Change Our Story

Composer, author and philanthropist Peter Buffett on finding your own path to life fulfillment.

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More Room to Spread the Wealth

9/10/2012 4:22:53 PM

Tags: Peter Buffett, Wealth Distribution

Peter Buffett, son of billionaire investor Warren Buffett, is an Emmy Award-winning composer, NY Times best-selling author and noted philanthropist. Currently, he is releasing socially-conscious music and touring his "Concert & Conversation" series in support of his book Life Is What You Make It.

I wrote my latest song, "Room Enough," at the end of the summer, and last week’s blog that accompanied it was written just as I was nearing the end of what I think I’ll call— and try to replicate again—a summer of “being.” There was not a lot of “doing” going on.

It took a little time to get used to. But we are, in fact, human “beings.” So it was interesting to live up to the name. A lot of the experience was optimized by our recent move to the country from New York City. The difference between having your shoes hit the pavement and your feet touch the ground is even more extraordinary than I imagined.

And I always love writing that word—extraordinary—because it suddenly takes on a different meaning: extra ... ordinary. Which is exactly what our feet on the ground should be ... very, very ordinary. In some medical practices, the feet are a window into the whole body.
 

foot chart 2 

So imagine this: our ancestors walking barefoot, constantly getting a body check and knowing when something was feeling right or wrong and potentially solving the issues through more walking!

But I digress ... my point was that the first blog regarding this new song felt like the tip of the iceberg; another piece of information to the puzzle of why we’re in the incredibly divisive and unequal world we seem to be in.

The latest bit of news I’ve learned is that, according to a recent study by the Tax Justice Network, there is $21 to $31 trillion worth of wealth hidden in tax shelters outside the home countries of the super wealthy.

This number (on the low side) is about the equivalent to the combined economies of the United States and Japan.

The lead author of the report states that, “The hidden offshore sector is large enough to make a significant difference to all or conventional measures of inequality.”

Now I can understand that way back when—when our ancestors were walking barefoot and we learned how to domesticate plants—that maybe we’d hold onto a little bit of this year’s bounty in case we had a bad year next time around. But things have gotten a little out of hand, and hand-to-mouth for far too many.

Why are so few holding on to so much? Why is sharing, spreading, equalizing our wealth so quickly heralded as socialist or beyond without any sense of common humanity? There was a term used by the “founders” of this country: commonwealth. Common Wealth. Sort of like Extra Ordinary. Words to live by. Words that allow us to be.

What do you think? Share your story at changeourstory.com. Visit www.peterbuffett.com to learn more and Change Our Story to join the conversation on how we all can become active participants in shaping our future.  

Image from Wikimedia Commons  

 

 

 



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