Church and State Link to Ban Capitalism

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In a moment of moral clarity rare in modern times, his holiness Pope Benedict XVI planted himself firmly athwart the tide of history, raised his hand, and loudly said to Capitalism, "Stop!" Supporters were thrilled to see the Hope and Change movement currently remaking our economy get a boost from such an unlikely source. Those seeking more aggressive distributive justice can now call on a higher power to validate their principles - papal infallibility.

In his encyclical released last week titled "Caritas in Veritate," or Charity in Truth, Pope Benedict clearly cribbed from the Obama campaign's barrage of emails. "Grave imbalances are produced when economic action, conceived merely as an engine for wealth creation, is detached from political action, conceived as a means for pursuing justice through redistribution," warned the Supreme Pontiff. Noting that globalization has dispersed economic activity beyond the reach of any local government, the Pope called for a unitary global authority "with teeth" to carry out God's command to achieve the common good.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon applauded the Pope's words, announcing that he will soon be naming a global Czar of the Just Price. "We have seen the sad results of allowing markets to set prices according to the whims of speculators rather than the needs of the people," stated Ki-moon. "It is with the utmost urgency that we must set fair, universal, enforceable prices for essential human needs like energy, agricultural foodstuffs, and black limousine fees in Manhattan."

Supporting the call of his holiness to assure that no citizens of the world are denied the right to a Just Wage, John Sweeney, President of the AFL-CIO, called for the setting of global wage standards. Conferring with the many members of Congress on his payroll, Mr. Sweeney suggested that while waiting for the UN to develop appropriate enforcement mechanisms, the US should ban the importation of all manufactured goods produced by foreign workers that are not members of a workers association blessed by the Vatican.

Upon meeting Pope Benedict, President Barack Obama graciously accepted a gold embossed copy of the papal encyclical, offering in return an autographed T-shirt of himself. Mr. Obama, whose erudition was recently compared to that of Saint Thomas Aquinas, electrified the throngs waiting to catch a glimpse of him in Saint Peter's Square when he spoke of his lifelong yearning for truth, justice, peace, and love. Releasing a dove bearing a thousand dollar bill, a potent symbol of his promise to "spread the wealth," Obama donned a hair shirt to represent his repeated apologies for the errant behavior of the United States through its shameful history.

Speaking from the Group of Eight meeting in L'Aquila, Italy, where he was a special invited guest, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez embraced the concept of unitary world government. Picking up on Obama's theme, Chavez castigated the United States for its arrogance, pointing out that there are other models of democracy that would be more suitable for delivering economic justice to the earth's seven billion people. After completing his three hour speech condemning all Yankee running dogs while insisting that the US should foot the bill for the new World Government, he volunteered to serve as the first President of the World, promising that he would retire after one term.

Meanwhile, back in Washington, efforts to craft a Universal Health Care Bill were roiled by the Pope's condemnation of rich countries' "excessive zeal for protecting knowledge through an unduly rigid assertion of intellectual property, especially in the field of health care." A fragile compromise between major pharmaceutical manufacturers, for-profit hospital chains, insurance companies, and the Medicare administration that guaranteed top healthcare executives any three senate seats of their choice in exchange for $150 billion in pricing concessions nearly came unraveled when it was learned that the administration took the Pope's encyclical to heart. After frantic calls from Congressional negotiators, the White House backed away from an executive order suspending all patents on drugs that might be used to extend the lives of needy voters whose income does not exceed four times the poverty line.

In other news, Joe the Plumber, recently excommunicated form his Ohio parish, was seen boarding an overcrowded tramp steamer in Laguna Beach, California. He and 1,500 other entrepreneurial refugees were said to be heading for an undisclosed country in Southeast Asia hoping to find a better climate to start a business.

Bill Frezza is a fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and a Boston-based venture capitalist. You can find all of his columns, TV, and radio interviews here.  If you would like to have his weekly columns delivered to you by e-mail, click here or follow him on Twitter @BillFrezza.

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