Asked what he considered a living wage, Tillis dodged. He pivoted to say private industry ought to answer the question.We could argue that the market does define what's a living wage right this very minute. The housing market determines how much money you need to have a roof over your head, the grocery market determines how much money you need to feed yourself, and so on. But of course Tillis isn't talking about the private market defining how much money people need to survive, he's talking about the private market defining how much people get in exchange for their work. And right now, we have a minimum wage that falls below what people need to survive, and plenty of employers taking advantage of that. Which leads to other things Republicans get upset about, like people requiring government assistance to get by.
“I think for the most part the market needs to define that,” he answered. “When we create artificial thresholds then you run into a big problem. And I think we need to know that a segment of the population relies on minimum wage, but there are a lot of jobs that go beyond the minimum wage.”
But when you're a Republican Senate candidate, the bar for making sense is low, and "the market" is something of a get out of jail free card.