Declare a Minimum Wage
Work towards a living wage
With COVID-19 interrupting our daily lives and businesses, we've all heard the words "essential business" and "non-essential business" frequently over the past few months. Oddly enough, some of the essential businesses that were necessary to stay open during the strictest quarantines of COVID-19 are also the industries that opponents of a living wage say don't deserve a living wage. I believe that if you are a human working to pay your bills, you deserve a living wage.
I understand that a living wage will be hard to pass in a state that does not even have a declared minimum wage of any kind. South Carolina is one of only five states that does not have a minimum wage. Where do we start the process to a living wage? We need to make gradual steps towards a living wage. I propose that we adopt a $9.25 minimum wage to start. Though $9.25 is not a living wage, it is a first step towards a living wage and we have to take that first step now. South Carolina, along with many states in the south, has one of the highest poverty rates and lowest household income. Through declaring a minimum wage and working towards a living wage, we can raise the household income and lower the poverty rate.