Springfield News Leader: Editorial: Our View: Taking positions on November ballot issues

By the Editorial Board
Springfield News-Leader, Oct. 27, 2018

...Proposition B

Addressing low wages in southwest Missouri has long been an issue of interest for the News-Leader editorial board. Poverty rates in the area are startling. According to U.S. Census Bureau data, Springfield has a poverty rate of 25.9 percent.

Branson is 20.9 percent. Joplin, 18.5 percent. Bolivar, 20.9 percent. Monett, 28.9 percent. West Plains, 27.7 percent.

Raising the minimum wage will not eliminate poverty, but it will be a significant step toward lessening it. Studies have estimated that 25 percent of Missouri workers would see their wages rise with a higher minimum wage. In Greene County alone, more than 40,000 workers would see their wages rise through this measure.

And this benefit a wide cross-section of Missourians. Minimum wage is not something that is limited to just high schoolers working at McDonald’s. It is prevalent in home health care, babysitting, janitorial work and more – people working hard to support their families and having to work more than one job just to have a chance at rising above the poverty line, let alone a living wage.

Businesses will feel a pinch with the higher wages. But the money spent will be turned right back around into the economy, raising revenues for those companies to help offset the higher cost. Despite that higher cost, more than 300 business [now over 600] across Missouri have come out to publicly support this initiative, including local businesses like the Vecino Group, Hoover Music Company, Mud House Coffee and Bambino’s.

The benefits to Missourians far outstrip the cost, and we endorse this initiative to improve the lives of so many across the state. ...

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Copyright 2018 Springfield News-Leader

 

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