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The Great Recession: Is It Time For A Name Change?

The Huffington Post     First Posted: 07/26/11 10:41 AM ET   Updated: 09/25/11 06:12 AM ET

In 2008, then-President George W. Bush announced that America was in the process of what he called an economic "slowdown." But by as early as that December, a new term to describe the weak economy had entered the public lexicon: The Great Recession.

What do you think the economic slump should be called? Tweet at @HuffPostBiz using the hashtag #RenameRecession.

At the time, there was little consensus how long the slump would last. The Federal Government had bailed out most of the major Wall Street financial firms and the U.S. had already lost a net total of 2.6 million jobs by the end of 2008 -- including 524,000 jobs in December of that year alone, according to CNNMoney. The unemployment rate was then only 7.2 percent.

Two years after the recession officially ended, many Americans continue to feel the downturn's pain. The unemployment rate remains stuck above nine percent, wages are stagnant and home prices continue to decline -- all of which have caused some to question whether The Great Recession is the best term to describe what the country has been through.

In a recent column, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman explained that he had started to refer to the current economic period as the "Lesser Depression." Brad DeLong, former Deputy Assistant Secretary at the Treasury, says that Great Recession might be underselling the current economic climate. Instead, he prefers the term "Little Depression."

Other non-economists have also given their two cents, like when Vice President Joe Biden last year said this was "Bush's Recession," according to Politics Daily. Conservative talkshow host Rush Limbaugh took the opposite position. "This," he said, "is an Obama recession."

Tweet at @HuffPostBiz using the hashtag #RenameRecession with your idea for what the downturn should be called. We'll compile the best answers.

See other names for the Great Recession coined by notable people:

George W. Bush: Economic Slowdown
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In April 2008, George W. Bush told listeners in New Orleans that America was "not in a recession. We are in a slowdown," the Denver Post then reported. This was just five months before the entire American financial system collapsed, requiring the federal government to bail out every major Wall Street financial firm, Fannie and Freddie Mac and U.S. automakers. It also led to widespread unemployment and housing crises.
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