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Economic activity isn't the only consideration in raising the minimum wage

To the editor: Whether a minimum wage hike in Los Angeles to $15.25 per hour would cause an increase in economic activity is not the most important consideration in determining whether such an increase is sound policy. ("L.A.'s minimum wage plan doesn't make sense," op-ed, March 24)

Indeed, op-ed article author Christopher Thornberg admits that a redistribution of wealth from rich to poor in Los Angeles via a minimum wage hike might be "socially desirable." And Thornberg says there's little evidence for the only compelling argument against it — that it will cause job losses and a reduction in economic activity.

Raising the minimum wage is a matter of human dignity. Nine dollars per hour is a slap in the face for someone who contributes productively to his or her employer and society, and it's certainly not enough to get by on in Los Angeles.

Branden Frankel, Encino

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To the editor: The founders of Joe's Auto Parks were immigrants from Eastern Europe. They came to L.A. in 1959 and built one of the city's largest parking operations. Wages back then were not "fair," "living" or "minimum." We can do better today.

As a business employing 500 Angelenos, we are speaking out and supporting a minimum wage of $15.25 per hour.

An increased minimum wage is good for everyone. When people have money to spend beyond paying their rent, they're more willing to eat out and pay for entertainment as well as afford better quality items for themselves and their families.

We have already seen the benefits to our bottom line resulting from Seattle raising its minimum wage. Our revenues went up because our employees were more financially stable and, in turn, happier. Customer service and profits are inextricably connected.

Let's get this done so more Angelenos can thrive.

Kevin Litwin, Los Angeles

The writer is chief operating officer of Joe's Auto Parks.

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