01 March 2015 - Let’s End Clock-Moving Time

If you are a regular reader of Samuelson Sez, you know that for the past couple of decades, I have been waging a one-person campaign against this ‘Spring Forward, Fall Back” routine that we go through twice a year in 48 out of our 50 states. Hawaii and Arizona do not make the change to daylight-saving time in the Spring and back to standard time in the Fall, but the rest of the states do make the change.

I keep asking the question “Why do we do this twice a year?” I advocate picking one or the other, making it daylight-saving time twelve months of the year or standard time, twelve months of the year. I know that most of today’s clocks make the change automatically, but again I ask, why do we do it?

Maybe I am getting a little more support because a bill has been introduced into the Washington State legislature considering an end to daylight-saving time. Five other states, including Oregon, are considering similar action. According to Capital Ag Press, Washington state legislator Elizabeth Scott, a supporter of the bill said “…what I’m suggesting is that we save time by simplifying our lives.” Then she listed some additional reasons (she did not list the research source to back up her reasons), but she also said it would reduce heart attacks, car wrecks and work accidents found to increase with the sleep-schedule disruptions. She concluded with this argument for her Washington state constituents . . . “Wouldn’t it be nice to have the 4th of July fireworks start before 10:00PM?”

On the other hand, supporters of daylight-saving time said they like the late summer sunsets. The Golf Association of Utah listed an economic reason when it said un-played rounds, because of earlier nightfall, would result in a $24-million loss in income for golf courses in that state.

Well, whatever you like, let’s pick one or the other and get away from this business of re-setting clocks twice a year. That’s all I’m asking, pick one or the other. But, if we are going to make the change, I don’t think we should do it on a state-by-state basis. It works in Arizona because it’s next door to California, and it works in Hawaii because it’s in the middle of the Pacific. But just like the GMO labeling issue, it wouldn’t work on a state-by-state basis in the lower 48.

The worst reason of all for daylight saving time comes from people who talk about adding an hour of sunlight every day. It just doesn’t work that way. I go back to the definition of daylight saving time given me by a native American decades ago....

“It is like cutting a foot off the bottom of the blanket and sewing it on the top of the blanket to make the blanket longer.” It doesn’t make the blanket longer, and daylight saving time doesn’t create an additional hour of sunlight. Let’s pick Standard time or Daylight Saving Time and make it 12 months a year.

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