June 13, 2020

We Shopped And Travelled When It Was Easy - Will We When It's Hard?

Recreational shopping has been a pastime for decades. Similarly, leisure, or non-essential, travel has also been popular. That just changed. We will not be going back to the way it was before the year 2020.

Shopping and traveling were fun and entertaining for many in pre-pandemic times. When it was easy. We will not have the same zeal for spending when it is hard. 

If shoppers have to wear masks, get their temperature checked at the door, sanitize their hands, and social distance once they get in to the business, consumption won't be what it was in the spend freely days of pre-pandemic times. 

And if they continue to get infected, in-person shopping will remain a shadow of the peak consumerism days of the recent past, and likely will never come back in the same way.

Evidence for this is the largest increase in the American savings rate ever, that happened recently. When spending money becomes less attractive, savings rates increase. 

What is good for your bank account, though, is bad for the overflowing vaults of the 1%ers.

This is the capitalist nightmare - people deciding to do other more enjoyable things instead of spending their meagre funds to buy goods and services they don't need. But that is what is happening. 

All over the world humans are waking up every day and finding healthier, less expensive, and more meaningful, ways to occupy their time. Things that aren't shopping or traveling. Or traveling to go shopping.

This could be the end of many familiar things and arrangements. Will it be the end of consumerism, and would that take down capitalism, too? That would be welcome, because either we take it down, or it will take us down. That decision will be ours to make.

We have the power, that much is perfectly clear. If we won't work for them, and won't shop for their junk, what can they do? They need us more than we need them and their wasteful ways.

Our predatory psychopathic-lead system is getting morphed into who knows exactly what as the people rediscover their power to make change. Some of those changes are that we will become savers rather than spenders, and will choose the familiar home range over frivolous foreign sojourns. 

After more than a decade of watching consumer behaviour closely, I am getting the feeling that many newly re-minted community participants are tiring of spending money on non-essential things, and going in debt to do so. 

We are moving on to more important, more beautiful, more balanced concerns, and say to our former rulers and their soulless system, "Thank you for your service - we will take it from here".


  1. Anonymous6/13/2020

    The younger generation blames the baby boomers for destroying the economy, for supporting the racist police state which murders black people, and for pretty much destroying America. The level of hatred that the youth feels towards boomers is undescribable. My question is, do you boomers think you're going to have a peaceful retirement? How do you think the younger generation will treat you? Already we see it happening, a couple weeks ago there was that video of a black guy punching a 75 year old white baby boomer man in the face in a retirement home. This is what happens when you live a greedy selfish life without thinking of the future. One day, the CONSEQUENCES of your actions come back to hit you a 100 fold. You boomers destroyed America and the youth is angry enough to riot and burn down the cities. The GREED of the baby boomers caused this. Anyway good luck, you baby boomers are gonna need it.

    1. If I remember correctly, the Boomers did try to change things. As a matter of fact, the last time protests and activism were as engaged as today was the 60s... when young Boomers were in the process of changing everything. It wasn't the Boomers that crushed that and helped maintain the status quo for another 50 years - it was previous generations.

      I hope the generations since the Boomers are out in the streets now, carrying on the Boomer legacy of sticking it to The Man. The best thing young people today can do is make sure that the current push for change is not destroyed in the same way as the yearning for something different was in the Summer of Love.

      Can we dismantle the structure of capitalism and its guard dogs, the Police, before they crush our dreams again?

      Millennials are now reaching 40 years old. Time is running out for all of us, and we have questions for the Establishment, whether its representatives are Millennials, Boomers, Silent, or Greatest.

      It's not Boomers, although they may not be finishing as strong as they started out. It's our sick system. Let their example be a lesson for all generations - don't let the system beat you down. Don't give up. Don't join the other side. Keep up the struggle.

      The only way we can do this is together.

    2. Thank you Gregg. Thank you for speaking up for those of us who have been marching and protesting, writing letters and typing out articles for the past fifty years. My oldest daughter turned 40 today. Another manure mucker, just like her mother. Illegitimi non carborundum. Love, Mela

    3. Mela - For sure there are many boomers that have never quit. Activist Angela Davis comes to mind. We're not worn down yet!

      Anon - In our discussions I have failed to mention the Occupy Movement, which was largely millennial-led. It was a wonderful and inspirational effort that unfortunately ended the same way all our movements for liberation have - by being brutally smashed by the police on behalf of the people they really serve and protect. Rich white men, for the most part.

      We need those millennials in the streets again. Occupy did not "fail" because its ideas were wrong or bad. Every issue they highlighted has gotten worse since 2011. Like the beatniks, the diggers, and the hippies before them, the Occupiers were right.

      As Mela said above, "Don't let the bastards wear you down". We must persevere in our efforts to create a better world for all life on Earth. It is a most worthy fight.

  2. Very well put. I think many people have changed their shopping/socialising/leisure habits permanently. We have found that our own local areas have so much more to offer than we ever realised.

    1. That is wonderful. We are discovering the very same thing, and it feels good.

  3. Anonymous6/13/2020

    I was just saying to my husband last evening, how much fun would it be now, to go out for a meal? Reservations are strongly suggested, seating limited. It was more fun when it could be spontaneous. We don't even want to bother with all that right now. I guess we will continue with our once a week take out.

    1. Spontaneous going out is so 2019. Or early 2020. Our only take out is when we take out food we have made and stored in the freezer. Canning jars of dahl, and samosa, are recent favourites. We have them with white rice, which cooks up quickly. Home made fast food.

  4. The one big change that has happened with the pandemic has been going virtual and working from home instead of going into the office. I put money on my transit card in mid-march and haven't used it since. Not having to wait for buses at a downtown bus stop at 10 PM has relieved a great deal of my personal anxiety and that of my children. Working at my dining room table half a dozen steps from my kitchen, with my cat curled up at my feet--what could be better? My plan is to keep this change--closest thing to real retirement this senior in her early 70s will ever realize. I rarely eat out or order in--maybe two or three times a year--so that really isn't any different. My daughter and son-in-law opted to move to a small town just outside the city when they purchased a house and the first "house thing" they did was replace a good sized chunk of the back lawn with a garden. I see people all around me going for a daily walk (often with newly leash trained housecats). I hear people suddenly exclaiming about all the money they are no longer spending, and wondering out loud just what they were spending it all on beforehand. Small things perhaps, but forced slow down has given many the opportunity to think about these things and realize that if you step off the treadmill and keep moving you actually get to go somewhere. My two cents, Mela

    1. It sounds like the pandemic has been good for you, as it has been for so many others. Including me and Linda. I haven't been in a shop for months, and I don't miss it one little bit.

  5. We did not go out often and do not miss it now. We do not stay in. We take short drives around the neighborhood and do things just a little bit differently to make it a different experience. The other day I needed something from the grocery store, milk, I think. I am the only one who goes into the stores. He sits in the car. Since he has to use a walker, it is not much of a sacrifice. Anyway, I bought a personal watermelon, the tiny round kind. I had the produce department slice it in half and put one half in the huge lobster bags. With two forks from produce, we sat in the park and ate out of the bag with watermelon. It was different. It was healthier than a small burger or cookies. We were satisfied not to go out to eat, have anything delivered. Later, for dinner we ate leftovers that we both love.

    Thinking ahead to Christmas, I wonder how many people will go shopping, make things to mail, or just give money. This covid19 will not be settled by then.

    1. You and Tommy know how to do it.

      It will be very interesting to see how things are by Christmas. I think this all will have an impact similar in scope to The Great Depression. It won't be over for a long time.

  6. Sad scenes here in the UK, non essential shops have just reopened today, and the media are reporting long queues outside of fast fashion shops. I just can't understand this mentality at all...why risk your own and other peoples health for shopping. I mean for most people if they actually need something they could just order it online anyway. I've also seen our prime minister encouraging "consumers" to get out there and shop as long as they do so responsibly. :-(

    1. Can't understand it myself. I have not been in a shop for months, and I am in no hurry to return. I love not having to go out to spend money. There are so many things I would rather do. Life is short, and I don't want to spend precious moments engaged in commerce.

      We have made many new arrangements over the past few months, many of which we will be continuing if this pandemic ever ends. We feel our life has been improved dramatically by these changes.


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