EBT Card Users Pay It Backwards

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In his essay “The Law”, Frederic Bastiat identified the fatal tendencies of free people. “[T]here is also another tendency that is common among people. When they can, they wish to live and prosper at the expense of others.” [1] This helps explain why the number of Americans on Food Stamps has expanded from 25 million in 2008 to 47 million this past June.[2]

While this has occurred something else has been in decline: any measure of shame for participating in government sponsored transfers of wealth. If there is any among you who doubt this I direct your attention to the events of Saturday last in Mansfield and Springhill, LA, Wal-Marts. When shoppers wielding EBT cards learned that the cards would not function, Wal-Mart faced a conundrum: turn away all those juicy, government subsidized sales or propose an interim measure: EBT shoppers could shop with no limit to their EBT plundering power.

“Shoppers” lined up buggy after buggy of food items, some chaining 6 and 7 buggies together to increase their haul. The cops had to be called in to manage the free shopping bonanza which turned into a cleanup disaster when balances began appearing on EBT cards prodding most “shoppers” to abandon their overloaded string of carts and flee for the exits. Today the State Dept of Children & Family Services said the State does place a $50 limit on cards during an outage so Wal-Mart would be responsible for the overages[3]. Wal-Mart hasn’t decided whether they will seek criminal charges against the card plunderers.

If you tried to skate from Best Buy with $2,000 in electronics charged on a subsequently declined credit card, Best Buy would have no such mercy on you but because the perps in this exchange are wards of the State, a different set of rules applies or should I say “set of suggestions” because rules are for those not living and prospering at the expense of others.

[1] Bastiat, Frederic, Law, The. A Fatal Tendency of Mankind Self-preservation and self-development are common aspirations among all people. And if everyone enjoyed the unrestricted use of his faculties and the free disposition of the fruits of his labor, social progress would be ceaseless, uninterrupted, and unfailing. But there is also another tendency that is common among people. When they can, they wish to live and prosper at the expense of others. This is no rash accusation. Nor does it come from a gloomy and uncharitable spirit. The annals of history bear witness to the truth of it: the incessant wars, mass migrations, religious persecutions, universal slavery, dishonesty in commerce, and monopolies. This fatal desire has its origin in the very nature of man — in that primitive, universal, and insuppressible instinct that impels him to satisfy his desires with the least possible pain. See –  http://bastiat.org/en/the_law.html#SECTION_G007