The Daylight Savings idea was one of Ben Franklin’s worst. He thought we’d all save candles if, in the summer, we started the day earlier on the clock, leaving more sunshine for the evening.
Politicians made it official: Move the clock one hour forward in the summer, to hoodwink people to get up earlier and leave more daylight hours for after work.
In our lifetimes, most Americans have suffered through Daylight Savings Time each summer. Courtesy of George Bush, the period was extended.
I object to the policy primarily on grounds of, well, honesty. Once you set up a basic system, don’t fiddle with it. If you want to save money, you get up with the sun rather than the clock — and leave me alone.
But technocrats dismiss that kind of thinking. They see human beings as radically imperfect and their laws as extraordinarily clever.
But now it turns out that Daylight Savings Time doesn’t save energy. Matthew J. Kotchen and Laura E. Grant, writing in the New York Times, report on their recent study in Indiana, where implementation of Daylight Savings has been county-by-county, a perfect statistical testing ground.
They found that Daylight Savings cost one percent extra. Franklin didn’t figure on morning heaters and daytime air conditioning.
So they suggest nixing the practice. Add that to the case against cumbersome meddling, and the time to treat time by one standard is now.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.