The arbitrary time changes were created to help big business, not farmers. Studies show “springing forward” increases car accidents, heart attacks, suicides, injuries and energy consumption, while decreasing productivity.
Since 2015, an impressive 32 states have engaged in legislation to establish Daylight Saving Time as the official time year-round, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac.
Legislation has now been enacted in 13 of those states – starting with Florida in 2018, followed by Arkansas, Delaware, Maine, Oregon, Tennessee and Washington in 2019, and Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, South Carolina, Utah and Wyoming in 2020.
The states need approval from the federal government, but it sends the message that more and more states want to make the switch, increasing the likelihood of a national switch.
Ever wonder why we have to “fall back” and “spring forward” like yoyos each year?
Studies have found the abrupt time changes wreak havoc on our health – increasing car accidents, heart attacks, suicides, workplace injuries and energy consumption, while decreasing workplace productivity.
And contrary to popular belief, farmers don’t like it either, The Old Farmer’s Almanac says. In fact, they hate it.
So, why keep tormenting ourselves?
For big business. All sorts of retail industries have found that their sales are higher when there are more daylight hours after the 9-5 work day is over.
Convenience stores know we are more likely to shop for all kinds of things when we are out driving around in broad daylight after work and have lobbied hard to make daylight savings last as many months as possible.
Outdoor businesses such as golf courses and gardening supply stores report more profit with more daylight hours.
“Sports and recreation industries saw the light, too,” Time Magazine reports. “Golf ball sales skyrocketed during Daylight Saving Time. Baseball was a huge early supporter, too, because there was no artificial illumination of parks, so it got school kids and workers to ball games with the extended daylight.”
What started as an effort to “save energy” during WWI and WWII has always been extremely unpopular among farmers and blue-collar workers.
“It was so unpopular when we experimented with Daylight Saving Time during World War I that before the Versailles Treaty was signed, Congress was forced to repeal it to quell the revolt from the farm lobby,” says Michael Downing, author of Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Saving Time.
However, after WWII New York City continued to observe a metropolitan Daylight Saving Time. Because of its position as a financial capital, other cities followed. The result, Downing says, was “cities observing Daylight Saving Time surrounded by rural areas that did not, and no one could tell what time it was anywhere.”
“I understand the idea that the federal government doesn’t want just one state randomly doing it,” Maryland State Senator Justin Ready told Newsweek. “If my bill passes, it won’t make Maryland automatically switch. It will send a message to the federal government that we want to be part of a group of states that want to switch.”
Four other states—Idaho, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Oklahoma—have submitted bills asking to be exempt from Daylight Saving Time (sticking to standard time year round), which does not require federal approval. Arizona has never adopted Daylight Saving Time.