Tim Busch, founder of The Busch Firm and the Napa Institute, visited Christendom’s campus on September 26 for the college’s popular “Life on Tap” networking series, giving a talk on how to live the Catholic Faith in the business world. One of the nation’s most successful Catholic entrepreneurs, Busch’s talk drew over a hundred students, faculty, and staff, as he encouraged those present to build businesses according to Catholic social teachings.
“Tonight, I’m going to be talking about why Catholics shouldn’t shy away from building business, and show how to go about doing so,” said Busch. “We need to re-educate people and put the ideas of free market side by side with the ideas of socialism.”
Busch, who serves on the boards of several non-profits and universities, including The Catholic University of America (CUA), which in 2016, named their business school The Tim and Steph Busch School of Business and Economics, in recognition of their generous gift of $15 million, explained how Catholic social doctrine is the foundation of any successful economy. It guides people in humility, prudence, temperance and justice, he said, and teaches them how to approach economics, wealth, poverty, and social justice in a way that defends man’s intrinsic human value.
“In the American world of business, Catholic social doctrine is critical,” explained Busch. “The younger generation, the ‘millenials,’ are given an opportunity that is unlike any throughout history. They have the freedom to market ideas and provide products or services that allow people to improve their lives more effectively than ever before.”
This freedom, according to Busch, comes solely from the technology that is so readily available in the 21st century. Without innumerable sources of knowledge available at the touch of a fingerprint or the click of a mouse, companies like Uber or Facebook would be non-existent.
Catholic social doctrine teaches that everything should be done at the lowest level. The federal government is not the answer. “The family is the lowest level and the divinely appointed educator,” said Busch, “that should be protected as the basis for any economy.”
Any economic system that regulates the job market and does not allow the opportunity to advance in the professional world simply does not work, for Busch. Socialism, social democracy, and so-called “capitalism” ultimately leads to a monopoly in which the wealthy get wealthier, and the poor get poorer.
“In Europe, you have a social democracy under the guise of capitalism,” said Busch. “You aren’t going to starve, but you are not going to be able to be lifted up. Redistribution doesn’t work unless you have other people’s interest in mind, and that only happens in a balanced free market economy.”
Catholic entrepreneurship teaches people to co-create with God as He intended. It balances resources naturally and distributes them in a way that upholds man’s human dignity and his tendency toward a final end. Charles Koch, long-time collaborator with Busch and CEO and chairman of Koch Industries, believes that politics is demonstrated in the culture, but that the culture is quickly disintegrating.
Because of this, Catholic businessmen need to lead by example in their daily lives, concluded Busch.
“If we are going to save free market capitalism, then we need to keep the government out of social issues,” Busch said. “The system that integrates the federal government into every American family simply doesn’t work. The family sets the standard for love and education, and it must be protected at all costs.”
“Life on Tap” is a networking series organized by the college’s career and leadership development office, giving students the unique opportunity to gain valuable insights by bringing successful figures from a variety of different fields to campus to give talks and mentor students. To find out more, or to see videos from past “Life on Tap” events, click here.