One item that time consistently reveals is the strange prevalence of “technical glitches” in waning societies. The notion has undoubtedly vexed men throughout history, yet no salve has been concocted. Because of interdependencies, collapse always cascades. And when a society loses its capital, cohesion, and productivity, a plethora of smaller systems fail.
Sometimes these failing systems are irritatingly not so small. A formerly first world (and nuclear-armed) South Africa now struggles to power sixty-watt bulbs. Of course this country’s transformation has also incurred multiple failures of biological systems related to the life support of white farmers. These being primarilly cardio-pulmonary in nature. Though since other systems who demanded that conversion all reside safely within gates, it’s just a cost they’re nobly willing to bear. But that cost is never content to reside in the place of its birth. It’s an immigrant.
Most give little thought to the web of interconnected systems that comprise modern western life. Electricity, networks, engineering, and logistics are things that materialize out of the ether as a function of America’s air and dirt. That our quality of life might result from the quality of our people is a thought that only percolates in moral cesspools. The difference in living standards between Iceland and El Salvador is strictly a matter of geography. How many times does Jared Diamond have to repeat this? Yet despite his persistent incantations, those sufficiently impolite to do so can’t help but notice how people constitute the most critical element of any social system. In fact, it is people who create institutions and not institutions that create people. If it were otherwise, Detroit school teachers would have paychecks.
Hundreds of Detroit Public Schools employees did not get paid on schedule Tuesday, the latest bump in the road for a district beset by fiscal problems.
Officials blame a technical glitch that they say should be corrected by Friday, but they didn’t explain exactly what caused the disruption in pay. Some district employees did get paid.
Some teachers have been told they’ll get their missing money — which usually is deposited directly into bank accounts — on a debit card. But they say that solution creates other problems such as being charged to withdraw the money or having to go to multiple banks, since they can’t withdraw the full amount at one time.
District spokeswoman Michelle Zdrodowski said “a variety of technical issues arose that affected a cross-section of DPS employees.” She said the delay “in no way” was related to whether the district had enough money to cover payroll.
Given the human alchemy that occurs at American borders, I’m disappointed to learn that the mere act of paying teachers has become a hurdle. Perhaps HR is also a job Americans won’t do.
The payroll problem is another issue that has beset the district. It has run a deficit in nine of the past 11 fiscal years, with a net accumulated deficit of $1.28 billion during that period. Four state-appointed emergency managers have been named in the past six years, with Darnell Earley being appointed in January.
Marcie Taylor, a special education teacher at the Charles Wright Academy, said her check also was short by one week.
“It’s disheartening because I worked for my money and I want it,” she said.
Marcie Taylor worked for her money, and she wants it. Well here’s the problem Marcie: wanting doesn’t create the societal infrastructure or resources that generate wealth or technical expertise. All of which are required to nurture a system that culminates with your paycheck. I obviously know nothing more about Ms. Taylor, though it’s not difficult to envision the cultural and political perspective she brings to the national dialogue. A perspective that runs congruent with her local citizenry and counter to the prospects of continued paycheck receipt. That is to say, you can not cleanse your municipality (or country) of its productive class and expect their work to be continued by social justice inertia. You do not get a western standard of living without westerners. And “working for your money” won’t make it appear in their absence.