Panorama: Poor America

With one and a half million American children now homeless, reporter Hilary Andersson meets the school pupils who go hungry in the richest country on Earth.

From those living in the storm drains under Las Vegas to the tent cities now springing up around the United States, Panorama finds out how the poor are surviving in America and asks whatever happened to Barack Obama’s vision for the country.

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  • Anonymous

    Time to up the level. Obama is a programmed puppet with no vision of his own. His handlers are Yiddish ‘goy haters’ and the rest has been history. If we don’t wake up fast, there is no future to speak of. When you put them in positions of trust, this is what you get. This is what you deserve to get.

  • Ole Endresen

    My heart goes out to all struggling americans. This was a very sad watch. 

    From my point of view, living comfortably straight out of college, in a country (it’s one of the Scandinavian ones) where health care is free, and business is booming – it’s positively bizarre to see republicans making such mind boggling claims about “socialized” medicine, cutting welfare etc. It’s so blatantly not supported by evidence, and I guess the reason why so many americans seem to support those views must point to indoctrination by some behemoth pr machinery. 

    It’s frightening and surreal to watch american politics from the outside.

  • Mama Mia

    The government will bail out the banks and large corperations without an agreement to pay back the money isn’t that welfare but when the people need help they leave them to starve!!!! incredible!!!  The 1% are the biggest welfare recipients, they don’t want to share, everyone else is expendable. I guess when you are part of the 1% that is calling the shots and prospering from the other 99% you don’t have to worry about whether or not you have food on the table. They give tax breaks to the big companies to line their own pockets and then try and sell the bull #$%* to the starving 99%. Remember who owns the media and then you understand why people belive what they do.  

  • Alxalj

    This documentary sucks. 

  • Modworldgirl

    newt gingrich….  ya, child labor will solve the problem. IDIOT!

    • Turn3nrun

      He was misquoted…

  • Shara

    It is very obvious it is the billionaire Americans or the ones who already have health insurance who don’t want Universal Health Care.  As a Canadian, of course I understand that there are smokers and alcoholics that take more than their share out of health care, but I’m very glad that it is there for everyone.

  • tracy

    My heart goes out to the many Americans who are suffering so severely under the burden of their crippled economy. The plight of the children, who go to bed hungry, is especially heart rending.the little girl whose mother resorted to eating rats appeared deeply traumatized by her situation. I take issue with the obvious & unprofessional bias shown in the documentary. Her incessant Obama-bashing was tiresome: the BBC usually does a better job of presenting an issue in an unbiased manner.

    On a recent road trip through the USA, I was shocked and saddened by the rows of houses with boarded up windows & foreclosure signs in front of them. these had been typical middle class homes & I couldn’t help but wonder where their former inhabitants were. Does it really make sense to evict families, board up their homes & force them into indigence? Most are hard-working honest people who lost work when the economy tanked AND were shafted by predatory mortgage companies & banks. Why aren’t these bankers sleeping in tents or shelters? As neighbourhoods become ghost towns & once tidy homes fall into dilapidation, I shudder to think of the coming wave of rage (& I don’t mean those in the ‘occupy’ movement) as people die for lack of health care, children’s health & education declines & the middle class continues to be gutted like a fish.

    I keep hoping that the traditional American CAN DO spirit arises & our Southern cousins’ ingenuity & creativity kicks into high gear & they emerge from this even stronger than they ever were. What I’m seeing instead, though, is a troubling regression into both virulent racist rhetoric & religious fanaticism. I wish I could do more than buy American, spend my travel dollars in the USA & cross my fingers.

  • Laura

    Oh my God! It’s really frightening as an outsider to watch Republicans try and exterminate their fellow citizens, the unemployed and the under-employed.
    I can’t understand how America can be considered a democratic society.
    Did you see how clean and tidy the tent city was? The inhabitants were not the scum of the earth, they were ordinary Americans, who couldn’t afford a roof over their heads anymore.
    Lately it has been very disturbing as a Canadian to listen to psychotic presidential hopefulls, ranting about eliminating any health programs for the poor and making birth control illegal.
    Thank God there are still good teachers and doctors who are trying so hard to make a difference.
    Ordinary people didn’t cause the crash and the massive unemployment, the greedy banks,and the industries who moved out of the U.S. for cheaper labour did.
    Why bash the poor?

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/CromwellsEngland?feature=mhee Oliver Cromwell

    God bless Robert and his wife Anita, I hope your still alive and OK, God bless you!

  • SuperiorEuropean

    This made me laugh so hard I almost spilled my wine and dropped my canape!

    American peasants struggling YET STILL supporting the excremental american system and corrupt amer-political despots that are oppressing them. That american PR industry must really work well in managing the animals of the 3rd world usa.

    “usa usa usa… #1 yeah woot hi-5 me! USA USA USA!”
    Keep waving that big foam “usa #1 finger”, why don’t ya!

    Meanwhile MOST of Europe, Scandinavia, the BRICs and MOST of Asia ARE NOT EXPERIENCING A RECESSION… as in the 1930s, it is ONLY the usa that is having it really hard!

    Don’t believe me… ask the chief economist, Jan Hatzius, of Golman Sachs re. the MYTH of a global recession… IT’S JUST YOU, america!

    The depression in Europe lasted from 1930 to 1933. In the ussa is lasted from 1930 until WWII dragged them up and out. History repeats itself.

    LOL!

    “Now which canape to have next! Decisions, decisions!”

  • liz

    As an Australian I am really glad we have universal health care. You don’t get your choice of doctor, etc and you have to do with the hospital bed you are given, but at least it’s there. We live in the western world, for God’s sake. No one should be denied basic hospital care. Sure, the welfare system is abused in this country and the people who make collecting welfare a career should be given a kick up the backside and forced to work. It does make me angry when people have no intention of contributing anything to society and expect a free ride. We have people coming to this country as supposed ‘refugees’ and then collect a few wives, have a dozen or so children and then each wife collects welfare payments and baby bonuses. But, how does anyone know when the tables will turn for them due to some unforseen circumstance such as illness, etc. and you will be forced to rely on the goodwill of others. Isn’t it better to accept the fact that there will always be some who abuse the system and choose to do get for the majority of people who are genuine. Many of the people who were interviewed looked pretty genuine to me.What a sad state a society is in if it can’t take care of its own and yet spends billions fighting wars across the other side of the globe.

  • Fred Ares
  • otherhalf’srevenge

    The “American Dream” is collapsed while our own blindness prevented us from seeing the growing power of money interests that influence our government for their own ends. The public waking up is the first step towards rebuilding our broken nation. This is happening because of documentaries such as this. The next step is to unite. Their power comes from us, and we can revoke it.

  • ? mrclack

    o..how..usa..has..falling..the..poor..move..to..china..and..you..may..live..a..little..better

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/CromwellsEngland?feature=mhee Cromwells Guard

    What happened to a construction worker called Mr Robert Herndon and his wife Anita in Tennessee featured in a TV documentary with Stan Brock the founder of the non-profit medical care organization. He needed a life saving hernia operation but couldn’t afford the 20,000 dollar bill. Anita cried when the Doctor told them that if he wasn’t treated he could die!

    He had no money and no insurance so he went home without treatment. I hope you’re still alive Robert and you get help!

    If Robert was in Great Britain whether he paid into the National Health Service or not, he would have had the full operation and aftercare, God Bless him!

    There are 50 million people in the USA without healthcare; there are 60 million people in Great Britain who happily use the NHS.

    It is wrong to run healthcare as a Business and make money from suffering and dying people!

    You can create a Business and make or build something for people to use like cars, computers or anything else to sell and make millions of Dollars, that’s fine, that’s your money, you worked hard for it but Healthcare is all Humans right and must come first!

    Why have I put this article about Robert on you tube, a dear member of my family was rushed into hospital at the weekend with heart and liver problems and her life is critical. The National Health Service Doctors and nurses cannot do enough and have done every test and used every peace of equipment on her and are fighting to save her life! While I was sitting with her and family I thought about Robert and his wife Anita and said a prayer that Robert gets his operation regardless of the cost. As time goes on many upsetting reports pop up every day in the news and it seems like the whole world is turning into an Evil place!

  • Liberals are Scum

    just a bunch of low life liberal scum wanting a free handout,,,and the left leaning bitch asking questions should ask Obama this, why didn’t you change anything when for two years your black low class ass had control of both houses of government. Liberals are the scum that has been destroying this country since 1960, so to protect our country from total destruction all liberals should be killed.

    • ME

      How are democrats or republicans any better. The president before Obama gave all Americas money to other countries. He is the one that put our country into the state it is in now. How do you expect just one President to change everything. Our country will NEVER be the same and it is Bush who killed America to begin with.

  • Nidhish Mehra

    This is the truthly sorrowful movie. I have discussed this American poverty situation with mine good friend Raghavendra Raj Kumar – the most famous actor and singer in all Gandhinagar – indeed Gujurat. He is very kindness man. Please if any charity institute for the poverty alleviation in America would contact Raghavendra Raj Kumar to organization the charity singing festival. India can help you. https://twitter.com/mailrrk