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Hugo Chavez

After a parliamentary ruling that his word is literally law, Hugo Chavez is flexing his muscles. According to an article in the Durham Herald-Sun, he is threatening to take control of food distribution.

It could have been predicted. If you regulate and tax away the economic incentive to produce a good, all that's left is coercion and confiscation.

Historically, governmental seizure of food distribution has had nasty consequences. Under Stalin,
it resulted in the Ukrainian famine. Many historians believe the famine was not merely an unintended consequence, but was deliberately inflicted. Either way, Stalin's agricultural policy resulted in the deaths of millions.

More recently, Robert Mugabe's land reform policies, which involved the confiscation of white-owned farms, has led to food shortages,quadruple-digit inflation, and most ironically, the seizure of black-owned farms.

It will be interesting (in an ancient chinese curse kind of way) to see what happens in Venezuela.