Sunday, July 4, 2010

Euphemism for Depression

"Recovery", that is. The government influenced/controlled media (even down to the local level) keeps spouting the official lie line that we're in an economic recovery, even though unemployment has stayed the same, or only improved slightly (at least according to the government's fraudulent calculations). But the official statistics are wrong, designed to make things look better than they are (remember, "discouraged" workers that have stopped looking for employment are magically removed from the ranks of the unemployed), while retail spending and housing continue in their respective slumps. Yet, according to my local radio station government-happy shills, we are in a recovery, albeit a weak one, but with the danger of a "double-dip" recession looming. As if it wasn't just the fake economic activity resulting from government spending (such as the temporary census "workers" inflating the employment numbers, or the idiotic "Cash for Clunkers" auto buying scam from last year) that has caused any of the economic indicators to appear positive.

Looking at the New York Times headlines this morning, Recovery Slows With Weak Job Creation in June and Recovery is Losing Steam, I’m finally beginning to understand the strange change of language that has occurred in the last 18 months or so. The word recovery is a euphemism of some sort. It actually means a depression.

This is not difficult to understand actually. Think of how we label poor countries. They used to be part of the “Third World.” Now that term is considered impolite or something. Then it was the “less developed” countries. Then one day that was no longer suitable. They were renamed “developing countries.” Soon someone will realize that this is patronizing too because it implies that the only hope is for “them” to be like “us.”

Something similar has happened to the way we refer to the downturn after the boom. It used to be a “panic” (19th century). Then, as Rothbard noted, the term changed to “depression” since that sounds less alarming. But after the New Deal failed to fix that problem and actually prolonged it for 10 years, the word depression had to go. After WW2, it was changed to become a mere “recession.” Now it seems that this term is no longer suitable. We must call the economy in downturn a “recovering economy” or simply “the recovery” for short.

Think of it this way and the business page headlines for the last 18 months begin to make some sense. In this way, we can abolish the business cycle merely by changing the words we use. Macroeconomic planning then becomes very easy. Instead of seeking results, we need merely to change our language.-Jeffery Tucker The Recovering Economy: Euphemism for Depression

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