Rural America has taken a real shot to the gut in the past couple decades. What once was the pride of American industry and economy has since dwindled to its nadir. Long stretches of ma-and-pop shops have been reduced to their sad skeletons and replaced by a Super Wal-Mart on the outskirts of town.

Watching the backdrop of your favorite memories crumble to nothing but empty space. Seeing your career path shrivel and nothing on the rise to assume its place. Contrast this to city poor, where there is at least always the hope of personal and professional improvement. The buildings get bigger. The jobs and career-paths are endless and always evolving. The old adage of, “every broke American perceives themselves as a millionaire down on their luck” rings very true to the city poor. There is at least the possibility. They have something to work toward. That’s a real luxury that the rural poor don’t get.

Read more: What I Have Learned From Photographing 400 Towns in Iowa