-2009, when GDP fell 4.3% , the unemployment rate rose to 10% , and 15 million Americans couldn’t find jobs. Compare that to the current 3.6% unemployment rate and six million unemployed.

Those differences don’t mean this recession should be taken lightly. However, it should be placed in context not only with the Great Recession but our current economic headache, inflation, which led the Federal Reserve Board to raise interest rates twice in two months. In that context, a little recession might be the right prescription as a way to drive down prices and promote new investment.

The Fed raised interest rates to reduce spending by Americans, many of them flush with COVID-19 relief money provided by both the Trump and Biden administrations. That spending amid a worldwide supply-chain problem emptied store shelves and helped push prices up. A recession makes people more guarded about spending, which in theory should give stores time to solve their supply problems, restock, and bring prices down.


More Opinion:
"Canadian Pacific Railway wants to merge with the Kansas City Southern Railway, and that means more oil-filled trains and dangerous freight ... What if trains moved people and not dirty oil? The U.S. has the least developed passenger train system of any first world country. That’s a shame."
From the commentary: The economy matters most of all. But the return to view of some traditional issues — abortion rights and taxing the wealthy — have helped Democrats regain their mojo. They should do their best to stick with that rather than open new fights or reopen old ones.
From the editorial: "His messages are unwavering both to criminals, that consequences will be severe, and to local authorities, that the U.S. attorney’s office is there to help."
From the commentary: At the moment, are any Republicans backing the Federal Bureau of Investigation? The Trumpistas — who talk a good game about supporting cops — don't seem too keen on federal law enforcement now that the FBI has raided Trump's private residence at Mar-a-Lago.
From the editorial: If passed, the bill proposed by the Senate group would go a long way toward preventing a repeat of this fiasco of Jan. 6 insurrection.
An editorial cartoon by Dave Granlund
An editorial cartoon by Dick Wright
From the commentary: As George Santayana famously said, "Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it." Times change, but human nature never changes. David McCullough has shown why the lessons of history remain important, especially for those determined not to repeat history's mistakes and to learn from its successes.
From the editorial: Employers should keep in mind that the time and cost of recruiting new employees has more downside than keeping their good workers.

Of course, there are other supply-chain factors , including both COVID’s continuing impact on China’s ability to manufacture and export goods and the Russia-Ukraine war. China has locked down factories and businesses under its zero-COVID policy . Meanwhile, Russia’s invasion has devastated much of Ukraine, which not only was a key exporter of wheat, barley, corn, and sunflower oil to many poor nations but also the world’s leading source of the neon that powers lasers used to make computer chips for automobiles.

As for inflation, this country needs to drastically decrease its dependence on oil and gas. Gasoline prices were the biggest contributor to U.S. inflation. President Joe Biden’s release of fuel from the nation’s strategic oil reserves helped lower gas pump prices, but they could go up again if, say, a Gulf Coast refinery is hit by a hurricane. Biden, like a stock market watcher, must keep his eyes on the future and work even harder to implement energy policies that diminish the use of fossil fuels.

The approaching midterm elections provide a perfect opportunity for the president to stress his need for visionaries in Congress who can help him.

This American Opinion editorial is the opinion of the The Philadelphia Inquirer Editorial Board.

©2022 The Philadelphia Inquirer, LLC. Visit at . Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


This story was written by one of our partner news agencies. Forum Communications Company uses content from agencies such as Reuters, Kaiser Health News, Tribune News Service and others to provide a wider range of news to our readers. Learn more about the news services FCC uses here.

What to read next
From the editorial: Far too many children in Minnesota and across the nation are struggling to stay mentally afloat.
West Central Tribune urges support for the proposed amphitheater at Robbins Island Regional Park. Also, kudos to Rockin' Robbins for another successful year.
From the editorial: The same crowd that shouted “lock her up” after Hillary Clinton mishandled records as secretary of state seems to completely discount the strong likelihood that the search for Trump’s records was fully justified — and potentially a much more serious security breach.
From the editorial: Those unfortunate bits of political sausage-making notwithstanding, the measure will mean cleaner air, a more stable climate, lower drug prices for seniors and a more fair tax system for everyone. And Democrats had to shoehorn it through with no help from GOP obstructionists, whose singular priority is to deny any accomplishments to the other side. Even accomplishments that would help Republicans’ own constituents.