Not all Corban students are of one mind when it comes to the state of the economy. Some see the economy as in a recession, others believe it to be heading toward one, and still others view the economy as steadily growing.
So which students are correct? Indeed, these are confusing times when different news outlets say different things and report the findings of opposing individuals. It seems that this issue is all the more pressing in the face of the presidential election.
Corban junior, May Pinkston believes the idea that the country is in an economic recession is politically motivated. In her opinion, “Political candidates keep using recession as a hot word to get people scared and to get the public to vote for them.”
Both presidential hopefuls, Barack Obama and John McCain, declared back in April of this year that the economy was in a recession.
Recently, Obama was quoted by the Associated Press as saying: “Even if we’re still in a recession, I’m going to go through with my tax cuts.” His statement shows that his economic policy is based on his belief that American economy is currently in a recession.
McCain, on the other hand has changed his position, and was reported by the Chicago Tribune recently as saying, “We’ve been hearing for years now that we’re in or approaching a recession. Gentlepeople, by any measure, we are not in a recession.”
Voting a presidential candidate into office is not something to be done on a whim, nor on the belief that one candidate can and will change the economy for the better. Recession is a scary word that intimidates many Americans and many may find themselves manipulated by politicians if they do not understand its definition.
According to Jim Sprow, associate business professor, recession is defined “as two consecutive quarters of negative growth in GDP (gross domestic product) or the economic activity in the U.S. economy as measured by the total value of all goods and services produced.”
In other terms, a recession is when the “economy experiences an overall decline in economic activity over a sustained period of time,” says Jonathan Meyers, assistant business professor.
Meyers adds: “The Commerce Department recently announced that our GDP grew at an annualized rate of 3.3 percent. That means the overall economy is growing, which makes it pretty hard to argue that we are in a recession.”
For many Corban students, their opinion on the state of the economy rests on the unemployment rate. The more unemployment the more worried students become as they head toward graduation and the working world.
“The most recent national unemployment rate reported (6.1 percent) is the highest in five years,” explains Sprow. “So, on the jobs front, we appear to be heading for a recession, but probably not as bad as some in the past.”
Meyers seems to disagree with Sprow’s forecast of the economy and encourages Corban students to “be careful when listening to media reports regarding the economy. Yes, our country is facing some economic challenges right now, but there is no reason that the typical Corban Student can’t find a career that is both fulfilling and provides for their financial needs.”
The economy is not in a recession. Times are hard for many, but America is not facing the same difficulties as it has faced in the past when there were actual recessions.
Still, says Sprow, “If your friends and relatives are losing their jobs, it is small comfort that the US economy is not officially in recession.”