VZ Goliath [Sci-Fi Novel]

16

A few startups specialized in data analysis created the clusters he was looking for. All of them accepted his buyouts. Making them work together under a single company proved to be more stressful than it had to be, and he ended up firing many stubborn managers with bloated egos. The network they created was refined over the next weeks, and all of the startups provided essential roles.

The core cluster was revolving around the people committing violence and crime regularly. The cluster around them were followers. Not as prone to violence as the first cluster, but committed to it nonetheless. Around the two, a net of over two million formed who were loosely involved.

Long ago, he had created a think-tank devoted to the most significant issues of society, and they always ended up at the same conclusion. The wealthier the people and the less poverty existed in society, the better everyone was off. While this had been known for decades, humanity had been moving in a very different direction. Everyone was quasi-wealthy and spoiled by the government until they turned to adulthood and became slaves to the system. While many politicians had warned about the problems, it had become universally accepted. People’s optimism for a better future turned into an acceptance of its inherent problems. And frankly, they no longer had the time to think about it when they were always in debt.

Solutions also always ended up the same. The current involuntary debt system, with its strict enforcement had to be abolished for people to flourish. The only way for them to gain a better future was to eliminate the limitation and artificial ceiling put on them by the government and give them opportunities that paid and fulfilled more than crime. It also meant that the government had to focus its spending on the poorer parts of the city. When 90% of poverty and crime were in the outer city, but only 20% of government spending was flowing into it, nobody could expect it to get any better. 20% was barely enough to keep the infrastructure maintained at the current outdated standards.

But as politicians were hard to influence and had blocked any kind of effort into this direction, he had to do it himself. And he definitely could. For most of the sectors responsible for infrastructure, he owned at least one company, often the biggest one. It gave him an advantage, but it would not be enough to hire his own companies; he had to hire all of them. Subway lines through the slums, renovated highways, extended grid and internet access, affordable housing, and environmental and social standards for companies and employees. His investments would temporarily create millions of jobs and lift people out of poverty until a long-term solution could take over. Once the politician would see the progress, they should be easier to persuade for further changes. Once the outer city would flourish, the inner city would notice and get interested.

The crime clusters of the city had gotten more precise and accurate over the weeks, and the rate of improvement in the model was slowing down significantly. A few more days and it would start to stagnate, which meant they were ready for the next phase.

Six subway lines were planned in the slums, and one was almost completed. Public transportation in the first few months would be completely free and increase mobility in the slums dramatically. Several highway segments had already been renovated up to the newest standards of the inner city. He had demanded that grid coverage would begin in the most populated areas of the slums, which brought him a lot of backlash from the companies, so he quickly created his own and brought in all the people willing to work for him. The areas of the slums had confusing ownership structures, with many small stretches of land owned by families and individuals. As they would not give up their land, he leased it out and started building high-rise apartment buildings. The apartment buildings were fast to make with modern off-site production while having some of the highest environmental standards.

It did not take long for people to notice what was happening, but because it was a private investor and not the government, anger towards the government flared up. Several violent protests were shut down harshly. One even reached the gates to the inner city and resulted in a small massacre that was quickly censored.

Kaiser knew that these improvements would help, but ultimately not bring the change he was looking for. Crime, violence, and poverty stayed as cancerous as they were, even with fancy apartments and polished sidewalks. Radiation therapy was only one part of getting rid of cancer. The other was cutting it out to stop it from spreading and growing further inside the body.

The data he sold had an astonishing effect on the people inside the city. Almost all companies had used it for advertisement purposes and could now target individuals specifically with their psychological profile and private data; Weaknesses, traumas, dreams, and worries. They were not too obvious about it, but it was clear what they were doing. In the inner city, nobody complained. If anything, people were happy about the sudden solutions for their problems, even if those could easily get resolved without buying a product or service.