Tuesday, May 9, 2017

death in the rain - 18. lucinda

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part eighteen of forty-four

lucinda raised her hand. “i have another question.”

“go right ahead,” samantha told her.

this is better than i expected, thought samantha, who had been afraid she would get no response from the audience at all.

“actually, i have two questions,” said lucinda, “first, if people are uncounted, how can you know how many of them there are? how can you say they are six percent?”

“that is an excellent question,” replied samantha. “the answer is, although we can not say exactly how many uncounted people there are, it can be estimated by the amount of resources that it would take to sustain a certain number of people. do you follow me?”

“um, not exactly,” lucinda answered hesitantly.

“well, suppose we thought there were a million people unaccounted for. there just is not enough food and water available for that many people. or enough space in the city for them. so based on the amount of food and water not accounted for, and how much space there is, the unaccounted population could not be more than the 6 percent on the chart. the 6 percent is actually a high estimate, adjusted upward for possible error. the true figure is probably lower. does that make sense?”

“i guess.”

samantha smiled at the girl. “you had a second question?”

“yeah. kind of the same question, but about the income. how do you figure that?”

“the same way, basically. there isn’t enough money, or purchasing power unaccounted for, for it to be any higher.”

although she kept her eyes on lucinda, samantha could feel the others in the audience getting bored and restless.

“now i got another question.” said lucinda.

“which is?”

“how do you know that the income - the point 33 per person - might not be with just one or two people? how do you know it isn’t spread out? it doesn’t sound like much but it would be a nice amount for a few people.”

“well, that is a very good question,” said samantha. “in fact, i am not sure i know the answer right away. i tell you what, if you are interested, why don’t you stay after the presentation and maybe i can get you a better answer.”

and to samantha’s surprise, lucinda immediately replied. “ o k, i will do that,” and sat down.

“does anybody else have any questions?” samantha asked.

“i do,” said the girl in the back row who had spoken earlier.

“all right,” said samantha. “and did we get your name before?”

“it’s babs.”

samantha gave babs her best smile. “thank you for speaking up, babs. what is your question?”

“that 10,000 you have up there for the police - police supervisors. you have got to be kidding. 100,000 must be more like it, or a million.”

this got the biggest reaction of the evening from the audience. laughter, and even some clapping and cheering.

19. the crisis

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