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Missouri will be issuing a ballot Nov. 6 for an increased minimum wage, beginning at $8.60 and increasing to $12 by the year 2023.

In 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor determined a person working full-time at the federal standard minimum wage of $7.25 was only 8 percent away from the poverty level of a single-parent home. It was also determined by the Congressional Budget Office that increasing minimum wage to $9 could bring up to 300,000 people out of poverty.

Although this is a positive step in the right direction, some brood over the possible negative affects a minimum wage increase could have on a small town such as Maryville.

Small-business owners mull over the ideas of product price increases to sustain the pay for their part-time workers. They’ve assumed the increase in wages will affect their business as a whole.

Studies show a higher minimum wage will not cause economic problems. But it may prove difficult for small business owners to afford.

The Employment Policies Institute non-profit campaign “Faces of $15” highlights the issue of small businesses closing and their employees losing their jobs due to wages increasing up to $15 an hour. Small business make up 55 percent of all jobs in the U.S., according to the Small Business Administration.

However, the University of California economists found that there is little to no economic difference with a wage increase. Economists say with a high turnover rate, small increases of product pricing in businesses with minimum wage employees, combined with the high productivity of well-paid workers, small businesses across the country will pan out just fine.

As minimum-wage-earning college students, most of us have experienced the hardships of surviving on a bare minimum budget. With tuition increasing every year, prices of groceries seemingly growing with the hour, and KCP&L bills skyrocketing to an all-time high across the state, it can feel impossible to make a good money turnaround.

There are not enough budget plans in the world to fathom how a college student, let alone a family of three or more, can survive on such low incomes.

This wage increase proposal is not only the right move for our state of Missouri, but also our entire country. Through a strategic plan and supporting our community, we can create a better working environment, better jobs and better standard of living for everyone.

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