As people settled themselves in an area and started agriculture there were surpluses (leading to trade, and eventually specialization). Everyone does their own thing and earns their wage...to achieve meals, shelter, transportation (the basic needs).
At least this is what I thought when I was a kid.
It turns out, we are so good at meeting our own basic needs, a few people can provide for many.
The remaining people who aren't providing a service still need to work, right? I mean, what good would it be if they didn't work and still got everything they needed? (What fun would that be for the working people?) Enter "The American Dream" and Advertising.
The American Dream is a cultural carrot, encouraging us to work in order to get "stuff" (as listed in the American Dream brochure). It makes use of advertising to show people what's out there and how much enjoyment they will have if they just buy the "stuff" with their money. (Money = work).
A lot of people buy into the idea of the American Dream. (I shall dub them the Hamsters, doing a lot of work but accomplishing little)
However, a lot of people don't buy into the idea. They think..Hey, my basic needs are easy to meet. There's plenty all around me. I don't think I'll work. The unfortunate side effect is as follows:
Socially, the Providers and the Hamsters, who would rather be lounging around too, decide to ostracize the non-workers...labeling them "bums" or "vagrants" because they choose not to work.
Also, the health benefits of being active and thinking highly about yourself are plentiful. However, being called a "bum" and not having anything to do physically just sucks.
Then there's the "stuff". You can tell a "bum" by their lack of stuff...no house, no health care (which in this country is a luxury), no closets full of clothing. Basically, if you choose to live without working, the only stuff you get is what you can carry with you. People don't invite you into their homes to share their stuff with you...showers, televisions, music. Homeless-->Socially outcast-->Not really nice to be around. If you've chosen the life of a 'bum' then a large portion of society will make it hard to make the return trip.
But they don't need to be working for our society to survive. Do they? So why is there such venom against the homeless?
Anyhow, I'm attempting to answer the question for myself here. Feel free to chime in.