This film was originally broadcast on Al Jazeera English in the run-up to the US elections in 2008.

One in eight Americans - that is 37 million people - live below the official poverty line. That means these families are often homeless, hungry and have no health insurance.

Over the past three decades, the rich have become richer and the distance between the haves and have-nots has widened.

In many western countries up to 10 percent of children live in poverty. That percentage is double in the US and the numbers are growing. What is worse, American children born into poverty have little chance of moving up and out.

We the People travels to Oakland, California, where a lack of opportunities, little investment in education and the legacy of the drug epidemic of the 1980s have created a cycle of poverty.

Source: Al Jazeera