I picked CNN Money’s story “Most Americans not benefiting from Dow 20,000,” for this assignment. The story explores part of the population that was not affected by Dow Jones hitting 20,000 for the first time ever. This story is an excellent example of fundamental story elements because it contains all of them.
The central compelling character, Donna Coomer, is the manager of a gas station in a small city in western Kentucky. Coomer, like most Americans, did not bat an eye when Dow crossed the threshold into history. Coomer is part of the estimated 54% of America that does not invest in the stock market. This means not only do they not own individual stocks but they also do not have money in pension funds.
The main conflict here is the two stark contrasts between Wall Street and Main Street in Coomer’s city. While people on Wall Street are looking for tax cuts and looser regulations, people on Main Street are looking for jobs and more income. People in Coomer’s city are living off of disability checks while waiting on Trump to follow through on his pledge to provide 25 million jobs.
The expert testimony in this story is Chuck Caudill, general manager of the local newspaper. Caudill estimates about 40% of the people in the city live in poverty. Data from the most recent Census is that 54% of the residents live below the poverty line.
Another viewpoint in the story is from another resident in the same city. Most people in Coomer’s city voted for Trump, and despite having very little, they have complete faith in Trump. Despite Dow’s historic moment not affecting them personally, the people in Coomer’s town have hope. Dow’s historic moment reminds them there is money out there and they hope that money will translate into more jobs and income for them.