A story from KSLA-TV out of Shreveport shows that one reason we are where we are politically is where we are culturally. The way to prove that is to see what happens at Wal-Mart when the food stamp system goes down for a few hours…
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.
There’s a word for this.
The word is “looting.”
It used to be that looters would get shot. Now they get a green light.
We’re not blaming Wal-Mart for allowing the looters to do their work on the government’s dime; they don’t have the kind of security to handle what happens when their cashiers start telling the EBT crowd they’re not going to allow them to loot the place.
So the taxpayers are the ones getting looted. And nobody cares in the least – because not only aren’t the looters worried about getting shot, they’re the ones threatening to shoot.
And in Philadelphia , Mississippi it was even a bit worse…
Customers staged a disturbance, took unpaid for groceries and walked out of a Mississippi Walmart after they were unable to use their food stamp cards on Saturday.
People in 17 states found themselves unable to buy groceries with their food stamp debit-style cards Saturday after a routine check by vendor Xerox Corp. resulted in a system failure.
The mini riot, happened at the Walmart in Philadelphia, Miss. Shortly thereafter, managers decided to temporarily close the store.
“For the safety of our customers we did make a management decision to close the store.
We’re looking into everything; looking at surveillance video and working with the local police,” said Kayla Whaling, a spokesperson for Walmart.
Whaling said the disturbance happened around 10:00 p.m. and the store reopened around 11:30 p.m. She also said she was not aware of any injuries.
Honesty? Integrity? The rule of law? We lost that a long time ago. Now it’s get all you can, when you can.
To say this doesn’t bode well for the future is an understatement.
Monty, at Ace of Spades, sums up the situation nicely…
DOOM isn’t foreign terrorists or enemy soldiers or dirty bombs. It’s legions of stupid people almost tearing down a Wal-Mart because their SNAP cards didn’t work for an hour or two. Now tell me what’s going to happen when the balloon reallygoes up and we can’t afford to keep ladling out government cheese any more. What happens if the SNAP cards stop working permanently? Do you think these hordes of angry stupid people are just going to grumble and go back home?
This to me is probably the most important DOOM-related story that I’ve seen so far this year. Why? Because it illustrates how deep our pathologies run, and how maddeningly difficult — maybe impossible — it will be to find a political solution.
I am on record as believing that politics is not going to save us. The paroxysms now immobilizing Washington D.C. are emblematic of a system that is simply incapable of dealing with the fundamental problems facing this country, the most pressing of them being fiscal. Our debt and vast welfare state is strangling us, and yet our government is either unwilling or unable to do anything useful about it. To attempt substantive reform is to court exactly the kind of popular revolt we see in this SNAP debacle, only on a much larger and more destructive scale. Having addicted Americans to welfare, the government dare not take the drug away lest the addicts grow violent.
But here’s the thing: things cannot continue like this. They cannot. It’s not a matter of politics, or willpower, or kindness towards our fellow man, or abstract economic principles. The way we live now is a simple violation of physics. We are consuming far more than we produce, as a nation. Our value-add shrinks, year by year, even as the demands on the public treasury keep growing. Our productive population keeps shrinking while the ranks of the wards of the state grow.
Meanwhile the citizenry, who are supposedly the masters of their own destiny in this two-century old Republic, almost riot when they can’t buy their government-subsidized crackers and Cheez Whiz.
Generosity often breeds contempt and not gratitude in the recipient. That’s been true for the entirety of human history. Yet somehow it always takes us by surprise when we see it.
People used to laugh and roll their eyes when I told them that a second Civil War was becoming all but inevitable in this country. They don’t laugh any more.
UPDATE: The video…