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North Carolina state Rep. Thom Tillis.
Thom Tillis, the speaker of the North Carolina state House and a Republican challenger to U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, isn't quite saying he wants to abolish the minimum wage outright. But only because "you can’t unring that bell." As for raising the minimum wage, Tillis is obviously opposed. But this is the best part:
Asked what he considered a living wage, Tillis dodged. He pivoted to say private industry ought to answer the question.

“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.”

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.

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.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 01:12 PM PST.

Also republished by North Carolina BLUE and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Well, who couldn't see that one a mile away? (14+ / 0-)

    I knew Rick Perry's version of "let industry (or states) set their minimum wages" was going to get repeated. It's pretty obvious that this sludge is the approved talking point from the right to oppose the popularity of raising the minimum wage.

    Food processed to be nothing more than simple starches with two dozen flavorings and stabilizers added to make it appear to be food isn't "food". It's "feed" -- what you give to livestock to fatten them up for slaughter.

    by ontheleftcoast on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 01:19:55 PM PST

    •  That's because, although few will say it, GOP (3+ / 0-)

      legislators don't believe in the concept of a minimum wage.  The Republicans know that the minimum wage has very broad bipartisan support so they just delay minimum wage increases as long as possible without being honest about why. If it wasn't politically suicidal they would abolish the minimum wage. In their view it is an example of government interfering in the free market.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 03:07:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bingo! The GOP does not believe in ANY (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib, sajiocity, Odysseus, Ahianne

        minimum wage.  Oh, how I wish Democrats would force their GOP counterparts to declare this outright.  All too often I see them on TV declaring (as Jindal did just today on Morning Joke) they are not opposed to increasing the minimum wage; they just don't believe now is the right time to increase it.

        Hell, it's never the right time, is it?

        Democrats should stop asking them if they agree the minimum wage should be raised.  Instead, ask them if they believe in ANY minimum wage.  You will be amazed at the back flips they will do to try to avoid answering (see Michelle Bachman on CNN with Bernie Sanders).  

        Once you get them to declare their "truth", then their ruse of "not now" will simply fade away.  Because for them, it will never be the right time to increase the minimum wage.

  •  Wait! I think I saw him recently. (10+ / 0-)

    With the Decision Points Theater, the George W. Bush Presidential Library becomes the very first Presidential Library to feature a Fiction Section.

    by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 01:33:18 PM PST

    •  Don't diss Scrooge - He saw the light (0+ / 0-)

      unlike these cretins who could be visited by three times as many ghosts and all they would do would "Benghaaaazi, Obama, Kenya" and send everyone to work on Xmas.
      Even fish can learn.  Why can't they?

      "Takes more than guns to kill a man" Joe Hill

      by sajiocity on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 04:51:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Seems to me leaving everything up to a system (5+ / 0-)

    where the shareholder, not the worker, is served first has gotten us into a fine mess indeed.

    Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

    by commonmass on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 01:48:25 PM PST

  •  The disconnect between market forces and GOPthink (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aitchdee

    can be summed in how the inability of the current minimum wage to clear the labor market cannot possibly be mistaken for a sign we should raise the minimum wage.

    Or add benefits that beef up compensation for lower-quintile income occupations, so that seeking employment at said minimum wage is encouraged.

    Or be misconstrued as a sign that perhaps we should do more for people who may/may not vote Democratic and quite often vote Republican but who cares, because poor losers don't deserve living wages and health care, so there.

    (This being my depiction of the thought process, not MY thought process.)

  •  So, how will this impact (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus

    the poverty level thresholds and guidelines?

    If you acknowledge it, you can change it.

    by Raggedy Ann on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 01:59:50 PM PST

  •  Vote for Us. We're Going to F&$%#*k You. (6+ / 0-)

    Could these guys be any plainer that they want to screw the average worker?

    -- We want to keep your wages low!

            Vote for us!

    --  We want to cut social security!

             Vote for us!

    -- We want to foul your air and water.

             Vote for us!

    •  They tack on the extras though... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus, Ahianne

      Think of all the many benefits the GOP offers to its voters!

      -- We'll let you hate gays!

          Vote for us!

      -- We'll let you own, and carry anywhere, 30 guns!

          Vote for us!

      -- We'll let you shoot scary black people stand your ground!

          Vote for us!

      -- We'll make it legal to beat your kids!

          Vote for us!

      -- Ladies, you won't have to worry about your "magic lady parts"

          Vote for us!

      Food processed to be nothing more than simple starches with two dozen flavorings and stabilizers added to make it appear to be food isn't "food". It's "feed" -- what you give to livestock to fatten them up for slaughter.

      by ontheleftcoast on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 02:14:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'll add: Vote for Us. We're Going to F*k You... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lonelybamadem

      But we'll always make sure there is someone on which you can look down so you don't feel the full humiliation of being swindled over and over and over again thus saving face.

      Voting for Progressive Dems means admitting you're not by birthright alone better than anyone.  That's character's job.

      And voting for Right Wind Dems...well for that I have no explanation.

  •  These guys are so obviously taking their cue (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dirtandiron, Odysseus

    from John Birch Society/Koch Brothers/Tea Party talking points. It used to be that the Repubs argument was not whether there should be a minimum wage but how much that wage should be.

    "If you love your Uncle Sam bring them home, bring them home." - Pete Seeger.

    by brae70 on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 02:04:34 PM PST

  •  Thom Tillis needs to be reminded: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dirtandiron, this just in
    The 99% are watching.

    We cannot win a war crime - Dancewater, July 27, 2008

    by unclejohn on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 02:11:15 PM PST

  •  "Industry" and "the market" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, Ahianne

    did set the minimum wage at one time. It was called 1890. The Republicans would like to take us all back there. I'm not eager to go.

    “Republicans...think American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people... And they admire of Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it.” Harry S. Truman

    by fenway49 on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 03:23:32 PM PST

  •  So why is Kay Hagan opposing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, Ahianne

    ...raising the minimum wage, along with her good buddies Mary Landrieu and Mark Warner?   People who vote Republican want the minimum wage raised.  Why don't these Democrats?

    Not to mention fuzzing the issue with Thom Tillis.

    Whose pocket is Hagan, Landrieu, and Warner in?

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 04:14:37 PM PST

    •  Hagan has to calculate 3 things for each issue: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus, Ahianne

      1) whether it's a deal-breaker for the non-Dem voters in NC (in a very tough re-election),

      2) whether Harry Reid absolutely needs her vote on that issue (and you'd better believe he's part of her decision-making),

      3) what Tillis' position on the issue will be.

      re: 1) It's hard to win a second term for US senate in NC.

      re: 2) It is a common strategy for a party leader to allow people up for re-election in tough districts to vote against the party.

      re: 3) Now that Tillis has started to come out with teh really crazy, Hagan may have leeway to change her position.

      •  It's the Dem voters that Hagan (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        UnionMade, JeffW, GreatLakeSailor

        ...is going to have to get to the polls, not the Republican voters.  And you imagine that people working at minimum wage, regardless of party affiliation, are going to massively oppose an overdue raise in the minimum wage?

        How exactly is any district in the US a tough district on raising the minimum wage?

        I'm tired of the lame excuses about why Democrats cannot act like Democrats.  It has been proven to be the kiss of political death on the Blue Dogs.

        And it suspiciously looks like these Democrats are so tied into the 1% that they are not willing to do one thing for the people who actually vote for them.

        This is a tough election because the Democratic establishment in North Carolina became so lazy that they lost in 2010 and so corrupt that they lost in 2012.

        50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

        by TarheelDem on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 08:56:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree with a lot of what you say. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JeffW

          Especially about the lazy Dem establishment. No GOTV worth mentioning, in 2010.

          But Hagan cannot win without hefty chunks of indie and GOP votes, even if we get 100% of the Dems to the polls.  

          Because, as you sort of say, some progressive Dems will leave the ballot blank if Hagan strikes them as too Blue-Doggy. (I would call myself a pragmatic progressive, which means I have and I will continue to vote for her, despite several issues I completely disagree with her on--particularly regarding some of her labor stances. But she's a born Southerner, and I'm what my name implies. And I have never known of a  perfect candidate.)

          My other point of difference with you is that I think that many retired southern white people have the same gut feeling about the minimum wage as they have against unions. "If you are a productive, hard-working individual, you don't need some union, or some gubmint, to get you the pay you deserve. And if you're a good, successful employer, you're the best judge of what you can pay your workers." So while I think they might "survey" as supporting higher minimum wages, they don't necessarily mean a minimum dictated by a law. They just think a lot of jobs should pay better.

          And of course every one of those people will vote. So the trick is keeping them happy enough with Hagan not to "change horses in midstream."

  •  we are trying (0+ / 0-)

    we got a hell of a lot of folks out....for moral whatever
    we are trying to geter fucking dun...
    kiss kiss
    come on out

    UID: 45837 "Occam's Razor is NOT some sort of beard trimmer for jihadists": ontheleftcoast "People who see a contradiction between science and the bible don't really understand either." PvtJarHead

    by Tinfoil Hat on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 04:57:38 PM PST

  •  Sure, we can let private industry decide (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dss, JeffW, GreatLakeSailor, apimomfan2

    Um, let's see....

    $0.00

    Money should be treated like any other controlled substance; if you can't use it responsibly then you don't get to use it.

    by La Gitane on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 06:03:31 PM PST

  •  The market does work to some degree (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nextstep

    Or most people wouldn't make more than minimum wage.

    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

    by Sparhawk on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 06:09:36 PM PST

  •  Someone should let him know (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW

    The North Carolina living wage for 2 adults and 2 kids has been defined in  as $18.99 an hour.

    http://livingwage.mit.edu/...

    “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

    by Catte Nappe on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 06:12:12 PM PST

  •  Heartless and hypocritical (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Thomas Twinnings, JeffW, apimomfan2

    How heartless, and also how hypocritical. Republicans are fine with major Fortune 500 companies getting all kinds of government subsidies and promoting the fantasy that the wealthy are all "bootstrappers" but apparently are fine with poor people starving.

    Ginny Mayer, Ph.D. Democrat CA State Senate Candidate - SD-35 (Orange County)

    by Ginny Mayer on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 06:12:16 PM PST

  •  The South and abolishing minimum wage (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dss, JeffW, GreatLakeSailor

    Well, he is correct that the South once did have a "no minimum wage" policy, and I think a movie about it is going to win an Oscar this Sunday.

    I mean, it is the next logical step in this downward economic progression, right?  "Will work for food" might just be the real GOP alternative.

  •  I would like the follow-up question to be: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, bananapouch1

    How do you feel that your taxes are helping to supplement the minimum wage for half of the fast food and retail employees in this country?  Maybe not a good idea, probably figure the answer is to eliminate food stamps.

  •  These Republicans have a false god (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, GreatLakeSailor

    called The Market.  Whatever The Market "calls for" is good.  Whatever mitigates or otherwise modifies what The Market "calls for" is bad.  They worship a primitive and uncaring god.

    An illusion can never be destroyed directly... SK.

    by Thomas Twinnings on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 06:14:49 PM PST

  •  What a disgusting piece ... (0+ / 0-)

    of shit this asshole is. The reason he doesn't know what a living wage is he has never known what its like to be poor. He probably has had life handed to him on a solid gold platter. Let the market decide what wages are, what a pile of shit that is. We would be working for pennies if the market decides wages.  

    Biden/Warren 2016

    by artr2 on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 06:30:21 PM PST

  •  The market will sort it out (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Thomas Twinnings, apimomfan2

    We just won't like how the market sorts it out.

    Just keep in mind that people in Vietnam will work for 28 cents an hour.

    If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

    by Major Kong on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 06:51:37 PM PST

  •  Most of these free market clowns (0+ / 0-)

    started a lot further ahead in the race than most and never had to have a minimum wage job. They love markets when they're determining individual winners and losers but que violins before asking them about subsidies and tax loopholes for locally based wealthy corporations.    

  •  Easy for him to say! he, and his cohorts, get to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    apimomfan2

    establish their own wage, how convenient! How about the
    free market, i.e. voters, establish his wage and see what tune he sings. Few things are as noxious as congressmorons who bring down $180,000 dollars a year for a few months of showing up (and if you are Republican do nothing) and then decide what people who really work some 30, 40, 50, 60 hours a week, 50 weeks a year, should earn! What kind of insular bubble does this guy live in to be able to say this with a straight face!

    Politics is like driving.... (D) forward, (R) reverse.

    by Tribecastan on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 07:28:25 PM PST

  •  For the record ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    apimomfan2, Major Kong

    "Private Industry' is the broken condom the Plutocrats wear when they screw the common man.

  •  we have to reargue having any minimum wage (0+ / 0-)

    at all ...

    I guess that's what the reasonable people do, compromise between having no minimum wage and having any minimum wage. Having the minimum set at an amount a frugal person could live on? Scary! Radical!

    •  Karl Polanyi: "Fictitious commodities." (0+ / 0-)

      Republican policy on raising the minimum wage: anywhere but here and anytime but now.

      "Our problem is not that the glass is half empty or half full, but that the 1% claims that it is their glass." ---Stolen from a post on Daily Kos

      by jestbill on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 09:32:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  And the Min Wage in NC is: (0+ / 0-)

    $2.13/hour if you have a job that might get you tips. So you draw the lunch shift at Olive Garden. You get 5 customers who order Soup and a Breadstick. Guess what you'll earn for that hour? Less than a Congressman might spend on coffee in a day.

  •  Math. (0+ / 0-)

    Look at the geo-economic data in the pic:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    $7.25/hr, less taxes, right? So, for grins, say $6/hr net.

    Very unlikely that a minimum wage person will make full time (40 hours), but rather <32 hours.

    $6 x 32 x 4 weeks = $768 net, or just say $750. Lotsa money, oh, who should complain about that???? Wait.

    We are encouraged to be individuals. And staying with Mom and Dad in the basement or in the attic is wimpy or less than being a full person. A wuss. Fine.

    Now, look at costs of the average US rent for 3 room apt (BR, LR, Kit, Bath, sure a person could have an efficiency, but still this is less than 500 sq. ft.):
    $400.00 to $750.00

    Oops, well that's it, ain't it?

    Gotta live like "mexicans", is that what you are saying, Rethuglicans???? Is that it???

    And if we add the fact that wherever you live, maintaining a healthy temperature (18-25 ºC, depending on winter or summer) will cost A LOT.

    Water, phone, gas, garbage pickup, etc. adds to that...

    Now, we are gonna have to live like "the indians", huh?

    Bolshoi. No, you don't get opera, culture or even TV cable with all the above.

    Ugh. --UB.

    Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

    by unclebucky on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 08:49:52 AM PST

    •  Dang. I forgot... (0+ / 0-)

      Food.
      Health care.
      Health care insurance.
      Transportation (bus, if not, car, if not bike, if not, walk...)
      Rental Insurance.
      Vehicle Insurance.
      Vehicle Permits, Licensing, Fines, etc.

      Oh dang.

      Clothing for work.
      Clothing for home.
      Clothing for... never mind, be at home and play in jammies...

      Oh dang.

      Communication, because your work schedule is sent to you over email or to your smartphone.

      Smartphone.
      Laptop.
      Internet service.
      House wiring.

      And it (pardon my french) goes on and fucking on...

      Now, I am not part of this lowest echelon, but I see them every day. Every flinking day.

      And I wonder how they can deal with it.

      And I wonder HOW MUCH LONGER THEY WILL DEAL WITH IT.

      Ugh. --UB.

      Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

      by unclebucky on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 08:56:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  THE MARKET. (0+ / 0-)

    "There are lies, damned likes, and... 'the market'."
    --Mark Twain

    Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

    by unclebucky on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 08:59:25 AM PST

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