Fall back, spring ahead

Get ready to go through the routine of turning the clocks back an hour this weekend. Daylight savings time is leaving us... yet again. 

Daylight savings time has been with us in the United States since the days of World War I. It has seen several changes since then but still exists essentially in its original form.  Clocks are changed during the summer months to move an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening. 

The stated intent of daylight savings time is to make better use of daylight. The supposed tangible benefits are that it reduces crime, lowers energy usage, and reduces traffic accidents. One has to wonder, however, if the marginal improvement in these areas, if there are actually any, are worth the inconvenience of it all. 

A 2017 poll found 74 percent of Americans want to end daylight savings time. I'm one of them.

Given the lack of public support for daylight savings time, it's a marvel that it is still with us. And this is despite the fact that there are no powerful self-interest groups fighting to preserve it. This attests to the power of the status quo, of the tendency to keep what already exists. Little wonder then why it is next to impossible, say, to eliminate a government program, not to mention an outmoded government department, once it has established itself. 

If elected representatives at the state and federal levels can't give people what they want on the relatively simple, nonpartisan matter of the clocks, what chance is there that they can implement constructive reforms on anything at all? Little, I'd say.

Get ready to go through the routine of turning the clocks back an hour this weekend. Daylight savings time is leaving us... yet again. 

Daylight savings time has been with us in the United States since the days of World War I. It has seen several changes since then but still exists essentially in its original form.  Clocks are changed during the summer months to move an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening. 

The stated intent of daylight savings time is to make better use of daylight. The supposed tangible benefits are that it reduces crime, lowers energy usage, and reduces traffic accidents. One has to wonder, however, if the marginal improvement in these areas, if there are actually any, are worth the inconvenience of it all. 

A 2017 poll found 74 percent of Americans want to end daylight savings time. I'm one of them.

Given the lack of public support for daylight savings time, it's a marvel that it is still with us. And this is despite the fact that there are no powerful self-interest groups fighting to preserve it. This attests to the power of the status quo, of the tendency to keep what already exists. Little wonder then why it is next to impossible, say, to eliminate a government program, not to mention an outmoded government department, once it has established itself. 

If elected representatives at the state and federal levels can't give people what they want on the relatively simple, nonpartisan matter of the clocks, what chance is there that they can implement constructive reforms on anything at all? Little, I'd say.