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HP Software Update Cancels Food Stamps 240

Spy Handler writes "A software update of the California welfare computer system (CalWIN) caused 37,000 Food Stamp recipients to lose their EBT (a credit card paid for by the government) benefits last weekend. According to the article, Hewlett Packard was responsible for the failed update of CalWIN, but at 8:00 a.m. today Xerox (who administers another state welfare system called CalFresh) issued a patch that reactivated the EBT cards."
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HP Software Update Cancels Food Stamps

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  • Re:Nice! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MrEricSir ( 398214 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @07:50PM (#42525859) Homepage

    Sure, why not? I mean, letting your citizens starve has worked out so well for North Korea, we should try it here.

  • Re:Nice! (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @07:53PM (#42525893)
    Worth a shot. Seems like very time I go to the grocery store, someone is in front of me loading up on Oreos, Doritos, soda, and ice cream and putting it on the food stamp card. I'm all for helping people who need it, but they should only be able to buy fruit, veggies, meat, milk, and pasta. Na, forget the meat. They can pay for their own lobster. If they can tear themselves away from the strip club. []
  • Re:Nice! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by cashxx ( 1882268 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @07:56PM (#42525913)
    I'm fine with welfare but they need to crack down on it. Alot of people are on it that don't need to be!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @07:59PM (#42525941)

    People used to want to get off food stamps due to the public shame associated with them. Now, since no one knows your on them, their is no shame for living on the dole.

  • Re:Nice! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bmo ( 77928 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @08:03PM (#42525977)

    Because some people abuse a system, that we should shut an entire system down and let people starve instead.


    "Am I my brother's keeper?"

    Yes, yes you are. Civilization is a lot better than the alternative.


  • Re:Nice! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sexconker ( 1179573 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @08:12PM (#42526045)

    Because some people abuse a system, that we should shut an entire system down and let people starve instead.


    "Am I my brother's keeper?"

    Yes, yes you are. Civilization is a lot better than the alternative.


    Because some people abuse a system, we should punish the abusers and fix the system. We are currently rewarding the abusers and expanding the broken system.

    That's retarded on the face of it, you don't even have to start the debate of whether or not the system should exist in the first place.

  • Re:Nice! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @08:25PM (#42526171)

    What rational argument? There's only two "arguments" that ever come up:

    "Hurr, durr, welfare queen derp" which has - since its inception - been a patently false concern.

    "Herpaderpaderp smartphones lolololol" - yes, people who become unemployed actually have cellphones that they bought during their previous employment! What's more, they tend to keep them, since skipping out on the contract is generally catastrophically expensive when you have no income, and you generally need a phone to get a new job! Fucking amazing!


  • by eksith ( 2776419 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @08:28PM (#42526203) Homepage

    Knew when I saw the title, there would be posts praising HP for their blunder. Look, welfare needs reform, no one (sane) doubts that, but to end the whole system indiscriminately is both counterproductive and inhumane. There are many reasons why someone would need to go on welfare so learn a bit more sympathy and please stop the thinly veiled "kill 'em all" attitude.

    Besides, the they fixed the mess in a day, so at most this was a major inconvenience.

  • Re:Nice! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Nyder ( 754090 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @08:29PM (#42526217) Journal

    I'm fine with welfare but they need to crack down on it. Alot of people are on it that don't need to be!

    You know this for fact? If you know people that are on welfare that shouldn't be, then report them.

    If you don't know anyone that is taking advantage of Welfare and are just saying this because you hate paying taxes. Fuck off.

    People like you are worse then those who take advantage of Welfare.

    If you got proof, bring it. If you don't, fuck off.

  • Re:Nice! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by LurkerXXX ( 667952 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @09:13PM (#42526687)

    getting fucked in the ass by a government that takes more and more

    Hey troll, tax rates are lower right now then they've been in a long long time. They were a good bit higher in Clinton's day, and it keeps on going higher when you go back a lot further. That's the problem. We are spending, but not paying for it.

    Look how much we payed back in the 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's, and 80's.

    Ever since old Ronny took office, we've had low taxes, and been driving the deficit up and up because we aren't paying anywhere near what we used to.

    Government taking more and more, what a laugh. You must get all your 'information' from FAUX news. []

  • Citation needed (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @09:16PM (#42526717)
    my brother tried, very unsuccessfully, to get food stamps after losing his job (single father). Also, if you do manage to get on public assistance there is a) a Maximum of 5 years cash assistance, after that it's food stamps only and they average $102/mo and b) you're social worker will force you to take the first job that comes along (and yes, they can and will cut you off if you don't), which depresses your wages.

    So I say again, citation needed.
  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @09:22PM (#42526755)
    that maybe, just maybe these people's drug problems are caused by poverty, instead of the other way around? I'm not asking you to stop judging (I'm judging you right now), I'm asking you to think reasonable about cause and affect, and ask yourself if you're really just looking for excuses to leave these people to their (rather horrible) fate.
  • Re:Nice! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @09:26PM (#42526803)

    Are unemployment payouts really 4 times higher now than in 2001? Whats going on?

    High paying jobs are going overseas, and we're importing massive numbers of workers on visas (H1-B et all). The media doesn't mention any of this any more than they mention the Koch Brothers letter to Boehner telling him not to vote on Sandy relief. Everything you hold dear and love is being taken away from you by the investor class.

  • Re:Nice! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nyder ( 754090 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @10:03PM (#42527133) Journal

    Did you by chance go to the subsidized housing and find out who owns which vehicles? They could be visitors, they could of been vehicles that they inherited from a relative, they could be other people who pay to park their cars there.

    I know which cars in my own neighborhood belong to residents, because I live here and have a set of eyes that let me learn shit like that. I assume the person you are responding to has a set of eyes as well.

    I live in low income housing. We have people with nice cars here. I do NOT know their situation, I do NOT know why they have nice cars. Any guess I make is an assumption, and unless I go and ask the people, then I'm going to keep making assumptions.

    If you think someone is getting over on welfare, then fucking report them or shut the fuck up. All this other talk is just bullshit. Let's get down on welfare because someone people might abuse it. Well, welcome to life, where people abuse whatever they can, from all walks of life. Either start reporting it, or stfu about it.

    Just quit making fucking assumptions on shit you really do NOT know.

  • Re:Nice! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @10:22PM (#42527277)

    Even if the system was much better, I wouldn't be surprised if there were people committing fraud and finding loopholes. The more relevant questions would be: what portion of people on food stamps are committing fraud (and what portion of their food stamps... there is a difference between using all of it for something illegally, and just using a small fraction while still needing the rest for food), what ratio of false negatives to false positives is acceptable (in other words, what number of people is it acceptable to let go without food because they got caught up in something meant to target those commit fraud), and how much does it cost to implement improvements versus what is loss to fraud.

    There is a lot of room for improvement to the current system. Although at some point, you would be stuck with something like "Would you rather 10% of the people who get their food stamps not need it, or would you rather implement idea XYZ to reduce that to 5%, while causing 2% of legit users to loose food cards and saving only 10% of the cost of just giving food stamps to that segment that doesn't need them." And at any point, there is going to be a portion of people say, "It is more important that 0% of people get money they shouldn't than any number of needing people get the money, it is far better to remove a system with any amount of abuse regardless of how much benefit it also provides."

  • Re:Nice! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TheGratefulNet ( 143330 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @11:03PM (#42527539)

    fraud done by poor people: pocket change in the US scale of money.

    fraud done by ultra rich: BILLIONS and not at all pocket-change!

    if you want to 'fix' something, there's more justice to be had by going after banksters and other neo-mobsters than the poor folks just trying to get up into the middle class.

    I'm sorry, but I have a hard time 'cracking down' on those whose lives are at poverty level and have very little hope of pulling themselves out.

    abuse at the welfare (etc) level is just noise-level. we have bigger fish to fry, IF we wanted to. but the protected rich are untouchable. sigh..

  • Re:Nice! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Fireshadow ( 632041 ) <matthew@fireshado[ ]et ['w.n' in gap]> on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @01:04AM (#42528373) Journal

    For those of you outside the U.S., we have those who need financial help to get food. This in a county that exported about 3.5 million tons of rice. The government run help program is called SNAP. Through the SNAP program, the U.S. government is now spending roughly $5.6 billion per month on food assistance helping out 41,836,000 Americans. Doing the math that's $5,601,600,000 (monthly cost) / 41,836,000 (Americans on food assistance) = $133 per person

    I think a lot of people like to beat up on those that receive food stamps because they find stories where the few are defrauding the system. Just look at the above data. How much can you do with $133 (99 euro) per month?

    But hey, let's spend lots of additional money employing cops and tie up court time to go after someone that's defrauding the government on SNAP money. I mean the talking heads on TV tell you you should be mad that your fellow citizen is receiving aid. From your paycheck even!

    I don't mind that my tax dollars goes to help feed fellow Americans. What I mind is being forced to help the banks (by taking my tax dollars) through the TARP bailout. That 700 billion could have paid for the SNAP program at current levels for close to a decade. As for TARP - how many bankers went to jail over that ?

    Table I got my numbers from: []

  • Re:Nice! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by afidel ( 530433 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @01:36AM (#42528577)

    Food assistance isn't for the poor, it's to make sure the poor aren't poor, starving, and looking to rob/kill the rich. The total cost of all food assistance programs is about $75B or .5% of GDP, a small price to pay for a calm underclass.

Lavish spending can be disastrous. Don't buy any lavishes for a while.