It's not that there aren't forces trying to bring about a redistribution of wealth so that the gap between rich and poor is getting smaller and smaller, so that the "idle, the vicious, the intemperate" have as much as the hard working, at least before the blow it all. It's that it isn't effective. Wealth begets wealth, power begets power, wealth begets power and power begets wealth.
Oh, yes, and the poor are not necessarily "idle, the vicious, the intemperate", particularly not when unemployment is acknowledged to be over 9%, and is actually probably more like 15 or 20. There are a lot of hard working people who have college degrees who are unemployed and have been for some time.
I can't imagine how difficult and degrading it must be to be rejected over and over when looking for work, only to be thought to be simply lazy.
I agree that the poor are not always lazy. It is a stereotype. There are times when people fit the stereotype so it keeps on living.
Today many people are poor because they have lost jobs. They will cease to be poor when they get jobs again. They were hardworking people and in most ways of looking at it they were not lazy. In one way of looking at it they were lazy because they did not save for a rainy day. Could it be that they did not save because they blew their earnings on vice and alcohol? if so then they were vicious and intemperate. That would expand the number of people who fit the prediction but still would not cover all.
There are those who worked hard and fell victim to circumstances beyond their control without wasting their efforts on vice.
I believe that both the lazy and industrious deserve sympathy and assistance when they find themselves down and out. Just not government assistance which can only be given by first being taken from someone else who might better use that money to prevent his own or his neighbors downfall.
I say this as one who works hard to support my family, who donates to the needs of others, but who understands human frailty because I too do not save for a rainy day. If hardship falls on my family and it could have been prevented by having a savings account I will have no one to blame but myself.
To be most fair to Adams he did not say that the lazy would demand other peoples money. He said that those without a lot of property would and that of those the "lazy" would then waste what they got. Consider that the total amount of money given to all the poor of this country has been enough to make every poor person we have very wealthy and yet they are still poor. (anyone have a source for this?)