Just one night after CEO Donald Trump told "Larry King Live" viewers that the U.S. is in a "Depression," Suze Orman, personal finance expert and host of her own show, started talking about people in bread lines - but she wasn't making a historical reference.
According to Orman there are people in bread lines right now, some of them white collar workers:
"There are some people who can't find a job, they're trying to do anything and everything in their power to get by. They've lost their home, lost their car. They don't have any money in retirement, they don't have a penny - and what are they doing?" Orman said on the Feb. 5 CNN broadcast."They're doing food stamps, they're in bread lines. Go by the bread lines Larry. Look at the people that are standing in soup lines, so to speak, bread lines where they just want food. They're white collar workers in some of those lines. It's absolutely, to them, like a Depression."
Historically pictures of bread lines evoke the extreme suffering and need of many Americans during the Depression-era.
But Orman's statement is likely an exaggeration. None of the three major networks or five major papers has reported on bread lines in the past month except in a historical context. Even the current unemployment rate of 7.6 percent, which is the highest rate since 1992, is lower than the U.S. faced between 1981 and 1984. The current rate is also roughly one-third of the Depression-era peak around 25 percent.
On Feb. 4, Donald Trump was a guest of King's show and told him, "This is the worst [economy] I've ever seen." Trump continued saying, "Let's face it, Larry, we are in a Depression," according to the New York Daily News.
For over a year, the national news media has been focused on comparing our current economy with the Great Depression, instilling fear in news consumers. Compared to actual news coverage during the Depression, the media is far more negative today than in 1929.