n another episode of “Have We Learned Nothing from History?” two governments in the past couple of days have decided to take the high prices of food into their own hands.
Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada, wants to heap more taxes on grocery stores to punish them for high prices. And Chicago’s mayor, Brandon Johnson, has proposed city-owned grocery stores.
Some other times the government has taken control of the food supply
Historically, it’s the beginning of the end for people when the government begins to interfere with food pricing, production, and distribution. Just look at some of the rules that were established in Venezuela that led to widespread hunger. The government took control of food production facilities. They began forcing farmers to produce food for less than the cost of growing or raising it. They rationed food to families. They even began to track people who were growing their own food. In short, every terrible decision it was possible to make, they made. And the people suffered for it.
There’s an article by a friend of mine, Scott Terry, that I always cite when talking about the collectivization of food. He wrote a concerning history of this troubling phenomenon right here in America and it’s well worth a read. His article is specifically about agriculture but the same principles hold true of other governmental controls on food.
In short, he concludes that:
There are several reasons why the collectivists want to destroy agriculture in America.
The first being that the farmer has traditionally been the great stumbling block to communism and totalitarianism. Stalin found this out the hard way and had to murder seven million (7,000,000) Ukrainian farmers by starvation. One cannot enslave a population of independent freeholders. They must be removed one way or another.
The second reason is that the easiest way to control people is through food. There are executive orders on the books that give the federal government the power to confiscate and nationalize the nations agricultural resources. Now, it is much easier to control a handful of farms as opposed to controlling several million farms. These plans have been on the books for many years (and always renewed by all subsequent presidents) and help explain why the USDA has always encouraged farmers to “get big or get out”. No industry in America has seen more consolidation than agriculture.