Charles Koch, the billionaire co-owner of Koch Industries and libertarian financier, thinks poor people would be better off if companies could pay them less than $7.25 per hour.

In an interview with the Wichita Eagle, Koch said economic freedom was key to helping those in need. That meant getting rid of regulations, including the minimum wage.

“We want to do a better job of raising up the disadvantaged and the poorest in this country, rather than saying ‘Oh, we’re just fine now.’ ... Anything that people with limited capital can do to raise themselves up, they keep throwing obstacles in their way. And so we’ve got to clear those out. Or the minimum wage. Or anything that reduces the mobility of labor," he explained to the Eagle.

Koch also cited government subsidies and "cronyism," along with certain permits and licenses, as causes of "a culture of dependency."

The Charles Koch Foundation launched a 60-second television spot on Wednesday in Kansas that claims economic freedom is the key to financial prosperity and social progress. The ad warns the United States' economic freedom ranking has fallen and could continue to decline.

"The spot was developed as part of our ongoing work to support the kind of scholarship and analysis that examines how to ensure opportunities for earned success while sharing compassion for the vulnerable," Koch explained in a statement.

The foundation provides grants to think tanks and higher education programs dedicated to free market economic theory.

[Photo uploaded to Flickr by Gary Dee, Creative Commons licensed]