To the editor: As a second-generation owner of a business that has operated in Los Angeles for more than 40 years, I support higher wages for my hardworking employees. However, we compete with several companies located in federal minimum wage states or Mexico. How will the city protect a company located here? ("How would L.A.'s minimum wage law compare with other big cities?," May 19)
Businesses covered by Los Angeles' new minimum wage law aren't solely service-oriented companies. There are manufacturers here that have to meet city specifications and bid competitively against others that are not burdened by the local bureaucracy, the exorbitant costs of workers' compensation and health benefits.
Los Angeles has a tremendous amount of work to do to cure the ills suffered everyday by businesses that are located in the city. The wage increase is a good start; however, neglecting the other issues will drive more companies away.
Fix the entire problem from a business point of view, not just a humanitarian one, as L.A. appears to have done. It will work wonders.
Paul Boghossian, North Hollywood
To the editor: Congratulations from New York to Los Angeles for taking the commendable lead in carrying the torch of social justice by voting to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020.
However, with all the good intentions of this action, the fact that this increase will be phased in over five years somewhat makes this a "carrot and stick" approach. Given the connectivity of the world's economies, the purchasing power of a $15 hourly wage by 2020 might not amount to much.
In my opinion, the minimum wage has to be directly linked to the consumer price index, which factors in the rate of inflation, therefore offering people struggling to make ends meet a real living wage.
Atul M. Karnik, New York City