We sent our very high tech internet reporter, Deranged Danny, on assignment to Sal Si Puedes, Arizona, to determine if undocumented workers from Latin America force wages down for American citizens — charges leveled by Donald Trump and others.
D-dot-Danny, as he is known, visited a street corner where immigrants gathered in search of work early one sizzling-hot morning. This is his report live! on IoT!
“Hello, everyone, D.Danny here with an e-report for the millions of freaks seeking dollars and sense and other advice on their favored device from a truly divine geek sublime. Today we’re doing an awesome story with real social impact so keep your other apps open as you grip your smart phones and bone-up watching those holograms shimmy and shine!
“Today’s question is: “Do undocumented workers drive wages down?’
“Holy crap, dude! watch out for that old lady crossing the street!” D.Danny shouts as a teckie — mesmerized by her smart phone and most unmindful — races her Prius through a stop sign. “Jesus, that was close!” D-dot declares. “You nearly nailed her! Awesome!”
D.Danny wipes the sweat from his brow.
“Okay, like I said, it’s an awesome morning here in Sal Si Puedes, one of the fastest growing towns in Arizona.”
Danny covers his mouth with his left hand, forgetting his google watch is set to pornify.itt. He whispers into his collar phone, asking his boss: “Is it still kosher to call places by their Spanish name? I think I saw a tweet from Trump about that…” He listens carefully to the response, pushing the white earplug deeper into his cavernous ear. Nodding his head with enthusiasm at the answer, he replies, “Awesome, Mr. Suckerberg, sir! Thanks a billion!”
Turning back to the camera, an app on a friend’s Google contact lens, D.Danny begins again:
“Sorry about that, hashtag-heads, tweetdopers and whoopeebook junkies of the universe. As I was saying a group of undocumented Latinos arrived early in the morning at this very un-awesome street corner way out here in the suburbs of Trumpland, a place where contractors and other businessmen routinely go to hire day workers. Be ready to ‘share’ and poke ‘like!’”
Three Anglos pull up in ten-foot-tall turbo diesel one-and-a-half-ton pickup truck, the anti-personal grill in front emblazoned with the brand name: Road Kill. Two giant Anglos leap from the monstrous vehicle, quickly pivot, and with supreme caution — as two slaves might carry a king — dutifully lift their boss out of the cab and carefully set him down on the pavement. A group of Latino workers gathers around as the boss adjusts his cowboy hat, narrows his eyes, and haunches his frail shoulders.
“Hola, amigos,” he says. “My name is Frederic Kingsley van Biene, the Third. You can call me Bossman. Now. How many of you have experience roofing?”
All the workers raise their hands.
“Awesome,” he says, thinkin to himself: easy money. Frederic Kingsley van Biene, the Third, looks them over carefully like a judge evaluating livestock at a state fair. “I will pay each of you $12 an hour to do a roof today. Is that cool or what?”
There is a muffled commotion as the workers talk it over in Spanish. The Bossman seems perplexed, and turns to his foremen. “Maybe you should offer a buck more?” one of the foremen says, his suggestion offered with a timid upward inflection. Frederic Kingsley van Biene, the Third, removes his brand-new spotless cowboy hat and scratches his pallid bald head.
The laborers push one man forward as their spokesman.
“Ah, well, mister Bean, we all talked it over,” the spokesman says. The bossman grimaces. As the worker grips his sweat-stained cowboy hat, rolling and squeezing the rim, he swallows hard and continues: “Well, it’s like this: we must insist that we be paid less than that — it is far too much!”
Frederic Kingsley van Biene, the Third, is bewildered. He rolls his eyes back as if to read a screen on the inside roof of his brain. A grin forms across his pot-marked face.
“Well, you’re right, dudes, it’s true. I don’t imagine any of you have papers. I mean why the hell would you be hanging around on this incredibly hot street corner at this impossibly early time of day in this God-forsaken place looking for a job if you had papers? And honestly, I don’t care about any of that. In fact I much prefer to, ah, help hard working people from south of the border, you know. Viva Frank Zappa! and all that. But I’ll pay you $11 an hour, though it is way more than I need to, you being Mexicans and all — I mean it’s cool, you know, because, well, this is a kinda dangerous job. It’s a two-story house, you see, and one side of it overlooks a cliff with, well, a darn good drop. About a hundred feet. And the roof is very steep, too, you know, nearly a 38-degree angle. Now no worries, I’ll be providing you with the most modern ladders. They’re cool looking, too. Also I’ll provide you with awesome safety equipment — a thirty-foot rope and a pocketsize copy of the New Testament.”
“What about the tar?” one of the foremen ruefully asks the boss, hand shielding his mouth.
“Oh, that’s right, I nearly forgot to mention that. Doing a roof, as you all surely know, includes working with tar. No biggy, really. I mean it’s hot. Well ya gotta boil it before it’s soft enough to put on the roof, you know, and even in this heat it takes a while to melt tar so you can use it. Just make sure that you keep your gloves on. If you don’t have gloves, no worries, I’ll provide you with a cool pair. I’ll just deduct it from your pay. Anyway it’s because the job is just an itsy bitsy bit dangerous that I’m willing to pay you ten bucks an hour — before taxes, of course…”
The spokesman for the workers, a man who speaks and fully understands Arizonian English, briefly consults with his fellow laborers. After a moment, he responds:
“We have talked it over, and — no disrespect! But we won’t work for any more than the minimum wage!” he says with righteous conviction. “It’s only fair, you know. Heck for twelve dollars…”
“Ten,” Frederic Kingsley van Biene, the Third, interjects.
“…Yes well for ten dollars an hour you might — maybe, you know, though it’s a stretch, but times being so tough, you might be able to hire a gringo for that much, though you really would have to pay taxes for them. So we only agree to work for — well at the max the minimum, which here in Arizona is eight dollars and five cents an hour.”
The other workers nod their heads up and down in support, a few slapping their leader on the back. “We want to drive wages down for our North American brothers, you know!” the leader asserts.
“And for our North American sisters!” adds a Latina worker in the back of the crowd. “In fact, whatever you are going to pay the men, I insist you pay me a dollar an hour less!”
“Well,” Frederic Kingsley van Biene, the Third, says, “that is awesome!” And the bargain is struck.
The camera turns back to D.Danny, who is slipping his index finger up and down his smart phone, gazing at a stream of photographs with a lecherous grin before he realizes he’s being filmed. He turns to the camera:
“Okay, so now we know the facts: Mexican workers do drive wages down…
“If you want to watch the entire video, go to comodify.net, enter the bit coin algorithm, and for fifty bits you can see the whole show. Just swipe yer phone across your temple chip so we can send you daily updates!” he says, and with his left hand hiding his lips whispers, “and swipe your data…” And with a mega-sized celebrity smile, he wraps up: “Excellent! This is D.Danny saying have an awesome day!”
copyright © 2016 J. P. Bone