Video: EBT “glitch” sparks run on Walmart shelves in Louisiana

posted at 10:41 am on October 14, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

My, these “glitches” sure do get expensive these days, huh? A computer outage that impacted food-stamp operations in 17 states kept many low-income Americans from buying groceries this weekend:

People in 17 states, including Maryland and Virginia, who tried to buy groceries using electronic food-stamp cards were turned away from supermarkets Saturday as a result of a computer outage.

The system failure affected low-income individuals and families who receive food benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Women, Infants and Children program (WIC).

The outage occurred during a “routine test” of backup systems Saturday morning, Jennifer Wasmer, a spokeswoman for Xerox, which administers the program, said. By late Saturday, access had been restored.

After the system failed, SNAP and WIC beneficiaries in the affected states were unable to buy food using electronic benefit transfers.

“Beneficiary access to programs such as SNAP, TANF, and other programs has been restored to the 17 States where Xerox provides EBT service. Re-starting the EBT system required time to ensure service was back at full functionality,” Wasmer said in a statement.

The problem had nothing to do with the government shutdown, nor with the debate over the farm bill. The money was available (at least through the end of this month), but the computer system couldn’t verify whether the individual consumers had reached their food-stamp limit. The EBT cards function just like a debit card, drawing off of the accounts of recipients until their allotment runs out. Without the computer on line, retailers couldn’t confirm whether they would be repaid, and had to decline purchases until Xerox fixed the problem — which took several hours.

Why couldn’t retailers just ignore the glitch and allow the EBT users to complete their sales? An answer to that question came in Louisiana, where that decision had a disturbing and unintended effect. The regional Walmart office tried to choose the humane option, and got a lesson in price signal opacity through third-party payers:

KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather

Shelves in Walmart stores in Springhill and Mansfield, LA were reportedly cleared Saturday night, when the stores allowed purchases on EBT cards even though they were not showing limits.

The chaos that followed ultimately required intervention from local police, and left behind numerous carts filled to overflowing, apparently abandoned when the glitch-spurred shopping frenzy ended.

Springhill Police Chief Will Lynd confirms they were called in to help the employees at Walmart because there were so many people clearing off the shelves. He says Walmart was so packed, “It was worse than any black Friday” that he’s ever seen.

Lynd explained the cards weren’t showing limits and they called corporate Walmart, whose spokesman said to let the people use the cards anyway. From 7 to 9 p.m., people were loading up their carts, but when the cards began showing limits again around 9, one woman was detained because she rang up a bill of $700.00 and only had .49 on her card. She was held by police until corporate Walmart said they wouldn’t press charges if she left the food.

Lynd says at 9 p.m., when the cards came back online and it was announced over the loud speaker, people just left their carts full of food in the aisles and left.

“Just about everything is gone, I’ve never seen it in that condition,” said Mansfield Walmart customer Anthony Fuller.

This should embarrass everyone involved, but the reaction is rational in one sense. The system broke down, creating an artificial shortage of currency, the length of which users could not immediately predict. The market then essentially declared currency unnecessary for transactions, trusting that consumers would act rationally in its absence during a perceived shortage situation. The impulse to hoard should have surprised no one in that situation, and the stores should consider themselves fortunate that a riot didn’t break out.

This is an extreme example of what happens to markets when pricing signals are removed from the consumer. We’ve often used the theoretical example of “food insurance” to demonstrate why costs increase and provider shortages exist in the health-care market, thanks to third-party payers and rationing policies from the government. Consider this a real-world if almost unbelievably extreme demonstration of that argument. The EBT system actually addresses the poverty situation in a rational manner by handing the cash to consumers and staying out of the retail food market, without the intervention of a third-party “insurance” model to create irrational consumption. Perhaps that would have been the better model for health-care reform, too, or at least a better one than Democrats chose with ObamaCare.


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I certainly hope no one is surprised by this. For historical reference, one need only remember the pic of that guy pushing a shopping cart full of beer during Katrina.

platypus on October 14, 2013 at 10:45 AM

Theif!

Shoot ‘em

TX-96 on October 14, 2013 at 10:46 AM

Brought to you by liberal created dependency on government. I’m sure most of these thugs know how much is left on their EBT cards, yet have no problem trying to see how much they can steal. Thanks Dems.

chewmeister on October 14, 2013 at 10:47 AM

2 hours only???

How many lap dances can you get in that time using the EBT?

/

Electrongod on October 14, 2013 at 10:47 AM

That video is a perfect demonstration of the reason why we’re in a healthcare insurance debacle these days.

When there’s a limitless third party payer, people will always pick the most expensive, most voluminous good or service they can – leading to a supply shortage – which drives up prices for whoever is footing the bill.

Outlaw all insurance except catastrophic and the market will price healthcare accordingly.

Defenestratus on October 14, 2013 at 10:47 AM

All the more reason I have one year of food (+) for my family and me.

Wow.

VibrioCocci on October 14, 2013 at 10:48 AM

The true lesson here is in human failings. The moment these individuals had a chance to abuse the system and demonstrate a their moral turpitude they rose to the challenge.

This is what the majority of the “welfare class” consists of. The exception is an individual who wants to rise above such a station in life. As we continue to deny this we will continue to reap the “benefits” of our ignorance.

Skwor on October 14, 2013 at 10:48 AM

Twitchy had everyone freaking out about their EBT card. Something so ironic about our poor needing “food stamps” but having the ability to pay for internet and smartphone access.

melle1228 on October 14, 2013 at 10:49 AM

Reminds me of this old essay…
http://newsgroups.derkeiler.com/Archive/Soc/soc.culture.zimbabwe/2005-09/msg00003.html

ex_machina on October 14, 2013 at 10:49 AM

Lets recap the weekend….

Conservatives march to protect veterans

Obama voters rob Walmart

faraway on October 14, 2013 at 10:50 AM

I got 6 gallons of milk, 19lbs of bacon, and enough Frankenberry to fill a kiddie pool with!

Sad times we live in… Very sad times…

Gatsu on October 14, 2013 at 10:50 AM

Occupy Walmart!

Electrongod on October 14, 2013 at 10:50 AM

If Obama had a neighborhood…

patman77 on October 14, 2013 at 10:50 AM

51% of the nation paying no income tax, 47 million people on food stamps, welfare fraud off the charts, and this is supposed to be shocking? I yawned. Yawned like a hunting dog after a day in the fields when their entire face seems to draw back to their neck.

The grifters now run the nation, we just don’t realize the full impact yet. Just wait until the system finally defaults, these folks are going to come looking for what you have.

Bishop on October 14, 2013 at 10:51 AM

Democrat voters on display. Pure theft. We should be hearing about arrests for weeks to come. Right…

Aplombed on October 14, 2013 at 10:51 AM

ObamaPhones were buzzing…

d1carter on October 14, 2013 at 10:52 AM

If Obama had a neighborhood…

patman77 on October 14, 2013 at 10:50 AM

Thread winner.

VibrioCocci on October 14, 2013 at 10:52 AM

The measure of market/social stability isn’t measured in dollars, it’s measured in caliber.

RSbrewer on October 14, 2013 at 10:53 AM

Dear Leader promises to turn off the EBT computers every month…

d1carter on October 14, 2013 at 10:53 AM

But there is little to no fraud in the welfare system- I thought???//

melle1228 on October 14, 2013 at 10:53 AM

That Pepsi and Chips feast is going to go a long way to making Michelle’s
Let’s Move a roaring success.

MontanaMmmm on October 14, 2013 at 10:54 AM

A sneak preview of what’s to come. At some point, those EBT cards will stop working permanently since we can’t borrow and print money forever. Then the real fun begins.

Doughboy on October 14, 2013 at 10:54 AM

51% of the nation paying no income tax, 47 million people on food stamps, welfare fraud off the charts, and this is supposed to be shocking? I yawned. Yawned like a hunting dog after a day in the fields when their entire face seems to draw back to their neck.

The grifters now run the nation, we just don’t realize the full impact yet. Just wait until the system finally defaults, these folks are going to come looking for what you have.

Bishop on October 14, 2013 at 10:51 AM

All these current zombie movies are starting to look prophetical aren’t they?

Skwor on October 14, 2013 at 10:54 AM

If Obama had a voter base,
Oh, wait………….

chewmeister on October 14, 2013 at 10:55 AM

The grifters now run the nation, we just don’t realize the full impact yet. Just wait until the system finally defaults, these folks are going to come looking for what you have.

Bishop on October 14, 2013 at 10:51 AM

I’ve argued before that the riots and disorder will start as soon as the EBT cards stop working, and not a minute before.

Doomberg on October 14, 2013 at 10:57 AM

I don’t really get why we are delving into market signals and such here. This isn’t hoarding, it’s theft. Theft is not driven by market forces of supply and demand.

TexasDan on October 14, 2013 at 10:57 AM

Isn’t this just the personal version of Obama’s method of “spend now, pay later”? I mean, did they ever wonder what would happen when the EBT balance was tallied, when the bill came due? Or would Obama cover it by going into his Santa Claus stash of unlimited money?

Paul-Cincy on October 14, 2013 at 10:58 AM

Oh my gosh, I never critize the writers here on HA, but SERIOUSLY, Ed?! I’d love a rundown on what these poor people “bought”…from the picture on the main page, looks like they were shopping for a party (which they probably were)…I don’t doubt there were several among the hordes who were genuinely panicked about getting food for their kids, but we all know the majority of those “shoppers” were the looter class who are bringing down our once-great country.

ellifint on October 14, 2013 at 10:58 AM

I understand the urge to stock up but not the urge to buy more than what the balance is on the cards. I know nothing about the use of these cards but surely the holder has some kind of an idea how much is left available.

Cindy Munford on October 14, 2013 at 10:59 AM

The impulse to hoard steal should have surprised no one in that situation, and the stores should consider themselves fortunate that a riot didn’t break out.

More to the point…

CPT. Charles on October 14, 2013 at 10:59 AM

For my own part, I am not so well satisfied of the goodness of this thing. I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer. There is no country in the world where so many provisions are established for them; so many hospitals to receive them when they are sick or lame, founded and maintained by voluntary charities; so many alms-houses for the aged of both sexes, together with a solemn general law made by the rich to subject their estates to a heavy tax for the support of the poor. Under all these obligations, are our poor modest, humble, and thankful; and do they use their best endeavors to maintain themselves, and lighten our shoulders of this burthen? On the contrary, I affirm that there is no country in the world in which the poor are more idle, dissolute, drunken, and insolent. The day you passed that act, you took away from before their eyes the greatest of all inducements to industry, frugality, and sobriety, by giving them a dependence on somewhat else than a careful accumulation during youth and health, for support in age or sickness.

In short, you offered a premium for the encouragement of idleness, and you should not now wonder that it has had its effect in the increase of poverty. Repeal that law, and you will soon see a change in their manners. St. Monday, and St. Tuesday, will cease to be holidays. SIX days shalt thou labour, though one of the old commandments long treated as out of date, will again be looked upon as a respectable precept; industry will increase, and with it plenty among the lower people; their circumstances will mend, and more will be done for their happiness by inuring them to provide for themselves, than could be done by dividing all your estates among them.

- Benjamin Franklin, On the Price of Corn and Management of the Poor

Resist We Much on October 14, 2013 at 11:00 AM

“If I help him, he’s gonna help me.”

MontanaMmmm on October 14, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Yep, looters.

Shy Guy on October 14, 2013 at 11:01 AM

I’m not surprised this happened, but I am stunned that Walmart did not set a limit, say $100, during the outage. This would have ensured nobody actually went hungry, and protected Walmart and the welfare system from at least some fraud.

Now what happens to all the people that spent $500 when they had $50 left on their card? Does the taxpayer just eat this cost, or does Walmart? Are the scammers held accountable? They stole.

Mayday on October 14, 2013 at 11:02 AM

Yeah and I don’t buy that this was a mistake or a glitch, either. It’s this administration showing their power to their horde…the joke though is that like Frankenstein, this monster won’t heed its maker any longer. If the cards stop working, they’ll just take what they need. They won’t even need a gun, either, because look how Wal-Mart folded…how many times has this happened, a glitch in the welfare card system?? I am stunned how low our country has sunk.

ellifint on October 14, 2013 at 11:03 AM

obama’s freeloaders, doing what they do best.

Pork-Chop on October 14, 2013 at 11:03 AM

In a moment of “political correctness” to avoid the “dehumanizing” effects of having to use food stamps, liberals brought us EBT Cards (the cause of this fiasco). We should have kept the old system or created a WIC like program where you are told what you can get each month.

blammm on October 14, 2013 at 11:03 AM

So Walmart tried to do a nice thing and people stole from them.

Lovely.

gophergirl on October 14, 2013 at 11:04 AM

And the socialists in Congress want to spend more money because they know when the free ends for the scum that voted them in – it’s all over….

Soon thieves will be shot dead in the street and not by police.

It’s coming to a head.

And Obama is the head thief.

redguy on October 14, 2013 at 11:05 AM

The system broke down, creating an artificial shortage of currency, the length of which users could not immediately predict. The market then essentially declared currency unnecessary for transactions, trusting that consumers would act rationally in its absence during a perceived shortage situation. The impulse to hoard should have surprised no one in that situation, and the stores should consider themselves fortunate that a riot didn’t break out.

“Broke down”?? Just a little experiment by the Community Organizer’s crew. Another data point established. Push. Push. Nudge. Shove. Shoot. The knowledge will be useful later.

bofh on October 14, 2013 at 11:06 AM

For all of the Left’s faux outrage over one confederate flag yesterday and their screams that the Tea Party and associates want to return to slavery, they refuse to recognise one simple reality: We already have slavery. Just look at what happened when the EBT system went down. The dependent slaves were lost when the massa prevented them from using their cheesecards. Only a few were ‘saved’ by the ‘evil’ Wal-Mart.

African-Americans, especially, should realise this. Sure, maybe a white slaveowner isn’t beating them anymore, but they are still slaves if they’ve allowed themselves to become so dependent that they cannot even feed themselves without the plantation owner. No one even needs to beat them any longer. They are killing each other.

Of course, it is racist, bigoted, and a sign of no compassion to point this out. To the Left, ‘compassion’ equals slavery and slavery is freedom. Orwell only began to describe it.

It is so depressing and to try to talk people out of slavery only leads to charges of racism.

Welfare is bribery by the wealthy Left to keep the ‘weeds’ from moving into their guarded gardens. At the same time, it’s a form of extortion by those that receive it. Either pay us or we will soooo crab-grass your lawn that you’ll be praying to the Round-Up God for help.

The idea that welfare is ‘compassion’ and ‘charity’ is a destructive lie.

Resist We Much on October 14, 2013 at 11:06 AM

So Walmart tried to do a nice thing and people stole from them.

Lovely.

gophergirl on October 14, 2013 at 11:04 AM

Really what did they think was going to happen, suckers.

MontanaMmmm on October 14, 2013 at 11:06 AM

So Walmart tried to do a nice thing and people stole from them.

Lovely.

gophergirl on October 14, 2013 at 11:04 AM

Hopefully they (and other retailers) watched and learned some lessons from this fiasco.

Doomberg on October 14, 2013 at 11:11 AM

*shudder*

Cleombrotus on October 14, 2013 at 11:12 AM

So Walmart tried to do a nice thing and people stole from them.

Lovely.

gophergirl on October 14, 2013 at 11:04 AM

The GOP won’t make the connection to their relationship with the Spite House or the Dem leadership.

That is why they suck. And they can’t hide it anymore.

BobMbx on October 14, 2013 at 11:12 AM

Test run…

mankai on October 14, 2013 at 11:12 AM

The problem had nothing to do with the government shutdown, nor with the debate over the farm bill. The money was available (at least through the end of this month), but the computer system couldn’t verify whether the individual consumers had reached their food-stamp limit.

A system that had been working suddenly has a “glitch” right at a time when the government is in “shutdown” mode and there are heightened passions?

One has to wonder if chaos isn’t the strategy here.

rbj on October 14, 2013 at 11:12 AM

Rats. All a bunch of thieving,filthy, dirty rats.

The poor of this country are proud of their loot.

portlandon on October 14, 2013 at 11:12 AM

one woman was detained because she rang up a bill of $700.00 and only had .49 on her card

If she were living in poverty, why would she have $700 in unused food stamps on her card? I highly doubt that they get anywhere near that amount each month.

Come on, Walmart! Think before you act!

blammm on October 14, 2013 at 11:13 AM

Faraway +1

cmsinaz on October 14, 2013 at 11:15 AM

We went to EBTs because they were SUPPOSED to be more fraud-proof than a piece of paper theoretically transferable to anyone. This was before the advent of the supermarket kiosk. A human checker would know there are no white guys named Shaniqua, but a machine isn’t that smart. We should stipulate that we won’t reimburse stores that don’t make EBT users show ID. And states won’t replace cards but once every year or two, without a police report filed.

Sekhmet on October 14, 2013 at 11:15 AM

The problem had nothing to do with the government shutdown, nor with the debate over the farm bill.

So the government decided to test how much control it has over the slaves by faking a “computer glitch”. The predictable response is exactly what the preppers have been forecasting all along. The populace has no food stored, so as soon as the gov’t decides to cut them off, mayhem ensues. This, and the parks closing are all trial balloons to check reactions. And these people don’t see any problem with that same government controlling their access the healthcare? Unbelievable!

SailorMark on October 14, 2013 at 11:19 AM

The safety net is broken. It is out right abuse and corruption. Time to end it. This episode was just a teaser for whats to come as the program goes under.

Bmore on October 14, 2013 at 11:20 AM

Wal mart corporate said to keep accepting these cards. what did they expect.

gerrym51 on October 14, 2013 at 11:21 AM

Bet it was interesting to the paying WM customers to see just how many shoppers were using EBT cards.

marybel on October 14, 2013 at 11:22 AM

Welcome to Obama’s America, a race to the bottom.

sauldalinsky on October 14, 2013 at 11:23 AM

Really what did they think was going to happen, suckers.

MontanaMmmm on October 14, 2013 at 11:06 AM

Then people wonder why conservatives have a problem with all these benefits. HELLO!

We are so screwed.

gophergirl on October 14, 2013 at 11:23 AM

Gee, I wonder who is going to be paying for all this “free” stuff?!

Sterling Holobyte on October 14, 2013 at 11:24 AM

Test run…

mankai on October 14, 2013 at 11:12 AM

And they couldn’t do this with ObamaCare website…

Electrongod on October 14, 2013 at 11:24 AM

Fool Walmart once, shame on the looters.

Fool Walmart twice, well hopefully they won’t get fooled again.

22044 on October 14, 2013 at 11:25 AM

Sekhmet on October 14, 2013 at 11:15 AM

Raaaacist! You probably support voter suppression too!!!1!!1111!!!1!eleventy!

/

VibrioCocci on October 14, 2013 at 11:25 AM

on The Walking Dead last night, the folks had a similar thing happen in a Big Box store.

portlandon on October 14, 2013 at 11:25 AM

but we all know the majority of those “shoppers” were the looter class who are bringing down our once-great country.
ellifint on October 14, 2013 at 10:58 AM

Glad you said our and not their. Some of these people don’t know or care what country they live in as long as whatever country it is keeps sending the money. And, if it’s “Fill your cart at Wal*Mart free day”… BONUS!!!

Marcola on October 14, 2013 at 11:30 AM

Not that I’m excusing the looters, but who at Walmart was responsible for making the decision to not put a limit on purchases? It’s one thing to try to be benevolent, it’s quite another to be a complete fool about it. $50 worth of “emergency” supplies would be enough to feed a family until the “glitch” got worked out.

lynncgb on October 14, 2013 at 11:33 AM

Occupy America

Schadenfreude on October 14, 2013 at 11:34 AM

Fortunately I heard on a radio show this morning the Walmart manager said they were out no more than two or three thousand dollars.

Remember the United Airlines web site glitch that let a customer buy an expensive ticket for $2.50? United claimed “of course you know that HAD to be a mistake!!!” But they honored it I believe in the end.

Marcus on October 14, 2013 at 11:34 AM

And some actually want this group of jokers in charge of our healthcare..

Galt2009 on October 14, 2013 at 11:35 AM

Xerox, eh? The same company responsible for the Obamacare computer system? I’m sure a lot of palms got greased to give Xerox the contract to make a massive web site construct rather than a company with proven experience and reliability like Amazon. More crony capitalism at work leading to crappy government performance, but comfy and secure Democrat jobs.

Socratease on October 14, 2013 at 11:36 AM

20 million years of evolution and this is what it’s come to.

JellyToast on October 14, 2013 at 11:39 AM

The impulse to hoard steal should have surprised no one in that situation…

FIFY

Midas on October 14, 2013 at 11:39 AM

The impulse to hoard should have surprised no one in that situation, and the stores should consider themselves fortunate that a riot didn’t break out.

Is this a joke??? The fellow who called it theft is correct. These folks (not all) took advantage of a situation where Walmart trusted them to act responsibly and lawfully. The fact that they scattered when the cards came back online shows that they were scamming the system. The person who made the decision to accept cards without verification might have had good intentions, but it was a terribly stupid thing to do.

Southernblogger on October 14, 2013 at 11:40 AM

According to Spawn-our store had no problems. ‘Course…we’re in Texas. Texans don’t put up w/ a lot of crap.

annoyinglittletwerp on October 14, 2013 at 11:42 AM

Walmart was afraid they were going to attack the Walmart cashiers….

d1carter on October 14, 2013 at 11:43 AM

I guarantee that each and every one of the thieves that stole from Walmart would, if asked, say that they were happy they did what they did and would do it again because Walmart is “evil” and big corporations deserve to be stolen from. Meanwhile, ask any of them to hold a door open for a old person and they’ll spit in your face.
I hate democrats and the disgusting society they’ve built.

smfic on October 14, 2013 at 11:44 AM

Is this a joke??? The fellow who called it theft is correct. These folks (not all) took advantage of a situation where Walmart trusted them to act responsibly and lawfully. The fact that they scattered when the cards came back online shows that they were scamming the system. The person who made the decision to accept cards without verification might have had good intentions, but it was a terribly stupid thing to do.

Southernblogger on October 14, 2013 at 11:40 AM

Absolutely is theft.

If there’s a glitch in your banking account and 20 million shows up… you can’t spend it. You can’t even go out and start spending 20 million you find laying in the gutter.

Now as for glitches…. imagine for a moment if this happened suddenly on a national scale. And someone like Dear Leader encouraged the mob.

So was it a glitch or was it a dry run? Probably just a glitch. But mobs seem to be increasingly getting away with things.

JellyToast on October 14, 2013 at 11:45 AM

Prepare folks its gonna get worse. This just may have been a glitch, but Valerie Jarret, and Rahm Immanuel might take it a bit differently. like a suggestion.

-Wasteland Man.

WastelandMan on October 14, 2013 at 11:45 AM

Is Walmart still selling ammo..?

d1carter on October 14, 2013 at 11:47 AM

The impulse to hoard should have surprised no one in that situation, and the stores should consider themselves fortunate that a riot didn’t break out.

That wasn’t the impulse to hoard, Ed:

From 7 to 9 p.m., people were loading up their carts, but when the cards began showing limits again around 9, one woman was detained because she rang up a bill of $700.00 and only had .49 on her card. She was held by police until corporate Walmart said they wouldn’t press charges if she left the food.

Lynd says at 9 p.m., when the cards came back online and it was announced over the loud speaker, people just left their carts full of food in the aisles and left.

It was the impulse to steal.

Jeff Weimer on October 14, 2013 at 11:47 AM

I want my Purple Drank!!!

Polish Rifle on October 14, 2013 at 11:50 AM

The outage occurred during a “routine test” of backup systems Saturday morning, Jennifer Wasmer, a spokeswoman for Xerox, which administers the program, said. By late Saturday, access had been restored.

So what was the test? Adding unlimited spending to these cards and then taking it away just to see what happens?

Our government would never do such a thing.

JellyToast on October 14, 2013 at 11:50 AM

Obama and the democrat’s Free Shit Army™

Murphy9 on October 14, 2013 at 11:51 AM

- Benjamin Franklin, On the Price of Corn and Management of the Poor
Resist We Much on October 14, 2013 at 11:00 AM

One of my fave FF’s. And how prescient. Yet the liberals blunder ahead and always seem so nonplussed when their efforts turn to sh*t.

History provides no lessons to the willfully stupid.

CaptFlood on October 14, 2013 at 11:51 AM

This should embarrass everyone involved, but the reaction is rational in one sense. The system broke down, creating an artificial shortage of currency, the length of which users could not immediately predict. The market then essentially declared currency unnecessary for transactions, trusting that consumers would act rationally in its absence during a perceived shortage situation. The impulse to hoard should have surprised no one in that situation, and the stores should consider themselves fortunate that a riot didn’t break out.

Ed, your comment here is ridiculous. You need to get out more into the real world.
These people are thieves and nothing less. They know how much is on the card and they probably lit up the Obama phones letting their fellow thieves that they could steal food from Walmart. Proof is in the fact that they abandoned their spoils when it was announced that the system was back up.

Vince on October 14, 2013 at 11:52 AM

All of the clearly able bodied individuals in this video is a real eye opener as to this permanent parasite class that virtually all laws regulations passed seem to be geared for and pander to. Once an organization or country is about the worst and the least productive.. You are at the end….

Caseoftheblues on October 14, 2013 at 11:54 AM

The problem had nothing to do with the government shutdown, nor with the debate over the farm bill.

I call BS on that one, Ed.

This should embarrass everyone involved, but the reaction is rational in one sense. The system broke down, creating an artificial shortage of currency, the length of which users could not immediately predict.

I call BS on that one too, Ed. You damn well know that wasn’t their rationale.

This is an extreme example of what happens to markets when pricing signals are removed from the consumer.

Pricing signals??? No, this is what happens when people who never pay for anything think they can get away with anything they want. They Voted for O’Bozo after all, and he PROMISED…

Perhaps that would have been the better model for health-care reform, too, or at least a better one than Democrats chose with ObamaCare.

In time Ed. That’s where they’re taking it.

WryTrvllr on October 14, 2013 at 11:59 AM

Now what happens to all the people that spent $500 when they had $50 left on their card? Does the taxpayer just eat this cost, or does Walmart? Are the scammers held accountable? They stole.

Mayday on October 14, 2013 at 11:02 AM

First, they know how much is on the card because it shows it on the receipt after every purchase. Second, WalMart will eat the overage but I’ll bet some heads will roll.

Vince on October 14, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Unless I missed them, where are the trolls to defend the indefensible?

Shift change?

VibrioCocci on October 14, 2013 at 12:01 PM

The grifters now run the nation, we just don’t realize the full impact yet. Just wait until the system finally defaults, these folks are going to come looking for what you have.

Bishop on October 14, 2013 at 10:51 AM

So let them find it.

WryTrvllr on October 14, 2013 at 12:02 PM

From each according to their ability. To each according to their needs.

Amazing how ‘need’ expands when stuff is free.

WestTexasBirdDog on October 14, 2013 at 12:02 PM

This was not “an impulse to hoard” for the love of Pete.

This was theft.

What’s amazing is that no one on the Left will begin complain about the demonstrated greed of the ‘poor’.

catmman on October 14, 2013 at 12:03 PM

The EBT system actually addresses the poverty situation in a rational mannerby handing the cash to consumers and staying out of the retail food market,

No, it doesn’t. The “poverty” situation isn’t handled just by giving people money and it isn’t handled by the feral government, at all.

Further, the idiocy of letting these welfare leeches act as if they have normal credit cards and are spending their own money rather than money that was stolen from others to give to them, rather than – at the very least – letting them be shamed (though many of them seem oblivious to shame) by their use of actual food stamps that are easy for anyone to identify is about the worst thing that can be done.

Clearly, they wouldn’t be ashamed of their situations and their leech nature, anyway, as exhibited by them clearly identifying themselves with carts stuffed to the top as they spend money that isn’t theirs and then spend money that hasn’t even been stolen from others to give to them, yet.

Anyone who exceeded their food stamp limit by more than $20 during this fiasco should be thrown off of the program and never allowed to collect any sort of welfare, again.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on October 14, 2013 at 12:08 PM

I’m holding comment until we get our trolls view.

katy the mean old lady on October 14, 2013 at 12:10 PM

I’m not surprised this happened, but I am stunned that Walmart did not set a limit, say $100, during the outage. This would have ensured nobody actually went hungry, and protected Walmart and the welfare system from at least some fraud.

Now what happens to all the people that spent $500 when they had $50 left on their card? Does the taxpayer just eat this cost, or does Walmart? Are the scammers held accountable? They stole.

Mayday on October 14, 2013 at 11:02 AM

My wife had her purse stolen. Lifted off the back of her chair at a restaurant. While we were still eating, the thief checked out her cards at a gas station, then charged 5000 in electronics at BestBuy. Claimed they had no video of the perp to the police. Insurance would cover the loss. Same as a sale to them.

Now no-one requires a signature under 50$. Ever wonder why?

WryTrvllr on October 14, 2013 at 12:11 PM

Pic of the Day: This Is What Democracy Looks Like In Obama’s Amerika

Prepare to get VERY ANGRY.

Resist We Much on October 14, 2013 at 12:05 PM

WTFF?

katy the mean old lady on October 14, 2013 at 12:12 PM

Is Walmart still selling ammo..?

d1carter on October 14, 2013 at 11:47 AM

Yes and they seem to be getting in more of it. They didn’t gouge their prices so it goes fast.

Cindy Munford on October 14, 2013 at 12:17 PM

If Obama had a neighborhood…

patman77 on October 14, 2013 at 10:50 AM

.

ObamaPhones were buzzing…

d1carter on October 14, 2013 at 10:52 AM

.

That Pepsi and Chips feast is going to go a long way to making Michelle’s
Let’s Move a roaring success.

MontanaMmmm on October 14, 2013 at 10:54 AM

.

If Obama had a voter base,
Oh, wait………….

chewmeister on October 14, 2013 at 10:55 AM

.

20 million years of evolution and this is what it’s come to.

JellyToast on October 14, 2013 at 11:39 AM

.
OK … very good. Thanks to all of you, I might quit laughing sometime this evening. (oh, my gut hurts )

listens2glenn on October 14, 2013 at 12:18 PM

Is Walmart still selling ammo..?

d1carter on October 14, 2013 at 11:47 AM

As angry as I get at Wal-mart (for selling all the 22LR to their friends via advanced noticed) I just HAVE to love a store where 30% of the rifles in their case are AR variants, and not in 22LR.

WryTrvllr on October 14, 2013 at 12:20 PM

Just wait until the system finally defaults, these folks are going to come looking for what you have.

Bishop on October 14, 2013 at 10:51 AM

And when they do I’m going to give it to them. One small fast moving chunk at a time. Trust me on this Bishop. I’ll be an equal opportunity lead lobber.

Oldnuke on October 14, 2013 at 12:21 PM

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