The predatory activities of local governments give new meaning to that tired phrase "the cycle of poverty." Poor people are more likely than the affluent to get into trouble with the law, either by failing to pay parking fines or by incurring the wrath of a private sector creditor like a landlord or a hospital. Once you have been deemed a criminal, you can pretty much kiss your remaining assets goodbye. Not only will you face the aforementioned court costs, but you'll have a hard time ever finding a job again once you've acquired a criminal record. And then, of course, the poorer you become, the more likely you are to get in fresh trouble with the law, making this less like a "cycle" and more like the waterslide to hell. The further you descend, the faster you fall, until you eventually end up on the streets and get busted for an offense like urinating in public or sleeping on a sidewalk.