The free market has always been the best ladder out of poverty. There was a time in America that using only knowledge and tools you already had you could start a business. Providing services and goods other people were willing to pay for. This would get you out of poverty and on the way to a better life.
With regulatory compliance the costs and risk of starting every business has increased. In the past if you were a good cook you could cook meals for people on a grill in the park and sell them to hungry park goers. Now the sad reality is that if you want to sell food you will need at least $100,000 and also need to have a home to leverage. And if it fails because you didn’t work your way up? Then you lose your life savings and are homeless.
If you look at the free market as a ladder what has happened is the destruction of the bottom rungs. There is no reasonable way to start a business without being rich to begin with. It could be an oversight or sponsored by big chains to keep down competition and drive up prices.