Special-Interest Lobbyists Promote Daylight Saving Time
Observation of Daylight Saving Time harms health, safety, education, productivity, wages, and environment. But it also leads us to drive, shop, and golf more — which benefits the special interests of select billion-dollar industries, mainly retail, golf, tourism, oil, and candy.
The petroleum industry noticed a connection between DST and consumer spending as early as 1930, and they’ve lobbied ever since to resurrect DST when it was abolished after World Wars I and II, and to extend its duration beyond just the summer months.[Block][Porter][Schlanger] The US Chamber of Commerce has also been a longtime promoter of DST, acting on behalf of convenience stores and retailers of outdoor products.[Cohen][Schlanger][Victor]
The 1980s saw the formation of the National Daylight Saving Time Coalition, comprised of wealthy corporations from the industries of golf, candy, fast food, convenience stores, barbecue equipment, and amusement parks. The Coalition worked closely with legislators to extend DST’s duration; the Department of Transportation reported candy pumpkins on senators’ seats were one visible sign of inducement. The Coalition’s effort proved a success in 1986, when DST’s start date moved from the last Sunday of April to the first Sunday of April, which extended the length of DST from six months to seven. They won another extension in 2005, when DST’s start date was moved to the second Sunday in March, and its end date from the last Sunday in October to the first Sunday in November, making DST observation now eight months long in North America.[Avid Golfer][Bui][Gray & Jenkins][Houston][Israel][Morgan] Today’s chambers of commerce and lobbyists for golf and tourism continue to support seasonal and permanent DST.[Avid Golfer][Haughey][Johnson][Kiesel][MGCA]
Farmers have mistakenly been blamed for DST, when in fact they were among the first and strongest to work to end DST after wartime and to resist its return and extensions.[Hammill][Korch][Victor] Farmers start work with the sun, and their most productive time of day is morning. But when they sell their goods, they must abide the civil clock, and DST’s advancement of civil time and artificial reduction of morning hours gives farmers less time to get their goods to market.[Gray & Jenkins][Houston][Israel][Livingston 2016][Morgan][Schlanger]
DST proponents argue that what benefits special interests must benefit the economy. But they ignore or deny the overwhelming evidence that DST observation chronically harms health and safety (which increases healthcare costs),[Giuntella & Mazzonna][Pearce][Stevens] and it chronically reduces productivity and wages (which lowers individual prosperity and the overall economy).[Gibson & Shrader][Ingraham][Jin & Ziebarth][Roenneberg] Profits for a few special interests shouldn’t come at the expense of the general populace. Permanent Standard is the best and fairest clock for society.
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Jay Pea, Founder, Save Standard Time