The US Needs Only Two Time Zones

Allison Schrager wants to end Daylight Savings Time, and then some
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 1, 2013 11:42 AM CDT

On Sunday, Americans will turn their clocks back, an annoying, confusing, and arguably harmful annual ritual. We should stop all this clock-switching, Allison Schrager at Quartz argues, and she's got an ambitious plan for how: People on Eastern time should turn back their clocks as normal, while people on Central and Rocky Mountain Time do nothing. Then people on Pacific Time should turn their clocks forward an hour. Presto: The continental US would have two time zones, one hour apart.

"It sounds radical, but it really isn't," she assures us. The current time zones were created because railroad travel necessitated more cross-continental coordination. Today, our economy is even faster and more interconnected. "Why stick with a system designed for commerce in 1883?" Anyone who's ever done business with the opposite coast "can imagine the uncountable benefits" of a two-zone, minimal-jet-lag nation. Besides, studies show Americans plan their lives around the TV schedule more than the sun, suggesting that "in effect, Americans already live on two time zones." Read her argument in full here. (Read more time zones stories.)

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