As a business owner I could not possibly care less how much your life decisions cost you. My only concern is whether the cost of employing a person is justified by the value they will provide, either now or eventually.
I'm not saying that as a business owner you should do otherwise. I am, however, suggesting that if your business model doesn't support everyone involved, it would be reasonable for such a grossly exploitative business plan to be forbidden by law. I'm a capitalist, not a libertarian.
Is it not obvious I am talking about a worker's output and not their value as a human being?
No, it is not obvious, and in discussions about minimum wage laws, it rarely is.
Please take note of all the restaurants in California that have closed in the last few months that found out what happened when they tried to raise prices to accommodate the increased minimum wage.
Perhaps, then, their business was not actually sustainable, and it's right for them to close. Why is a business closing such a horrible thing, but an employee starving isn't? There is an argument that the employee now doesn't even have their minimal income, but they do now have time to find a higher-paying job or relocate.
I'm not sure exactly what I'm supposed to see. You haven't argued against marketing at all. If, for example, a restaurant can't afford to pay their wait staff living wages, then why is it unreasonable to expect the restaurant owner to start an ad campaign promoting their "premium" sandwiches that conveniently carry a 600% profit margin, rather than their cheaper items at a 10% profit?
How about the machines that replace workers altogether so their wage goes to the true minimum wage of zero?
Ah, yes... The weavers and buggy-whip makers will be destitute. Historically, though, this argument has never held true. Rather, new technology has brought an increase in jobs, as the technology opens markets making previously-unsustainable businesses profitable. In time, advances in food-handling technology might very well make those California restaurants viable again.
Who says they are locked in? Right to work goes both ways.
In theory, yes, but the reality is that changing jobs is expensive (as I mentioned earlier in the thread), and it's very common for low-earning employees to find themselves in a situation where they can't afford to get a better job. The first major expense is time. It takes time to prepare a resume, apply, and interview. If someone is already working all of their available hours just to meet expenses, they can't take the time out to find a better-paying job. There are also financial expenses in job-hunting. There are plenty of emotional appeals involving giving a homeless person a haircut and a suit, and seeing them get a good-paying job... but there aren't enough suit giveaways for everyone. If an employee is barely (or not) meeting expenses, finding the money to get a suit, pay a babysitter, or even take a bus or taxi to an interview can be a significant hardship.
As social services exist today, there is some assistance available for these difficulties, but they often don't apply if you quit your job, no matter how bad it was.
Whoever said society is supposed to benefit from anything a business owner does?
Nobody. Society is supposed to benefit from its laws, which is how this whole conversation started. My complaint is that whenever there is such a conversation, somebody (the AC first, then you) always brings up the argument that minimum wages stop new businesses and raise costs on existing businesses. The unspoken assumption is that it's good to have new businesses start and for existing businesses to make more money, but there's never any evidence of that.