Population growth across the midwest and northeast is stagnant. People are actually fleeing rural areas (North Dakota) and urban centers (New Orleans, Detroit, Baltimore) in droves. The people who stay behind are getting older, sicker and poorer. Look at this map of Arkansas. While Jericho is still in a “growth” county (although just barely), it looks like about half the counties in the state are hemorrhaging citizens. There is virtually no opportunity for advancement for those who are left behind. There is little money to be made outside of odd jobs, selling drugs or government. We shouldn’t be surprised that citizens are turning their local governments into thinly-disguised crime syndicates. They literally have no other means to support themselves except fleecing one another.