At one point in history, unions were a very powerful tool in creating the fair labor practices that occur today. Labor unions were needed during these times to fight for improved working conditions, better wages, better hours, etc. Presently, union membership is at an all-time low, with only 11.3% overall union membership, 35.9% in the public sector and 6.6% in the private sector[ CITATION Uni13 l 1033 ]. Both rates for the public and private sector are down from 37% and 6.9% union memberships, in 2011[ CITATION Ste12 l 1033 ]. Every year, the number of membership's decreases and decreases, and eventually unions will cease to exist. Within the next 10 years, research has proven that unions will continue to diminish. .
Present day unions seem to be doing more harm than good; they are costing the U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars, without producing results. Take public education for example, the teachers' unions complain how little money they have and demand more in order to make improvements to the educational system. As a result, taxes increase and the school system gets the money they requested. Unfortunately, no improvements are ever made [ CITATION Joh11 l 1033 ]. Another example as to why unions are an unnecessary evil would be the Buffalo teacher's federation negotiating the cosmetic rider into their collective bargaining agreement. In 2011, around 7,000 New York state teachers were laid off, in order to pay for the plastic surgery of over 3,400 teachers. These procedures include Botox treatments, tummy tucks, and breast augmentations. Originally, the cosmetic rider was meant to cover reconstructive surgery from serious accidents and burn victims [ CITATION Lau12 l 1033 ]. The education system is not the only industry at risk; the auto industry is tied up just as much with problematic unions. .
The U.S. auto industry continues to struggle due to union influence, while foreign industries thrive.