Every time I post in favor of a state income tax, or patiently explain that Washington's state and local tax "burden" is at a near record low—well below that needed to sustain public services and investments at the level necessary to grow the economy and maintain our quality of life—the knee-jerk anti-tax/anti-guvmint/pro-tea trolls like to jump into the threads and smugly challenge me: "If you think your taxes are too low, why don't you volunteer to pay more?" Or something along those lines.

So in that spirit, here's my challenge to those of you cheering on Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's efforts to deny public employees the right to bargain collectively.

If you truly believe that labor unions are so evil and/or unnecessary—indeed, un-American—then why don't you volunteer to give up all the rights and benefits the labor movement has won for working Americans over the past 140 years? You know, little things like the 8-hour workday, weekends, paid overtime, paid sick, holiday and vacation days, child labor laws, workplace safety, workers compensation for on-job injuries, unemployment insurance, health care insurance, maternity leave and family medical leave... not to mention the minimum wage, Social Security, and Medicare, plus a whole lot of other things I'm probably forgetting.

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Go ahead, give those things up. Because without organized labor, you wouldn't have any of those rights or benefits in the first place.

Or, maybe, you can stop hating so much on your local school teacher for a moment, and start demanding that those most responsible for the Great Recession pick up some of the tab for dealing with it.

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