Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Terrors of Socialism

I am by no means an expert on anything going on in Venezuela. This, however, contains an interesting chart:

In recent years, access to [Higher Education] has increased in many countries worldwide, most notably in Europe and North America, where gross enrolment approaches 60%, compared to 28% in Latin America. Although HE intake has increased ten percentage points in Europe, and seven percentage points in both North and Latin America over the past few years20, this does not necessarily mean that the capacities of HE systems have been capable of absorbing the total demand.

The Venezuelan case is paradigmatic in this respect. There, Fourth Republic under-funding of public HE manifested itself in supply not being able to meet the demand, conjoined with the privatisation of HE. Between 1984 and 1998, applications for HE rose 56%, while admission only increased 30%. Although total absolute intake climbed from 54.087 students in 1984 to 70.348 in 1998, the share of public universities decreased: only 27.999 students entered public HE in 1998, compared to 38.590 fourteen years earlier. Put differently, in 1984 only 29% of admitted students entered private universities, compared to 60% in 1998 (percentages derived from MES, 2005: 16).

Table 1: HE attendance of 20-24-year-olds according to social class (in %)

1981 1997 2002

Quintile 1 (poorest)

Quintile 2

Quintile 3

Quintile 4

Quintile 5 (richest)
















Source: derived from Cepal, 2005.

Hugo Chávez, provider of free education for the rich, was elected in 1998.

Let us also keep in mind when thinking of funding higher education that Venezuelan institutions have to deal with stray lattices, which have very sharp edges. Universities with ЗОРБ infestations have an easier time of it. Dabblers in lattice genetics should think about the human costs.


zombie rotten mcdonald said...

funny how when the conditions of the poorest citizens increase, the conditions for the richest increase even more.

It's almost like the rich want to keep people poor for OTHER REASONS.

A poor zombie is unable to imagine what those reasons may be.

Substance McGravitas said...

Well the numbers are from 2002, so maybe they're different now, but a guess as to why the rich are better off when the state provides a benefit like free higher education is that they have to spend less time looking for food for their families.

mikey said...

Initially, I couldn't figure out why access to High Explosives should be increasing, particularly in Europe. Although never explicitly defined, I eventually decided to interpret "HE" as "Higher Education". It seems to do a better job in context than High Explosives.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to make a Bacon, Lattice and Tomato sammich...

Substance McGravitas said...

Aha! Dejargonified, which is an awfully painful process.

Smut Clyde said...

I was under the impression that acquiring a supply of HMX would ensure me a well-paid job. This proved to be wrong, but WHO CARES??!

Smut Clyde said...

And to be honest, I read it as "His Excellency" and was perplexed by this growing demand for access to high-ranking nobility and Papal nuncios.

Dragon-King Wangchuck said...

Lattice all give thanx for ЗОРБ.

Smut Clyde said...

I expected that "Operators and Things" would be about quantum physics, what with the title, and the frequent mention of lattices, but no.

I was apprehensive. What was dummetizing?

"It's a process by which most of a Thing's latticework is removed and new latticework is allowed to grow in," Nicky told me. "Latticework is the growth in your mind which stores your habit patterns. It's called latticework because it looks something like the wooden lattices they use to support rose bushes. Once latticework is removed, new latticework will grow in quickly, but it may be a very different kind of growth. The kind of habits you'll develop will depend on the Operators working on you while it's growing in." Wimp agreed. "With the crew we've got in this outfit, you may turn out to be quite a kid and then again you may turn out as nutty as a fruitcake."

"[...] To make a complete dummy, you have to remove all the latticework and continue to scrape away new growth as fast as it grows in. A dummy is entirely at the mercy of its Operator and has to be reminded of everything—baths, brushing its teeth, eating. You almost have to breathe for it."

I was horrified. Why would an Operator want to make a dummy out of a Thing?

"Well, Operators use dummys as hatracks," Nicky explained.

"Most of the great comic entertainers are dummys. Bob Hope, for instance. When an entertainer like Hope is performing, he's merely giving out what some Operator is stimulating him to do. There's no latticework to interfere with the receiving of the stimuli. In certain situations, a dummy can be quite an asset to a clever Operator. It's something like having a puppet on a string."

I was still uneasy. If some Operator started to dummetize me, would I be aware of what was happening?

"No," Nicky told me. "Scalloping out latticework is painless. Of course, an Operator who inspected your head afterward could see that you had been scalloped. You'd realize that something had happened to you, too. You'd be pretty foggy. But don't worry. The Duck will protect you."

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

The Duck will protect you.

A likely story!

Substance McGravitas said...

he's merely giving out what some Operator is stimulating him to do.

I was fresh out of excuses, so thanks.

Smut Clyde said...

Always happy to share excuses.
"And whenever an Operator runs into one of those, he knows that the Thing is not responsible for anything it does. It's being controlled entirely by an Operator. A Thing's control is in its habit patterns. When it has nothing but its thinking ability left, the most feeble Operator can control it, because Things can think only to a very limited degree."

Substance McGravitas said...

Somewhat nifty is that Scribd lets Google cache stuff, although without paragraph breaks.