September 19th, 2008
04:00 PM ET
12 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.

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

    republicans have destroyed the american dream. they should be ashamed....

    September 19, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  2. Billy

    I have no idea what this story is about. Was this taken from a Penn travel brochure?

    September 19, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  3. Know the other side of Obama B4 U VOTE

    THESE are the people who will have to close their doors when Obama raises the taxes on them, which will put their workers out into the food banks, and job hunting lines.

    Obama doesn't get it. Ronald Reagan saved our butts back in the 80's with the trickle down economic plan. This is our only hope right now. A 1,000 dollar tax cut on your 60k income tax return is NOT the answer. You will still only get back a handful of dollars.

    The solution is to lower taxes for everyone including business owners, so they can afford to give you raises each year, and even in some cases just keep you employed!

    September 19, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  4. Support the fight to free America from GOP

    Ask McUninformed what those people feel.

    September 19, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  5. hurriCAIN PALIN

    and a tree grows in brooklyn...whats your point

    September 19, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  6. J from DC

    I just heard Biden speak in VA. His message was powerful. He just ripped the socks off John McCain. He said some things to women that I have not even heard spoken by Hillary Clinton. Obama is always presidential in his speeches, but women need to hear Biden. He just went hard on McCain and Palin. The story that is missing in this whole news cycle is: Why Biden makes McCain so uncomfortable? I am in DC, and I still have not figured it out. I know there is something there, but I can’t put my finger on it. Even still, if you watch McCain closely, the signs are there.
    McCain claims he would fire Christopher Cox, the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Committee. Yet, McCain won’t even fire his economic advisor Phil Gramm. The real man who created policies which contributed greatly to this recent Economic Meltdown. Unbelievable! Maverick or Mouse, or pathological liar?
    McCain has nothing to offer on the Economy. We already know that Palin has nothing to offer. We watched that sad ABC and even sadder Fox interview this week. Obama made a real quality pick, when he selected Biden and everyone has forgotten that. Biden may not have gotten a lot of primary votes, but Palin didn’t ever run. She knew she wasn’t ready. Biden may very well be the most qualified of all the candidates.
    How is it that Fox news is able to report that McCain leading Obama by 14 on the electoral map? Why is no one challenging them on this? Or at least reveal how their numbers are not creditable.
    How much does McCain still want to spend in Iraq again?

    September 19, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  7. mitchell

    republicans are ruining small town america, now. who's next?

    September 19, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  8. NOSS

    Nikita Kruschev once said, "bring America to its knees without firing a shot."

    The often over-looked and frequently crticized citizens of small town America are STILL the first in the line that feeds this nation,
    NOT Wall ST. Wall ST. feeds and then leaves... parasites


    September 19, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |

    The old man who seemingly cannot tell the truth (consistently proven wrong by, who is belligerent in his foreign policy actions, admitted that he wants the presidency only because it is a "prize", whose campaign is filled with lobbyists, who has run a consistenly nasty campaign despite empty rhetoric that he wouldn't, whose economic policies were universally panned by the Wall St Journal, who chose a running mate strictly due to political expediency, who has flip flopped on almost one hundred key issues (google it, there's a site), whose top economic advisor is well regarded as the architect of the current fiscal mess we're in, who already has early-onset Alzheimers, who consistently and thoroughly aided and abetted the enemy in Vietnam (its in his book!), who has a bad temper, who is a war monger, who has called for a draft!, whose foreign policy is stolen from wikipedia, who is a misogynist -called Hillary a name that rhymes with witch, said that Chelsea was ugly and the daughter of Janet Reno (but said Palin's kids were off-limits), voted against equal pay for women, called his own heiress wife a name that rhymes with bunt, pimped his wife out for a topless contest, is against a woman's right to choose (well at least today he is), who wears $520 loafers, does not even know how many homes he owns, thinks that you're not rich if you make less than $5 million a year, who need to look at notecards to remember the price of milk, whose household budget includes $273,000 for servants, who thinks our economy is basically strong yet calls his opponent "elite

    September 19, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  10. mitchell

    this is all the republicans fault. our nation is crumbling under their rule.

    September 19, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  11. Kelby from Houston, TX

    It's funny how I don't care

    September 19, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |

    The old man who says he's an environmentalist but voted against alternative energy 25 times, whose only claim to fame is his pow status but has not supported military funding – voting on only one of the last 7 war funding bills, who did not support the new GI bill – a bill he directly benefitted from, who paints himself a war hero but does not have the support of most veterans groupd and current troops, who voted against MLK holiday and in fact actively campaigned against it, who shirked his duties in the senate for over 2 years – much longer than he has been campaigning, who cannot even handle the rigors of the campaign trail taking time off every week, who will not be phsyically able to handle the responsibilities and duties that POTUS requires 24/7, was involved in the Keating 5 and Jack Abramoff scandals – yet claims he is a reformer, who has at least 59 lobbyists on his staff including 7 among his top advisors.

    September 19, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  13. aware

    This is precisely why America cannot afford an equivocating Obama in the Oval office!

    McCain/Palin 08! They have a proven record of authentic reform that puts country over party! 🙂

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

    With the economy in a shambles, are we going to be stupid enough to vote in another four years of the same failed policies? Don't believe McCain/Palin's lies.

    September 19, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  15. mitchell

    mickey mouse has a 'hit' put out ,on him, and this is all you can talk about is our country's future? their are just some things we will not stand up for! president obama will fix those mouse hating sobs!

    September 19, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  16. jeb b.

    this is the same ol [ reagan] trickle down bail out of the past. even w/ the illegal immigration issue. its the same mess the american people were duped into over 20 yrs ago. taking on mexico's problems and this crap w/ bailouts of crooked wall street . how can you bail out banks that were doing sub prime lending rate loans that were crooking the people? now you are going to reward them w/ a bailout. ITS LIKE THE FOX GUARDING THE HEN HOUSE YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS STUFF UP. but there will be reprecussions further up the road. rewarding a banking industry that was doling out crooked loans. taking on mexico's rejects. i can't wait for the bottom to fall out.

    September 19, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  17. Baze

    what does this have to do with anything?

    September 19, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  18. Franky

    "Obama holds a slim 1 point lead in Ohio (46-45 percent) and McCain holds a small 2 point lead in Indiana (47-45 percent)."

    Ohhh hell yeah!!! Indiana baby!! Now since the Buckeyes suck, maybe Hoosier football fans can agree that Ohio St sucks!! We can get votes! LOL!!!

    Let's go Indiana!!!

    September 19, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  19. tiffany in ohio

    we all should have just gotten jobs in real estate and banking we all would be filthy rich right now!!

    September 19, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  20. Griff

    Did McCain Oppose!! Women?? His running mate choice, is a Woman! He is 73yrs of age. He chose a Woman, even though he has no idea whare he will be a year from now. Him Oppose Women? Women, Oppose Women...

    September 19, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  21. Kelby from Houston, TX

    Nope, still don't care

    September 19, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  22. aki

    The entire economy is connected and no one candidate is better than the other in these guessing games regarding the economy, but one is simply not ready!

    September 19, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  23. Stop - Look - Listen

    Stop the jobs from leaving America, that's the problem.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 19, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  24. Vic

    Every day of this campaign brings one more lie out of the Obama camp. He's been preaching ad nauseam about McCain being against equal pay for women. Well finally, FACT-CHECK jumped on it and has exposed Obama for what he accuses McCain of being. As of today, Obama and his campaign has gone across the point of no return - they are just like every politician one has ever seen. So friends, say goodbye to the word and motto of "CHANGE." He now has as his partner the longest serving Washingtonian in Joe Biden, and, along with his partner Obama, is certifiable as good a liar as any who have ever called DC home.

    September 19, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  25. peakarack



    September 19, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
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