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Michael Levin: Daylight Saving Time – it's time to get rid of this foolishness in 2021… but we won't

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Hey, Congress, a sleepy nation turns its bleary eyes to you, hoping that this is finally the year that you get rid of Daylight Saving Time once and for all.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., and others have introduced a bill to make DST permanent, so we never again spring forward or fall back, but chances are that his bill will, sadly, never see daylight.

It’s a pity because if there’s one thing that Americans can agree on, in this era of bitter divisiveness, it’s that DST benefits nobody.

Everybody hates DST.  Airlines, railroads, and bus companies can’t stand DST because they play havoc with schedules.  You can take off at 2 a.m. and land 45 minutes earlier. Or does your bus leave at the first 1 a.m., or the second one? 

SENS. LANKFORD & RUBIO: DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME SHOULD BE PERMANENT. SPRING AHEAD AND LOCK THE CLOCK, AMERICA

Hospitals hate DST because you’ve got drowsy drivers getting into more accidents than any other day of the year.  Aren’t they busy enough with COVID patients?  Alas, a certain percentage of sleep-deprived Americans will jump into their motor vehicles this Sunday morning and smack something. 

No DST, no increase in accidents.

You know who really hates DST?  Farmers…and cows.  Farmers hate it because their schedules are thrown off, and the cows aren’t happy about it, either, because they’re milked an hour earlier or an hour later, depending on the time of year.  An udder disgrace.

Why do we even have DST in the first place?  No one knows.  It started in Germany during World War I.  The Germans figured they could get in an extra hour of fighting.  Unfortunately, they forget to factor in that their opponents would also have an extra hour to fight back, and we all know how that war turned out.

WHAT IS DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME AND WHY DOES MOST OF ARIZONA NOT OBSERVE IT?

DST has been a reality in the United States for most of the past century, with the exception of parts of World War II and one year during the 1970s.   When the oil crisis struck, the government figured that maybe people would use less electricity and heat if they had an extra hour of sunlight all year round.

Hey, what a great idea! 

The last time Congress tinkered with DST, it was at the behest of the barbeque lobby (yes, there is such a thing).  They figured that if we had a longer period of DST, people would buy more charcoal and grill more burgers. 

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I don’t think the barbeque lobby would care one way or the other if DST were extended permanently.  The real issue is inertia.  When you have something that only causes problems twice a year, there’s never really enough oomph behind getting things changed.

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You have to admire Sen. Rubio’s act of tilting at windmills.  It shows that he’s a true patron of lost causes like immigration reform and the Miami Dolphins. 

The main thing is that you don’t have to be a cow, or a farmer, or a long-haul trucker, or an airline, to despise DST. 

All you have to be is someone who’s going to wake up Sunday morning and be an hour late for church or the gym.  DST is an idea who time has passed.

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You know what? There ought to be a law. But despite Sen. Rubio and others best efforts, there won’t be. 

Maybe the barbecue lobby should lend a hand. Burgers, anyone?

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