Last weekend, there was a glitch in the Electronic Benefits Transfer system cards, debit-style cards issued under Louisiana’s food stamps system. The food stamp cards show the amount of money available to spend on the card, due to a technical error there was no limit appearing. As soon as it was being reported, many food stamp card users flooded Walmart.
At two Louisiana Walmart stores, managers permitted its customers to go on a shopping spree. Although the Department of Children and Family Services said food stamp recipients should have been allocated a $50 limit, Walmart stands by its decision to give its food stamps customers an unlimited shopping spree. The state department noted the big-box store will have to cover the costs.
Images and videos of the incident show customers waiting in line with carts, sometimes up to eight carts, filled with items – many had returned for more. This also led to the shelves being bare and meat being sold out. When it was announced that the EBT cards were working properly again, customers just abandoned the carts and left all of the food in the aisles and shopping lineups.
The situation transpired because of a Xerox outage. Louisiana was one of 17 states.
Is there more to this story? Well, when the United States economy collapses, a disaster strikes or a shortage is near, the people will loot grocery stores for plenty of food, beverages and other essential items. Some people, who will not (legally) prepare themselves in the event of an unforeseen event – Hurricane Sandy is a great example – will do anything to survive and that perhaps might even mean grabbing anything without paying for it.
Furthermore, the Walmart scenario was just another symbol of our freeloading society. Instead of working hard to pay for the stuff inside of these carts, the customers had expected to receive hundreds of dollars worth of groceries for nothing. Essentially, we now live in a something for nothing society, which is something that should not be put on a pedestal.
In the end, those food stamps recipients at Walmart should be ashamed of themselves. Even though Walmart was at fault for the error, there is something called character and self-respect.