From the introduction:
The world of 2115 is controlled by huge corporations, governed by CEOs, consortia, or provincial governors. Employees are provided with housing, medicine, law, security, food, and essentially everything needed to live comfortably--this assumes the job can be gained and held. Obviously employment is somewhat incestuous--children raised and educated in corporate circopoli tend to go to work for the corporation at some point. It isn’t quite slavery, but the parallel should be obvious. The contrast is the streets, on which life is free and fast, if cutthroat. Street life is squalid, poverty-stricken, and violent, governed by underworld bosses, cartels, and minor corporate officials. From this environment, paradoxically, come some of the better corporate security operatives. Hence the Street and the Corps do a lot of business, both legitimate and otherwise.