we the people

We the People: Poverty – No way out

Investigating the cycle of poverty that has trapped 37 million Americans.

About 20% of children in the US live in poverty

In this hotly contested US presidential campaign one issue has been largely overlooked: poverty.

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 last three decades the rich have gotten richer and the distance between the ‘haves and have nots’ has widened.

In many Western countries up to 10 per cent 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.

Watch part one:

Watch part two:

This episode of We the People airs from Monday, October 20, 2008