Then join the growing movement of academics, economists, and social activists advocating the institution of an Unconditional Basic Income (UBI) paid to every citizen without exception.
It would overcome the “poverty trap”. Conventional welfare schemes and unemployment benefits create perverse incentives that breed dependency. (Getting a job doesn’t sound like such a good idea if it means your welfare checks dry up!) Replace conditional welfare with a UBI and more people will want to work.
The UBI increases the real freedom and bargaining power of the worst-off, who can then afford to walk away from exploitative employers. With the security of a UBI, workers can negotiate fairer wages and working conditions. (Note that this relieves the need for minimum wage laws and labour regulations. We can free up the market and hence boost the economy, counterbalancing the taxes needed to fund the UBI.)
You might worry that some would bum off the UBI without contributing anything back to society. I have three responses: (1) The above benefits of the UBI outweigh this cost. (2) Societal contributions need not be economic in nature – by reducing the need to work, a UBI would enable people to spend more time parenting, studying, creating art, or volunteering in their communities. (3) If you really envy the bum, you have the option to join them. What, you don’t want to after all? The fact is, most of us want to achieve something with our lives, and contribute to society in some way or another. The UBI better enables us to do just that.
[P.S. The above is my latest attempt at philosevangelising to the locals, reprinted here to allow for comments. But you're probably better off reading this old post instead.]