The left-leaning chattering class is in a state over the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) numbers released today, wondering how best to put a negative spin on some positive numbers. The pro-Joe Biden contingent of the media is working overtime to tamp down the optimistic economic numbers announced right before the election. Liberty Nation would like to provide you with the facts along with a bit of context on this topic and let you determine its significance.
For those of us without an economics degree, the GDP measures the value of goods and services produced within a set time. The numbers released today, October 29, show the U.S. economy grew 7.4% for the third quarter of 2020 at an annual rate of 33.1%. According to TradingEconomics.com, “It is the biggest expansion ever, following a record 31.4% plunge in Q2, as the economy rebounds from the coronavirus pandemic.” The economic website cites “personal spending … as the main driver of growth.” This assessment echoes Liberty Nation Economic Correspondent Andrew Moran’s evaluation of the rise in GDP:
“While this is great news for President Donald Trump heading into Election Day, it does not paint the rosiest picture of the United States economy. If you closely examine the GDP explosion, it was driven mostly from personal spending, which was buoyed by the CARES Act and the eight other federal and state benefit programs. The economy is chugging along only because of government assistance. What happens when the training wheels are removed?”
Moran’s sober assessment is in line with a Wells Fargo Security economist quoted by The Wall Street Journal. Tim Quinlan said, “This is the quarter that captures the reopening of the economy… It’s a far cry from signaling the all-clear that the economy’s in great shape here.” Quinlan makes a fair point. Still, wild economic swings are to be expected following an unprecedented shutdown of the U.S. economy. For those who prefer to look at these historic GDP numbers with a glass half full perspective, such a rise signals the American economy’s resilience.
Those with a glass half empty outlook include NBC and CNN. The cable news outlet titled its GDP story, “Premarket stocks: Record GDP growth has never meant less.” Meanwhile, NBC headlined, “GDP rose at 33.1 percent annualized rate last quarter, but blowout figure is not what it seems.” Playing down these figures appears to be a leftist narrative because positive economic numbers might spell trouble at the polls this Tuesday for former Vice President Joe Biden.
Perhaps the best solution is to simply give the American people the recent economic numbers with no political narrative attached and let them think for themselves how they want to factor the GDP into their vote. Just telling it like it is can be a powerful thing at a time when everyone wants to persuade, spin, and influence the American electorate.
Read more from Leesa K. Donner.