Have ya'll heard about the "Louisiana Looters?" This whole ordeal has really chapped my ass. I'm not one to jump on the PA boat with my high horse and condemn these particular people, but this is ridiculous. Let me give you the quick scoop.
Last month, Xerox was doing a routine system check and the system crashed. When this system crashed, they alerted all EBT accepting retailers in 17 states. Some stores put up signs stating that shoppers wouldn't be able to use their cards due to technical difficulties. However, Wal-Mart, being huge idiots, agreed to allow shoppers to use their EBT cards thinking they would use that trusty honor system. When food stamp recipients found out about this in Springhill and Mansfield, Louisiana, they went insane. They cleared the shelves, throwing anything and everything edible in their carts.
I'm curious. At what point did the managers of Wal-Mart realize that people were being deceitful. Was it when people were acting like the sky was falling and stocking up for a Zombie Apocalypse? Or maybe when they had to call the police for crowd control? Maybe it wasn't until they announced that the system was up and people left their completely full carts all over the store and walked out.
I just don't understand this. I don't understand why people receiving benefits were taking full advantage of the system and Wal-Mart, to an extent, absolutely knew what was going on and allowed it to happen. One lady, rolled on up to a cash register with over $700 of groceries in her basket. The system came up in the middle of her transaction to find out she only had 50 cents on her card. The police tried to arrest her and Wal-Mart released the woman.
So, who do we hold accountable? Wal-Mart for not using the emergency protocol and allowing recipients to over spend by hundreds? Or is it the recipients who knowingly took advantage of the system during a major malfunction? The Governor of Louisiana has released a statement saying these people will be held accountable and will face consequences of their actions. Consequences include banning from the program for a year, two years or life. All in all, the ones that will truly suffer are the children because their parents made a horrible, thoughtless decision. There is a process to determine eligibility for the program and they obviously qualified or they wouldn't have had it to begin with. So, will baning these people really solve anything? Children will go hungry and who knows if these parents will find a job or a second job to make up for their benefit loss. I don't agree with life sentences of receiving benefits. I think this should be a "wean off" program. Welfare was created to help people in bad times. A program to help them get back on their feet, not a way of life. I hope the people who took advantage of a technical malfunction will have to pay the consequences. I just hope the children of the irresponsible parents don't end up being the victims.
What are your thoughts?