Yeah. Poverty and lack of education is a big problem in the state. It’s especially a problem in the Delta. There was a time when dozens of people picked cotton and did all sorts of other farm work. Now huge tractors, combines, & cotton-pickers have substantially reduced the number of people necessary to run a farm. Sadly, too many of those people and their children have stayed and starved in places like rural Lee Co. Not enough hard industries have replaced farm work & those that have require better educated workers. The small businesses that used to serve larger populations of those workers have suffered, too. Places like Clarendon, Newport, & Augusta that were once booming river towns with strong farm communities have dried up. Some worse than others. Pine Bluff is a shadow of what it was even 30-40 years ago. Those along the interstate have fared somewhat better.
A few towns in Arkansas have prospered. Searcy has done well. Jonesboro-Paragould are booming. Of course we know how well the NW corner has done. Combination of having the UA, Wal-Mart, Tyson, Hunt & several other industries that have helped the area thrive.
Transportation (highways) aren’t too bad in the state. I-49 opening up from I-40 to MO has helped it. We needed & got XNA. The roads west toward Tulsa are good. 67-167 from LR nearly to MO has improved things in that part of the state. Now there’s a very good highway (4 lane) from LR to Lake Village. Seems to me we need to do more for education in the state, though. Probably wouldn’t hurt to consolidate some of these still tiny school districts.