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)





    September 19, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  2. Jilly Billy

    May Allah continue to bless Senator Obamah and Senator Biden. Enshala.

    September 19, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  3. CM

    I'm surprised that some people here are saying trickle down economics is the way out of this.

    Trickle down economics was being practiced by the GOP and got us into this mess. Every political pundit out there is blaming the sub-prime mortgage industry and the root cause of that was the deregulation of the financial sector.

    The architect of this mess?

    Look no further than McCain's former economic adviser and the man widely believed to be his Treasury Secretary pick should he win the White House.

    Hey Joe're replying to your alter-egos now?

    CNN mods why do you let that guy spam the boards?

    September 19, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  4. CM

    Please someone tell me what record of reform McCain and Palin have? Don't spout off campaign talking points please....most of those have already been proven false or misleading by independent , non-partisan parties.

    I've seen editorials written by openly GOP editors who say that McCain has no record of reform.

    September 19, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  5. Griff

    Overseas investment! You have the chair! Now seat your best Execuitives. Stop all this Wimpering... You want to lead? Or just be another "Lead Soldier"?
    The is a, "Great-Melting-Pot" out there, for failures....

    September 19, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  6. Ted:Canada


    no using advisors!


    EQUALS = ?
    Clue! – that answer will tell you something about your advsiors IQ

    SMILE Repubs "just adding some humour.

    Really? 894 out of 899???

    September 19, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  7. anyonmous

    how the hell is missouri a lean state it has five points equal

    September 19, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  8. JusLaugh

    How come I never heard a thing on CNN about the Palin/McCain gaff? How about the McCain surrogate who called rural voters rednecks?

    If Obama or Biden said either one of those things, you would have ran with it for 2 days non-stop!

    I used to think you were the fairest news organization, but I think you are being extremely unfair by avoiding all of McCain's screw ups, but talking for days about Obama's.

    September 19, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  9. ohio

    mccain will destroy this country he has no sense oh anything in life his brain is out and done needs a oil change

    September 19, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  10. Scott L


    It is great how Obama has had to change his economic strategy in light of recent events, because the foundations of his plan are EXACTLY what economists are saying put us in this cluster right now.

    If people want to be patriotic per Biden and pay more taxes...let's do it at their own free will. Simply ADD a government donation to your tax return when you file in April. Let's see how many people truly are patriotic?

    I bet it is less than $1,000. That is why they want the government to force higher taxes on you. Because in the end, you want to hold onto EVERY PENNY YOU EARN.

    Why you would support illegals, freeloaders on welfare, and ensure that losers who do nothing get free health insurance is beyond me.

    Contribute to society first, then maybe we'll hook you up...oh wait, we already do.

    Stop buying your morning coffess, your bling, your iphones and maybe you could afford health insurance....dummies!

    September 19, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  11. forever3

    This is going to be unpopular, but certainly the housing crisis is in large the fault of the people who used their homes as ATM machines and people who bought homes they could not afford. Nobody did it to them, they took out a loan and didn't pay it back, now we are all supposed to rescue everyone and pay the huge bill. Yes, the mortgage companies have to take responsibility for handing out houses with NO money down and letting others pull cash out. If you put nothing into your home, you have nothing to lose when you walk away. In our neighborhood some did just that, bought with no money down, refinanced and pulled money out......then walked away!!

    How is this the fault of the Republicans? If you want to place blame on a party it would be the Democrats, in 2006 they were voted in with the promise of CHANGE

    This is causing loss of jobs that neither party can promise to recreate when they are elected into office. Our business is feeling it as well, it looks as though our employees will soon feel it too!

    September 19, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  12. mike


    September 19, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  13. MikeH

    Joe Kiloz, are you a paid Republican liar? If not your skull is full of dung. McCain got more $ donations from Freddie and Fannie than Obama, and neither candidte got very much, less than .02% of their budgets.

    September 19, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  14. Patriot

    The New York Times has published a separate list looking at contributions from "directors, officers, and lobbyists for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac" for the 2008 campaign cycle. That list — using figures from the Federal Election Commission — shows McCain receiving $169,000, while Obama received only $16,000.

    September 19, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  15. Alice

    The Republican way to run Wall Street is to privatize the profits and socialize the losses.

    gee, thx

    September 19, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  16. EqualBranchesofGovernment

    Thank the Republican Party for removing the "uptick" rule on Wall St. and allowing foreign interests to decimate the retirement savings of millions of hard-working Americans.....

    September 19, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  17. The Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    Women of America. Watch this guy who hides in a wood pile.

    He has insulted you by referring to you lip stick wearers as residing in a pig pen.

    Now he wants your vote. Tell this skunk NO. NO NO you can't have it

    The same with the Mid Westerner who I consider smart and can do people. Obama dissed you and called you bitter. Now you can tell him that you are voting for McCain

    that is the winning ticket McCain for President

    September 19, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  18. Kim

    We have every reason to fear. Our economy and in fact the world economy is on the brink of total meltdown. This has been caused by the Bush policies and resulting debt. There is a real chance that McBush will be elected President. He is totally clueless on the economy and will lead America fat dumb and happy into the next great depression.

    September 19, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  19. Ron was a REP now a DEM

    I understand 894 was one of his better qualities. Flying aircraft was not his forte according to this group of heros.

    September 19, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  20. Mike

    Roy P.

    Thank you

    September 19, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  21. GrindWater

    I'm not a rapper but i deal with rappers all day in my chosen profession. I also keep up with our politics in this confusing time in America. In my opinion politicians and rapper are all the same. Rapper talk about how tough they are, and politicians talk about how good they are, but when it all boils down it's all just talk cause neither are what they say....and I'm still lost in the idea of America Pride and don't want either representing who i am as a true American caught in the middle of things that don't concern me other than my tax money. Is that all I'm worth, is that my voice. This election has me asking myself is this where hate an greed as taken this country, did we sell ourselves for money. Is that all we got.

    September 19, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  22. Cory, PA

    ok, so I actually LIVE IN chambersburg, PA... well, not really, but like 10 minutes away....

    My point is.... Chambersburg, PA has BOOMED within the past 5 years. Look it up.... population, business, infrastructure, etc., has all increased. I am sure there are many towns out there hurting, and i'll admit the downtown area of Chambersburg is not all that great, but I believe it is because of other reasons that I wont mention on here.

    Oh, and I'm voting for Obama, so don't hate.


    September 19, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  23. jim

    Bush on housing during his acceptance Speech to the Republican National Convention September 2, 2004...

    "Thanks to our policies, home ownership in America is at an all- time high."

    "Tonight we set a new goal: 7 million more affordable homes in the next 10 years, so more American families will be able to open the door and say, "Welcome to my home."

    September 19, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  24. B

    Senator McCain was pretty clear that he was a big part of the financial meltdown when Bernanke blew the horn in Jerusalem.

    Hopefully, McCain, 72, will retire now.

    September 19, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  25. Ronda

    Any one else notice that in the past 100 years we suffer a major economic crisis after a long-term (8 or more years) of republicans in the White House? The Great Depression, the S & L crisis of the late 80's, and now?

    How long until we get it that "hands off" free markets doesn't work? What other data do you possibily need?

    Republicans need to change their whole philosophy on the economy. Until they do, no way will I ever vote for another one.

    McCain is too entrenched in the old "hands off/free market" same old repub philosophy to change. I don't trust his sudden flip-flop on this issue. He is pandering. His philosophy which has dicated his voting record for over a quarter century is flawed.

    And this idea that only repub's can keep us safe? It was democrats in the White House during WWI and WWII–we won those.

    September 19, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
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