Originally Posted by Bruce Chafkin1
The Mass Market cruise lines have encountered a new problems with all the "poor people" from California.
It seems that California - which has it's own financial problems - has attempted to reduce administrative costs of it's welfare system by issuing debit cards to those who qualify as "poor".
The state charges up these welfare debit cards every month.
Unfortunately, there are no controls on what is purchased with these cards.
California's "Poor" have been using the debit cards to purchase airline tickets to Florida, where they board cruise ships (cruise paid for with the debit card), then use the same debit cards in the ATM machines on the ships to get money to play in the ship's casino.
There were so many people doing this that the State of California made a deal with the cruise lines to program our onboard ATMs not to accept the California Welfare Debit Cards.
Only in America.................................
I personally feel that is a sad reflection on society as a whole, not something that only affects one state in the US....it is a worldwide problem. Up until a few years ago, here in the UK those on benefits were paid by cheque or orderbook, then they changed to debit card accounts and people are far more open to the temptation of "splashing out" on frilly bits if they don't actually feel the cash in hand first...spend now, suffer later.
It is also totally understandable that there will be people who take advantage of a system like that.....human nature to spend, spend, spend....sometimes on things that are useful and sometimes for life's "frilly bits".
Stopping the cruise lines from accepting the plastic is locking the stable door long after the horse has escaped.....restrictions should have been put in place before the system was launched as there will always be those wanting to take advantage of it.