Wikipedia, «the free encyclopedia» and possibly one of the most used portals to consult terms, biographies or any topic, conveniently changed the meaning of «recession» in the midst of the storm that the White House is going through after it was announced that for two consecutive quarters the United States experienced negative economic growth.
Also, the article was closed to edits for unregistered users or users with unconfirmed accounts. The fact does not go unnoticed, given that President Joe Biden himself has denied that the country has entered a recession. His argument came accompanied by a statement from his government to try to change the perception of this economic situation that further threatens the credibility of the Democratic administration.
A review of Wikipedia’s edit history shows that after June 15, 2005 (date of the old edit), the next one is recorded on July 29, 2022, one day after the US Department of Commerce’s announcement. .that exposed the Biden government. What was read before July 29 was the following:
“A recession is generally defined in macroeconomics as a fall in a country’s Gross National Product in three consecutive quarters.”
Currently, the meaning of “recession” on Wikipedia dictates that:
“In economics, a recession is a downturn in the business cycle when there is a general decline in economic activity.”
Behind the meaning of recession
Although the previous article cited a drop “in three consecutive quarters”, that is, one more quarter than is estimated among some economists, the change does not seem a mere coincidence. Until now there are no major economic correctives emanating from the Government, while the president’s spokesmen join the rhetoric of denying any crisis. Therefore, a quarter more or less could be indifferent.
As experts say, “households and businesses do not need access to macroeconomic data such as GDP to know that things are going wrong in the economy.” The quote belongs to Peter Jacobsen, professor of economics at the University of Ottawa, who puts the following example in a recent article: «If you try to tell a person on a hot day that your weather application says that it is only 10 degrees, you will I’d say your app is wrong.”
Not surprisingly, the economist mentions that if the Biden White House is concerned that one definition of a recession will make it look bad, he “will simply choose another definition.” Those who made this edit to Wikipedia seem to be aligned with this decision.
However, the portal makes some comments regarding the meaning of recession: “This article may be affected by the following current event: greater political debate in the United States” and adds that “this article may change rapidly as the event”.
It also urges “verify claims or screenshots” since “an outdated version of this article has been widely disseminated.” The call is probably related to the suspicions surrounding the recent changes.