The Big Government Takeover Of Time: A Parable

A blog about business and economics.
Jan. 1 2012 11:26 AM

The Big Government Takeover Of Time: A Parable

As I watched the entire Eastern Time Zone engage in a chorus of syncronized "Happy New Year!!!!!"-ing last night, I couldn't help but think that a modern-day version of the 1918 Standard Time Act would probably prompt no end of hysteria on Fox News about the big government takeover of time. Newt Gingrich would note that God put the sun where he wanted it, and that having congress monkey with it is the height of secular socialism. Rick Perry would cite the 10th Amendment. Ezra Klein would try to explain that this is an industry-backed proposal developed by railroad executives with a long history of Republican support. Tim Carney would retort that this just goes to show how far the big government so-called "progressive" agenda is entwined with corrupt crony capitalism. John Boehner would probably try to put some sunset provision into the proposal so that time itself comes to a grinding halt unless the Keystone XL pipeline gets regulatory approval. 

UPDATE 12:20 January, 1 2012: See also Alex Tabarrok's 2010 confession on Daylight Savings Time.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.