CNN Business Reporter: Feelings Trump Economic Reality

October 18th, 2007 7:10 PM

Even though we’re not in a recession, people “feel” like we’re in a recession and that’s what counts.

Sounds like liberal hogwash, doesn’t it? Well, that’s how CNN Senior Business Correspondent Ali Velshi reacted to a CNN-Opinion Research poll.

“Get this: 46 percent of Americans think the economy is in a recession – 46 percent. Nearly half of all Americans think that we're in a recession,” Velshi said on the October 18 “American Morning.”

However, Velshi told viewers the economy isn’t in recession by textbook definition.

“[T]his is interesting, because by official standards, we're not in a recession,” he said. “Recession is a sustained decline in economic growth. We haven't seen any decline in economic growth. We’ve seen some decline, but not a sustained decline.”

But none of that matters. He has incorporated a liberal notion in his business reporting that suggests “how you feel” supersedes facts, like how economic terms are defined.

“But, the bottom line is to most Americans, a recession is what it feels like to you,” Velshi said. “Whether it comes to your expenses, what you’re earning, how secure are you about your job, the value of your house – things like that.”

There was one bright spot: Velshi recognized the role the media can play in perpetuating a recession. “And talking about it,” Velshi said – can also trigger a recession.

“So, don’t listen to me – go spend whatever you were going to spend regardless of what I just said,” Velshi added.

A more rational view of recession came from former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan. Greenspan told CNBC correspondent Maria Bartiromo on the October 15 “Closing Bell” “the odds of a recession are still less than 50/50.”