Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Chavez's Mathematics

Today I was browsing again through the MINCI “positive notes” and I found a piece of news that was really interesting:

A Million and a half lands will be recuperated this year

Arriving to Porto Alegre International Airport Salgado Filho, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez Frias said that 1.5 million Venezuelan lands will be recuperated from the “latifundio” this year. The President stated that with the application of the Land Law in 2001, “we took back the offensive and were able to assign in 2003 and 2004, through agrarian papers, 2 million hectares all over the country”.

He said that this year 2 more millions hectares will be assigned through agrarian papers of which 1.5 million will be recuperated in the war against “latifundio”.

This is indeed good news, Chavez has defied mathematical laws! If 1.5 million “lands” are going to be recuperated and that equates to 2 million hectares, this gives us a mean of 1.33 hectares per land. Now, the law says that in order for a land to be defined as a “latifundio”, it must have at least 100 hectares for lands of the first class and 5000 hectares for those of the sixth or seventh class (see article 74 of the land decree). How on earth can one get a mean of 1.33 hectares when all the land lots should be more than 100 hectares?

This is a student’s dream coming true: all marks are above the mean! Next time your kid comes home with bad grades, ask the school to use instead some Chavez mathematics to assess the class means and standard deviations.

There is of course a darker interpretation to this mathematical flop. That the government is not respecting its own law and that small lots of land are being or will be illegally seized. Thank goodness that president Chavez provides us with all the details! He can be accused of many things, but never, ever, accuse him of not telling what is on his mind.

Let him talk.

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