As reported by CBS Detroit, shoppers attending the release of the Air Jordan Retro 12 “Vivid Pink” became riotous, forcing their way through a gate as the mall opened at 8 am. General Manager William McClure stated, “It’s frustrating. It got unruly, the police shut it down.” The violence forced law enforcement officers to get involved, closing the mall soon after it opened. The mall attempted to reopen its doors again at 10 am, but the same thing happened a second time and the Kids Footlocker had no option but to stop selling the girls shoe on Saturday due to the unsafe behavior of the crowd.
All that mayhem over a shoe?It may be a very nice shoe, but it’s still a shoe – retailing at $140. It’s the latest edition in the line of Air Jordon 12 Retro and a more feminine twist on the classic, with a bright pink midsole, lining and heel, according to Nike.com.
During Black Friday 2015, we saw a brawl in the food court of a Kentucky mall, a riot in a Texan Walmart over low-priced TVs and a similar fight over Air Jordon sneakers in Florence, Kentucky, as reported by Syracuse.com. But what will happen when people have more to fight over than a shoe?
The food stamp crisisAccording to the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA), the dependency of the US on food stamps is a crisis that is growing at an alarming rate. More than 48 million US citizens were enrolled in the food stamp program in 2013 and it is “now one of the fastest-growing welfare entitlements in our federal budget.”
The FGA states that the “skyrocketing enrollment” is due to “the recent explosion in enrollment among able-bodied childless adults” who should actually be in employment in order to qualify for food stamps, but whose requirements have been waived by the state after changes brought in by the Obama Administration.
So many states are waiving the work requirements that three in four childless adult households receiving food stamps are unemployed. When Maine implemented new rules requiring able-bodied, childless adults to work at least part time or undertake job training in order to receive benefits, the enrollment numbers dropped precipitously – by over 90 percent!
However, finding work in the current economic climate is becoming increasingly difficult, and the US government has declared that these waivers will expire in 2016, leaving as many as 1 million of our poorest able-bodied persons without food stamps. As reported by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, the return of a three-month limit on SNAP means that able-bodied, childless adults will lose their food assistance after three months.
If members of the US population in the current socioeconomic climate react that way over buying the latest tennis shoes – how will those affected by the food stamp crisis react when it is a matter of eating food or going hungry?
According to All News Pipeline, in past instances when EBT cards or other forms of welfare had temporarily become unavailable, stores have been looted, riots have started and the result has been chaos. Once the time limit on SNAP returns, riots might once more become common – for reasons other than shoes.