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The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2007
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Workers' right to unionize has been restricted in the United States. It was reported that union membership fell by 326,000 in 2006, bringing the percentage of employees in unions to 12 percent, down from 20 percent in 1983. Employer resistance stopped 53 percent of nonunion workers from joining a union (Sharp Decline in Union Members in '06, The New York Times, January 26, 2007). According to a report by the Human Rights Watch, when Wal-Mart stores faced unionization drives, the company often broke the law by, for example, eavesdropping on workers, training surveillance cameras on them and firing those who favored unions (Report Assails Wal-Mart Over Unions, The New York Times, May 1, 2007).

In the United States, money is "mother's milk" for politics while elections are "games" for the wealthy, highlighting the hypocrisy of the US democracy, which has been fully borne out by the 2008 presidential election. The "financial threshold" for participating in the US presidential election is becoming higher and higher. At least 10 of the 20-strong major party candidates who are seeking the US presidency in general elections in 2008 are millionaires, according to a report by Spanish news agency EFE on May 18, 2007. The French news agency AFP reported on January 15, 2007 that the 2008 presidential election will be the most expensive race in history. The cost of the last presidential campaign in 2004, considered a peak for its time, was 693 million US dollars. Common estimates of this year's total outlay have tended to come in at around 1 billion U.S dollars, and Fortune magazine recently upped its overall cost projection to 3 billion US dollars. An important presidential candidate of the Democratic Party raised a total of 115 million US dollars in 2007, and another important candidate of the Party raised 103 million US dollars. A Republican candidate said his campaign has 12.7 million US dollars, and another Republican White House hopeful, a wealthy businessman, has already dished out 17 million US dollars of his own. The New York Times said on November 26, 2007 that confronting an enormous fund-raising gap with Democrats, Republican Party officials were aggressively recruiting wealthy candidates who could spend large sums of their own money to finance their campaigns. Some wealthy Republicans had each already invested 100,000 to 1 million US dollars of their own money to finance their campaigns. In New York's 20th Congressional District, it was estimated that each candidate would spend at least 3 million US dollars.

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