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eureka00



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 10:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://gma.yahoo.com/walmart-shelves-emptied-food-stamp-shopping-spree-171042474--abc-news-topstories.html

Great, now I get to listen to more people complain about food stamps again. I don't know why the store just didn't close briefly or not allow ebt cards until it was fixed.
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Darqcyde



Joined: 11 Jul 2006
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Location: A false vacuum abiding in ignorance.

PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

eureka00 wrote:
http://gma.yahoo.com/walmart-shelves-emptied-food-stamp-shopping-spree-171042474--abc-news-topstories.html

Great, now I get to listen to more people complain about food stamps again. I don't know why the store just didn't close briefly or not allow ebt cards until it was fixed.


So if I'm reading that correctly, Wal Mart fucked up and shouldn't have been letting people spend as much as they were?
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mouse



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 12:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

story's not showing up for me - what happened?
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mouse



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 1:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ok, can someone explain to me the current republican position?
Quote:
Initially, Mr. Boehner proposed a bill to reopen the government until Jan. 15, extend the debt ceiling until Feb. 7, delay a tax on medical devices two years and deny members of Congress, the president, the vice president and White House political appointees taxpayer subsidies to help buy insurance on President Obamaís health insurance exchanges.


what is the reasoning for denying themselves subsidies for health insurance? for one thing, i would think congressmen would make more than enough money that they wouldn't be eligible for subsidies (not if they were average citizens). certainly the president and high-ranking political employees would make enough to pay their own insurance bills. apparently, the repubs also want to deprive congressional staff of subsidies, which is pissing staff members off. where is the advantage to pissing off your own staff? it's not going to impact any ordinary citizen - do they expect the rest of us to feel bad for them, now that they have to pay their own insurance premiums out of their own pockets, like all the rest of us?

what am i missing?

ok, if i read farther, i get to:
Quote:
By Tuesday afternoon, House Republican leaders were back with a new proposal to fund the government through Dec. 15, extend the debt ceiling into February and deprive not only lawmakers but all their staff members of employer assistance to buy their health care. By extending that provision to staff members, Republican leaders hoped to appeal to its far-right flank, but it angered more moderate Republicans and was not enough for the conservative hard core.


so it's a tea party thing and (as always) doesn't make the tea party happy even while it screws over everyone else. seriously, is it about freeing them all from dependence on government? but surely they could refuse subsidies, if they want?
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Last edited by mouse on Wed Oct 16, 2013 1:48 am; edited 1 time in total
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Darqcyde



Joined: 11 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 1:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mouse wrote:
story's not showing up for me - what happened?


Quote:
Louisiana officials are trying to decide what to do about a massive shopping spree by families on food stamps when a power outage lifted the caps on their spending cards. Police were called to Walmart locations in Mansfield, La., and Springhill, La., on Saturday as shoppers cleaned out store shelves.

Springhill Police Chief Will Lynd said some customers were pushing more food than any household could store in a refrigerator and freezer.
"I saw people drag out eight to ten grocery carts," he said. Lynd said customers were "not unruly." There were no fights or arrests made, but the scene was still chaotic, he said.

"It was definitely worse than Black Friday. It was worse than anything we had ever seen in this town," Lynd said of Springhill, which is near the border with Arkansas. "There was no food left on any of the shelves, and no meat left. The grocery part of Walmart was totally decimated."
He said one customer made about $700 in food purchases. Lynd said that around 9 p.m. CT on Saturday, a Walmart employee made an announcement on the intercom saying that the computer system had been restored and card limits had returned. At that time, customers left shopping carts full of food in store aisles.

"At that point in time, they knew the jig was up and they couldn't purchase what they wanted to," Lynd said.

In the Walmart store in Mansfield, about 80 miles south of Springhill, staff temporarily closed the store to new customers to prevent a fire hazard with the existing number of shoppers. Mansfield's chief of police Gary Hobbs said no arrests were made and there were no incidents besides customers "pushing and shoving." Hobbs said there were reports that customers were checking out with six to eight shopping carts, then returning later in the day to purchase more.

Unlike Walmart, other grocery stores in town told customers they would not accept EBT cards until the card limits were evident again, Hobbs said. The Department of Agriculture, which administers the food stamp program, said the issue was not related to the government shutdown.

The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services' spokesman Trey Williams said the agency is meeting today to discuss how to handle the issue. The shopping frenzy was triggered when the Electronic Benefits Transfer system went down because a back-up generator failed at 11 a.m. EST Saturday during a regularly-scheduled test, according to Xerox, a vendor for the EBT system and based in Norwalk, Conn.

The outage allowed recipients to spend unlimited amounts of money because the spending limit was removed for their EBT cards. The EBT system was affected in 17 states, where individuals and households access programs like Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and other programs.

"The loss of power triggered a preventative shutdown of the EBT system to protect its overall integrity," according to a statement from Xerox spokesman Kevin Lightfoot. "While the system was restored within 22 minutes, the network experienced connectivity issues until our technical staff were able to re-establish full access just before 10 p.m. EST."

Lynd said the Springhill Walmart store manager called police on Saturday morning to ask for advice over crowd control. When he arrived, Lynd told the Walmart staff that they had the right to refuse service if they chose to, but Walmart's corporate office advised the store to allow customers to purchase what they wanted with the cards. A spokeswoman for Walmart, Kayla Whaling, said the frenzied shopping in Louisiana "was isolated and is not representative of the what our stores experienced across the country."

Xerox said that it continues to "investigate the cause of the issue so we can take steps to ensure a similar interruption does not re-occur." A spokeswoman for Xerox, Jennifer Wasmer, said, "If there is an EBT system outage, there is an agreed and documented process for retailers to follow. The process includes a 'per cardholder, per day' spending limit that is set at a state level."

In Louisiana, the limit is $50 per cardholder per day, she said.
"The emergency process allows retailers to meet the critical food needs of cardholders even if the system is temporarily down," she said.

When asked about reports that Walmart customers were spending hundreds of dollars more than their account limits, Wasmer said ABC News would have to speak to retailers.

Walmart did not respond to a question about whether its Louisiana stores recognized a $50 limit.


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eureka00



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why would you let people ransack your store like that when you know there is a technical problem? I don't blame the people taking the food at all if you are going to be that stupid.

I've been to stores plenty of times when the credit card machines were down and they've told me upon entering that it was cash only for the time being. I don't see why this should have been any different. The $50 limit is another matter the store should've known about but honestly I would've just denied the use of the cards until problem was fixed.
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Moor



Joined: 07 May 2013
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Walmart didn't mess up.
Walmart knew exactly what they were doing.

Because the agreement the government has with them isn't "we negotiate before hand for a certain amount of goods". It's "people with food stamps get a certain amount of stuff from you -- say, 1 carton of milk, or 2 boxes of cereal on one stamp -- and we pay you for them."

So people went in and thought "Oh! We can get stuff for free!", and they got a bunch of stuff.
And now Walmart is going to say "Okay, Food Stamps Program, they took all this stuff. Now you have to pay for this!"

Walmart knew exactly what they were doing. They were encouraging people rob the government to pay them.
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Heretical Rants



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, it's really silly to ask why WalMart let this happen.
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Darqcyde



Joined: 11 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moor wrote:
Walmart didn't mess up.
Walmart knew exactly what they were doing.
. . .

Walmart knew exactly what they were doing. They were encouraging people rob the government to pay them.

Sounds about right. A friend of mine has worked there for 18 years and makes $17.75 an hour, in store, but guess what? He's been cut down to 18 hours a week. According to him, it's their standard practice to keep salaries flat: the more you earn the less hours you get. I know there's tons of shit you can find that they do which is horrible, but his story was one I hadn't heard before.
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Dogen



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 5:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moor wrote:
Because the agreement the government has with them isn't "we negotiate before hand for a certain amount of goods". It's "people with food stamps get a certain amount of stuff from you -- say, 1 carton of milk, or 2 boxes of cereal on one stamp -- and we pay you for them."

So people went in and thought "Oh! We can get stuff for free!", and they got a bunch of stuff.
And now Walmart is going to say "Okay, Food Stamps Program, they took all this stuff. Now you have to pay for this!"

Not if corporations enter into agreements (contracts) that dictate how they will handle events like systems going down. If there's a contract, Walmart is on the line for everything over $50/person.

But I don't actually know. I just pulled that out of my ass because it sounded like you pulled your theory out of your ass, and I enjoy using my imagination. I also enjoy long walks on the beach, if you want to follow up on this little tÍte-ŗ-tÍte.



Although it occurs to me that your description of the agreement between the gov't and the states isn't very factual, at least in terms of SNAP (the current name for the federal program formerly known as Food Stamps), since increases in food prices affect how much people on plans like SNAP can afford. SNAP funds, for instance, are based on the Thrifty Food Plan that's published annually and is a measure of the cost of eating a barebones diet. That number is then scaled by your financial need and the number of people in your home to give a dollar amount. You then have those dollars to spend on whatever SNAP-eligible items you want. In fact, this is one of the criticisms of SNAP, that those dollars don't spend as far in all parts of the country (and thus people who live in areas with high food prices generally have lower quality diets). If the agreement were "you can buy X cartons of milk, or X dozen eggs," then SNAP funds would buy the same amount of food everywhere.
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Dogen



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 5:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also Food Stamps never worked that way. The stamps actually had face values ($1, $5, or $10), and worked like money...

Also they haven't used actual stamps since the 1990s.
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stripeypants



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 6:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find it weird they have a limit of $50 a day, if there is already a monthly limit. Is that meant to prevent fraud or something?

I buy in bulk, so it makes sense for me to spend half the grocery money at once on staple foods, then use the rest throughout the month for perishables and incidental things.
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Moor



Joined: 07 May 2013
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 6:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did know about SNAP -- I said food stamps because that's what most people still know it as, and its actual name wasn't really relevant to the thing.

I didn't pull it completely out of nowhere -- I have a family member who works in the program, although I do admit I haven't asked them how it actually does work. The reason I assumed it worked something like I described was that I know that have a problem with SNAP-only shops overcharging: shops are required to sell things at the same price normally and through SNAP, which keeps the government paying sane values without having to specify in the law what said "sane values" are, since those vary over time and region. But, since SNAP-only shops don't have to consider losing customers from overpriced goods, they can overcharge and get more from the government, and the people who use SNAP don't notice because they're still just swiping and getting food.
That scenario only seems to work if SNAP works something similar to how I described it.

That said, obviously I misremembered because I just actually did a bit of research (you know -- the stuff I should have been doing this whole time...), looking for a story about that and apparently SNAP is indeed a specific amount of money, and also the main form of fraud that takes place is actually just pretend-buying something and getting cash. (for example, this article, which is way better than any of the others because oh-my-gosh the name of the group that busted them)

So, after admitting I was wrong in every factual respect, I'm still gonna say that Walmart tried to get people to overcharge the government to pay them.
I mean, even Walmart realized that. They're still trying to look like the good guys, though. (I also found that while doing actual research! Today I learned that when you actually look things up instead of just saying them, you learn things!)

And finally, I've never actually tried long walks on the beach, believe it or not, so I don't know if I like them. Although given that I have a tendency to get lost in conversation and to just keep walking and talking for hours, I'd probably enjoy it, until I absentmindedly walk into the ocean because I wasn't looking where I was walking.
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Dogen



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 6:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The $50 limit is for when the EBT system is down and they can't verify funds, I think.
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Dogen



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 6:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moor wrote:
So, after admitting I was wrong in every factual respect, I'm still gonna say that Walmart tried to get people to overcharge the government to pay them.
I mean, even Walmart realized that. They're still trying to look like the good guys, though. (I also found that while doing actual research! Today I learned that when you actually look things up instead of just saying them, you learn things!)

No worries. We all fuck up. Thanks for looking it up. I think Walmart hoped to get away with it, for sure... they gambled at getting thousands in free taxpayer money and lost, this time.

Quote:
And finally, I've never actually tried long walks on the beach, believe it or not, so I don't know if I like them. Although given that I have a tendency to get lost in conversation and to just keep walking and talking for hours, I'd probably enjoy it, until I absentmindedly walk into the ocean because I wasn't looking where I was walking.

The real question is when you go. If you go in the middle of the day you walk into and over people doing stupid things like sleeping where other people are walking, or throwing balls where other people are trying to walk, or playing in the water where I'm trying to walk. Ingrates. It's very frustrating. You have to go at sunrise, sunset, or in the middle of the night. Bring night vision goggles.
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