Walmart Store Picked Clean After Computer Malfunctions In Louisiana

walmart15n-3-webOccasionally, something will happen that shows a latent tendency of dishonesty in people regardless of class or station. Once the lights go off or security is suspended, there is an explosion of thefts or some riot. I remember one Christmas seeing what looked like lawyers or businessmen trying to use umbrellas to unhook fur decorations on the Christmas tree in the Daley Plaza that were part of a Canadian holiday display. One was actually on the other one’s shoulders. I am not sure why I am always surprised. However, this weekend, the food stamp computer system in Louisiana experienced a glitch where it would not show the limit on cards. Most stores stopped purchases with the EBT cards. However, Walmart stores in Springhill and Mansfield, Louisiana decided to continue to make sales. The word quickly spread and the stores were mobbed with shoppers who took virtually every item off the shelves. Then the EBT cards came back online with the limits on the cards . . .

Suddenly, hundreds of people fled the store after it was announced that the card were showing the limits again. Dozens of over-stuffed carts were left in lines and all of the shelves were stripped clean.  Given the low level of food support on such cards, it raises a moral dilemma in the interpretation of laws on theft.  Should such laws include a Jean Val Jean exception in the prosecution of people overcharging food stamp cards?  Are such act justified on a relative scale given poverty issues?  After posting this blog early this morning, many have insisted that it is and even objected to taking note of the story. Yet it raises an interesting question of the relativity of crime. ABC News reported the story as a “shopping spree” as opposed to theft.

Police were called before the system came back on line because people were fighting to get their hands on any item.

220px-Supplemental_Nutrition_Assistance_Program_logo.svgOne woman was detained because she rang up a bill of $700.00 and only had .49 on her card when the system came back. However, she was released when Walmart decided not to prosecute. Walmart said it did not want to prosecute anyone.

What is left is another breakdown of basic notions of honesty and responsibility. It is particularly disturbing to hear of children being enlisted to strip the shelves and then fleeing with their parents when the system came back online. I do feel there is the mitigating circumstance due to the fact that these are poor individuals and the level of support is low. I am less troubled by such scenes as I am more affluent forms of theft like banking fraud and government perjury that goes unpunished. However, this still constitutes a form of theft.

What is interesting about the single woman being detained is that she committed theft. Those in line had not committed any crime if they abandoned their carts before using their cards.  She was not prosecuted. Many others succeeded in the effort to circumvent limits.

There is also the question of liability. Xerox is being blamed for the glitch in 14 states. Yet, Walmart made the decision to honor cards without limits. That would seem a superseding intervening act.

We have had a number of people say that such actions are justified due to the poverty of the individuals.  What do you think?

Source: KSLA

75 thoughts on “Walmart Store Picked Clean After Computer Malfunctions In Louisiana

  1. Those food stamp recipients have it so good to begin with, Professor? That when their huge government that hands out cash by the billions elsewhere forgets to lock the food safe they should have the good manners to stay home for and enjoy their $1.68 dinner. Why the nerve.

  2. Wow, contempt for the poor much? Do you have any idea how savagely this country treats the poor? There’s your latent criminality. It’s not like they were trying to steal flatscreens and Xboxes. They were trying to get food, in a time when food insecurity is extremely high, food prices rising and, hey look, our government is shut down! I personally don’t qualify for food stamps here in Texas–I’m just not quite poor enough–but I have less than $200 for the rest of this month to feed my elderly mom (who has to be a special diet), my disabled brother and myself (also disabled, working irregular part-time, low wage job as a sub teacher, because that’s all a degreed, middle-aged disabled woman around here can get). Trips to the grocery store are a nightmare. I don’t know if I would have done what those people did, but I understand why. People need to eat. It’s a basic neccesary for, you know, being alive. When you don’t have enough food, it causes stress and anxiety–stress and anxiety that can lead to you making choices you wouldn’t in better circumstances. In other words: it’s easy to be “moral” when your belly’s full and your fridge and pantry aren’t bare. It’s also apprently easier to sneer at desperate people when you haven’t a clue what it’s like to live with food insecurity in a country that has nothing but contempt for those who do.

  3. if they pay taxes, good on them to get some of it back. Its not theft when its your money being used to pay the bill.

  4. Funny stuff, sadly. These same food crooks have seen the bankster crowd rob the country of trillions$ by being thieves. Bank and financial co. CEOs are rewarded handsomely by Boards for committing fraud and lying. Corporations are given huge subsidies and powerful allies in Congress for shipping jobs overseas. What do you expect. People have been shafted by the Trickle Down, Reagan Revolution for the past 30 years (by both parties, but especially the GOP) and have become numb to the abuse and they take advantage of these ‘golden’ opportunities.

    While these food muggers may have been dishonest, they in no way have been as dishonest as the government that runs these programs and the corporations that earn huge profits from these programs. Walmart loves being able to cash SNAP, since it’s government guaranteed cash that allows them to also pay workers low wages so their employees have to use SNAP.

    The poor aren’t to blame for America’s dwindling honesty problem. It starts at the top and when the little people see that stealing is rewarded, they are bound to follow the lead.

    Lloyd Blankfein and Vikram Pandit pushed their shopping carts through the Federal Reserve and Treasury filling them with billions$ in taxpayer dollars and those money and ‘get out of jail free’ cards are still being used..

  5. If it was any other store or company, then I would have sympathy. Not Walmart. Over the past 10-15 years Walmart has enjoyed not only tremendous growth, with revenue of over half a trillion, but also paying their employees low wages and miserable benefits while their owners and major shareholders rake in billions.

    I think it was Elaine, Bettykath, or SWM who found the article that the 9 members of Walton/Walmart Family have more wealth than 147 million people in this country?

  6. According to the “elevated” thinkers here, EVERYONE in this is part of the “1%.” It must have been a 1% Convention.

  7. David,

    There is abuse in almost every corner of the world. But why go after the low-income families? Do you know how poor you have to be in order to obtain food stamps? Have you ever been in the waiting area to sign up for the program? A few years ago, I went to see how ‘easy’it is to obtain food stamps (they call it EBT Cash/Food benefits in Missouri); It is horrible. They make you take a number, wait in line (sitting in chairs) for hours, if you don’t get there early, amongst people who (and I hate to say this) are at the very bottom in our society. Children crying and screaming. A few people smelled like they haven’t had a bath in days. The whole scene depressed me.

    If they want to abuse $250-$800 a month, while living off of $8.25 an hour, whille trying to take care of a family of 4 or 6, then let them have it.

    If we are not going to go after the ones who are destroying our economy (Wall Street, Congress, President, Supreme Court via their decisions of supporting the other two branches of government, etc. ), then it is fair game to let the poor continue to ‘abuse’ (or stay in their poor/low-income status) the system.

  8. Nick,

    Where do you get the notion that anyone is saying that these people are part of the 1%? There is a saying amongst the religious, ‘As above, so below”. These people were taking Wall St. as their example, but they weren’t doing it out of greed, necessarily, they were acting out of desperation.

    Events like this tend to get played up big on the Drudge report because it reinforces the views the upperclass has of the lower class as common criminals who turn into animals at the flick of a switch.

  9. RTC, I am speaking of the people in the SNAP thread who actually believe there is only 1% fraud in a government program. Sorry for the confusion w/ the “other 1%,” mea culpa.

  10. DavidM,

    This is one example of criminal behavior limited in size and locality, not widespread systemic abuse. The benefits of the food stamp program far outweigh the abuses that take place within it. A good, decent Christian, like yourself ought to be able to see that. You need to stop hatin’, dude.

  11. RTC, I think this is not about “lower class” it is about the sense of entitlement. The wealthy can have a sense of entitlement as easily as the “lower class” of which you speak.

  12. RTC, Government programs, unsupervised, CREATE a black market of criminality. They do in big military contracts and social welfare programs.

  13. Entitlement or desperation? “…the “lower class” of which you speak.” You don’t think there’s not a lower class in this country?

  14. The black market is nowhere near as widespread as you imagine. Neither do those on welfare, such as it is, enjoy anything lavish or easy.

  15. There are people in society, through no fault of their own, who are incapable of providing for themselves and their families, if they have one. They should not have to be in a position of prostituting themselves or selling their children. Neither should they be left to starve. Bob Dole’s family received welfare during the dust Bowl..He will quite candidly tell you that if it weren’t for that assistance, his family would have perished. The food stamp program takes up something like one tenth of one percent of the federal budget. Yet, ironically, it’s more closely supervised than the Wall St. and the banks.

    Food stamps probably reduce crime. I don’t have statistics to back that up, but the Freakonomics boys probably do. Of all those people grabbing as much food as they could, a quarter of them would likely be knocking someone over the head for their wallet if they weren’t collecting food stamps.

    I don’t know if you’re one of them, but some folks think that food stamps encourages laziness. They use the same argument against Obamacare. There have always been people in society who won’t work, no matter what. It probably costs society more to deal with the problems of starvation, homelessness, and disease, in strict economic terms, than it does to feed them the surplus food produced by our bountiful agribusinesses.

    Then there are those who simply aren’t suited for participation in society. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been stuck in traffic behind some people I would gladly shell out tax dollars to keep at home. And off the roads.

  16. How ironic. Walmart pays its workers so little that they often depend on public safety nets like SNAP to help them survive. We the taxpayers have to provide those services while the wealthy Walton family lives in luxury.

    *****

    You Pay Walmart’s Workers as Company Keeps Its Money
    Monday, 10 June 2013
    By Piper Hoffman, Care2 | News Analysis
    http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/16863-you-pay-walmarts-workers-as-company-keeps-its-money

    Excerpt:
    You are paying Wal-Mart employees’ wages. Yep, you.

    The notoriously stingy company cuts every corner to keep prices low, and one of those corners is the payroll. It pays employees peanuts (and then cheats them of their overtime peanuts, but that is another story). By “peanuts” I mean an average of $8.81 per hour.

    Many of these workers need welfare to survive. Thus you, the taxpayer, are paying part of Wal-Mart employees’ incomes, to the tune of between $900,000 and $1.75 million per store, and about $5,815 per employee. The welfare programs Wal-Mart workers rely on include Medicaid, subsidized housing and SNAP (aka food stamps — contrary to popular belief, over 40 percent of SNAP recipients live in a household with a wage-earner). Mother Jones breaks down the dollar figures each welfare benefit pays Wal-Mart employees in just the state of Wisconsin, concluding that taxpayers pay up to $67.5 million every year to support the company’s Wisconsin workers. And there are 49 more states full of Wal-Marts to pay for.

    Meanwhile the company is setting records for corporate profits. It could raise pay rates and remain well in the black, but instead actively resists paying anything like living wages.

    *****

    New Report Shows How Walmart Forces Its Employees to Live on the Dole
    —By Thomas Stackpole
    | Thu Jun. 6, 2013
    http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/06/report-walmart-forces-employees-dole-taxpayers

    Excerpt:
    Walmart’s wages and benefits are so low that many of its employees are forced to turn to the government for aid, costing taxpayers between $900,000 and $1.75 million per store, according to a report released last week by congressional Democrats.

    Walmart’s history of suppressing local wages and busting fledgling union efforts is common knowledge. But the Democrats’ new report used data from Wisconsin’s Medicaid program to quantify Walmart’s cost to taxpayers. The report cites a confluence of trends that have forced more workers to rely on safety-net programs: the depressed bargaining power of labor in a still struggling economy; a 97 year low in union enrollment; and the fact that the middle-wage jobs lost during the recession have been replaced by low-wage jobs. The problem of minimum-wage work isn’t confined to Walmart. But as the country’s largest low-wage employer, with about 1.4 million employees in the US—roughly 10 percent of the American retail workforce—Walmart’s policies are a driving force in keeping wages low. The company also happens to elegantly epitomize the divide between the top and bottom in America: the collective wealth of the six Waltons equals the combined wealth of 48.8 million families on the other end of the economic spectrum. The average Walmart worker making $8.81 per hour would have to work for 7 million years to acquire the Walton family’s current wealth.

    Using data from Wisconsin, which has the most complete and recent state-level Medicaid data available, the Democrats’ report finds that 3,216 of Wisconsin’s 29,457 Walmart workers are enrolled in the state’s Medicaid program. That figure that balloons to 9,207 when Walmart employees’ children and adult dependents are taken into account. The study also looked at the costs of other taxpayer-funded programs that Walmart employees on state Medicaid could also use. Here’s the tab:

    At least $251,706 for state Medicaid
    Between $25,461 and $58,228 for reduced-price school lunches
    Between $12,938 and $29,588 for reduced-price school breakfasts
    Between $155,406 and $355,350 for subsidized Section 8 housing
    Between $72,160 and $165,000 for the Earned Income Tax Credit, which gives money to low-income workers
    Between $11,414 and $26,100 for assistance under the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which helps poor families pay for heating costs
    Between $96,007 and $219,528 for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits (food stamps)
    Between $279,450 an $639,090 for Wisconsin Shares Child Care Subsidy Program benefits, which helps low-income workers pay for child care

    At a minimum, Walmart workers in Wisconsin known to be enrolled in Medicaid rely on at least $9.5 million a year in taxpayer funds. If the study’s low-end estimate of $900,000 per store in taxpayer-funded benefits is right, Walmart’s 300 Wisconsin stores could be forcing the state to provide as much as $67.5 million per year in benefits that employees of Walmart’s higher-wage competitors, such as Costco, don’t need.

  17. Who’s dependent on food stamps? Cheapskate corporations
    Timothy Noah
    07/12/2013
    http://tv.msnbc.com/2013/07/12/walmart-whos-dependent-on-food-stamps-cheapskate-corporations/

    Excerpt:
    The House of Representatives passed a farm bill on July 11 that, for the first time in 40 years, excludes authorization for food stamps. Although this omission doesn’t eliminate spending on what’s known formally as the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), which can still receive congressional appropriations, it will likely result in substantial cuts. That’s because SNAP’s expansion has become a source of growing complaint among Republicans—most famously during the 2012 Republican primaries, when Newt Gingrich labeled Barack Obama “the food stamp president.”

    The GOP’s objection to food stamps is that they create welfare dependency among recipients (even though they can’t be used for anything except food). As Rep. Paul Ryan put it in his 2013 budget document, “State governments have little incentive to make sure that able-bodied adults on SNAP are working, looking for work, or enrolled in job training programs.”

    But this gets the problem exactly backwards. A majority of food-stamp families with an able-bodied adult do work, and more than 60% of such families work when they have children. They just don’t get paid enough to feed their families. SNAP is therefore principally a program to subsidize cheapskate employers like Walmart that don’t give employees enough salary to live on. It’s actually been called “the Walmart Syndrome.”

  18. How the “Wal-Mart Syndrome” Pushes Millions More Onto Food Stamps
    By David Zeiler, Associate Editor, Money Morning
    June 13, 2013
    http://moneymorning.com/2013/06/13/how-the-wal-mart-syndrome-pushes-millions-more-onto-food-stamps/

    Excerpt:

    Call it the “Wal-Mart Syndrome”.

    Entire industries — such as low-end retailers like Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) and fast food chains like McDonald’s Inc. (NYSE: MCD) – pump up their profits by paying employees extremely low wages.

    But thousands of Americans who need to support a household on such low wages – either the federally mandated minimum wage of $7.25 or just a bit above it – can only do so with public assistance.

    In other words, with the help of welfare.

    “When low wages leave Wal-Mart workers unable to afford the necessities of life, taxpayers pick up the tab,” said a report released last month by the Democratic staff of the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

    That report estimated that a single 300-employee Wal-Mart Supercenter store in Wisconsin cost taxpayers at least $904,542 a year in public assistance payments.

    And Wal-Mart employs 1.4 million people nationwide.

    And according to a study by the National Employment Project last year, 26% of the private sector jobs in the U.S. – 29.6 million jobs — pay less than $10 per hour.

    A few back-of-the-napkin calculations put the national taxpayer cost of the Wal-Mart Syndrome well into the tens of billions of dollars.

  19. We have had a number of people say that such actions are justified due to the poverty of the individuals. What do you think?

    They should receive the same horrible, excruciating, life threatening, swift and sure punishment that the Treasury plundering banksters get.

  20. For the Walton’s and the other 1%ers this was a gift from heaven, which is why no doubt the store didn’t put a store limit on the cards. BTW the decision to honor the cards was a “corporate” decision. Politics much?

    The headline is disingenuous at best. This was not a food riot. The place was not ‘trashed’. There were empty shelves and a lot of carts but there was nothing chaotic, no drifts of packaged food or cartons on the floor. The floor was clean, surfaces were clean. That wasn’t trashed by any stretch of the imagination. “The store looked like it was hit by a hurricane.” No it didn’t Professor. It looked like it needed to be completely restocked but had an otherwise ordered appearance.

    Also, the police were called but the spokesperson said that there was no rowdiness, the crowd was not unruly.

    “However, this was not food but any and every item in the store, according to officials.”, That’s not how the carts looked to me Professor. They had food and TP and the like. There weren’t carts overflowing with clothing or electronics or, or, or. Not that I could see and I watched the video pausing it here and there several times.

    Srsly, I think you fell for the flashy headline Professor.

    Red meat for the masses and boy oh boy did the sharks and other lowlife come out to make their positions known, from a position of moral superiority. One screen of the most recent comments on the linked blawg in the Professors article, when I grabbed the screen the oldest comment was 36 minutes old:

    DaveParks
    @Elio Garcia – You’re wrong. It’s already been reported that there is no way that WalMart will be able to identify and therefore hold responsible all of the thieving animals who took advantage of the “glitch”. As usual, the hard working American Tax Payer will have to foot the bill. Sound familiar?.

    al capone
    It’s interesting that the government can sequester the American Indian on a reservation but won’t allow segregation from the African-American savage …… some equality.

    Elio Garcia
    Calm down, anytime there is a glitch in the system, or you were given more food stamps than your family was allowed in any given month, you have to pay it back. Either by paying it back in cash or by having your benefits reduced until the balance has been corrected. No one is getting away with anything. The customers will be held accountable for their foolish behavior.

    al capone
    The perverted BLACK subculture with its disgusting, insidious lifestyle is like an intrusion of cockroaches infesting one neighborhood after another …… perhaps YOUR neighborhood is next! A savage is what a savage does …. and it’s BLACK ….. not maybe, not almost …… B-L-A-C-K! The jungle people rise again …..

    Mad
    Wild animals/ thieves/scum/punks. They should be caged and all benefits taken away.

    JDby86
    I work and go to church with many hard working people of this same skin color. They can’t understand why their friends and family do things like this while they themselves have to work for what they get. Yet they continue to vote Democrat. I think this video should be shown to every bleeding heart liberal living in their ivory tower looking down on us southerners as “uneducated bigots”. Walk a mile in our shoes!

    Stephen Paul
    This is a very sad story of where Obama has taken our country . instead of JOBS and signs of strengthening our economy Obama has turned a record number of people towards Government dependency.

    Ellis Kaye
    Simply put: Animals.

    time machinist
    What is EBT?

    Hate leeches
    We should be shooting these pieces of trash in the head.

  21. Elaine, Right. Taxpayers subsidize with the social safety net these greed-head corporations and allow them to get away with wage slavery. I posted in another thread that WalMart had as part of its employee orientation information on how to use the safety net programs to supplement their wages and lack of benefits but stopped because the optics were bad. Corporate profits for the big box retail industry and fast food industry are being subsidized by tax payers so many ways that it should be criminal. People grousing about food stamps ought to be demanding from their representatives that the minimum wage be $15.00 and a jobs bill…. oh wait the House is too busy trying to repeal/defund the ACA 42 times and push the country into economic collapse. Never mind

  22. Reblogged this on Dan's World and commented:
    This is symptomatic of the moral values of our population in general. Several very wealthy people also feel entitled to lie, cheat and steal. The question is why do so many people feel the need to do this? I don’t pretend to have the answer, but I wonder if it’s an example of what happens when people are not required to work for what they have be it rich or poor. What are your thoughts?

  23. lottakatz, thank you for the heads up, I went back and watched both videos. The words used to describe the situation are much more inflammatory than the video shows. There is a point to be made here about personal responsibility, or wishful thinking on the part of the shoppers, but the only damage is the need to restock the shelves and perhaps some wasted perishables.

  24. This is the most disgusting post I have read on JT’s blog, and I’ve been a reader for several years. Total contempt for the poor. Even all of JT’s military brown nosing doesn’t sink to this level of filth.

  25. davidbluefish, you’re welcome. I used to go to the ‘day after Christmas sale’ at a coupl of department stores and holiday stores and I gotta’ say I saw ‘trashed': utter chaos and significant breakage and other forms of destruction. I enjoyed the bargains but I gave it up in disgust. I didn’t want to be associated with it, it was embarrassing just to be there.

  26. Jamie Dimon wrote: “The poor aren’t to blame for America’s dwindling honesty problem. It starts at the top and when the little people see that stealing is rewarded, they are bound to follow the lead.”

    You make a good point, that people learn dishonesty from those who lead them in society. But if a poor person is dishonest, we should hold them in the same contempt as we do a rich person. Dishonesty is wrong whether you are rich or whether you are poor. Being poor is not an excuse to be dishonest.

    The causes of poverty are multifaceted, but one leading cause is dishonesty. Giving food to the poor is one way to help, and correcting a moral defect like dishonesty is another way. They get fired from jobs for dishonesty. They cannot develop a good work ethic when they are dishonest. Their relationships with their boyfriends or girlfriends, or with their spouses and children are destroyed by dishonesty. Dishonesty breeds poverty.

    So when the poor are honest, they are to be praised, and when they exhibit dishonesty, they are to be blamed, shamed, and held in contempt by society. Telling them that it is not their fault that they had to steal is among the worst things we can do.

  27. The reality is that this society has been and is being plundered by a tiny percentage swimming in ill-gotten wealth. That people in need would act like this doesn’t surprise me because for them their families come first in a world that has impoverished them. Ever shop at Wal-Mart? It is a depressing and demeaning experience. I have shopped there, but I no longer will because of their draconian personnel policies. Then again I have the wherewithal to avoid them. Many people do not have that wherewithal and must. The blame here is on Wal-Mart for continuing to accept EBT despite the computer glitch. Knowing the political proclivities of the Walton Family, I could even see their oversight as intentional.

  28. When the government comes back on line, so to speak, it needs to sue Walmart for every purchase on a card which is over the top limit that anyone would have been issued. Then they need to think about going back to Food Stamps, and issue ones with the integrity in printing of dollars so they cant be counterfeited. Then they have the names of every thief who bought more than their card allowed. Prosecute.

  29. Having been on SNAP for a few months before my SSDI decision was reached after my injury, I can assure you that even though the limits may have been turned off they still kept track of every thing that was bought and all of those poor people who mistakenly thought they were getting the proverbial “free lunch” will either have to pay back everything that they charged or have it deducted from their future benefits.
    How very sad for them – they are going to be woefully unprepared for what is about to befall them and their families. They were just trying to get a little ahead in their battle to feed their families – now they better make they good last because they are in for a time of famine.

  30. Professor Turley’s blogs are primarily political and I do not agree with his politics. This is just another one. Please understand. I know it is his blog and he should write whatever he damn well pleases. And I value the blog, just not for Turley’s political positions. The GBloggers are superb. I think that most readers agree. Just look at the lengthy and interesting discussions generated by the GBloggers (and I guess not read by Turley since this was well covered last weekend)

    The daily stuff is a little more light weight. I respectfully submit that the sexual crimes, and their goverment sanctioned punishments, committed in SA and India are indeed horrible. That subject has been covered thoroughly. We get it. Additional postings seem to me to lean toward some other objective. Whatever that it, it sure isn’t to promote “brotherhood”.

  31. LET THEM EAT STOCK
    Walmart Wages Are No Problem, Says CEO of Walmart
    by Kris E. Benson
    December 13, 2012
    http://wonkette.com/492744/walmart-wages-are-no-problem-says-ceo-of-walmart

    You liberals, getting all excited about Walmart workers and their low wages. How typical.

    It’s cool though, the Walmart CEO is here to helpfully explain to all of us why these low wages are really not a problem, nope, not a problem at all. In fact, he thinks that Walmart employees are “inspirational” because of what they do. I mean, THEY should be paying HIM to go to work because working at Walmart is like attending a leadership seminar, but with discount cards.

    “Last night, Bloomberg LP President Dan Doctoroff asked Walmart CEO Mike Duke about how he paid employees. […] Duke responded that he pays his 2.2 million employees competitive wages. The average full-time, hourly U.S. associate makes $12.57 an hour, according to Walmart.”

    See? There you have it. Walmart pays competitive wages, says Walmart. Case closed. End of story. So don’t worry about that scholarly study [PDF] stating that Walmart workers make 28% less than workers at other retailers; reality has a liberal bias, everyone knows that. Also too, it’s not like Walmart is raking in the dough, OK? Retail is a “lower margin industry,” apparently. See?

    “Duke said that retail is a lower-margin industry in general, and that Walmart’s wages are competitive.

    “’Retailing is the most competitive industry out there, and we do pay competitive wages,’ Duke said. ‘Last year we promoted 165,000 people from entry-level to managerial positions.’”

    It’s SO low margin that everyone really had to sacrifice so that the CEO could get his $18.7 million dollar salary last year, and also for that $5 million they spent on lobbying, and also for the $61 billion they paid shareholders over the past five years. It’s lower margin, they would LOVE to pay a fair wage, but they just can’t, you understand.

  32. pdm,

    It’s called the dog whistle strategy. nick heard it. ;)

    On the other hand (as an example only):

    “lottakatz, thank you for the heads up, I went back and watched both videos. The words used to describe the situation are much more inflammatory than the video shows.” (davidbluefish)

    Lots of posters didn’t which is encouraging.

  33. Blouise, You believe there’s only 1% fraud in SNAP? What’s the tooth fairy leaving now days. I have a crown, that has had a root canal, but the doc screwed it up and now needs another. If the tooth fairy is giving good cash, I might just have the sucker yanked.

  34. davidbluefish
    October 15, 2013 at 10:20 am
    When the rich do this they get bonuses!!

    PS. @JamieDimon, I’m starting to think you aren’t “the” JP Morgan jamie dimon. :o )

    I am the antithesis of Jamie Dimon Bankster :)

  35. @davidm2575

    Jamie Dimon wrote: “The poor aren’t to blame for America’s dwindling honesty problem. It starts at the top and when the little people see that stealing is rewarded, they are bound to follow the lead.”

    You make a good point, that people learn dishonesty from those who lead them in society. But if a poor person is dishonest, we should hold them in the same contempt as we do a rich person.

    Reply:

    Contempt is a bit strong for this non-crime. Contempt should be used for powerful and mega-wealthy men (usually) stealing from a nation that is becoming increasingly poor and fearful. I don’t admire those who may have overbooked the SNAP card, but that isn’t nearly comparable to white collar bankster criminal actions. Drug money laundering for murderous drug cartels at HSBC received little condemnation from media and no individual criminal charges, but this petty act received the condemnation of the media types and the holier-than-thou crowd and the near arrest of someone purposely exceeding SNAP limits by a few hundred dollars….. When the powerful and connected are held to the same standards of justice as the poor, then I might measure this event with a similar sense of contempt.

  36. davidbluefish
    When the rich do this they get bonuses!!

    PS. @JamieDimon, I’m starting to think you aren’t “the” JP Morgan jamie dimon. :o )

    Reply:

    Correct. I am the antithesis of Jamie Dimon Bankster. I may have to change my moniker so the real JD does’t garner any good vibes :)

  37. davidbluefish

    When the rich do this they get bonuses!!

    PS. @JamieDimon, I’m starting to think you aren’t “the” JP Morgan jamie dimon. :o )

    Reply:

    Correct. I am the antithesis of Jamie Dimon Bankster. I may have to change my moniker so the real JD does’t garner any good vibes :)

  38. davidbluefish

    When the rich do this they get bonuses!
    PS. @JamieDimon, I’m starting to think you aren’t “the” JP Morgan jamie dimon. :o )

    Reply:

    Correct. I am the antithesis of Jamie Dimon Bankster. I may have to change my moniker so the real JD does’t garner any good vibes :)

  39. @davidbluefish
    When the rich do this they get bonuses!!

    PS. @JamieDimon, I’m starting to think you aren’t “the” JP Morgan jamie dimon. :o )

    Reply:

    Correct. I am the antithesis of Jamie Dimon Bankster. I may have to change my moniker so the real JD does’t garner any good vibes :)

  40. @ davidbluefish

    When the rich do this they get bonuses!!

    PS. @JamieDimon, I’m starting to think you aren’t “the” JP Morgan jamie dimon. :o )

    Reply:
    Correct you are! I am the antithesis of Jamie Dimon Bankster. I may have to change my moniker so the real JD does’t garner any good vibes :)

  41. Jamie,

    Watch this video to get an idea of how some media figures make excuses for JP Morgan and banksters like the real “Jamie Dimon.”

    Matt Taibbi gives his play by play commentary of CNBC’s demented interview with Alex Pareene and why anybody could do Jamie Dimon’s job…

    Matt Taibbi, Sam Seder on Alex Pareene Popping CNBC’s Bubble

  42. @ davidbluefish
    When the rich do this they get bonuses!!
    PS. @JamieDimon, I’m starting to think you aren’t “the” JP Morgan jamie dimon. :o )
    Reply:
    Correct you are! I am the antithesis of Jamie Dimon Bankster. I may have to change my moniker so the real JD does’t garner any good vibes :)

  43. @davidbluefish
    When the rich do this they get bonuses!!
    PS. @JamieDimon, I’m starting to think you aren’t “the” JP Morgan jamie dimon. :o )
    Reply:
    Correct you are! I am the antithesis of Jamie Dimon Bankster. I may have to change my moniker so the real JD doesn’t garner good vibes :)

  44. (Our) Jamie Dimon is causing me some dissonance. I’m so accustomed to hearing outrageous bullshit when the real Jaime Dimon speaks, I’m taken aback when our Jamie Dimon says something not only reasonable but true and just as well. It’s like falling off a ladder and landing in a big ol’ pile of Christmas.

  45. Thanks Elaine M. Good stuff. Taibbi is one of the best. Bankster crime pays, and it pays quite well. Billion$ bankster crimes are embarrassments, but when the poor grab an extra loaf of bread using a SNAP card, they are considered the lowest forms of life. Feed the rich and starve the poor seems to be the new mantra of many in the business and political classes.

  46. Jamie,

    That’s what’s going on in the reform of public worker pensions. Cut benefits and privatize the retirement funds so Wall Street hedge fund managers and other Wall Street banksters can make millions/billions in fees and profits.

  47. Elaine. I’m gonna have to up my meds considerably if you keep posting all this sh*t. I had never seen that Maria B in action before. I sorta wish I still never had seen her in action.

  48. Exactly Elaine.

    Same with trying to privatize water systems, carbon controls, and the worst of the worst; private prisons….. We banksters see huge profits in using the fee ’em and fleece ’em business plan..

  49. Sorry for the bout of dissonance Gene H. These are confusing times! But falling from a ladder and landing on Christmas is better than the alternative landing spots that banksters would provide you!.

  50. Low Wages Cost Taxpayers A Quarter-Trillion Dollars Every Year
    By Alan Pyke on October 15, 2013
    http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/10/15/2781951/wages-taxpayers/

    Excerpt:
    From 2007 to 2011, the biggest public benefits programs spent $243 billion each year on working families who live in poverty or on the brink of it because their jobs pay so poorly, according to a study published Tuesday by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley. The research focuses on fast food workers as exemplifying the plight of low-wage workers and the costs that low wages pass along to taxpayers.

    The study focused on the largest direct assistance programs to establish the cost of the “last line of defense between America’s growing low-income workforce and the want of basic necessities.” The combined cost of public health care programs, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamps), the Earned Income Tax Credit that targets low-income workers, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF, formerly known as welfare) for working families averaged $243 billion from 2007 to 2011.

    Fast food workers are particularly likely to rely on these programs. More than half of all front-line fast-food workers who work at least 30 hours per week are enrolled, compared to 25 percent of the overall workforce. Fast food workers and their families receive $7 billion per year in public assistance, $3.9 billion of it in the form of health care programs like Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The fast food workers included in the study were nearly five times less likely to receive health insurance through their work than is typical across the entire economy, at 13 percent compared to 59 percent.

    Similar research focused on Walmart’s business model found that a single 300-employee Walmart Supercenter incurs about a million dollars per year in public benefit costs.

    If anything, the study understates the scope of the public cost of low wages. The researchers did not attempt to factor in programs that don’t directly supplement a family’s income, so job training, educational programs, and other indirect forms of public assistance are not included. Furthermore, some cash transfer programs were not included in the analysis due to spotty data.

  51. I agree, Elaine…. Banksters are powerful force and they will be difficult to corral, since they have purchased the media and most politicians. Sen. Dick Durbin put it so well in 2009, “”the banks, hard to believe in a time when we’re facing a banking crisis that many of the banks created, are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. And they frankly own the place.” http://www.progressillinois.com/2009/4/29/durbin-banks-own-the-place..

  52. Our government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy. ~ Louis Brandeis, Olmstead v US

  53. the problem is a government which thinks it can create jobs. It cannot, the only job creaters are the private sector. As soon as government realizes this, although they have no vested interest in removing people from welfare roles, the sooner our economy will improve. And our society.

  54. Obviously, they should receive what passes for strict financial justice these days: They should be required to promise to disburse a tiny fraction of their next year’s EBIDTA (earnings before interest, deductions, and taxes) — without an admission of responsibility of course, since that is the current standard.
    But then again, we’re always told that such complex financial shenanigans are so difficult to litigate that it would hardly be worth the effort for regulators to pursue them in court. In lieu of that, a committee should be formed to request permission from Congress to empanel a bipartisan group to study whether revised reporting regulations might be appropriate for shopping cart-EBT card-related transactions, to take effect in 2016, to allow for a thorough review and comment period by consumer representatives.

  55. @Bron: “the problem is a government which thinks it can create jobs. It cannot, the only job creaters are the private sector.”

    This nugget of deductive wisdom should be immediately passed along to all of the salaried members of our armed forces.

  56. How disappointing to see these types of arguments being made on a law blog: everyone else is doing it, so that makes it okay.

    That’s a commonly tested flaw on the LSAT (e.g. – test #68, section 3, question #5). Just because corporate leaders may engage in illegal behavior doesn’t give everyone else a license to do it. If someone else gets away with murder, that doesn’t make it okay for you to commit rape. Dissatisfaction over selective enforcement of the laws is no excuse to break the law.

    This wasn’t taking a loaf of bread to feed a starving child. This was looting whatever they could grab.

    Any altruistic motives for committing a crime can be grounds for avoiding punitive damages in a civil action, Shopko Stores v. Kujak, 147 Wis.2d 589 at 601-02 (Wis. 1988), or qualify them for criminal pretrial diversion, State v. Mickens, 565 A.2d 720 (1989), but it doesn’t absolve them of all responsibility for their misconduct.

    Many who are rushing to defend these shoplifters on the grounds that “they had good reasons for doing it” are among those who would turn around & criticize the Bush administration for denying basic legal & human rights to enemy combatants. Back then it was argued that the rule of law should be applied to everyone equally or we’d be no better than the lawless terrorists we were fighting (i.e. – the use of torture, extraordinary rendition, indefinite detention, etc.).

    But that’s exactly what’s happening here: because our taxes are too high or executives have gotten away with criminal greed, that somehow makes it okay for common people to steal in retaliation. They’re lawless, so we can be lawless.

    So now we’re going to let the lowest common denominators set the standards for how we live our lives? We’re going to become more like the corporate leaders we despise? Not only is this intellectually dishonest, but the misplaced sympathy for these shoplifters is a disturbing reminder that the rule of law & principles we ostensibly hold in such high regard are quickly dealt away for convenience & a loose grasp of the facts.

  57. What will probably happen is xerox will get stuck with the bill…. Especially for non food purchases…. Walmart should really be stuck…. But the people who used their cards will probably see benefits reduced until they are paid in full….

    David, I bet you are one heck if a scam artist…..

  58. This was probably beta testing for government sponsored rioting. They will use those dependent on government as hostages whenever republicans try to reform anything or when the police state needs further tweaking.

    The fascists in the White House and the Democratic Party will likely provoke riots when they do not get their way. This is a good way for them to do it. They can turn it on and off like a spicket. It further provides cover for the growth of Obama’s Gestapo (the DHS, FEMA, TSA, etc) and the militarization of our local police.

    Walmart is a willing partner in this fascism.

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