Special-Interest Lobbies

Observation of DST 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.123 The US Chamber of Commerce has also been a longtime promoter of DST, acting on behalf of convenience stores and retailers of outdoor products.345

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.67891011 Today’s chambers of commerce and lobbyists for golf and tourism continue to support seasonal and permanent DST.612131415

Farmers have mistakenly been blamed for DST, when in fact they were among the first and strongest to work to ditch DST after wartime and to resist its return and extensions.51617 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.389101118

DST proponents argue that what benefits special interests must benefit the economy. But they ignore or deny the evidence that DST observation chronically harms health and safety (which increases healthcare costs),192021 and it chronically reduces productivity and wages (which lowers individual prosperity and the overall economy).22232425 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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Works Cited

1Block, MelissaThe Reasoning Behind Changing Daylight-SavingNPR

2Porter, CatherineWhy Daylight Saving Time Is Bad for the EnvironmentThe Star

3Schlanger, ZoëDaylight Saving Time as Americans Know It Was Instituted by Corporate Lobbies, Not FarmersQuartz

4Cohen, BenyaminDo We Still Need Daylight Saving Time?Mother Nature Network

5Victor, DanielDaylight Saving Time: Why Does It Exist? (It’s Not for Farming)The New York Times

6Colorado Avid Golfer StaffSaving Daylight and ParColorado Avid Golfer

7Bui, CrystalNew Bills Aim to Make Daylight Saving Time Permanent in MinnesotaKSTP-TV

8Gray & JenkinsIs the Clock Ticking on Daylight Saving Time? Here’s What It Would Take to Change It.The Washington Post

9Houston, PaulCongress OKs 3 More Weeks of Daylight TimeLos Angeles Times

10Israel, DavidPermanent Winter (or Summer) to Set in 2019 as Europe Abolishes Clock ChangesThe Jewish Press

11Morgan, ThadThe Sweet Relationship Between Daylight Saving Time and HalloweenHistory

12Haughey, JohnTime—and Money—at Stake in Florida-Led Proposal to Extend Daylight SavingThe Center Square

13Johnson, HollyDocuments for Bill HB 31 (32nd Legislature)The Alaska State Legislature

14Kiesel, EdwardDocuments for Bill HB 31 (32nd Legislature)The Alaska State Legislature

15Michigan Golf Course AssociationWritten Testimony to the Michigan House Committee on Commerce & TourismMichigan House of Representatives

16Hammill, RoxieChanging Clocks Is Bad for Your Health, but Which Time to Choose?Kaiser Health News

17Korch, TraversThe Financial History of Daylight SavingBankrate

18Livingston, AmyIs Daylight Savings Time Helpful or Harmful? History & EffectsMoney Crashers

19Giuntella & MazzonnaSunset Time and the Economic Effects of Social Jetlag Evidence from US Time Zone BordersJournal of Health Economics

20Pearce, DeborahThe Many Dark Sides of Permanent Daylight TimeTimes Colonist

21Stevens, RichardThe Hazards of Living on the Right Side of a Time Zone BorderThe Conversation

22Gibson & ShraderTime Use and Productivity: The Wage Returns to SleepWilliams College Department of Economics Working Papers

23Ingraham, ChristopherHow Living on the Wrong Side of a Time Zone Can Be Hazardous to Your HealthThe Washington Post

24Jin & ZiebarthSleep, Health, and Human Capital: Evidence from Daylight Saving TimeThe National Bureau of Economic Research

25Roenneberg et alDaylight Saving Time and Artificial Time Zones – A Battle Between Biological and Social TimesFrontiers in Physiology