The demerits of DST

Stephen J. Dubner opened a debate on Freakonomics with an article about DST.

Whatever the ostensible benefits of DST, they are overwhelmed by the hassle of hundreds of millions of people who have to adapt, many of whom have serious problems with it - e.g. parents with children.

Furthermore, the silly time changes affect not only the communities who adopt them, but also communities that do not: businesses in Arizona shift schedules because of DST elsewhere, viewers in non-DST communities shift their sleep patterns because their favorite shows come on later, etc.

DST is a preposterous charade in an attempt to pursue minuscule or illusory savings. It is not only social engineering on a grand scale, it is useless feel-good social engineering on a grand scale.

I know how difficult it is to adapt systems to different DST rules. That's why I think the U.S. politicians who voted to change the DST schedule recently, instead of abolishing it altogether, should be sent to a no-happy place for a time comparable to the duration of people's lives that they wasted: a long duration indeed.


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