If I wanted to keep poor people poor, there are several government policies I would favor.
For starters, I would advocate for a robust and ever-expanding welfare state. Programs like Medicaid, food stamps, unemployment insurance, etc.? Perfect poverty traps.
I would recognize that a perfect recipe for keeping poor people poor is to create incentives that push them into decisions that prevent them from climbing out of poverty.
Read more: http://www.ncspin.com/2014/01/01/if-i-wanted-to-keep-poor-people-poor/