Is It a Recession? Or a Depression? Shocking New Gallup Poll…

Negatively loaded economic terms such as "recession" and "depression" rarely make a lot of news, simply because neither is used that frequently in polite company. A Gallup poll released today, however, may actually allow these words to creep into a national discussion:

More than three in four Americans think the United States is in a recession according to a USA Today/Gallup Poll released on Tuesday...
...Seventy-six percent of to those polled said the economy is in recession, compared to 22 percent who said it is not, USA Today said.
Asked if the United States could slip into a depression lasting several years, 59 percent said it was likely and 79 percent said they were worried about it, the newspaper reported...
The poll was taken even before the Bear Stearns bailout had been thoroughly digested by a disgusted American public. One wonders, as the media has bandied about another pejorative phrase - "bank run", to describe the initiating event of the Bear Stearns collapse last week - how much worse the same poll would look if taken today.

There's not a lot that one can add to this gloomy poll, other than it's rather surprising that it's taken so long for the depth of U.S. economic woes to fully sink into the American psyche.

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