Extended families have long functioned to provide alternatives to the state in terms of risk sharing and mutual aid. Other economic benefits include the refinement of human capital and economies of scale.
People must still compete for resources in a socialist economy. In fact, the competition is intense. On the other hand, thanks to markets, basic necessities—and even basic luxuries—are now more more accessible than ever.
The empirical evidence shows that neither minimum wages or welfare reduce poverty. In fact, minimum wages tend to increase the cost of living while poverty rates have gone nowhere since the Great Society was introduced.