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Published on October 15th, 2013 | by Dr. Joel McDurmon


Socialism Supercenter: EBT glitch reveals nature of the beast

A computer glitch with EBT cards made for a revealing social experiment last Sunday in at least two Louisiana Wal-Mart Supercenters. As spending limits of other people’s money temporarily disappeared from EBT accounts, Obama-phones sprang into action and the word spread at light speed. In two hours, shelves were cleared and food stamp recipients jammed the aisles with carts overflowing with bags of chips and cold pop.

Wal-Mart wanted to play good Samaritan and honor the unlimited food stamp cards: “We did make the decision to continue to accept EBT cards (and purchases on WIC and SNAP) during the outage so that they could get food for their families.”

And they did. Meat racks, including all steaks and seafood, were totally cleared, but one eyewitness video [warning: language] shows the produce section largely untouched. Just an observation.

When the glitch was fixed, spending limits reappeared, and checkers had to hold welfare shoppers accountable. An announcement was made over the loudspeaker. Shoppers immediately abandoned scores of bulging carts in mid-aisle and disappeared.

Police were called in during the frenzy. No arrests were made, though same cases may still be under investigation. One woman was temporarily detained once the limits reappeared. She was attempting to make off with $700.00 worth of food with only 49 cents left on her card. Wal-Mart agreed to let her walk if she would just leave the food.

One young gentleman who videoed the aftermath while howling and laughing was later interviewed. He was just thankful he and his didn’t have to take any responsibility for the mess: “I was just thinking, [O-M-G], I’m so glad my mom doesn’t work here anymore.” He had little problem with the phenomenon otherwise, reportedly calling it a “natural human reaction.”

But another eyewitness, Stan Garcia, got closer to the mark: “That’s plain theft. That’s stealing. That’s all I got to say about it.”

Mr. Garcia’s view reminds me of my own criticism of socialism in general, in the introduction to God vs. Socialism:

Socialism is the belief that individual private property is a bad idea. It is thus an anti-Christian and anti-biblical belief. Socialists believe that governments should own most or all property and distribute it out as government experts, scientists, politicians, or occasionally voters see fit. Under socialism, the State puts itself in the place of God and says, “The earth is the State’s, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it.” Under this view, the individual has no protection from his neighbor if his neighbor is in the majority, or if the State somehow deems his neighbor as needful in some way; the State simply uses force to take that individual’s property and give it to someone else. In this sense, the State moves landmarks every day. In this view, the State determines our rights, and gives us our freedoms; here there is no appeal beyond the State.

Socialism is the belief, therefore, that stealing is acceptable as long as another man or group of men says so. Socialism believes in theft by majority vote, or theft by a majority of representatives’ votes in Congress. Socialism is the belief that it’s OK to steal from your neighbor if you do it by means of the government’s gun. Socialism places man, and ultimately the State, in the place of God. Man becomes owned by other men, instead of by his Maker. Socialism is an entirely humanistic, God-denying, God-usurping belief.

Between these two beliefs—private property and socialism—there exists fundamental conflict. They represent contradictory views of sovereignty, man, law, society, and inheritance. They are fundamentally rival religious systems. Choosing one, you reject the other—service and honor to God, or servitude to fellow men. Either God commands and judges man, or man commands and judges man.

The glitch-fueled frenzy reveals in bold relief just how clearly socialistic welfare systems are merely regulated systems of theft. One computer glitch unleashes the corruption at the heart of the system.

The economist notes that when you subsidize something, you get more of it. When you create financial incentives without responsibility, you attract and breed irresponsibility. When you subsidize greed, envy, laziness, and entitlement, you breed more of these things. When you subsidize lack of morals, lack of restraint, lack of self-discipline, you get more of it.

And most importantly, when the redistribution of wealth, i.e. theft, is the nature of the system, you get more of it. When you subsidize thieves, you get more thieves.

And when society becomes filled with such thieves, they easily find representation in Congress. You get politicians fuming when denied another trillion dollars in debt. Negotiations must take place, churned by the full wheels of propaganda. Don’t you know these guys have votes to buy? Somebody’s got to pay for the Twinkies.

And when thievery becomes so legal and commonplace, thievery will be viewed as just one more “natural human reaction.”

And they want to speak of the full faith and credit of the United States? Don’t make me laugh.

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About the Author

Dr. Joel McDurmon

Joel McDurmon, Ph.D. in Theology from Pretoria University, is the Director of Research for American Vision. He has authored seven books and also serves as a lecturer and regular contributor to the American Vision website. He joined American Vision's staff in the June of 2008. Joel and his wife and four sons live in Dallas, Georgia.

44 Responses to Socialism Supercenter: EBT glitch reveals nature of the beast

  1. Doug Wright says:

    THERE WAS ONE SHOPPER who decided to stock up given the ‘shutdown’ amid rumors that EBT would be offline for months; used his own money as he had paid far more into this economy then he’d ever drawn out and had no children in public school.(12,000 per child/yr) In fact there were many guys like that; in fact some who had been victims of ‘theft’ by IRS et al. Even an odd character who fell on to hard times…now I’m not going to tell you the majority because that would be households headed by illigal immigrants. Who, come here from a socialist construct of social contract which permits taking what’s given and participating as one can.
    Now all of this costs ‘other people’ around 5 bil. to support those un-christian immigrants and single mothers fleeing pagan husbands and out of work or underworked heretics with an average of 21 dollars a month. This program is run by the same banks that do credit cards; but that knowledge is lost on those dumb poor who think they will never have to even up.
    And speaking of, did you know that apart from banks the US has more than enough money to pay all it’s bills? Yeah, the interest on the cost of making/sometimes pretending/money is the total of all income tax! It so overwhelms all the assistance, hell it EVEN is more than the military budget(and that’s real money). And for that we have the IRS, yet would you hear any of the invective today against those who ‘steal’ at useless, even criminal ‘jobs’? no way. In the cloth or out; American Christianity is supposed to be Publican inclusive; heck they might be a tither!
    Running your hairdryer after all might raise your cooling costs at home, but to bitch about that with your windows and doors open is beyond embarrassing.
    I spoke with a man in church a week and a half ago who spent all his money and needed to go see his graduating daughter. He tried his cc and wow it filled his gas tank. He did this several times all the way to Tx. A ‘miracle’ he shared with me as when he contacted the bank about his balance it was unchanged and seemed never to account for his expenditures. The reason people max plastic are complicated and yes it has to do with human nature, but it also has to do with the subtle knowledge that the game is rigged. The lie that poverty is proportional to laziness is exactly the tonic the ponzi schemers who rape us want you to hear. And makes damnable accusations of theft more painful to the poor. Even if someone STOLE Jesus didn’t despise him, today EBT users are thieves. This is Anti-Christ.

  2. David L says:

    So clue me in folks, what is EBT? Canadian here..

    • Brother Les says:

      Food Stamps, but instead of ‘stamps’, it is an electronic card…… Looks like a credit card, but it is a Federal debit card. As with Credit Cards or bank cards, when the power or ‘company’ behind the card says ‘no’…. it becomes just a piece of plastic and good for nothing.

  3. rosa says:

    christendom has failed to help people become moral servants of God, when oppertunity to break moral laws seem to come with no immediate punishment this is what you get, including those in gov, when they breakmoral laws there is no immediate punishment/negative results thus they steal because they can, so it is with people in general, they do it because they can, they do it because the cat is away so to speak so they think. if people were moral servants of god theywould not do this, they would not go to war they would not lie cheat or steal from their neighbor. they would not covet whatever their neighbor has, nor envy them nor demand their “rights” at the expense of their neighbor. christendom has proven to be no friend of God.

  4. Bryon says:

    Walmart sounds like the “innocent” victim in this story however they are the bigger theif as they knew the government will pay them no matter what happens.

  5. the church says:

    The church is too busy garnishing wages of their parishioners, or asking for donations to also join in the idea of welfare through their so called charities. So what makes the churches form of welfare any different, they too are taking other people’s money and giving it away.

    • Michael Paul Tuuri says:

      Well, one difference is that no church I know of has the ability to coerce its parishioners, whereas the State always uses coercion to get the money it redistributes.

      • the church says:

        That depends on what you call coercion, I.E. prayerfully consider partnering with us! Donate…. while donation are not required, you do not want God to think your a cheap ass.

      • Gary G says:

        I can say churches absolutely DO coerce their members into “tithing”. My father had recently passed, and the church sent my mother a nasty letter saying she hadn’t been tithing enough and if we didn’t resume, they would drop us from the church registry. Needless to say that was tha lat church I ever attended.

        • Bryon says:

          That is not governmental coercion. Governmental coercion is pay or we will take it by force.

    • Dr. Duckenheimer says:

      People that give money to a church, whether it be some psychological ruse or a genuine want to give, is voluntary, nor will it violate somebody else. It’s based on the giver’s decision to do so. Whatever damage there may be from a churches bad decisions or deceit, it will be limited.

      Whereas, the government induces inflation and tears families apart, etc.

    • Tionico says:

      When you see the ushers, deacons, (or whoever manages the collections) packing their sidearms and deploying them appropriately when someone is deemed to be “light in the pot”, then your comments will be somewhat valid(any member not desiring to get fleeced next week can simply attend elsewhere, or stay home). Face it, FedGov DO have guns behind their demands. Think not? Just try NOT paying what they demand and see how long it takes before they come around to collect the bil with a dog and a double barrelled gun. Tin badges painted gols, ‘Merican flags on their lapels, and all that into the bargain.

  6. rusureuwant2know says:

    You can bet that no poor little old ladies were in on this nonsense – no poor widows and widowers that rely on food stamps. I do wish people would stop categorizing the rest with the people that would do what these people did. There are those who have a legit need.

    • Dr. Duckenheimer says:

      A legit need to steal everything except produce, which would have been at least logical?

      • Gary G says:

        You only saw the bad ones. There were thousands that didn’t do what these people did. But no, you lump everyone in together and condemn everyone that receives assistance. How very Christian of you people to judge others the way you’re doing.

        • Ducky says:

          “I just saw the bad ones.” Interesting that I lump the bad with the good, but not you lump the good with the bad so as to justify the welfare system.

          I think you missed the point of the article. The videos show the depravity and “moral hazard” that government causes when they give money to people that depend on it. Please see Arrow’s post below. It explains exactly what is going on with the welfare system, and how the rich and the state uses the dependents.

          If you’re really concerned about the poor and the lil ol’ ladies, then I would suggest you pick up a book, and learn something of the free markets and how it can solve these problems that the government causes in order to benefit.

          Really, your want to defend a system that creates depravity such as in the clip only shows your cynicism towards your fellow man. Talk about Christian love. You’re paranoid and fearful of what would happen if you were left having to deal with fellow individuals. This is only out of ignorance. Ignorance – what else is that word, usually, applied to? Nobody is saying to forget about the innocents that are trapped in this system – that’s just ridiculous. What is being said is that there is a system that innovates and creates better means for people that do need help. Yet, this only can happen if individuals have faith in the true Provider and not fear of what may or may not happen outside of government’s dependence.

          Pick up a book before you judge somebody for sharing something that he has spent hours learning.

        • Jeremy R says:

          I know too many who abuse all of the goverment assistance programs. They are the larger group. If someone has genuine need then I’m sure god will provide. These programs are destroying America, and people keep expanding them. Those who do need often get rejected. Those who do not have a need get it too easily.

          Gary, quit being a hypocrit…

  7. Richard says:

    Like a lot of people, I am in shock at this article and the video. People to stoop that low and the Wal-Mart store management allowing this to occur is shocking. The Wal-Mart management should be held culpable. All those people who were involved should loose any and of their welfare privileges.

    • Tionico says:

      WalMart’s contract is to honour the cards up to the limits on them. If the card accepts a charge, WalMart is required to allow it, just like any other business who accepts these cards in payment for goods.

      What SHOULD happen is the amount each person charged during the glitch should be calculated against their monthly allotment, and no more be added until the suitable time has passed to have used up the amount charged recently. In other words, no bonus, their total yearly allotment must INCLUDE these “windfall” purchases. If they spent three months worth of “benefits” this week, no more until the fourth month from now. Fair is fair,… and its unfair enough for the rest of us anyway. I do wonder WHO pays the extra for now.

  8. Indiana Conservative says:

    Just human nature following its own animalistic features.Constantly amazed when it comes to mans inhumanity to their fellow man

  9. Observant_One says:

    Vulture feeding frenzy doesn’t look a whole lot different … except real vultures have feathers and no EBT cards.

  10. Donté says:

    At this point, I seriously question the moral fiber of anyone who can support the welfare state. For someone to look at the devastating impact the welfare state has had on entire communities (not to mention the family) and STILL make a case for why we somehow need the welfare state is beyond me. Being black, I’ve seen first hand the damage the welfare state has had on at least 3 generations of inner-city black communities and families (though to be sure, at this point, it’s not simply a ‘black’/;inner-city’ issue, since folk across ethnic and class lines seems to want to hop on the bandwagon and get what they feel they’re ‘entitled’ to). It both breaks my heart and saddens me. How the welfare state has completely undermined the family and rendered men/fathers obsolete. Sadly, many feel for the okie doke and have been trapped in the generational cycle ever since. No doubt that at the root of this is sin. It speaks to one’s unregenerate nature/heart to be able to receive these benefits years on end without any sense of shame or guilt, but there also hasn’t been a shortage of liberal propaganda that has been pumped into the minds of people in these communities that has deceived them into believing that welfarism is somehow the epitome of benevolence. This issue is not just unique to America. Take a look at the UK right now and you’ll see a welfare system that is even larger than the one here in America (Thedore Dalrymple has written extensively about this). What Johnson introduced with his Great Society has been a disaster and we are still seeing the chickens coming home to roost 40 years later. It’s slavery of a different kind.

  11. Brother Les says:

    There seems to be something missing from the article. Walmart said that they were going to keep track to the amount of stuff sold to each card holder. Walmart would have been paid when positive balances began appearing on the cards use. If one card had ‘only’ .49 cents and the person picked up 700.00 of food. When the card was ‘refilled’…… Walmart would have defilled the card as many time as it took to recoup what is owed.

    there will come a time when the EBT (foodstamp) program will fail for good. The tipping point is very close and several things could cause this. Bad programming, solar flare (electrical grid), nature, political change, war….. There are 50 million families on the food stamp program. If this program goes down for more than two weeks, then the country will collapse into anarchy, riots and martial law.

    Reporting from FEMA Region VII.

  12. The Truth says:

    Church wont change anything. People are this way because you can ask for forgiveness is most religions. I just hate to see people try to work a system to benefit themselves and still go home thinging they did nothing wrong. No one has the fear anymore. You can do anything and still be fine. This is their mindset

    • Hacim says:

      Uh, no. This has nothing to do with religion in which “you can ask for forgiveness”, those people who stole these goods proved the opposite is true, they don’t ask for forgiveness because they believe they have done nothing wrong.

  13. Angela Bartholomew says:

    The government should not be held responsible for this outrageous spending, WalMart should have to pick up the tab. They can afford it.

    • Ducky says:

      Government is responsible, and in a way, Walmart is, also, because of cronyism. It’s people like you and me that shouldn’t have to foot the bill for this mess. The state is not “us”. It’s them. They are making decisions that are not of our own or of our own religion but of another religion.

      • says:

        I know this is a novel idea but how about the thieves who took advantage of a glitch in the system pay it back? Why should the government or Walmart be held responsible – the people who were checking out with baskets full of expensive groceries knew they didn’t have the funds available and they did it anyway. If we don’t hold them accountable then they will just do it again when they have a chance.

        • Ducky says:

          Because it was the government’s idea. Government’s actions enable this to happen. Government’s force on the hard working people to pay for others misdeeds. If it weren’t for the government, there would be no reason why people would pay taxes, especially, for this. There would be nothing of what happened in the clip.

          Why is it so much more preferable to hold or only hold the lowlies accountable but not government or its partners? Yes, these people need to take responsibility for their actions and lives; nobody is saying otherwise. If we only go after the one end of the matter, then this will be repeated, and this will justify (falsely) government’s reign of terror on the general population because everybody needs to be “accountable” through government. You need to go after the source. In a way you’re right, the government shouldn’t be responsible for these people’s actions. These actions should never have taken place. It’s shouldn’t be the government’s duty to be responsible for these folks in the first place.

          Oh, wait…. You want these people to take the blame instead of government. This would allow the government to continue without blame. May I ask the reason why?

          If this is what concerns you after reading this article, which is mostly about socialism distorting society and deviating from Biblical standards, then you may need to hit your Bible again…or reread the article.

          And, what’s up with this defending government stuff that I’ve been seeing lately? I’ve been seeing this all over the place from all political sides on just about any issue.

        • Ducky says:

          How come it’s stealing when it’s taken from a grocery store (rightly so)?

          How come it’s not stealing when an organization takes money from a paycheck that was labored for then give that money to people that are willing to steal from a grocery store?

      • Observant_One says:

        Well, many believe the current prez is the messiah.

        • Tionico says:

          Sho nuff.. de massah/messiah gib de manna, jes lak in de desert all dem long yars back. ‘Long wid dem FOANS he be gibben out.

    • Michael Earl Riemer says:

      “The government should not be held responsible for this outrageous spending, WalMart should have to pick up the tab. They can afford it.”

      Angela, you and those who stole from WalMart have the same mind-set. I am wondering were you there? And if you were, how much would you have stolen? Steal all you want, for after all, WalMart can affort it. WalMart should have to pick up the tab for what a thief stole? Just because WalMart can afford it, means that they should let thief’s steal as much as they can? No one has the right to steal from someone else (a business or company), whether they are rich or poor.

      • Tionico says:

        WalMart canNOT afford it. Their margins are so close to keep the prices as low as they are, that to give away that much merchanside would put them upside down for some time to come. Any business which accepts those cards is required to do so as long as the card “clears” the payment. To do otherwise would be to violate the terms of the card processing agreement. Just like wiht Visa/MC. If the card clears, the holder is ID’d, they MUST accept it or be in breach.

  14. Barb says:

    The real reason why they let the transactions through was because they FEARED those “customers”.

  15. Ducky says:

    - You guys say “pop” in the south as well. Pop pop pop…pop…

    - I think they did this to see what would happen. Like a test run.

  16. Arrow says:

    From the article: ““We did make the decision to continue to accept EBT cards (and purchases on WIC and SNAP) during the outage so that they could get food for their families.”

    “So that they could get food for their families”. Sounds so noble. Just like “so that we maintain the integrity of the banking system”

    At the top of the economic heap are thieves who are justified by the pretense of saving the system for everyones’ good. At the bottom of the economic heap are thieves who are justified so that they can have food.

    In the middle are honest hard working people from whom all is being stolen. When is it time to quit?

  17. Christopher Lee says:

    Bingo… Only can the Christian worldview accurately challenge socialism. When is the church going to wake up?

    • Arrow says:

      “When is the church going to wake up?”

      If the twentieth century pattern continues, I’d say about 10-20 years after the general population.

      • David Smith says:

        Agreed! Once again (and not for the last time!), I think of the truly Greatest Generation, that is the Revolutionary Generation, who, by God’s good grace, won our independence. You probably remember the Black Regiment, evidently King George’s name for the preachers who inveighed against his majesty’s and parliament’s unconstitutional actions against us here in the colonies. Where are so many in the church now? Sure, we’ll celebrate July 4th, “support our troops” (Never mind that nothing they are involved in today has anything to do with supporting and defending the Constitution, nor in protecting our rights!), and talk about grabbing one more sinner with us when we’re raptured, but actually preach against a government that is doing far more to us than King George and Parliament could ever have conceived of? The most you’ll get is “Well, our people can change things with their votes.”

        DC is broken beyond all repair, Church! Puh-lease!

        • Arrow says:

          Ironically, when a truly godly candidate runs for office, the majority of “conservative Bible-believing Christians” turn out to be his opponents!

    • Hacim says:

      Church is too busy entertaining the masses with funny stories and latte bars.

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