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As Long as We Remember...

October 21, 2013

Benefits of EBT Card Go Haywire

Steven R. Berryman

I’m used to shopping at Walmart every few weeks to pick up my staple food items at very good prices. I pay cash with a financial instrument I shall call “a debit card,” as when I use it like a credit card, cash – that I earned – is automatically removed from my checking account.


That’s not how they do it in Louisiana, I hear…


Reportedly, in two separate incidents a week ago Saturday, a critical failure in the Government's Food Stamp credit card, known as an EBT Card, allowed for unlimited usage for a time, up to any level of spending. It became totally uncapped, as opposed to have a pre-set limit each month.


Now, I’m used to seeing Walmart’s gun ammunition cases completely empty, but seeing YouTube video taken by shoppers of fully unloaded food shelving is fully unnerving.


What had been a benevolent charitable social safety-net program known as “Food Stamps” had its name and form of payment changed to EBT to remove the stigma from usage by the (presumably) poor. Our federal government has literally waged campaigns to encourage usage of food assistance by a thriving entitlement culture that gets its funding from tax dollars confiscated from United States citizens.


Under President Barack Obama the Food Stamp roles have increased dramatically. We give them more “bread and circuses” than ever before!


But what, indeed, has that effort purchases us?


Widespread use and abuse of EBT is well documented [as is welfare fraud, disability fraud] and is routinely ignored, as the culture of dependency is encouraged – as opposed to the promotion of personal responsibility.


But in two separate Walmart locations in Louisiana, famous for sin and corruption in many forms, morality broke down; shelves were cleared by entitlement-shoppers spending other people’s money to enrich themselves. The stores were fully gutted before order was eventually restored. CBS quoted a shopper saying: “It was just a human reaction, given the opportunity.” Hmmmm….


Well, as a worker, that’s not exactly the way I see it. But I do take the lesson to heart.


When I want more “stuff,” I work harder, longer, push for promotion, and change jobs and even industries. Just in my short lifetime I’ve cashiered, been in sales, managed, worked in commercial construction and been an electronics manufacturer’s representative. Whatever reinvention is needed, we do what we must do.


The lesson I take away from the thievery of Walmart by entitlement freeloaders that I get is one of caution: the loose fabric of our society of gentlemen and ladies whose very character allows for our collective ability to be civil is in a degradation mode and is so increasingly.


I am reminded of the Superdome incidents surrounding Hurricane Katrina back on President George Bush’s watch. The fabric of society can tear in an instant, given the correct set of circumstances. Human nature in an animalistic primal mode can take us back to the stone-age despite all of the gains we witness on The Science Channel, and on How It Works.


We just have NOT come as far as a species as we would like to believe. Even organized religion has not been able to keep pace with the media-fed greed we see continuing to encourage materialism and the feeling of other people’s stuff.


As we hear strange reports of state and local governments beefing up domestic surveillance of forces, and of FEMA planning, and Homeland Security that is actually used on the homeland, and enormous contracts to buy hollow point ammo for domestic consumption, and thousands of home-use armored cars for riot use...and civil unrest contingency planning...


...We see a nation losing trust of the people to remain civilized under duress. And we are increasingly under duress.


I understand that there’s a pill for that, but it’s out of stock at Walmart.


Woodsboro - Walkersville Times
The Morning News Express with Bob Miller
The Covert Letter

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