If you haven't read or heard about the near riots resulting from the electronic benefits card (also called SNAP, replacement for food stamps) 'computer glitches' last week, listen up.
The 'glitch' lasted several hours. In 17 states the cards showed zero-balance and holders could not purchase food. In one state, the cards showed unlimited purchase power. Both conditions led to near riot reactions. Articles show photos of a Wal-Mart that looks like it as looted as card holders in the 'unlimited' state took full advantage. Others, in states with zero-balance show multiple full carts abandoned in the stores.
This was after only a percentage of the population was affected for a few hours. Even if this wasn't engineered as a message about the power of government, you might want to ponder it as such.
Bottom line is that it showed how fragile some segments of society are right now. Even if you are temporarily reliant on government benefits, or like me are a federal retiree, tuck away some non-perishable food and supplies with a few bucks a month. Don't forget your K-Mart rewards points -- they translate directly to cash you can spend on canned or dry food. (Even FEMA is now suggesting 2 weeks of food and supplies.) If the system had gone down for longer, grocery shopping could have been problematic.