Understanding Daylight Savings Time

How do you “save” daylight? Credit the same government that counts “saved” jobs with “saving” time too, except it in reality does neither of those things. The dreaded time changes for Daylight Savings Time occur twice a year: once in the spring when the government tells you to move your clock ahead one hour, and one in the fall when the government makes you put it back where it was. During the interval (which the government seems to change all the time), we live under Daylight Savings Time.

Why Daylight Savings Time?

Daylight Savings Time began as a convoluted way to get more productivity from the longer days of spring and summer. During the First World War, a genius progressive in the United States government decided that it would be better to move the clock back order to make use of the additional daylight from the longer days. By moving the clock forward, people could up at 6:00 in the morning without wasting precious daylight hours while asleep. After the war, things went back to normal although some states and regions opted to continue the practice and others.

Daylight Savings Time reared its ugly head again during World War II for the same purpose of being able to work more during the longer hours of daylight. The practice continued to gain traction in the United States until, in 1966, the government (Congress) passed a law that stipulated the use of Daylight Savings Time as well as its beginning and end.

More meddling with time

The government has since taken action against time for supposed purpose of saving energy (probably because they couldn’t find anything else to do). Like a lot of legislation, the revised law has not achieved any measurable results (gauged by its stated purpose). It did, however, force businesses and individuals to deal with updating their Windows operating systems (at their own expense of course) to deal with the changes in the dates for Daylight Savings Time. As far as energy goes, all our prices still went up and no one willing to go on the record has said that Daylight Savings Time has saved them any money at all.

Alternatives to Daylight Savings Time

Rather than having the government tell us to change our clocks, there are some things we could do differently. How about letting people who need the extra daylight time get up early? That’s right! If you notice that the days are getting longer and you need more time to work outside, get up at 5:00 in the morning rather than at 6:00. After all, even if you move your clock up an hour, you are still getting up at 5:00: you’re only pretending that it’s 6:00.

Businesses that are impacted by the longer days could be left alone by the government and allowed to decide for themselves if they want to take advantage of the additional daylight. If they do, make starting time 7:00 in the morning rather than 8:00. Problem solved!

The special cases

Areas of the country that do not have to observe Daylight Savings Time include Arizona (except for the Navajo Nation), Hawaii, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and Puerto Rico.

Yield to fate

If you don’t like Daylight Savings Time, you pretty much have to move to one of the special places that are exempt. Otherwise, resistance is almost futile since almost everyone obeys the government and adjusts their clocks when it tells them too.

Don’t forget

Don’t forget to set your clocks back one hour on the first Sunday in November. Set your clocks forward one hour on the second Sunday of March.


“USA Time Zones Map.” World Time Zones. http://www.worldtimezone.com/time-usa12.php (accessed October 30, 2010).