Monday 2016-10-31

This is an excerpt from an interview with an elderly man who lived in a gang-controlled area while Universal Basic Income was in effect.

Interviewer: So, let's go back to when the UBI bill passed, what happened where
you lived?

X: Well, back on Day 1, all the dope fiends, their lives were just the same as
any other cracked out day. All that money was going to go to the gangs anyway.
Everyone else got hit though... The way it worked was they broke everything
down by where you lived. If you lived on this block, you had to fork over half
of your UBI to that gang.

Interviewer: And what would happen if you didn't?

X: They beat you until you paid, what did you think was gonna happen? 

Interviewer: Anyone get killed? 

X: Hell no. Gangs ain't dumb... to them you alive meant cold hard cash.

Interviewer: Anyone try to leave?

X: Yeah, well, that's when they got real hard... Say someone left, all their
friends n family would get beat. Gangs got real smart... They took everything
they learned in jail about how the state penal system works -- snitches,
"rewards programs", you name it -- and re-implemented it.

Interviewer: Did anyone benefit, other than the gangs?

X: Yeah, the fiends. They didn't have to worry about hotshots 'cause they 
always had money arriving next week.

Interviewer: Anyone else?

X: Not us old folks. As soon as you started to need meds, you either went on
"palliative care" or you had an accident. No gang was going to let you pay for
drugs they didn't control.