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Solar Keynesianism

Only government thinks it can move the sun across the sky.

Like me, you may be suffering from “jet lag” today because of the “lost” hour yesterday when most of the country – excepting only the sensible states of Arizona and Hawaii – switched to Daylight Savings Time. (Excuse me, now it’s spelled “Hawai’i.” We like to be PC here at Chronicles.)

The government forces DST on us supposedly because the “extra” hour will make us more productive. Call it Solar Keynesianism. It’s like Keynesian economics, which supposedly “primes the pump” of higher economic growth through extra spending and printing more greenbacks. Except the “priming” eventually leads to collapse – just as DST makes me feel like taking a day-long nap.

ABC News reported there’s a reason you’re miserable: “Changing to daylight saving time may give people an hour more of sunlight, but it appears that their internal body clocks never really adjusts to the change, German researchers report.

“In fact, daylight saving time can cause a significant seasonal disruption that might have other effects on our bodies.”

It quoted lead researcher Till Roenneberg of Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich, who said: "When you change clocks to daylight saving time, you don't change anything related to sun time. This is one of those human arrogances – that we can do whatever we want as long as we are disciplined. We forget that there is a biological clock that is as old as living organisms, a clock that cannot be fooled. The pure social change of time cannot fool the clock."

Originally, of course, there were no time zones. “Noon” was when the sun was overhead wherever you were. Walking, or even riding a horse, allowed you time to change gradually. Time zones came into effect only in 1883 with trains. But government didn’t do it. According to History.com: “American and Canadian railroads begin using four continental time zones to end the confusion of dealing with thousands of local times. The bold move was emblematic of the power shared by the railroad companies.”

Leave it to government to mess up another good thing created by the private sector.

John C. Seiler, Jr.

John C. Seiler, Jr.

John C. Seiler, Jr., writes from California.

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