The poor do not need minimum wage or welfare programs. They need the opportunity to create their own small business.
Too many people have niche talents that go to waste because of government. Regulations create hurtles that prevent many poor people from rising out of poverty.
One of the most notorious is licensing laws which create financial hurdles that the poor simple cannot overcome. Whether it is taxi medallions, floral licenses or requiring cosmetology licenses to braid hair, despite the fact that the training required to get the cosmetology license does not even cover hair braiding.
There are many presumable well meaning people who really think that they know better than we do how we should live our lives. I can only assume that they really think they know better than us about who should drive us, arrange our flowers or fix our hair. But these arrogant bureaucrats decrease competition, raise prices for these goods and services and keep the poor out of the businesses which could actually get them out of poverty.
There are other businesses that the poor could start that require little expense. But licensing isn’t the only hurdle. Depending on the business they want to do, there are other legal hurdles plus taxes. To start a real business, they need to hire at least an accountant for taxes and payroll before they even start making dime one. There is also the matter of legal council if the business involves direct consumer contact.
If people really want to start helping the poor, don’t try to make them dependent on handouts or encourage them to be wage slaves. Give them the opportunity to choose independence. Not everyone will choose to start there own business. But some will and they deserve the chance to make a better life for themselves and their families.