A good meal in a restaurant.
A walk in a crowded park full of happy families.
Shopping at a busy farmers’ market.
Checking the pears and melons for ripeness.
Idle conversation with strangers outside the internet.
Qualitatively, we need to appreciate the diversity in life and the activity we had available under non-stress conditions.
Quantitatively, we need to consider that perhaps 80–90 percent of the activities going on before this crisis were ‘busy work’ for civilization to justify profits harvested at the top of the pyramid scheme. Most people would be better off with less competitively frenetic lives, localized focus on living and much less ‘stuff’ and infrastructure to maintain and replace. Every dollar is a petrodollar at some point, with whole economies depending on the availability of dirty value (oil, coal, artificially scarce diamonds, cobalt, slavery, corn syrup, etc) and the stock market casino betting on the competitive moral terpitude of corporations fulfilling the coerced ‘demands’ of our lizard brains.
Are humans the dominant species? McMansions and McDonald’s fill our real estate. Endless parking lots and roads, garages and shops exist to service cars so that people can drive to the stores to buy new clothes to go to jobs to buy cars while the land and air get exploited through purely monetary, thoughtless motivation systems.
Many people have advocated that we should be taxing consumption since the ‘90’s, but neoliberalism keeps saying “sales taxes are regressive”, even as they advocate for UBI to pump money into the rapacious revolving door of the corrupt corporostate-dependency system where everyone is somewhere between too big to fail and too poor to work.
Sales taxes aren’t as regressive as gentrification and imaginary beings (unfettered politically correct consumerism, benevolent aristocrats and the Invisible Hand Job).
It’s a good thing we don’t need to fight a war. Do we ever? Really? (Yes, I am a veteran, so don’t give me that ‘freedom’ and ‘patriotism’ bullshit. Most of it is a racket.)