And to the world.
The secret policy of certain western governments is:
1. Help the super-rich to get richer.
2. Keep down the wages of the poor.
With George W Bush as president, the number of Americans living in severe poverty has increased dramatically. Nearly 16 million Americans now live on an individual income of less than $5,000 (£2,500) a year or a family income of less than $10,000 (£5,000). (news.independent.co.uk)
The number of Americans living in extreme poverty has grown by 26% since 2000.
In the USA, poverty as a whole has worsened and the number of severe poor is growing 56% faster than the overall segment of the population characterised as poor - about 37 million people. (news.independent.co.uk)
According to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation ( Wealth inequality 'at 40-year high' ) :
1. Britain is becoming a segregated society.
2. The gap between rich and poor has reached its highest level for more than 40 years.
3. During the past 15 years there has been an increase in the number of households living below the poverty line.
4. Households below the poverty line now account for more than half of all families in parts of some cities.
5. In parts of some cities more than half of all households are now "breadline poor" - enough to live on but no access to opportunities enjoyed by the rest of society.
6. Households in already wealthy areas have tended to become disproportionately wealthier.
7. Many rich people now live in areas segregated from the rest of society.
In the Calton district of Glasgow, male life expectancy is 53.9 years, almost ten years fewer than in Bangladesh.
However, life in Bangladesh can be worse than in Britain.
Large western companies like Tesco like to get cheap clothing from Bangladesh.
Tesco's chief executive Terry Leahy is a special adviser to the British government on business matters.
The Guardian (High price paid for cheap UK clothes ) explained on 15 July 2007:
1. Workers at factories supplying clothes to Asda (Walmart), Tesco and Primark told the Guardian that they were paid well below the £22 a month considered by experts to be the minimum living wage.
2. Mahbubur, 20, a machine operator, earns £16 a month, but he said apprentices or helpers in his factory earn only £9. His basic hours are 8am to 8pm, six days a week, but overtime, sometimes through the night, is compulsory.
Paul Collins, of War on Want, said: "These companies are driving down prices and pushing up profits and their workers are paying the real price in terrible pay and conditions." ( Brown is urged to act over 4p-an-hour sweatshop pay )