Who would’ve ever thought that a single technological error could cause so much damage? For less than one day, EBT cards (food stamps) stopped working in 17 states due to a “glitch.”
Thankfully, no full-scale riots broke out, but one Wal-Mart in Louisiana became a striking example of what might happen if EBT cards failed to work for one, measly day.
Management at the Wal-Mart quickly caught on that EBT cards weren’t working on Saturday, so they decided to let those on food stamps have unlimited balances on their cards. What followed should have been predictable to anyone with common sense.
The store was raided and shelves cleaned out by the very people Wal-Mart was trying to help. Footage from inside the store reveals a scene that would’ve outdone any Black Friday madness. Witnesses inside had a hard time believing what they saw as hundreds flocked to the store to take total advantage of the unlimited-balance offer.
But their fun came to end when the food stamp recipients’ actual balances came back online and numerous “customers” left behind their overfilled shopping carts scattered throughout the store. I guess if you never have to pay for your own food, you don’t develop any type of common courtesy.
It’s disgusting that our country could even manifest the kind of situation that played out at that Wal-Mart. Shouldn’t there only be a small faction of people who are truly in need of food stamps? In the fourth quarter of 2013, however, there are some 48 million of these “desperately” needy people.
To some EBT and other socialized goodies are a necessary means to an end and for the time being are a tolerable personal embarrassment that has an end in sight. To others, and I dare say the majority, who live off the government teat, the receipt of socialized handouts produces a mentality that, like a slow-moving cancer, finally engulfs the psyche and renders personal initiative nonexistent. Helpless, hopeless and dependent have become acceptable words in their vocabularies. And once this mentality has infiltrated and established roots it would be easier to prevent Pavlov’s dogs from salivating when the dinner bell rings. They are beholden to the state and have convinced themselves that they are absolutely fine with it.
One quick story to prove my point: I have/had a dear friend who was once an entrepreneurial multi-millionaire in the world of real estate. Like many others over the last five to seven years, my friend lost everything. During the past 18 months, my friend has “accepted” his fate and has lived off food stamps for that duration. He has a college education, an entrepreneurial spirit and is a very smart man. Several months ago I had a conversation with my friend as he once again asked me to lend him some money. As this conversation continued, I suggested in the nicest way I knew how that maybe he should get a job. His response was a tirade of profanity that ended with him hanging up in my face. My friend’s mentality is not even remotely similar to what it was 10 years ago. A decade ago he would have been appalled at the mere thought of accepting a government handout; now he is appalled at the thought of working. The cancer of dependence has killed his sense of personal initiative that once caused him to thrive. My friend and I have not spoken since.
Sadly, common sense, personal initiative and responsibility are hard to find in America today, and we are left with having to tolerate the reality of the disgusting number of people on food stamps. But what would happen if the crisis that occurred in 17 states had lasted for a week instead of only one day, and imagine the direness of the situation had it been the entirety of the country and not just 17 states? Just imagine the chaos that would have engulfed America’s cities if this circumstance had lasted longer and stores decided not to have the generosity this one Wal-Mart had.
I’ve got a solution to this problem, however. Some might call it radical; I call it Darwinism in action – survival of the fittest. Eliminate the EBT system altogether. Yeah, that’s right – eliminate it. There’s no bigger motivator on this planet than good ole fashion hunger. If you can’t find a way to feed yourself in the most prosperous nation this world has ever known without Momma government holding your nursing bottle, then you have far greater issues than where your next meal is coming from, my friend.
Now, some form of safety net should exist to briefly help our fellow citizens who come upon difficult times or who are physically or mentally unable, but the EBT/SNAP system we currently have has become nothing more than a life-net that encourages apathy. “My government will take care of all my needs; so it’s all right for me to be a moron.”
The entitlement rage witnessed at the Louisiana Wal-Mart is becoming an ever-growing tumor strangling the airway that has provided precious life-giving oxygen to this nation great generation after great generation.
America was founded by rugged frontiersmen who conquered the wilderness and battled the harshest of conditions, all to ensure the survival of themselves and their families. Those early Americans have been replaced generation after generation by individuals armed with nothing more than personal responsibility, initiative and outright will, which has created the greatest country this earth has ever seen. And what do we have to show for it now? We have 48 million Pavlovian dogs who spend their days listening for that government dinner bell.
To say that we have many problems in this country would be a laughable understatement. I can make the argument, however, that a majority of them come back to one basic character flaw of the American population: the lack of personal responsibility.
It’s a safe statement to make that the current mode of operation – with the mentality it creates and the behavior it evokes – is not the answer. All we have to show for that is riots at Wal-Mart. It’s time to remove the dinner bell and see where “hunger” gets us.