The Convenience of Commerce

I didn’t know that the federal Department of Transportation was responsible for regulating time zones in the US. Actually, I never knew that they were regulated at all, come to think of it. A few counties in Indiana just switched time zones and I happened to notice this in the news.

It’s also interesting to note this:

Under the Uniform Time Act of 1966, the Secretary of Transportation has the authority to set time-zone boundaries and must base decisions on the “convenience of commerce.�

It struck me as quite forthright that the decision to change a time zone should be based on commercial needs rather than whatever We The People happen to be thinking at a given point in time.

5 thoughts on “The Convenience of Commerce”

  1. Yes indeed, this is quite surprising. Since it is federal though, why is it at the level of state or the federal law can decide for each state?

  2. As a libertarian, I believe the timezones should be set by market forces.

  3. Phil, keep in mind that time zones are a reflection of modern technology, brought on by commerce. They were never necessary when everyone basically did business within their own communities, but once that big iron horse started transporting people across great distances at high speeds, we needed time zones to avoid confusion with train schedules. In a Hobbesian world, no one needs time zones…we’re too busy being brutish and worrying abut our life being too short.

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