This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS - See his portfolio and get alerts BEFORE every trade. Learn more NOW!

Ryan's Hometown And The Route Back To Prosperity

By BRIAN BAKST and TODD RICHMOND

JANESVILLE, Wis. (AP) â¿¿ A defining moment for Paul Ryan's hometown came at the height of the Great Recession: General Motors, after nearly a century of making Chevrolets on the banks of the Rock River, shut down its oldest assembly plant and erased 6,000 jobs.

A defining question of the campaign Ryan joined this week as the Republican Party's vice presidential nominee just might be what comes next for places like Janesville.

In the election battleground states of middle America, this is one of the many not-quite-small-towns but hardly-big-cities struggling to find their future. They were among the last places where high school educations led to solid blue-collar jobs. They are home to once-thriving small businesses now staggering from big employers shutting down.

For Republican Mitt Romney and his new running mate, the solution is lower taxes and fewer regulations. For President Barack Obama, it's more resources for schools, job training and infrastructure. The policies couldn't be much more different, even if they share the same goal: making America a more enticing place to do business.

And even when there's a hometown kid on the ballot, the election in cities such as Janesville is largely a choice about which path is the right route to prosperity.

"This town is in bad shape economically," said Bill Westphal, 72, a retired businessman who lives across the street from Ryan and his family. "We're out here on a limb. We have to make this town work."

Janesville, a town of 60,000 roughly 40 miles southeast of the capital city of Madison, is one of a dozen communities nationwide rocked by the near-collapse of General Motors. The company survives today after cutting roughly 22,000 blue-collar jobs and filing for bankruptcy in 2009.

This area's unemployment rate spiked to 12 percent in the immediate aftermath of the local plant's closure that April, and it remains just under 10 percent â¿¿ higher than Wisconsin and the nation as a whole.

1 of 4

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Try it NOW
Only $9.95
Try it NOW
14-Days Free
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG

Markets

DOW 18,186.49 -27.93 -0.15%
S&P 500 2,110.55 -0.19 -0.01%
NASDAQ 4,983.1580 -4.7320 -0.09%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs