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In observance of the Presidents Day holiday, the Daily Chronicle newspaper will not be published February 18. Breaking news and information will be updated on
Local Column

Olson: Get big government off our clocks

Twice a year, the government of Illinois messes with my life, and yours, on the most fundamental level by ordering us all to change the time.

Even if you’re not susceptible to depression, or sleep disruption, or at risk of a heart attack – all things exacerbated by changing the time – this absurd exercise is an unnecessary inconvenience for millions of people.

This week, have you found yourself feeling hungry, only to look at the clock and realize there’s still an hour to go until lunch?

Did you wake with the sun already in the sky and think you’d overslept?

Did you look out the window at 5 p.m., see it was completely dark, and sigh?

Do you have a young child in your home who still wants to wake up and go to sleep as normal?

We should stop continuing to subject ourselves to this. As the home of the largest metropolis in the Midwest, Illinois is uniquely positioned to take a stand and end this circadian catastrophe throughout the region.

Most people don’t know why we change our clocks. That’s because there is no good reason to do it, other than that we have in America since the early 20th century.

The only thing we really get from this system of changing the clocks twice a year is a national demonstration of the arbitrariness of our timekeeping system. On Sunday, 2 a.m. became 1 a.m. – not because of the position of the sun in the sky, or because we’d time-traveled, but because the government said it was so.

Daylight saving time doesn’t help farmers, it doesn’t increase productivity, and it doesn’t add any time to our lives.

In fact, it probably does exactly the opposite on all three counts.

This is not something beyond our power to control. The U.S. Energy Policy Act of 2005 gives each state the right to decide if it will use daylight saving time or not.

That means we’re voluntarily doing this.

So it’s time to stop. Springfield legislators should kill this unpopular practice and make the public happy for a change.

Let’s “spring forward” one last time in March, and then never change our state’s clocks again. We'll have more daylight in the evenings, neighboring states with business ties to the Chicago region will follow suit, and it will spread.

People don’t want to do this any more, and the law says we don’t have to.

So let’s stop tinkering with our timekeeping.

• Eric Olson is editor of the Daily Chronicle. Reach him at 815-756-4841 ext. 2257, email, or follow him on Twitter @DC_Editor.

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