Disagree! The min fee concept ensures that most of the time, blocks are 50% full (or at least, less than 100% full), which ensures that paying one particular fee gives you a very high chance of getting in, and there’s no need to consider lower or higher fees.
I agree that your other approach is also an improvement; that said, I think it’s less effective because it forces people to wait longer to get the fee that they want.
I suppose theoretically, a basic income fund that pays enough to make sure everyone has enough for a few transaction fees shouldn’t be that hard…
Practically speaking though, the goal with sharding, plasma, channels, etc is to make txfees low enough that anyone can afford to participate in at least some applications on the blockchain. You could have regional plasma chains I suppose.