For The Wall Street Journal:


Struggling Americans once sought greener pastures in bigger metropolitans, but now they're stuck. The country is the least mobile since after WWII, even in economically depressed rural locales like West Branch, Michigan. 

Broken out windows are reflected in a puddle on the floor of the abandoned Robert Clark Evans Bicycle Company in West Branch, Michigan on Wednesday, June 21, 2017. The building has sat empty and abandoned for years, but used to employ many local families. CREDIT: Mark Felix for The Wall Street Journal
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Larry Scott, 72, catches a fish off a dock on Lake George Thursday, June 22, 2017, in West Branch, MI. Scott moved away from West Branch to go to college when he was 18 and returned 10 years ago for retirement. He tries to fish a few hours every day at the same spot he fished at as a boy. CREDIT: Mark Felix for The Wall Street Journal
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Taylor Tibbetts, 21, pets her dog at her home Sunday, July 23, 2017, in West Branch, MI. CREDIT: Mark Felix for The Wall Street Journal
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A land for sale signs sits in the middle of a field across from a business plaza Wednesday, June 21, 2017, in West Branch, MI. CREDIT: Mark Felix for The Wall Street Journal
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Denise Lawrence, mayor of West Branch, poses for a portrait Thursday, June 22, 2017, in West Branch, MI. CREDIT: Mark Felix for The Wall Street Journal
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Silos peak out over the horizon of farmland Thursday, June 22, 2017, in West Branch, MI. CREDIT: Mark Felix for The Wall Street Journal
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Jaydon Botkins, 11, center, and Brynden Smith, 5, left, watch as Nate Smith, 26, lights a fire Thursday, June 22, 2017, in West Branch, MI. CREDIT: Mark Felix for The Wall Street Journal
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A "Dead End" sign is illuminated by the evening sun Monday, July 24, 2017, in West Branch, MI. CREDIT: Mark Felix for The Wall Street Journal
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