This afternoon’s rush hour will see more car crashes than any other rush hour of the year. People are in a hurry because they feel like they are late. Turning back the clocks an hour has negative consequences that extend far beyond feeling refreshed one Sunday morning. If candidates for president want a fun, sensible issue to get behind, then end daylight saving time. Before you say this suggestion is all fluff, ponder the national inefficiencies the policy creates.
If you think things are bad this afternoon, just wait until March. That’s when clocks roll forward an hour and for the next month you feel like you had Unisom for breakfast.
You don’t need an economics degree to understand the economic inefficiencies created by having most of the nation change clocks and life schedules twice a year: The elderly trying to figure out how to change a car clock (and telephoning the young for help), the small school child rebelling when told to wake up, the yellow-light racer through a crowded intersection. Multiply these by tens of thousands of other instances of lost time and attention, as well as lost lives.
If a candidate wants to connect with moms, he or she should talk about how hard the time change is on families with little ones.
Changing the clocks twice a year sounds like some World War II plot to sabotage a foreign foe. One can imagine Churchill roaring in his bunker: “If only we could get the Germans to change their clocks twice a year! It would foul them up in unforeseeable and untold ways! ”
While it is true that the decision to adopt daylight saving time is made by state legislatures, one can hardly imagine a more nationalized issue. The federal government attaches all sorts of strings to federal dollars. Why not a string that makes sense for a change?
Ironically, the Chamber of Commerce has historically been behind the twice-a-year clock flip. More daylight means more shoppers. But support from the Chamber of Commerce shouldn’t deter every candidate. Suppose the nation went to permanent daylight saving time without the clock flipping twice a year? Keep daylight time all year long.
Changing clocks twice a year is a national stupidity that has no purpose in 2015. Wouldn’t it be nice to hear a candidate propose something for a change that most everyone could agree with and made sense?