In the century prior to the formation of the Federal Reserve System in 1913, the US economy suffered a depression, or panic, every 15 years or so. These panics had devastating consequences on the economy, and led to the widespread financial demise of banks, farms, families, and everything in between.
Aside from the Great Depression starting in 1929, the Federal Reserve is credited with keeping recessions from worsening into panics and providing stability to our once fragile economy.
While critics might argue that the Federal Reserve's true focus is protecting banks and the bankers who run them, the result has been that enduring a recession every 6 to 10 years has proven less damaging to household wealth than the pre-Fed boom bust cycle.
Recessions are tough medicine, but historically effective in keeping an economic downturn from turning into a full-blown panic.
Economists are currently debating whether we are in a recession, or will enter one in 2023 or 2024...whether it will a hard or soft landing, etc.
Practically speaking, if it walks like a recession and quacks like a recession, it's a recession.