September 19th, 2008
04:00 PM ET
6 years ago

Wall Street runs through small-town square

The turmoil on Wall Street can be felt in the businesses around the town square in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. This piece is part of a series of stories on how the issues are affecting Americans this election.
The turmoil on Wall Street can be felt in the businesses around the town square in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. This piece is part of a series of stories on how the issues are affecting Americans this election.

ABOARD THE ELECTION EXPRESS BUS (CNN) - As the sun comes up over the town square in this rural borough of 18,000 people, you could be excused for thinking, at least for a moment, that the American economy is at its robust peak.

The traffic running through downtown Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, jogs to the right as it passes the five-tiered Memorial Fountain, while the fountain's streams of water glisten like ropes of diamonds in the new light.

And that morning traffic is an endless succession of trucks and work vehicles bearing the names of companies and industrial concerns: Ganoe Paving. Edge Rubber. APR Plumbing and Heating Supply. Fisher Auto Parts. Cemco Construction.

The parade never stops. It looks like a promotional film for a nation boldly building - a nation self-assuredly going to work.

Yet if you walk the streets of the square during these schizophrenic national days - days when the economy has seemingly gone berserk, when nothing appears to make sense - and if you enter the front doors of the businesses, you begin to understand how the glowing, nonsensical numbers dancing on Wall Street computer screens have landed with a thud in Chambersburg, and have brought with them icicles of fear, the kind that men and women who run small businesses can feel in their stomachs.

Full story


Filed under: Bob Greene • Election Express • Ohio • Popular Posts
soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. Wal

    Think about it. Education matter.
    You have a ticker of two higher educated Men. Constitutionalist expert, and on foreign policy they are Smart, cautious, bipartisan and looking for next friends and allies.

    And the other side one is a bachelor degree in journalist with Zero foreign experience what so ever and the head of the ticker is "Boom Boom Boom Iran" thinker. Looking for the next enemy.

    Give me a break.
    We need Wise and intellectual leaders to solve the most complex challenges in our time.
    Obama/Biden is the best for America

    September 19, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  2. NO Bail out for banks

    No bank bailouts, let those bush loving republicans lose their homes, retirements, pensions, savings,and jobs even. Maybe they'll learn to start voting issues and not who they like. Do not use my tax dollars to bail them out. NO NO NO

    September 19, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  3. mac attack

    i'm from washington state 58 year old white guy – -no party – -just vote for the right person- -straight- -been employed, same place 35 years-
    non-union- with a stinkin' 401k

    Obama/Biden

    September 19, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  4. lenisha

    Mccain and gramm were two of the senators to help to past deregulation of these companies. Therefore the blame goes to mccain and ex sen gramm. I guess sen gramm got his wish all
    of America are now whinning and sen mccain is trying to take advantage of it.

    September 19, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  5. All About John

    John, John John.

    The most important decision he has to make, his first decision, and who does he pick? Sarah Palin.

    Let's face is the idea of Sarah was great, a woman, conservative, hunter (which says she can walk in a man's world), mother, hockey mom. But the reality of Sarah was a nightmare.

    Vindictive, possibly abusing her power, teenage daughter, small town mayor, and even smaller state governor. Not someone we want to lead on day one.

    So what does this say about John? I think it says John was too insecure to pick Romney or Rudy, or even Huckabee. John had to be the smartest guy between he and his running mate, and with Sarah that's not a stretch.

    So in the words of Nancy Reagan, I'm just saying no to John, and yes to Barack Obama.

    September 19, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  6. Independent in NC

    Let's ask Penny Pritzker what she's done for small town America with the sub-prime loans. CNN, why haven't you jumped on the fact that Obama's finance chairwoman is an heiress who also made a fortune off Superior Bank? She's an example of everything Obama is against, yet there she is in a prime position in his campaign.

    September 19, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  7. Kelby from Houston, TX

    It is so funny to me how McCain supporters refer to the Obama Supporters as "OBAMABOTS"
    I say we should take that name and run with it.
    If I am an OBAMABOT, that simply means that I am more than meets the eye. My Obamabot name is BARACKUMUS PRIME! battling the evil Decepticons (didn't bother coming up with a name, this one fits the GOP perfectly because I find them deceitful)
    Oh, and GO JOE!!!

    VOTE FOR DEMOCRATS (especially the Senate, we need more Democratic Senators) VOTE FOR OBAMA

    September 19, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  8. All John, All The Time

    John, John John.

    The most important decision he has to make, his first decision, and who does he pick? Sarah Palin.

    Let's face is the idea of Sarah was great, a woman, conservative, hunter (which says she can walk in a man's world), mother, hockey mom. But the reality of Sarah was a nightmare.

    Vindictive, possibly abusing her power, pregnant teenage daughter, small town mayor, and even smaller state governor. Not someone we want to lead on day one.

    So what does this say about John? I think it says John was too insecure to pick Romney or Rudy, or even Huckabee. John had to be the smartest guy between himself and his running mate, and with Sarah that's not a stretch.

    So in the words of Nancy Reagan, I'm just saying no to John, and yes to Barack Obama.

    September 19, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  9. Sarah Will Be Fine

    I don't think Sarah has a future in politics, but I do see her with a future in books. She could write a bestseller tomorrow. I also see her making lots of money on the talk circuit. But first she has to finish this campaign with John.

    September 19, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  10. Rick

    Susan Rice, one of Obama’s top foreign policy advisers, says the U.S. should give 0.7 percent of its Gross Domestic Product to developing nations.

    Umm, excuse me, Obama but it's not your money to be handed out.

    September 19, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  11. Mack

    I am not a republican, but people, mostly the die-hard Obama supporters, need to stop saying this housing crisis and economic turmoil is somehow republican's fault. There is plenty of blame to go around. I would also have to ask why the democratic controlled congress has done NOTHING to avoid this situation over the last two years. We do have evidence that McCain warned and tried to act upon this issue over two years ago. The brunt of this problem lies on the shoulders of Americans who daily try and live beyond their means. I bought a house two years ago, and I was very aware of what could happen. So blame goes all around..At this moment, Obama has not offered any solutions before or after that make me think he can control this situation. That said, McCain may not be able to either, but atleast he was aware and acted.

    September 19, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  12. Jorge

    McCain gets more and more like a chihuahua every day:

    Loud
    Nasty
    Basically ineffectual

    September 19, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  13. nitro

    This has nothing to do with this story but im going to comment anyway. Why is there not a federal investigation about why this first dude Todd Palin is conducting state business and not on state payroll or is he? I find it kind of strange that the legislative branch of Alaska can stand by while Sarah Palins people say that its common place for a spouse to attend meetings or get involved. Its amaysn how the judicial system continue to let the public down over and over and over again.If she really believe in God she knows sooner or later its all going to come out.

    September 19, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  14. Sally

    Proud WASP Member

    (Woman Against Sarah Palin)

    September 19, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  15. nitro

    Vic we will see you in November.

    September 19, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  16. Roy P

    I voted for Humphrey and every Democrat since. Today is a sad day. We have a candidate who should be in hand cuffs with his staff on their way to jail. He and his two corrupt cohorts should have to return all of the money and serve 4 years with the rest of the criminals. To knowing take money from corrupt corporations backed by our government that was designed to provide housing even for poor people to pay for your advancement is taxpayer fraud. I am a veteran of two wars. To call a POW veteran dishonorable know matter what his politics when you chose not to serve is burning the flag. I would rather loose with honor than win with a criminal.

    September 19, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  17. CharkChark

    Has anybody here happened to notice that it smells like boners in here?

    September 19, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  18. I Just Said Thanks, but No Thanks to Another 4 Years of g.o.p. corruption, arrogance and incompetence

    If you're for free markets and against all government oversight, control or input, then vote for McCain.

    Bush was the "Decider"
    McCain is the "Deregular" (actually Bush is, too)

    September 19, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  19. Kasparov

    CNN close the Biden-Ohio football comment earlier for some mysterious reason. Look people, we should let Mr. Biden talk and speak his mind. He has undermind Obama's campaign in a comical kind of way. For example:

    His comments about Palin has been kind of sexist despite the fact that Obama is trying to get woman's votes.

    His comment about paying high tax is patriotic eventhough the Obama campaign is trying to make the American public believe that he won't raise tax

    Biden offending some football fans in Ohio despite being a sensitive battleground state

    So people, let Mr. Biden speak.

    September 19, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  20. Barney

    Chambersburg, PA did pretty good until the republicans took over. It's barely holding on now.

    Just like a lot of other small towns. Jobs disappearing – outsourced mostly.

    Obama/Biden '08
    Let's take our country back for US – and don't ever let another republican use the constitution as toilet paper !!!! Transparency is needed. Not subpoena-dodgers.

    September 19, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  21. Ted:Canada

    GOD BLESS AMERICA!!! seriously 894?

    September 19, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  22. Ted:Canada

    We really are building a wall -NOW – 894!

    so much for education!

    September 19, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  23. Dr. Mimi De La Cruz for OBAMA

    I AM A SCIENTIST BY TRADE & EDUCATION &

    I COULDN'T CARE LESS ABOUT ANYONES RACE

    OR RELIGION OR WHAT THEY DO AT HOME AS LONG

    AS IT'S LEGAL. I AM TIRED OF AMERICANS GETTING

    DIVIDED BY THEN SCREWED BY OUR POLITICIANS.

    September 19, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  24. SG in SD

    Looks like "Kelby" cares now.

    Obama/Biden '08!!

    September 19, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  25. Tom in CA

    As a member of the Keating 5, one would think that McCain would have learned that there are instances where you need regulators. Unfortunately, he’s a lifetime supporter of deregulation – that’s what’s gotten the mortgage and financial markets into this mess.

    It’s a mess that's been in the making since the S&L bailouts. McCain and the Republicans will never learn.

    September 19, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
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