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L.A.'s new minimum wage might hurt more than it helps

To the editor: My heart goes out to the struggling working poor. At the same time, I know that actions with the best intentions can also bring about unintended consequences. While many employees in the city of Los Angeles will benefit from a minimum wage that will increase to $15 per hour by 2020, undoubtedly some will have hours cut or jobs eliminated. ("Los Angeles' minimum wage on track to go up to $15 by 2020," May 19)

Many employers will adjust to make it work, but some will not have a sufficient profit margin. There is only so much juice in an orange.

Here's hoping that, in the long run, this works for the betterment of as many people as possible, both employees and business owners.

Alan Sworski, Thousand Oaks

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To the editor: Merely raising the minimum wage will not raise a family out of poverty.

Where are the classes that will teach them how to buy and cook healthier food, to put aside monies for future emergencies, to save for higher education? Instead of chasing another job for extra dollars, where are the classes that can teach low-wage workers management skills and the value of staying on the job long enough to get some management experience?

And why can't the government provide training in construction and let the people build the low-income housing this city needs? Where are the classes to teach them how to care for these homes?

We are so focused on making sure the young child doesn't fall behind in school, but there are generations of people who don't have the life skills needed to make the minimum wage increase really count.

Kathryn Roush, Granada Hills

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To the editor: A huge part of what makes Los Angeles so great is its vibrant food scene — more specifically the hole-in-the-wall restaurants serving traditional foods from cultures all over the world. From a motel that serves Thai jok and ginger soup to mom-and-pop Korean shops serving sul lung tang, L.A. has it all.

I truly believe that food can bridge huge divides; furthermore, these small restaurants provide a taste of home for immigrants. The new minimum wage will likely wipe out many of these restaurants.

It will be a huge shame for Los Angeles to lose out on the many flavors, lessons and experiences that these establishments provide. And it will be an even bigger shame to live in a city that is more than 70% non-white where the only "ethnic" food left is from "fusion" restaurants selling $20 bowls of pho.

Garret Henzie, Los Angeles

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